Le Jog

samh26 Posts: 15
edited January 2013 in Road buying advice
Hello all,

Im after a bit of advice, in August me and a group of friends are going to be doing Lands End to John o Groat's for Teenage Cancer Trust. One of our friends unfortunately lost his leg from the middle of his femur in December 2012 due to bone cancer.

I have never ridden a road bike before but obviously need to start getting some miles under my belt, so I have been looking at a few options.

http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/bbd/road- ... BRC&bike=1

http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/bbd/road- ... BRC&bike=1

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=67805

http://www.tredz.co.uk/.Specialized-All ... _54929.htm

http://www.tredz.co.uk/.Cube-Peloton-Tr ... _57706.htm

From what I have been told I higher top bar makes a more comfortable position for the longer ride?

Also Carbon reduces to the bumps, hence the Ribble bikes.

I personally prefer the look of the ribble ones, but obviously this isn't all about looks.

Any advice would be fantastic, I am writing this in a bit of a rush and will probably do another post in somewhere more appropriate for the actual bike ride if people want to keep an eye on our progress (I am doing a website to track all this sort of thing, as well as the ride when we start)

Cheers in advance



  • rich164h
    rich164h Posts: 433
    edited January 2013
    Of those I would probably go for the first ribble you've listed and I would put some decent tyres on it

    Alternatively there's this http://www.wiggle.co.uk/giant-tcr-composite-3-2012/

    Or this http://www.evanscycles.com/products/bianchi/via-nirone-7-sora-2012-road-bike-ec031958
  • mroli
    mroli Posts: 3,622
    Sam - how are you riding it? Are you riding supported (ie a car takes all your clothes and stuff with you), credit card (you stay in B&Bs and take the minimum of clothing with you) or full on touring (ie with all your kit and a tent with you)?

    That will make a great deal of difference as to what bike you will need.

    A high top bar doesn't necessarily make for a more comfortable position - the theory is that more "relaxed" geometry (ie where you are sat up a bit more upright) is more comfortable - but against that you need to weigh the fact that you are less aerodynamic and providing more resistance against the wind.

    There is a lot written about carbon v steel v aluminium as a "comfortable" ride, but no road bike is going to iron out the holes in the road for you I'm afraid. The best thing for that is to move to "fatter" tyres - eg 25c from 23c which give a little more comfort. For comfort on the bike, the best thing for you to do is to buy your bike somewhere that will fit you properly for it (this is especially worthwhile if you are going to carry on riding after the LEJOG). I did the Deloitte's ride across britain a couple of years ago and after about day 4 or 5 - there were all sorts of people in all sorts of trouble - a common problem was the IT band pulling the kneecap out of position.

    There is a wealth of advice on the internet about LEJOG or JOGLE - routes, what to take etc - worth looking at the resources. If you pick a nice route - it is a lovely ride. Cornwall/Devon is hilly, the North of Scotland is very beautiful.

    I had a mate that worked for teenage cancer trust - they're a great charity. Good luck.
  • mikenetic
    mikenetic Posts: 486
    mroli has made some very good points there - the style of ride (supported or not) is a very important factor in choosing the style of bike.

    One thing I would seriously consider is make sure you get a bike that will take a full set of permanently attached mudguards. If you're riding to a schedule you'll have to contend with all kinds of weather.

    I rode it in September 2011. It was an amazing journey, despite having to ride in some atrocious weather. Could have done without headwinds for 900 miles, but you have to take what you're given.

    Cyclocross bikes are popular for it, I did it on an 2008 Kona Jake. The lower-end versions are all rounders, rather than race specific bikes.

    If I was going to do it again and I was starting from scratch I'd do a build based around a Surly Cross Check, which is a fantastically versatile frame, and get a local bike shop to help me specify it for the trip.

    Drop me a PM if you want to chat more.
  • I'd be looking to get a properly fitted bike from your local bike shop. Spend a day going in to shops that are near you, see what they recommend. I wouldn't get caught up trying to getting 105 over tiagra for example because its cheaper online.

