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First Road bike advice...

Lord_VLord_V Posts: 54
edited September 2014 in Road beginners
Hi,

I'm after some advice on choosing my first bike.... not my first ever bike, but my first in about 20 years....

My bike knowledge is approximately 0, maybe .5 on a good day. I'm after a bike that will handle a 20 mile daily commute (10 miles each way) and the odd summer ride with the Mrs. I'm not the smallest of chaps at 6'3 and 18 stone (114 kg in roman catholic).

I have a budget of about £400 for the bike (excluding lock/helmet/lights etc), and previously had been looking at hybrid bikes. However a few people have advised looking at road bikes as well, as I would eventually end up getting one anyway....

At this price point am I barking up the wrong tree though?

If its any help I have narrowed my hybrid choices down to:

The Sirrus:
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/spe ... aign=78888

The Kona Dew:
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/kon ... e-ec055912

Or the Neon1:
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/pin ... e-ec054675

Posts

  • w00dsterw00dster Posts: 879
    Hi Lord V,
    Its pretty hard for anyone here to advise you what type of bike to purchase without knowing what your goals are.
    If you plan on getting into the full swing of cycling, so not just commuting, but longer weekend rides, maybe the odd sportive, then I would recommend going straight to a road bike. But without knowing your goals its pretty hard to say. If your after a relatively comfy commuter then a hybrid is the best option in my opinion.

    At your price point, your always going to have comprimises on what ever type of bike you go for. The below links are quite common purchases on here....

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/felt-f95-sora-wiggle-exclusive/
    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-5-a-id_8239801.html

    You have to remember that you are in the road biking forum, we are all road bike mad and will generally say get a road bike. Maybe even look at what is available on ebay? As an example here's a link to a bike available on ebay (nothing to do with me I just did a 30 second search on large road bikes)
    Without wishing to be rude, your quite a heavy chap. You would need to check that the wheels on whatever bike you opt are are strong enough. Generally at the lower end of the purchasing market the wheels are one of the components where the bike companies have to put in a lower spec product.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Giant-Defy-Ca ... 1233445597

    This product has better wheels than the stock bikes hence me using it as an example.

    Cheers,

    Paul
  • w00dsterw00dster Posts: 879
    Just found this and thought it might be worth a read for you....

    viewtopic.php?f=40042&t=12951660
  • JayKostaJayKosta Posts: 635
    At your size and weight, getting a strong and durable bike should be the first concern.
    I suggest tires no smaller than 32mm width, and rims with 36 'straight guage' spokes.

    Finding a suitable saddle is also a concern - the Brooks B-72 would probably be good, but not inexpensive.

    Jay Kosta
    Endwell NY USA
  • The Wiggle F95 is such a good deal I'd recommend it to anyone even if they'd said they want a full sus MTB ;)
  • Lord_VLord_V Posts: 54
    w00dster wrote:
    Hi Lord V,
    Its pretty hard for anyone here to advise you what type of bike to purchase without knowing what your goals are.
    If you plan on getting into the full swing of cycling, so not just commuting, but longer weekend rides, maybe the odd sportive, then I would recommend going straight to a road bike. But without knowing your goals its pretty hard to say. If your after a relatively comfy commuter then a hybrid is the best option in my opinion.

    At your price point, your always going to have comprimises on what ever type of bike you go for. The below links are quite common purchases on here....

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/felt-f95-sora-wiggle-exclusive/
    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-5-a-id_8239801.html

    You have to remember that you are in the road biking forum, we are all road bike mad and will generally say get a road bike. Maybe even look at what is available on ebay? As an example here's a link to a bike available on ebay (nothing to do with me I just did a 30 second search on large road bikes)
    Without wishing to be rude, your quite a heavy chap. You would need to check that the wheels on whatever bike you opt are are strong enough. Generally at the lower end of the purchasing market the wheels are one of the components where the bike companies have to put in a lower spec product.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Giant-Defy-Ca ... 1233445597

    This product has better wheels than the stock bikes hence me using it as an example.

    Cheers,

    Paul

    Its alright - I know I'm a fat bar steward. I have BSH syndrome (Brick Sh*t House) :lol: Even at my fittest and leanest I'm still 15 and half stone. My weight and size is definitely why I'm hesitant about getting a road bike.

    My aim is obviously the commuting first and foremost, but the idea of doing longer weekend rides certainly appeals. Part of the reason to start cycling is to loose the 2.5 stone I have acquired in the last 18 months or so.

    I will take a look at ebay - buying a second hand bike worries me a bit though. I would prefer to avoid having to spend a couple of 100 fixing problems on a bike that I have already spent my budget on...

