Beginner to road

ohara227 Posts: 225
edited September 2010 in Road buying advice

I am looking to buy a road bike sub £700, I know there isnt a perfect all road bike for everyone but I want something comfartable ie not too low down but still have the big wheels for distance and speed. I have my eye on a Giant Defy 2 2010.

I was wondering a few things, any responses would be welcome please:

1) Some of the more expensive road bikes have less gears than cheaper ones, ie Defy 2 has Full 18 speed Shimano Tiagra shifting. I am thinking MTB I have 27 at my disposal therefore giving better range - or is the gearing different?

2) Upright steam - I would imagine these give more comfort as you are less bent over - is there any drawbacks/am I right?

3) Cyclecross bikes appear to be more durable - swapping tyres are they good for road use?

Any other 'watch out for tips' would be great

Its worth noting I have a bad back at present so cant hop on one to try out, wouldnt imagine buying just now just doing some reserch as I am potentually cycling from Paris to Rome next August with support in car so we dont need panniers, but for other events it would be good to have the option.

'The hills are alive with the sounds of panting'


MTB - Giant 2008 Trance X2
Road - Giant 2010 Defy 2
Hybrid - Giant Escape 2011 City 2


  • Forgot to add Defy 4 has 24 speed, hence its the lower in the range but more gears...
    'The hills are alive with the sounds of panting'


    MTB - Giant 2008 Trance X2
    Road - Giant 2010 Defy 2
    Hybrid - Giant Escape 2011 City 2
  • You cannot really compare a mtb gearing ratio to a road ratio although a typical 27 speed bike will have a greater spread of gears (intervalled) however the road will offer you a higher set of gear ratios? ( so you can achieve a higher speed)!!

    You could gain a higher handlebar angle by replacing the stem for a adjustable one ( may look slightly daft but will be comfortable)

    Hope this helps!!
  • dmch2
    dmch2 Posts: 731
    You can get a triple or double (the top two gears) or compact (bottom two gears) on most bikes giving you 2x or 3x the rear gears.

    My road hybrid is a 3x8=24 speed with shorter gearing than my new 3x9=27 gear road bike. But for the same perceived effort i went over a hill today at 9mph that the hybrid only does at 7mph. I guess because it's lighter and I was clipped in

    So get a triple and you'll be fine. Or save £25 and get a compact.

    I got a 2010 trek 1.5 triple for £720 which evans still have in stock. The compact will be in your budget or get a 1.2 which £620 i think. The treks have pannier mounts (which is why i didn't get the cannondale). For referencee the 2011 1.5 is £875 so take some pain killers and buy now if you can!

    Look out to see if you get sora or the higher spec tiagra shifters. Sora shifts only go down the gears unless you have very long thumbs. Try and see in the shop.
    2010 Trek 1.5 Road - swissstop green, conti GP4000S
    2004 Marin Muirwoods Hybrid
  • If you want the bike to feel comfortable then you really do have to go to shops and sit on the bikes and get advice from the salesperson about fit and comfort.

    Everyone on here will recommend their bike make to you because they love them (nothing wrong with that) but what is comfortable for them may not be for you.

    You have a budget so just look at bikes in that price range and you will get the best bike for your needs.

    As far as triples or doubles on road bikes are concerned you have the ability to work out what is best for you already, your mtb!

    Just ride it for any period of time on the road and you will almost certainly not use the granny ring because it's prime purpose is for riding up the side of mountains. Plus a road bike will have much thinner tyres and bigger wheels so will be easier to roll than an mtb bike.

    Also the duplication of ratios means that you have not gained anything in real terms but have added extra weight and cost.

    If you are worried about steep hills that you will be riding just get a compact and you will be fine as it is lower geared than a standard double but doesn't have the duplication of ratios.

    Although cyclocross bikes appear to be allrounders constantly changing tyres would be a pain and the cantilever brakes that are fitted to most of them are rubbish because they are really meant for longer pull levers. Not a major problem offroad but at road speeds not as good as proper road bike calipers are.

    As for the upright stem, just flip most stems upside down and you will gain more height but as I originally said a good bike shop will help you get what is most suitable for you and your riding requirements.
  • tlw1
    tlw1 Posts: 21,859
    post above has covered it all very well!
  • This seems to tick the boxes if I can get one: ... 428/32461/

    Giant Defy 2.5 2009

    I like the subtle colour scheme too, as well as it has the Tigra shifters and seems to be lighter than this years Defy 2.

    Like I say I am really new to this and appreciate your help, I think I shall try a Defy somewhere and see whats what as I like the Giant Brand having a Trance X2 already.
    'The hills are alive with the sounds of panting'


    MTB - Giant 2008 Trance X2
    Road - Giant 2010 Defy 2
    Hybrid - Giant Escape 2011 City 2