    Riding such a distance, its crucial to be set up correctly on the correct size frame.
  • samh26
    samh26 Posts: 15
    First of all thank you for the responses.

    I will try and answer all the questions, and maybe ask a couple.

    We are going to have a support car for the whole journey with spare kit, inner tubes, etc etc.

    We have a local bike shop who are going to fit us up properly for our bikes, excuse my naivety but does this have to be done before I buy a bike, could I buy one online in a correct frame size and then have him adjust the bars, seat etc to fit me? Or am I missing the point?

    Mikenetic, I may well drop you a PM this evening, I am hopefully going to be looking again this evening with the view to buying (if I dont need it fitting, see above).

    I have been looking at the ribble bikes more and more as I like that you can specify comps before it is shipped, and I think im going to go for a 'cheaper' alloy bike, so I can upgrade in other areas.

    I do have a question, pedals. What options do you have in that dept?

    With regards to the Teenage Cancer Trust, they have been fantastic and we are doing this so show our apprectiaon to how they have treat our friend. We even have David Beckham on board, as he met Ben the other day, so we are hoping to push some publicity through this!

    Once again thanks for the all help.
  • mikenetic
    mikenetic Posts: 486
    Bike fitting is quite a broad arena; it can be relatively simple, through to what is in effect a full biometric assessment.

    A higher-end fit should give you comprehensive set of data about what's going to fit, so you can go and look at stuff from all sorts of manufacturers. A simpler one is normally more of a check alongside a prospective purchase to make sure that you're on an appropriate size of bike.

    If you're relatively new to road cycling then there's a strong possibility your body will adapt over time so your fit will shift. Make sure you're doing at least a little bit of stretching and core work to make sure you don't get all wonky :)

    I would talk to your LBS before you buy something. If your LBS is good they should help you make some sensible decisions, especially if you're clear about what you're trying to do. They should also explain what they would do during a bike fit, and how it may relate to your purchase decisions.

    Generally, a larger drop between the saddle and bars is going to give you a more aerodynamic, and potentially more efficient, position on the bike, but you'll need a strong and flexible back and shoulders, and decent hamstring flexibility too.

    A more upright position is considered more comfortable, if less 'efficient'. If you look a most hardcore tourers, they tend to be set up with less of a saddle to handlebar drop.

    If you're supported it makes the choice easier in a way, as you can go for a 'pure' road bike, not a tourer. I still stand by the mudguards comment though; it's no fun following someone spraying road crap into your face!

    Pedals - I used MTB SPDs. The reason being that although you might lose a little bit of efficiency compared to a road pedal, the shoes are easier to walk in and you don't wear the cleats out. There are single-sided MTB SPD pedals specifically designed for road use and touring. They have a bigger pedal platform for greater foot stability, but still work with MTB cleats.

    How many days are you doing it over, and how many miles do you plan to do each day?
  • mroli
    mroli Posts: 3,622
    Re Pedals - whilst I agree with Mikenetic that there are more "practical" reasons for using SPDs rather than SPD SLs (or MTB v Road pedals), efficiency isn't the only reason. The SPD SL's spread the pressure of pushing the pedal over a wider area of the foot - which may be more comfortable for you given that you are riding a lot and probably not walking very much.

    If you go to a LBS first - they will tell you what size bike you need to buy - the bits you can change are the seat height and saddle position (obviously easy), the frame size (you are stuck with what you buy) and the stem size/bar width (you can buy new ones for around the £20 mark each). By adjusting stem and saddle position you can "make" most frames fit you (unless it is far too small/big), but seeing as you're riding a lot, it would be better to get something that fits you properly off the bat - also saves money in the long run!

    Bearing in mind that the LBS should be the recipient of some of your money - if they are fitting you!

