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Retired Rugby Player Seeks Road Bike

alphawavealphawave Posts: 6
edited June 2008 in Workshop
Hi all,
I am looking for some advice, I would like to buy a road bike - i have a budget of up to £1,500.00

The thing is I am quite a well built lad - 5' 8" tall and 17 stone. I have recently retired from playing rugby and I am looking for a road bike to keep me fit and lose a bit of bulk.

I plan to ride about 100 miles per week - and I have no issue in upgrading parts as and when they fail, what I am looking for though is a bomb proof frame - and although frame weight is not really an issue I am looking for something that is light weight-ish and strong enough to take abuse from a novice roadie.

All suggestions kindly accepted.

Kev
Use AWT Ltd For All Your Engineering Design Needs.

Posts

  • JesseDJesseD Posts: 1,961
    Hi Kev,

    Most frames will take your weight (I am 16.5 stone and have had no probs) just make sure it fits properly, at the price you have quoted you have the pick of Aluminium/Steel or carbon.

    Go to your LBS, try out a few and see what handles/feels best for you and the typr of riding you want to do.

    Personally though I would get handbuilt wheels though maybe 32 or 36 spoked ones, they will be more reliable for your weight. They won't look as bling but when you lose the bulk as you put it you can go and spend on a pair of 50mm carbon hoops :D
    Obsessed is a word used by the lazy to describe the dedicated!
  • alphawavealphawave Posts: 6
    Thanks Jessed,
    My LBS is very small and limited to one low end brand - next nearest IBD's are 20-odd miles away.
    So .......
    Any particular brands of frame/bike spring to mind?
    I'm thinking Alu or Titanium will suit me better than Carbon at the mo - as I'm not very gentle and my technique is a bit rough when riding the tarmac!

    Kev
    Use AWT Ltd For All Your Engineering Design Needs.
  • JesseDJesseD Posts: 1,961
    Titanium - PX? Though I am not sure how much they cost.

    An Alu bike from any of the big brands would be fine, Giant/Trek/Specialized/Cannondale, or you can get more bangs for you buck by buying over the net from place like Wiggle.com they do Focus etc.

    Planet X Aluminium - http://www.planet-x-warehouse.co.uk/aca ... OFFER.html

    Planet X Titanium - http://www.planet-x-warehouse.co.uk/aca ... OFFER.html

    Focus Cayo Expert - http://www.wiggle.co.uk/ProductDetail.a ... ert%202008

    Any of these would be good + the bikes from the main brands.

    I still think there is not substitue for getting fitted properly from a good bike shop.
    Obsessed is a word used by the lazy to describe the dedicated!
  • alphawavealphawave Posts: 6
    Thanks again,
    I agree - I just need to decide which town to go to - depending on brand - I don't want to spend a day driving round the county!

    Kev
    Use AWT Ltd For All Your Engineering Design Needs.
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,129
    Given your requirements then I'd think a titanium frame would be the best for you as it is both bombproof and pretty light.

    The Planet X titanium frame looks a good deal but you could also look at Sunday Bicycles who are UK based.
  • azzerbazzerb Posts: 208
    http://www.planet-x-warehouse.co.uk/aca ... R_NEW.html

    £99 over your budget, but comes with Dura Ace. The wheels are also 32spoked, so will be bomb proof i imagine.
  • brownboshbrownbosh Posts: 602
    I was 20 stone , now 16.5 and i would reccomend the scott range. Not quite a purists racing position but very very stiff and strong but forgiving where they need to be. How about a Scott cr1 team £1395? Ive got 3 scott road bikes now - cr1 team on 105 with wheel build, cr1 pro on ultegra with wheel build and alu speedster built up with a compact campag centaur gruppo with wheel build. All excellent machines can say enough good about them. Had others but back pain resulting from my rugby career meant the geometry was wrong on a lot of the off the shelf buys. :shock:
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    Have you looked at those Principia frames that Chain Reaction is selling off. You may prefer to get fitted out in a shop - which is understandable if you are new to it - but they are very strong well made aluminium frames mostly with very tough anodised finishes.

    I wouldn't worry too much about frame damage as far as weight goes but something very stiff with a stiff fork should still handle well with a heavy rider - as others have said get some strong wheels and probably avoid light weight components like seatposts, bars, stems.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • meanwhilemeanwhile Posts: 392
    alphawave wrote:
    Hi all,
    I am looking for some advice, I would like to buy a road bike - i have a budget of up to £1,500.00

    The thing is I am quite a well built lad - 5' 8" tall and 17 stone. I have recently retired from playing rugby and I am looking for a road bike to keep me fit and lose a bit of bulk.

    I plan to ride about 100 miles per week - and I have no issue in upgrading parts as and when they fail, what I am looking for though is a bomb proof frame - and although frame weight is not really an issue I am looking for something that is light weight-ish and strong enough to take abuse from a novice roadie.

    All suggestions kindly accepted.

    Kev

    You have to choose between absolute on the edge road racing performance and strength. If you put strength and all weather capability first, get a cyclocross bike and put road tyres on it. A lot of people use them for winter training bikes. The performance loss will be marginal and the toughness gain will be immense. You'll get more versatility, especially the ability to run wider tyres, which may cope with your weight better.

