Buying a new roadbike, size and comfort question

togg Posts: 80
edited June 2011 in Road buying advice
never owned a road bike before, I was looking for something comfortable, but I'll also be looking to take on some challenging hills. Any suggestions or advice on frame size for a beginner also, I'm just under 6ft, 31" inside leg. Not sure how much to spend really £600-£1200 ish I suppose. What I'm really puzzled about is the exact type to go for?


  • night_porter
    night_porter Posts: 888
    Seriously just go to some local bike shops and get some hands on proper advice.

    It would be so easy for people on here to suggest that their bikes are what you need or what size is right but unless you have seen and sat on a few how will you know how to choose?

    A good bike shop will be asking questions like:

    How much riding have you done?

    How much riding will you be doing?

    What type of riding you will be doing?

    Will you be commuting?

    Will you be racing?

    How often and how far?

    Etc. etc. etc.?

    Only by knowing lots of different things will anyone really be able to give you the right advice for you.

    When you have a choice of a few different bikes then come back and ask for help to make your mind up (if you want).
  • Chris James
    Chris James Posts: 1,040
    A bike is a bike to a degree; I wouldn't get too hung up on the 'type' of road bike as described, concentrate more on the features.

    Things you may want to consider are whether you would prefer a more upright position - in which case a shorter top tube and longer head may be an idea. Or if you want long and flat, which may be quicker but less comfortable.

    Are you going to use the bike in all weathers? Do you need to be able to fit mudguards on for winter? Full mudguards are the bets, if you have clearances under the brakes and eyelets for mounting them. Failing that, most road bikes will accept Crudracers, which are okayish. Some bikes won't accept any guards as the tyres are too close to the brake callipers. They may also struggle to fit tyres larger than 23mm.

    What weight are you, how fit? Think how low - and how high, you need your bike to be geared.

    Are you going to use it purely on the roads, or do some stuff on tracks etc? In which case the ability to fit bigger tyres is a bonus. Will you want to race on it?

    Try to be honest with yourself about what your likely usage will be. It is pointless buying a high geared minimal clearance race bike if your main use is commuting along towpaths in the rain.

    Your budget is very wide. One thing you will almost certainly run into around this budget is the decision to go 9 or 10 speed. 9 speed Tiagra is pretty good, but not interchangeable with the 10 speed Shimano groupsets above it. If you want to upgrade in future then 10 speed allows a bit of future proofing.

    Re sizing. Is your inside leg your trouser length or your actual measured length using a book pushed up under your groin? 6 foot tall with 31 inside leg sounds like you have short legs but a long body.

    I am 5 foot 11.5 and have about a 33 inch inside leg (32inside leg in trousers). I ride a 57cm seat tube, 57 top tube frame with a 110mm stem FWIW.

    If you do have short legs for your height then that tends to suggest you choose a longer frame than otherwise, as your body is longer than average. Most frames nowadays have a sloping top tube so there isn’t a concern about banging your nuts on the frame! I would suggest you look at 56 or 58cm frame, but as above, the bets advice is to go to a shop that has some stock and try to sit on some.