    (heads off to check the wiggle f95....)
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    you say you want a decent bike for commuting and rides out with the family. I think you should stick with the hybrid idea.

    1. 400 will not offer you many decent road bike options
    2. you can get plenty fitness out of a hybrid if you want to
    3. a road bike is not really suitable to be on for rides out with the family. you aint going to be speeding off on your own.
    4. if you decide you are not into road bikes and still want all the other benefits, the hybrid serves as a perfect bike to just potter about on.
    5. A hybrid is going to be easier to use in all weather conditions on your commute. bigger tyres with better punture protection. last thing you want is a flat on the way to work. get disk brakes for better stopping in the rain at 400. near impossible to do on a road bike at this price.
    6. to be comfortable on a road bike means buying padded shorts or tights. more money from your budget. hybrid will come with a much more comfortable saddle.

    I could go on. road cycling can become a money put if you let it. some is purely wanting new bits. but even to keep going can cost a bit even if you maintain it yourself.

    if at a later time you feel you want to still move onto road bikes do so but I think getting one now to use for the things you mention would be a mistake.
  • Lord_VLord_V Posts: 54
    Cheers! I thought that might be the case. Thanks for the advice. :)
  • gethincerigethinceri Posts: 1,073
    No, get a road bike. You can pick something up 2nd hand that's good enough and padded shorts can be picked up cheap enough.
    Just go for it.
  • And hybrids look naff.

    That should be taken into account too...
  • Lord_VLord_V Posts: 54
    They may look naff... but not as naff as £400 of twisted metal buried half way up my censored when it collapses beneath me. ;)
  • Lord_VLord_V Posts: 54
    That wiggle looks like one nice bike....

    Are there any stockists where I could go try one for size?
  • Lord_V wrote:
    They may look naff... but not as naff as £400 of twisted metal buried half way up my ars* when it collapses beneath me. ;)

    Why would it do that?
  • As everyone should know, the budget bike that wins every budget bike category is this:

    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-3-red ... 74036.html
  • Lord_VLord_V Posts: 54
    Lord_V wrote:
    They may look naff... but not as naff as £400 of twisted metal buried half way up my ars* when it collapses beneath me. ;)

    Why would it do that?

    Not small amounts of hyperbole may have been used...

    (But I doubt having a wheel collapse while riding would ever be described as 'comfortable')
  • There's no reason why you can't have a road bike, but you should definitely try it first (both for size and comfort), and you should definitely have fully spoked wheels (ideally 32 or 36, no less than 28, certainly at the back). No disrespect intended; it's just that the typical wheels that many road bikes have are intended for much lighter riders.

    However, hybrid bikes are great too. You'd never think it, but this place is slightly biased, and is unlikely to recommend one to you. Find a good shop and pay a visit.
  • Lord_V wrote:
    Not small amounts of hyperbole may have been used...

    (But I doubt having a wheel collapse while riding would ever be described as 'comfortable')

    LOL I think you are overplaying the weight issues tbh. You aren't mega heavy by any means.
  • Lord_VLord_V Posts: 54
    There's no reason why you can't have a road bike, but you should definitely try it first (both for size and comfort), and you should definitely have fully spoked wheels (ideally 32 or 36, no less than 28, certainly at the back). No disrespect intended; it's just that the typical wheels that many road bikes have are intended for much lighter riders.

    However, hybrid bikes are great too. You'd never think it, but this place is slightly biased, and is unlikely to recommend one to you. Find a good shop and pay a visit.

    Thanks - I realise this place maybe a tad biased, but that's not always a terrible thing. :wink:

    With that being the case in regards to wheels, if I were to buy the felt f95 say, I would need to change the wheels? (ie, what does 32,36,28 refer to in this instance? (not a wide hipped woman I would guess))
  • The Wiggle wheels have a decent amount of spokes, so I wouldn't be concerned there.

    In contrast I'm running these
    d103afxx.jpg

    which are a relatively low amount of spokes. I'm 80kg so not a featherweight by any means.

    The numbers just refer to the number of spokes
  • Lord_VLord_V Posts: 54
    Ah, Makes sense.

    Thanks
  • Lord_V wrote:
    There's no reason why you can't have a road bike, but you should definitely try it first (both for size and comfort), and you should definitely have fully spoked wheels (ideally 32 or 36, no less than 28, certainly at the back). No disrespect intended; it's just that the typical wheels that many road bikes have are intended for much lighter riders.

    However, hybrid bikes are great too. You'd never think it, but this place is slightly biased, and is unlikely to recommend one to you. Find a good shop and pay a visit.