    I'd look at the Surly Crosscheck (an absolute tank, very versatile, steel for toughness and greater ride comfort) and the Kona Jake The Snake. You can buy a built-up Crosscheck from a US store for about $1000 at the moment - even after import duties that should work out a good deal. Alternatively, a frame only in the UK costs £300 - I know Bicycle Doctor in Manchester specialize in them. If you really are willing to spend £1500, you could look at something like one of the LeMond Cyclo bikes with disc brakes - the ultimate wet weather braking solution.

    If you do want to race, Cyclo-x might suit you much better than road racing. There's mud, running, general hurly burly, and matiness. Your upper body strength will be much closer to being an asset than a weight penalty than in road racing. However, even in cyclo-x, you are NOT allowed to tackle competitors.

    Btw - even with a cyclo-x, an uber bike meant for pro level racing may have been lightened to gain racing edge at the cost of toughness - a pro will accept a bike that lasts a single season. Don't go over light! If you have any doubts what a particular bike is meant for, ask on the manufacturer's forum or by mail - they'll be honest with you and competent, whereas as a lot of bike staff are clueless or eager to make big sales.

    Your other alternative for on the road fitness would be a no-suspension mountain bike with slick tyres. You could pick up an excellent, barely used machine for £200-£400 on ebay, then the slicks will cost you £40. People often use these - plus aero handlebars - when starting out in triathlons. Switching to a "proper" road bike is reckoned to add about 5 minutes speed over an hour long course. The MTB will be as tough as old boots - it will be stressed to take jumps from a rider of your weight - and a non-drophandle position maybe reassuring. If you want drops, a bike shop can fit them for £70.

    Other option: fast hybrid, eg Cotic Roadrat. Google it.

    (I'm 15 stone and 5'10; I just did a similar search.)
  • meanwhilemeanwhile Posts: 392
    My other thought is - why spend money on buying very marginal, expensive performance advantages if you're riding for fitness? An extra £1000 spent on a bike might mean that you can ride a certain distance in 58 minutes rather than 6o minutes, but little else. Does this matter at all for fitness? £500 will easily buy you safety and fun (in fact, £300 on a Revolution Courier Disc will do that, and get you all-weather disc brakes, come to think of it).
  • alphawavealphawave Posts: 6
    Thanks again guys,
    I will certainly look at the likes of Giant/Trek/Specialized/Cannondale/Scott and the lesser known (to me!) Sunday Bicycles and Planet X (both Alu & censored ) looks like a good benchmark to gauge the others against. I will look at the Principia frames as I would like to spec and build the bike myself but if I can get something off the peg then that would be quicker.
    I think Titanium is the way forward for me and I think getting it fitted correctly is also a must as I have the rugby induced back affliction too – also the cauli ears cause problems with helmets and sunnies - lol!


    Kev
    Use AWT Ltd For All Your Engineering Design Needs.
  • morrisjemorrisje Posts: 507
    If you like Ti then this place has a good selection. I think only the Van Nicholas range will be in your budget.

    http://www.fatbirds.co.uk/
  • I'm a retired Rugby player. I was 16st when I first looked at cycling. I had to wait for an ACL recon to get fixed before I started. I bought a Giant SCR2 for £450. The thinking was that it would get me through the first year or so, then if I took to cycling I could upgrade to a better spec later. I did take to it, & did upgrade a year later, selling the SCR2 to a friend. I started training for endurance rather than power & combined with a new diet lost 3st in weight in a year, & found my fit on a bike had changed a lot, & the original bike felt too small.

    Hope my experience helps a little.
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    morrisje wrote:
    If you like Ti then this place has a good selection. I think only the Van Nicholas range will be in your budget.

    http://www.fatbirds.co.uk/

    I can certainly recommend Fatbirds as a good place to get sorted out. They looked after me very well.
  • unclevitunclevit Posts: 5
    hi,
    At present I ride a Trek 1.7 in size 50. Now looking for a 'traditional' steel frame (columbus - for less weight?) for daily fitness riding too. Not meant for any race, but perhaps scenic or charity rides from time to time. Will need only a frame of 50-51 size. Any store in UK (London or nearby towns) to recommend for mail ordering? Budget for frame is about US$500?
    Tks for any advice,
    unclevit
  • alphawavealphawave Posts: 6
    Thanks again for all for the advice,

    I don't want to go down the MTB route and I never thought about cyclocross bikes - Ithink they may be worth investigating along with the road options you guys have suggested.

    I am away on holiday next week - so I'm going to get hold of the spec sheets and peruse them while I'm sunning myself and drinking pina colada's on the beach (I'm actually going to cornwall!).

    Thanks again

    Kev
    Use AWT Ltd For All Your Engineering Design Needs.
  • greg rochegreg roche Posts: 124
    Feel free to email me and i'll send you one of the spangly new Sunday Bicycles brochures we've just had printed up. I'm even on the front cover (couldn't afford a model!)
    Hope that won't put you off your pina colada..
    Greg
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