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help a newbie....

otlawrenceotlawrence Posts: 54
edited May 2010 in Your road bikes
Hey all first time on the site, new to cycling....

My work is doing the cycle to work scheme and i want to get involved with cycling more so im going to jump on board...

i have been reading about some bikes over the last few weeks that i may be able to squeeze into my budget and some i definitly will and just looking for a nudge in a helpful direction.

Im looking to spend up to about £700 and currently looking at :

Trek 1.2
Scott Spedster s40
Specialized Allez Sport Tripple
Specialized Secateur Sport 2010
Fuji 1.0 Newest 2009
Fuji Roubaix 2010
Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Sora

I know its quite a big short list but ive been informed that i want to try and spend money on better gears and some of these have a better gear set than others, noticably the 2009 fuji....i am intending to do oxford to cambridge cycle in oct and then moving to devon next year so need it for a variety, flats and hills.

Sizing is probably my number one issue. im 5 foot 10......this is about 54/56?? ive been to a bike shop or two but they havent been very helpful getting me sized.

Any help GREATLY appreciated!


  • Hi OT and welcome to the forum. The "which bike is best for me" conundrum is a question which frequently pops up on Bike Radar with many different answers.
    I would suggest posting your question again in the "Buying Advice" section of the forum where upon you'll probably find more responses and advice. Good luck.
    (By the way, I'd personally go for the Scott meself.!)
    Let's close our eyes and see what happens
  • ALaPlageALaPlage Posts: 732
    Possibly in the wrong forum as this is to post pics of bikes owned - try road buying advice or road beginners. However....

    Bike sizing. A lot is made of this and it is important however to simplify things the two most important measurements are likely to be Standover - which is the height of the crossbar from the floor. This should ideally be one to two inches shorter than your inside leg measurement so that when stood over the bike you have some space between the top tube and your crotch. The second measurement is the top tube length which will determine reach from the saddle.

    Our height is made up differently - some 5'10" people will have longer legs and shorter body meaning they will need a different frame size/geometry than those with regular or shorter legs and regular/longer upper body.

    I would say that at 5'10" you are right to be looking at 54/55/56 cm frames but you must try out your shortlisted bikes in those sizes to see what fits you best and feels right. Finer adjustments can be made with stem length and saddle position and a good LBS should be able to help you here.

    Regards your list; You have a fine selection of bikes there and really it comes down to what fits you best, feels right, groupset desired within price range and eye candy factor as its always a nicer feeling riding a bike that looks good!

    Some say get the best (lightest) frame you can afford and as time passes you can upgrade the groupset/wheels/post and stem to your desired kit bit by bit. If you can strike a balance from the off though then that makes life easier and helps ensure you are enjoying your cycling from day one and not wishing/fretting you had the next best groupset in the range.

    I would suggest you avoid the triple and go for a compact double. Unless you are touring and carrying lots of luggage on a bike or offroad on a MTB I see no need for triple gears on a road bike.

    If Shimano is your bag on the groupset then Sora is the lowest in the range to get and will be within your budget although some bikes will not give you the full groupset and you will find brakes likely to be Tektra and cranks FSA. Sora is fine for 90% of your riding - the only issue with it comes when riding on the drop bars as you will not be able to reach the thumbswitch to change gear and have to change hand position back to the hoods.

    I would recommend you go for Tiagra as a minimum. Up the range you get lighter parts, smoother operation and with the brakes more bite but cost increases. The 105 groupset if you can stretch to it is a great bit of kit however Tiagra will more than suffice to get you started.

    My final comments would be to consider bying second hand if you have the £700 budget as cash. Lots of nearly new and hardly used bikes out there and your £700 will get you a bike costing £1200-£1500 new in the last year or two. You do need to have got your shortlist down to probably one or two models here and know what size you want so you can search for them. Ebay an obvious source but Cycling Weekly and local ads may be another.

    As an example my wife's bike came from Ebay - a Kona Lisa RD Aluminium frame with carbon forks, Mavic Aksium Wheels, and 105/Ultegra gears - brakes Tektro with 105 shifters. One year old, hardly ridden (seller said ridden once and bike condition supports that) and new cost £1100 - I paid £500.

    My own bike (pictured on this forum "Trek Madone 5.9") with full Ultegra SL groupset (fitted new to the frame and never ridden) and new Race X Lite wheels (also never on the road) cost me £1300 through the Cycling Weekly classifieds. This bike is over £3000 new. Certainly more bike for your money and I would guess you could get a Trek 1.9 or 2.5 for your budget.

    Good luck with the bike search and enjoy your cycling.
    Trek Madone 5.9
    Kinesis Crosslight T4
  • otlawrenceotlawrence Posts: 54
    OkCheers for the help guys
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,963
    ALaPlage wrote:
    My final comments would be to consider bying second hand if you have the £700 budget as cash. Lots of nearly new and hardly used bikes out there and your £700 will get you a bike costing £1200-£1500 new in the last year or two.

    Not much point buying second hand - OP is using bike to work scheme so they'll be getting a grands worth of bike for £500 or so anyway.

    For what it is worth, a mate of mine just got a Bianchi Sora and loves it. Mind you, I'd have paid the small amount extra and got the Campag version. I think the main thing to do is look for recommendations on the forum for good shops. I went to the bother of going to a shop that was a 6 and a half hour round trip from me based on forum recommendation and a large fleet of bikes to test ride. I ended up doing the trip 3 times :lol: That might be excessive but a good shop is worth making the effort for - they'll certainly make sure they find a bike that fits you which matters far more than brand choice.
    Faster than a tent.......
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