    If there is a group of you, the most common "mechanicals" you are going to have are: punctures (learn how to change a tube quickly and easily), your gear setup going "wonky" - nothing worse than riding 1000 miles with clicky gears - learn how to do this! Put fresh brake pads on at the start and you should be fine, chain snapping - carry a quick link and maybe a spare chain or two in the car and possibly a spoke breaking in a wheel. Carry a bike tool box in the car.

    The latter one is a possible ride breaker - and there are a couple of things you can do to mitigate it. Buy decent wheels with a relatively high spoke count - eg 28 or above. If a spoke goes then you are likely to be able to carry on riding - this is less likely on a 20/24 spoked wheel. Get wheels where spare spokes can be resourced and either taken with you (so LBS along the way can fix if needed) and/or take a spare set of wheels in the car with you.

    Get your gearing correct - depending on route, there are some toughish hills - I'm thinking Cornwall especially - a compact would be (imho) advisable.

    The driver has a big role too - it isn't easy driving around, looking after everyone, carrying food and drink etc and not getting bored! There will be areas where you don't have phone signal and sticking to your route is pretty important then.

    Mind you - having said all the above, I rode it on an al framed bike with 20/24 wheels, race tyres, 11/23 cassette and loved it. Only problem for me was a snapped chain.
  • mikenetic
    mikenetic Posts: 486
    Spokes is a really good point.

    I used a standard 32F 32R spoked set of wheels and carried a few spares with me, along with quite a comprehensive tool kit. If I broke a spoke in the Scottish Highlands I needed to know I could swap it out, as we were unsupported.

    The SPD v SPD SL choice is probably reflective of the pace and distance you're going. We did a meandering route, and covered 60 odd miles a day, so there was a bit of walking around. If you're just gunning it as a group from point to point then SLs (Road Cleats) are a perfectly viable choice.
  • nochekmate
    nochekmate Posts: 3,460
    To the OP - I think that you are local to me in Repton, Derbys.

    My 19 year old son did LEJOG with 2 schoolmates last summer raising £7000 (I rode Day 2 & 3 with them - through Devon to nr. Glastonbury on Day 2 and up towards Worcester for Day 3). He has all his routes uploaded and whilst he's now at Uni, I'm sure he would be more than willing to offer you advice and talk to you about his journey and perhaps some of the things that he would do differently if he was to do it again. They did it in 9-10 days on normal road bikes (with no bike fit - you youngsters are a bit more flexible and can adapt better than some of us).
  • tetley10
    tetley10 Posts: 693
    Get yourself some decent clobber as well. Proper bib shorts/tights decent jacket the works. You're going to be in the seat for a long time each day so you may as well try and make it as comfortable as possible.
  • nevman
    nevman Posts: 1,611
    A few of us from Derby Mercury RC did LEJoG last September so either contact me here or via the DMRC forum pages if you have any questions.Good luck with the preps.
    Whats the solution? Just pedal faster you baby.

    Summer B,man Team Carbon LE#222
    Winter Alan Top Cross
    All rounder Spec. Allez.
  • samh26
    samh26 Posts: 15
    Thanks for all the replies. Some good points for me to read through, spent last couple of days trying to convince my work to do the cycle scheme but to no avail.

    We are planning on doing 90/100 miles a day, over 9days. We have friends who are doing the support car and bringing Ben along, so that should be huge motivation for us all.

    Thanks to nevman and nochekmate, I will speak to both of you in the next few weeks with regards to routes etc, we have split in to groups to organise different bits, so I may well pass your details on to my friends if that's okay.

    We hadnt even thought about learning to change tubes etc, so thanks for those tips, I have sent an email round and luckily we have a few friends who are keen cyclists and have been for many years, so going to get some training from them I think!!!

    I was having another look like night and noticed Decathlon do a bike for £500 Triban 5 or something, now i know this isnt going to be all singing all dancing, but for a frame, that over the next few months I could upgrade as and when funds allow, so groupset in a couple of months, maybe new wheels and tyres just before the ride, would it do, or do you think investing in a more reputable name would be better in the long run?

    Cheer for all the help so far.