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Claud Butler good place to start for a total road bike noob?

scagdenscagden Posts: 7
edited September 2011 in Road beginners
Hi there. I'm 33 and have been riding mountain bikes since I was tiny. This year in my long summer holiday (I'm a teacher!) I've been doing 30/40 miles a day on my mountain bike and I'm starting to think as I'm almost entirely riding on roads I should bite the bullet and get one of those thin-tyre-drop-bar efforts.

But I know almost nothing.

I guess from a cursory view on here that the couple of Claud Butlers going for £300+ are probably the best place to start for a newbie without any bank robbery cash, does anyone have any experience with these or any better ideas?

Any other advice for a complete beginner?

(I'm a bit anxious about the clip pedal thingies)

Posts

  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    They're not bad, maybe a bit heavier than dearer brands. It's worth paying slightly more to get one from a proper local bike shop (LBS) as that way you'll get the correct frame size and they'll get the right saddle setup to suit you.

    A good first road bike would be a Specialized Allez or a Cannondale CAAD8. If you use Google's Shopping function you can find them from under 500.
    (I'm a bit anxious about the clip pedal thingies)

    Start with normal pedals but get some shoes that take SPD cleats. Proper solid soled cycling shoes make a big difference and can be used with flat pedals. Once your used to the bike you can put on SPD pedals such as Shimano M520s. With SPD shoes you can still walk around, you can't in full blown road shoes and cleats.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • scagdenscagden Posts: 7
    It's nice to be able to go into the bike shop with at least an idea where to start!
  • Keith1983Keith1983 Posts: 575
    My second road bike was and is a Claud Butler Vicenza. I certainly wouldnt say it was heavy and I got it for £200, second hand but it was immaculate!! Do a bit of research and then buy second hand would be my advice. You'll get something reasonable for £300.
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    I buy second hand but then I know what I'm looking for / at. My current bike was 1200 new, I got it three years old with only 100 miles for 400! Guy bought it and decided he didn't like cycling, that happens more often than you'd think.

    But you need to know what size to get and how to spot a damaged or stolen bike. Ask a bike mad friend if you can find one.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • centimanicentimani Posts: 467
    Depending on the spec, i wouldn't shy away from something like a CB, cheap(ish) doesnt mean bad.
    My first new roadbike was a Raliegh Chimera, cro-mo frame, 8 speed Sora, Ofmega cranks and unbranded wheelset. Heavy compared with alloy frames, but that bike just went on and on and on with very little repair work done over 6000 miles. Still going when i sold it.
    It is better to spend a little more and get an entry level bike from one of the major manufacturers, but i suspect the CB will be fine (said with no experience of CBs :wink: )
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    Don't worry about getting a new £300-£400 starter bike (or more 'decent' 2nd hand one) - with a new budget bike, most people upgrade bits on it constantly - everyone buys new wheels, tyres, saddle, seatpost, bars etc etc (and sells the original bits on ebay) - if it doesn't come with carbon forks, most will upgrade the forks etc etc - there's easy scope for upgrading everything over time (with your lbs help if needed) - you can even upgrade your frame eventually (lbs can do a full swap), so don't worry about being tied to a budget setup for ever. (Obviously, if you've got the money, get something with a decent groupset and frameset to start with - but there's plenty of scope either way).

    N.B - Read up on Compacts v Doubles - if you're a new rider, and planning on doing some sportives, a bike with a Compact chainset might be more suitable.
  • m00nd0gm00nd0g Posts: 176
    Look for an Allez on Ebay plenty to buy and easy to sell
    How tall are you?
    Compact or double?
  • BigDonnBigDonn Posts: 27
    There's some great deals on Carrera bikes in Halfords at the moment. Halfords get bad press but the bikes themselves are great entry level bikes - they get fairly good write ups on here. My LBS was doing some work on it recently and commented on how good the frame and spec was for the price I paid!

    I bought a Carrera Vanquish last November and my only gripe was the initial set-up from Halfords. The bike itself was great value and easily competes with anything up to around the £800 mark with more established makes.
  • JD_76JD_76 Posts: 236
    In a word, no.

    The first time I saw CB bikes a good few years ago was in a catalogue, so thats the status I give them to this day, catalogue bikes.