    Thanks - I realise this place maybe a tad biased, but that's not always a terrible thing. :wink:

    With that being the case in regards to wheels, if I were to buy the felt f95 say, I would need to change the wheels? (ie, what does 32,36,28 refer to in this instance? (not a wide hipped woman I would guess))

    The numbers refer to the number of spokes on the wheel. 32 or 36 spokes is pretty standard for all round road-based cycling, and is best for a heavier rider (don't listen to anyone who says otherwise - performance wheels with fewer spokes are generally rated for a maximum of 100kg or so, and certainly not much more). The ones on that Felt don't give me major cause for concern, but I still wouldn't recommend that you buy without trying it first anyway...
  • Lord_VLord_V Posts: 54
    I emailed wiggles, they said that the f95 is rated up to 100kg, but that 114kg should be fine. It's not like I will be carrying much with me beyond a change of clothes anyway.

    Though if the red triban 3 came in my size I would be all over it like a hot flannel. :(
  • w00dsterw00dster Posts: 879
    This of any use? No idea if the size is correct, just came across it while browsing the classifieds....Red Triban 3 size 57.

    viewtopic.php?f=40090&t=12948574
  • Lord_VLord_V Posts: 54
    Sadly I need the 60, according to the sizing guide on decathlon.

    But thanks. :)
  • Lord_VLord_V Posts: 54
    Is the white triban worth the money?
    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-3-a-id_8239800.html

    It doesn't seem to have as great specs as the red one, but it is available in my size...
  • w00dsterw00dster Posts: 879
    They are different specifications. Are they different enough at that price point to make much difference? Probably not. Since your first post i've been reading a triban forum and the guys there are happy with the microshifters.

    A lot of people on this forum either own a triban 3 or had one as their first bike. The big difference to note is that the red one will be faster, every roady will tell you red bikes are the fastest! :wink:

    If I was in your position I would seriously look at maxing your budget. The wiggle felt looks like a really good starte bike. If it was me I would be riding the triban wondering if the Felt was the right option. Its within budget, wiggle have said it should be fine for your weight. As its winter it might be worth swapping the brakes out, but its probably going to be the same for most bikes at this price. Its just how they keep the price down.
  • Lord_V wrote:
    I emailed wiggles, they said that the f95 is rated up to 100kg, but that 114kg should be fine. It's not like I will be carrying much with me beyond a change of clothes anyway.

    Though if the red triban 3 came in my size I would be all over it like a hot flannel. :(

    They are probably right. You may find that your wheels go out of true more often or that spokes break (more than they otherwise would), particularly if you use poor road surfaces and hit lots of potholes (which you should take particular care to avoid), but it's not going to crumple under you. It looks like a nice bike; make sure you allow for all of the other cycling paraphernalia, though!
  • Agree with above, for the sake of the extra £100, go for the Felt. The Decathlon has components which are below the normal groupset range, whereas the Felt has Sora which isn't even base level Shimano groupset, it's one step up.
  • Lord_VLord_V Posts: 54
    Well - things changed slightly in the weeks running up to Christmas. We were informed that we will be having an office move sometime in Q3 of this year. Unfortunately this will be 15 miles in the wrong direction, putting the kibosh on the commuting malarky. (at least at my current fitness level)

    I wasn't keen on spending decent sums on a bike that was only going to be used at weekends as a pub special and for around town cycling really.

    I eventually got this:
    http://www.rutlandcycling.com/159197/pr ... -bike.aspx

    Yes it's Viking - but as most of the complaints around them seem to centre around their old fashiones/agricultral gearing I solved that by getting a bike without any. :)

    On the whole it seems pretty robust, even if I did have to spend the day basically rebuilding the entire bike due to shoddy factory assembly and removing some god-awful decals. Its not the lightest of bikes, but suits me well enough. Pretty comfy as well (although I want new grips for it already).

    And honestly at £150 for a brand new bike, I really can't complain. And if I want to upgrade later to a road bike I have tons of info from here already.

    Thanks for all the help - even if I didn't use it in the end!
  • Firstly - Holy thread resurrection Batman!

    Well in the last year a ton has changed - I have changed jobs (twice) and I am now living in the South West on the Somerset/Devon border.

    The Viking SS/Fixie has done Stirling service around Basingstoke as a pub special/run around. Still going strong although I upgraded a couple of

    Since the move I am now working only 8 miles from the office cycling commuting is back on the cards. So I went and bought one of these off Ebay:

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/ral ... t#features

    Got it for £140 so a bit of a bargain considering it looks like its barely been used.
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