Total Beginner advice

ljmarshall Posts: 4
edited April 2008 in Road beginners
First of all apoligise if there is something along these lines already in the forum but sadly i could not find the answers i seek.

Basically i am a pure newcomer to the world of cycling and am planning to undertake a 2-3 week John o'groats to lands end cycle ride back end of this summer. Sadly as im a totaL newcomer i have no idea on gear and equipment i will require so i was hopeing for a point in the right direction.

Training is in motion on a city bike on average 25 miles a day on hilly terrain. Obviously the key word here is that im using a city hybrid thingy and am finding it quite frustrating when a group of seasoned cyclist overtake me in what seems like 3 times the speed. From this i gathered i seriously need to invest in a decent road bike. So as i have no clues or preferences im seeking advice on a budget of £500 (willing to increase if the bike is a must but cant go over 1k or missus will kill me)

Accessorys (incorrectly spelled i bet)
For the actual ride what spare equipment must i cary as i have not yet had the pleasure of a puncture so any advice on this would also be appreciated.

Thanks in advance

Liam Marshall


  • Nuggs
    Nuggs Posts: 1,804
    Liam - welcome to the Forum and good luck on your LEJOG adventure!

    I'd definitely recommend moving from your hybrid to a road bike for that sort of journey. The road bike should be lighter, so less effort. However, the main reason I'd go for a road bike is the comfort factor - being able to use a variety of hand placements will be a godsend on such a long ride.

    Unfortunately, you will still be overtaken by seasoned cyclists going three times your speed. The bike won't help much with that. Your speed will only come as you improve the bike's engine - i.e. you!

    The big question reagarding bike choice is how much stuff you're going to carry and how you're planing to carry it. If you have a lot of kit and will be using panniers on the bike, then you'll be looking at a touring/audax frame. If you're travelling light then a more race-oriented bike should be the weapon of choice.

    Let us know and we'll do what we can to help.
  • Bronzie
    Bronzie Posts: 4,927
    Accessories / Spares
    Will depend on whether you are supported (vehicle carrying your kit) or whether you are on your own for the whole trip:

    - cycle computer to log your miles/speed each day
    - 2 x bottle cages & bottles
    - mini, or even better, a frame pump
    - 2/3 spare inner tubes
    - puncture kit
    - tyre levers
    - multi-tool (allen keys, screw drivers)
    - spoke key (to allow running repairs on your wheels)

    - lights (if riding near dusk)
    - mudguards (if you don't like getting a wet backside)
    - 1 x spare tyre
    - chainbreak tool (in case you snap your chain)

    Not essential (but you might wish you'd packed them):
    - spare spokes (NB will need different length spokes for front & rear wheel)
    - a few spare allen key bolts & screws in case anything shakes loose
    - replacement brake pads (especially if you are touring loaded in wet conditions)
  • Thanks for the initial advice guys.

    Unfortunatley i have not managed to convince anyone to support us on our ride so i was going to get some panniers. So considering the advice i will go for something with the touring frame, which leads me to the highly predictable next question. To someone who has no preferences in gear/colour etc what bike should i go for with the budget mentioned above.

    Thanks in advance

  • Bronzie
    Bronzie Posts: 4,927
    Forgot to put in the "Essential" list:
    - chain lube and a cloth to fettle the chain (especially if you get a wet day)

    Bike choice will depend on whether you plan to do anything similar in future. To buy a dedicated tourer for the one trip would perhaps be an expensive error. The laden tours I've done have been on an old ('90s) MTB fitted with road tyres, drop bars, road gear levers and rack. You could pick up something suitable on eBay for a song.

    If you want to go bells'n'whistles look at something like a Dawes Galaxy or have a look on the St Johns Street Cycles website (you may need an understanding bank manager though):
  • Been looking into touring bikes and am interested in the cycle on the link below. Is it worth it and is the spec 'good enough' for the feat. ... gent-(2007).html

    what is the inherent difference between a touring bike and a bog standard road bike. im pressuming its the storage at the back? im 5'7 and inside leg is 30.5' (jokes aside) so what size should i chose if i chose to purchase this bike

    I intent to use the bike for the event and to commute (10 mile each way). The bike i currently am using is a halfords carrera 2 'city bike'.

    Is upgrading this bike an option? should i just borrow a mates road bike?

    hmmmm lots of clues!

  • Bronzie
    Bronzie Posts: 4,927
    ljmarshall wrote:
    what is the inherent difference between a touring bike and a bog standard road bike.
    A dedicated tourer will be a lot more beefy so it wont fall to pieces when you hit your first pothole with 15kg of luggage on the rack - brakes will also probably be v-brakes or similar to stop all that weight when you go downhill.
    I wouldn't even consider using standard road wheels or brakes for a laden tour.

    The wheels on the Claud Butler may be a bit skinny for heavy touring (only 32 spoke wheels) but if you don't take the kitchen sink you should be ok. Your size is probably going to be the 53cm I think.
  • hodsgod
    hodsgod Posts: 226
    I would have thought an Audax bike was perfect for that type of ride. It is designed for the loing distance touring event.

    It has all the fittings for panniers and guards, along with the traditional road drop bars which give you the varied hand positions.
  • meagain
    meagain Posts: 2,331
    "an Audax bike"

    But most new ones would break the budget surely? IF new, the CB probably as good as any. I'd suggest 2nd hand but (no offence) Liam might not have much expertise in choosing/buying at the right price.

    And whatever the terminology in favour on this Forum, a touring bike IS a bog standard road bike - it's the race reps commonly so called that are not!

    And don't dismiss flat bars (but definitely with bar ends for position changes) out of hand (pun intended).

    Good luck!
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."