Newbie got £1000 to £1200 ?

lfc68 Posts: 6
edited November 2011 in Road beginners
Hello all , Ive been reading for a few weeks , impressed by some knowledge , Ive been on the mountain bike thing for 10 years now and ready for a change , what are my options for road bike looking to go out for 4/5 hours a week can anybody point me in right direction gears etc


  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221

    Is it hilly where you are; are you fit; are you interesting in racing/speed or distance/endurance?
  • If your area is quite hilly, i would suggest a compact chainset (50-34) and/or maybe a 12-25 or 12-28 rear cassette. Depends on the gradient of the hills around you.
    It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.

    --Ernest Hemingway
  • I reckon £1000 is a good budget and you will struggle to buy a bad bike if you are looking at the main manufacturers e.g scott, trek, specialized, cannondale etc.

    With the gears you should be looking to get at least shimano tiagra (which is now 10 speed) or shimano 105, this is ofcourse if you want shimano gears.

    The most important thing about buying a bike is getting the right size! And I would always test ride a bike before buying, because its got to make me gurn like an idiot when im riding it! :D (although that may just be me :lol: )
  • lfc68
    lfc68 Posts: 6
    Thanks guys, help is appreciated yes it is hilly round here, is it worth the extra to get shimano 105 also a bit lost on chainset and rear cassette is their much difference between different types.
  • At that sort of price point, the important thing is the frame. Higher spec components (105 over Tiagra, for example) are nice to have, but not vital. At around £1000, the large manufacturers don't really make badly specced bikes.

    For chainset and cassette, the important thing is the numbers of teeth. Smaller chainrings and larger sprockets on the cassette will make climbing hills easier. You'll have to decide how important that is to you, preferably by test riding a few bikes up some hills. Go to your LBS, see what they have in your price range, and see which you like to ride. You can get some good deals by going online, but for a relative newcomer to road bikes the advantage of being able to test ride is worth more than the online-only discounts.
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    edited November 2011
    With 10 years in MTB - I assume you know your way about bikes....

    Regarding frame geometries, bigger angles (seat and head tubes) will tend to make the bike snappy and responsive - if a little unstable. This is the choice for full on racing. Slacker angles will make the bike more predicable - preferable for longer distances.

    Talking about longer distances, there is a fashion for 'sportive' bikes at the moment (long distance events) which are slightly more relaxed than racers and have bigger head tubes so the handlebars tend to be higher.

    So first consideration is whether you're head-down for speed - or rather looking at more sedate Sunday cafe runs? Of course, neither type precludes the other and there are geometries in-between.

    With gearing, it depends on fitness and hills. If it's really hilly, you can opt for a triple at the front (50-40-30) - but it's seen as beginners kit in some eyes. If you're reasonably fit, a compact chainset will be a good choice (50-34) for hills but you can find the point at which you need to change between the two rings is right in the middle of your regular pace.

    A standard set of rings (53-39) will be hard work in the hills - especially if you prefer spinning to grinding gears.

    For the rear - the 'ideal' is to get the sprockets as close in teeth count as you can for smoothness - vs extremes for range. A common set would be 11-25 or 12-26; anything above 26 is seen as big; and over 30, then you're all about spinning up hills.

    As to the make of groupset - it's religious-war territory. It tends to be Shimano, SRAM or Campagnolo - with occational FSA etc thrown in for cranks or brake calipers.

    Personal view:
    Shimano is ubiquitous - easy to get hold of spares - good quality but utilitarian.
    SRAM is the American upstart - nice kit but can occasionally be flakey.
    Campag is for the purists. Expensive but the owners tend to be very loyal.
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    Of course - if you do fancy triples at the front, MTB cogs at the back, and sandals - you can get into touring... :)
  • Hows about a felt z6?
    Full carbon (proper, quality carbon - not chinese tat), 10 speed tiagra groupset too...a smidge over your £1200 budget but a kind lbs would see you right with that. ... es/Z6.aspx
  • lfc68
    lfc68 Posts: 6
    Cheers again, excellent response guys good reading thanks is it better to go with carbon frame or does it not matter. also pedals I beleive they come seperate, as Iam not ready for specialised shoes yet is their any decent multi purpose ones to choose from to start :oops:
  • I was in this position in Feb this year, i eventually went with a Ribble Gran Fondo with Sram Apex. Comfortable bike for keeping fit and sportives. Cost £1100 . Had no problems so far.
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    Carbon frames: great but apparently, the high end aluminium frames can be better than the low end carbon ones. So if your ideal bike turns out to be alu, don't worry about it.

    As for pedals, with spending that much on a bike - and with all those hills - most will say you'll need clipless pedals.

    Road pedals such as the SPD-SL types will not come in dual-use models. For that, you'll need SPD-like mountain-bike pedals.

    I went that route as I needed shoes for my road bike and my commuter - but the commuter also doubled up as a child carrier and I wasn't going to ferry the little one around while being clipped in. I didn't go for SPD pedals - I preferred the Time ATAC types (still use the same 2-hole shoes as SPDs) and I also didn't want to put Shimano kit on my Campag road bike :). I prefer them as they're more 'definite' in clipping in and out - and they have decent float.

    These are on the commuter:

    and these cheapies on the road bike (wanted to make sure I got on with them before getting anything more expensive and lighter:

    Regarding the dual-sided ones. Most find them annoying as it's harder to find the right side - the All Roads above are weighted nicely so they nearly always fall so that you push forward for the clips or pull back for the platforms. With the SPDs some are like this and some more problematic.

    I still sometimes get the wrong side though.