First time roadie bike..

Dr S
Dr S Posts: 146
edited November 2008 in Road beginners
Long time Mtb xc rider here, I'm after a road bike for some training, maybe a little touring (fancy the C2c in the summer) and possibly a TT or two.. so probably an all rounder I guess.

I've got an £800 voucher from Evans ride to work on the way what should I look for in a road bike? I've never ridden one! I'm happier on a stretched out racy position off road and clipless pedals are a must are roadie cleats the same as offroad ones?

Should I be looking for something with a triple at the front? What wheels, groupsets are good basic minimum starters? Is £800 enough for a decent useable nice bike? Is there a huge difference between a Tourer and a TT bike? Like the difference to a XC racer and a DH racer? or as I imagine are they rather more similar?

Thanks in advance,

Kona Kula Supreme, the hardtail
Scott Spark 20 the softtail
Cannondale CAAD9 the roadie


  • Al_38
    Al_38 Posts: 277
    IMO the difference between a tourer and a racer is pretty big and a tourer v specific pure tt bike even bigger (maybe a tourer is like an AM rig, the road bike a short ish travel fs bike and the tt bike an xc race machine). But there is absolutely nothing to stop you doing a tt on a tourer, however I doubt many people would seriously take a tt bike touring. Basically a dedicated tt bike will have really steep head and seat angles so you are in the most aerodynamic and powerful position - maximising speed at the cost of comfort. Whereas a tourer will have much more relaxed geometry and ride position, for long ride comfort. With most road bikes somewhere in between.

    However at your budget, I would look for something like a specialised allez or the equivalent level treks / giants (I think evans also sell bianchi). If you are going to be doing lots of touring then pannier rack mounts on the rear might be handy (or you could possibly use a seatpost mounted one). If you are fairly fit I definetly wouldn't go with a triple, you can get the same range of gears on a compact double, or could go for a standard double. Any of those bikes should be more than capable of the odd time trial too. £800 is plenty to get something nice shimano 105 kit would be nice but maybe a bit too expensive but tiagra works very well too, I would try and avoid sora shifters as I think they don't have the nicer shifting mechanism of the more expensive shifters.
    As a rough guide:
    xtr = dura ace
    xt = ultegra
    lx = 105
    deore = tiagra
    ?? = sora

    Most wheels at that price point are going to be probably bike manufacturer hubs, on various types of rims and so pretty hard to compare between bikes

    Most road cleats are big plastic things rather than the small metal ones in mtbing, shimano make some road pedals that take an spd cleat, or you could run mtb pedals fine too. Road cleats almost certainly won't fit on mtb shoes.
  • johans
    johans Posts: 24
    I was a long time MTB rider until just over a year ago. I wanted something different and got a Specialized Tricross Double Comp. It is a great bike and very versatile - you can even take it on single track.

    Review: ... p-08-29161

    I enjoy this bike so much my MTB gets a ridden a lot less now.
  • JGS
    JGS Posts: 180
    The problem with a Tricross is that they feel like a drop bar MTB and not a road bike. I never felt particularly stretched out when I rode one for a 55 mile test ride. I'd personally reccomend something that is designed as a "Audax" bike, which is a road bike for long rides so has slightly less twitchy geometry but is still capable of belting along at a good speed. A Bianchi Via Nirone C2C springs to mine, or a similarly set-up Giant or Trek?
  • doyler78
    doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    I think many people start out with the intention of doing all these different types of cycling and thus try to get bikes that suit them all and end up with one that never really suits what they end up doing the most of.

    I would basically look at what you are most likely to do and buy the bike that best suits that and everything else is just a distraction. You will never get a do all that will excite you when you do your day in day out miles.

    If you intend to only tour for a week every year just hire a bike for that from a local bike shop. That way you get a bike you love riding for the majority of your riding.

    As regards tt well you should check this out:

    Looks very interesting as you will not need anything fancy in order to be compete. Its more about you than it is about the equipment, of course not completely but certainly a much better leveller.
  • doyler78 wrote:
    I think many people start out with the intention of doing all these different types of cycling and thus try to get bikes that suit them all and end up with one that never really suits what they end up doing the most of.

    Good advice. When I was originally looking for a road bike, I also had touring and commuting in mind, but what I really wanted (and would use) was a road bike for fitness - everything else was just muddying the waters.