Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting general

After buying advice please

afflictedpipafflictedpip Posts: 4
edited February 2012 in Commuting general

I am 5 foot 11 tall. Since 2007 I have been riding a 24 inch Harry Hall touring bike. I think it's too big for me, and I think that over stretching to reach the h'bars (I have got the shortest possible handlebar stem to reduce reach) has caused me wrist pain, neck and shoulder ache etc. Because of that I in May 2011 I stopped doing a twice weekly commute that amounted to doing about 3,000 miles per year.

I am thinking of buying a new bike via the Cycle to Work / Cyclescheme, so can in theory get a bike up to £1,000, though might go for about £800 top and spend a bit on a new coat / shorts etc.

Someone at work advised getting carbon forks as he said they'd soak up bumps better than my steel forks.

I'm looking for a road bike, preferably one I can attach mudguards to, and a pannier rack, but not a big heavy hulking thing.

I wondered if anyone might be able to offer any advice please about decent bikes / where to start looking etc? I know I'll need to go to a local approved bike shop to use cyclescheme, but as I have never bought a new bike (previously bought and ridden old bikes until they die) I have no idea where to look.

Any advice much appreciated.



  • HoopdriverHoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    Welcome back to cycling! One thing you might consider doing, first off (although this will add to the cost) is having yourself fitted properly to whatever bike it is you decide to buy - especially since you have evidently been suffering aches and pains in the past from a poorly fitted bike. While your overall height gives some rough idea of the size frame you might need, your proportions may well be completely different from someone else's 5'11" - reach, length of legs, length of torso, etc. All this stuff matters, and taking these things into account will make your new bike all the more pleasurable to ride.

    As for steel vs carbon forks, I've always been a big fan of steel myself and have ridden many thousands of miles on steel frames, steel forks and never felt uncomfortable. A proper fit, and decent tyres (25-28mm, perhaps more if you go for a tourer) and kept to a suitable pressure will have much more impact on your overall comfort than the material of your frame and fork.

    Good luck
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Your Harry Hill bike probably has Reynolds 531 forks which are very comfortable and soak up bumps well. The most recent steel racing forks went all oversized and stiff so a more forgiving carbon fork was better. Modern carbon forks are fine and some Audax or winter training style bikes (Kinesis TK, Tifosi, Ribble) have them to accept 57mm long-drop caliper brakes and bolt-on mudguards.
    Most medium bikes fit most medium people but you can always play around with altering stem length and seatpost layback.
Sign In or Register to comment.