    Like others have said get a 2nd hand specialized or something similar, also 2011 bikes will be in the sales soon so a trip to your LBS may prove fruitfull.
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    My missus has a Giro 500, and its a perfectly fine bike, less than £500 for an alu framed, carbon forked, tiagra equipped bike isn't bad.

    Probably a liitle heavier than an Allez or a CAAD, but its a fine starter bike
  • scagdenscagden Posts: 7
    m00nd0g wrote:
    Look for an Allez on Ebay plenty to buy and easy to sell
    How tall are you?
    Compact or double?

    I'm 6'2" (and about 14stone).

    I honestly have no idea about compact or double! I gues that's one of the things I'll need to read up on!
  • LeicesterLadLeicesterLad Posts: 3,908
    BigDonn wrote:
    There's some great deals on Carrera bikes in Halfords at the moment. Halfords get bad press but the bikes themselves are great entry level bikes - they get fairly good write ups on here. My LBS was doing some work on it recently and commented on how good the frame and spec was for the price I paid!

    I bought a Carrera Vanquish last November and my only gripe was the initial set-up from Halfords. The bike itself was great value and easily competes with anything up to around the £800 mark with more established makes.

    +1 im on a Carrera TdF Ltd at the minute, and if Halfords hadn't built it, it would be/have been a smashing bike for the price, (unfortunately ive had to take it to the LBS numerous times to get it the way it should be)
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    I honestly have no idea about compact or double! I gues that's one of the things I'll need to read up on!

    Easy, if you live anywhere with half decent hills you want a compact.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • JD_76JD_76 Posts: 236
    unixnerd wrote:
    I honestly have no idea about compact or double! I gues that's one of the things I'll need to read up on!

    Easy, if you live anywhere with half decent hills you want a compact.

    +1 id recommend a compact to any beginner, reason being you get a lower range of gears for the hills.

    As you get fitter in the long term you may want to change to a double.
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,409
    Carrera Virtuosos are less than £300 at the moment and perfectly goo starter bikes, infact I'm quite tempted to get one for general hooning around on.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • I have a 2010 virtuoso as my first road bike and i bought it purely because of the review this web site gave it.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    Well at least you heading in the right direction...
    Jo/Joanne Public's idea of the perfect bike
    BossKRPver1.jpg

    My idea of a decent specced up machine..
    CubeLitening.jpg

    It's all about education :wink:
  • How about the boardman bikes...

    As far as I can see stunning value for money, especially the earlier models if I was in the market I wouldn't mind a secondhand of these...
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Consensus is they're decent bikes but you have to use Halfords. Some Halfords are good and others are dreadful. Probably a good buy if you can fix it yourself.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • Thanks for all the advice guys.

    I can see a lot of advantages in doing what several people suggest and scouting out the second hand market but I'm rather apprehensive as (mentioned previously) I am a total noob. My concerns would be:

    1) Being able to spot potential problems/pitfalls with a bike I'm buying off ebay or whatever.

    2) Getting it set up. Would my LBS help me with the set up on a bike I didn't get for them (obviously i'd expect them to charge!)

    3) Getting a 2nd hand bike would presumable rule me out of the cycle to work scheme which I'm serioulsy considering at the moment.


    But anyway, a lot to think about.
  • Get a last year's Cannondale CAAD8 Sora.

    500 quid, but they are really good machines.

    And understated too.

    Not that I own one.
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    The cycle to work scheme can be a good deal, but by buying used or just getting a good deal on a new bike you can often do almost as well.

    There are a lot of pages with advice on setting up the bike yourself, but it certainly helps to have experienced help if you're new. Maybe joining a local cycling club would help?

    The most important thing is just to get a bike a ride it, doesn't matter if it's 100% perfect for you or not. If you get bitten by the bug you'll want a new one in a year's time anyway! :-)

    I found a nice Trek for 60 quid and spent 40 refurbishing it for my nephew. He cycles to work now and has lost heaps of weight, saved money and never been so fit in his life. That's the important part. I'm sure he has his eye on something flasher though.....
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Get a last year's Cannondale CAAD8 Sora.

    500 quid, but they are really good machines.

    Good advice. Most bikes in this price range don't have frames that are worth upgrading, the CAAD8 on the other hand has a superb frame.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
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