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Road bike advice for clueless triathlete.

UserCUserC Posts: 5
edited May 2016 in Road buying advice
Hi Guys

I've just registered here as I am looking for some bike advice, please, I'm pretty clueless.

A little about me;

I am a fairly average Triathlete (well I do triathlons, not sure that makes me any kind of athlete), female and I know pretty much nothing about bikes. I am a Brit living in Switzerland, but I take part in Triathlons in the UK.

Currently I have a cheap as chips Carrera road bike from Halfords, that I keep in the UK. I can't justify buying a box/bag and paying to fly it backwards and forwards, as the box/bag alone would cost more than the bike. I have a mountain bike in Switzerland, which I use outside in summer and put on a turbo in winter.

I am looking at getting a road bike for use in Switzerland as I am thinking of doing longer distance Tris and think I need to get some road bike specific training in. I am looking at the Scott Contessa Speedster range, but would be open to anything, I don't want to spend a lot, as I am not a good cyclist (or rich) but looking to do some longer distance tri's and maybe some sportives like RideLondon, velothons etc in the future. I know nothing about components, gear ratios etc (I have tried to read up on it but :shock: ).

Looking at the Scott Contessa Speedster 45 - 15 https://www.evanscycles.com/compare-products

- Are the good value for money?

- The 45 & 35 are Triples, the 25 & 15 compacts (I think). I don't know enough to compare them. Will they give me a similar gear range?

- Will I notice any difference in the components between bikes, given my crapness?

- Any similar bikes I should consider?

- Should I just train on my MTB?

Cheers... go easy on me ;-)

Posts

  • OnTheRopesOnTheRopes Posts: 460
    Hi
    No don't just train on the MTB, much better to train on a road bike and you don't want to ride tri on an MTB anyway.
    On the budget you mention I would look at this http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/CBPXSLPRIV ... -road-bike
    A great bike for the money, Carbon frame so will be comfy, much lighter at 8.5kgs, a better groupset and a decent quality saddle its £100 dearer than the Scott but a much better bike you will enjoy riding, not sure what part of the UK you are in but well worth considering
  • nochekmatenochekmate Posts: 3,460
    edited May 2016
    Your link is not working for me but a quick look at the specs of the Scott bikes shows that there is not a great deal in it as far as the gearing ratios are concerned.

    The triple couple with a 30T cassette offers a 30T/30T ie. ratio 1:1 lowest gear (which is very low for a road bike), whilst the more expensive model with the compact chainset offers a 34T/32T ie. 1.0625:1 which is virtually the same ratio as the triple - a combination of 34T/32T should be good enough to cycle up alpine hills for the average rider (just simply get some miles in to improve).

    The more expensive Scott model offers a much better groupset at least Shimano 105 5800 v Shimano Claris and there are probably improved components (not bothered to look tbh).

    As for other models - there are plenty of good deals around so there are a myriad of other options. Obviously for triathlon a TT bike is much quicker than a road bike but given your circumstances and location you are right to be looking at a road bike (pop some tri-bars on for improved speed if you are confident enough)

    Good luck.
  • nochekmatenochekmate Posts: 3,460
    These guys usually have some good deals going

    http://www.paulscycles.co.uk/m7b0s134p0 ... n-Specific

    It's easy to keep adding an extra £100 to your budget so take care! :lol:
  • giropaulgiropaul Posts: 414
    Given your description of your current knowledge, I would suggest finding a decent shop near you in Switzerland, who will then be able to advise you about the bike and deal with any repairs or servicing. Depending on where you are, maybe even one just over the border in France.
  • UserCUserC Posts: 5
    giropaul wrote:
    Given your description of your current knowledge, I would suggest finding a decent shop near you in Switzerland, who will then be able to advise you about the bike and deal with any repairs or servicing. Depending on where you are, maybe even one just over the border in France.

    Yes this would be sensible. Although stuff ain't cheap in Switzerland so not sure where is best to buy. I just want a rough idea of what I'm looking for before I head to the shops be that in CH or UK. Might have a chat with TriUK at the London Tri.
  • nochekmatenochekmate Posts: 3,460
    giropaul wrote:
    Given your description of your current knowledge, I would suggest finding a decent shop near you in Switzerland, who will then be able to advise you about the bike and deal with any repairs or servicing. Depending on where you are, maybe even one just over the border in France.

    ^^^ Good advice this!

    I'm happy to offer links online because I'd be happy to look for something suitable if I was buying - as 'giropaul' suggests, you may not feel comfortable with that idea given your knowledge base.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Do they have decathlon near you? Their triban bikes are good. Can you pop over the border?
  • UserCUserC Posts: 5
    cougie wrote:
    Do they have decathlon near you? Their triban bikes are good. Can you pop over the border?

    I'd have to head into France, a 4 hour drive, but could be done.
  • nochekmatenochekmate Posts: 3,460
    I don't think a Triban is worth a 4 hour drive to be honest :D
  • UserCUserC Posts: 5
    Is it worth looking at second hand, to get more for my money? Is there somewhere good cyclists/triathletes sell of their kit when they get next seasons?
  • UserC wrote:
    Is it worth looking at second hand, to get more for my money? Is there somewhere good cyclists/triathletes sell of their kit when they get next seasons?

    I know you aren't in the uk, but there is a website called Ebay, that sometimes has bikes on it.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    I would suggest speaking to other triathletes to see what they most want from a bike and the specs of the bikes that are popular. As you are competing making sure the bike fits you well and is setup to suit your needs would be very important. If you push yourself hard a badly setup bike it is at best uncomfortable and at worst will cause injuries.

    For components try to get Sora or better gearing as it will give you more gears and change gear more smoothly. Most bikes are compact road bikes with a standard 50 , 34 teeth chainset (big / small cogs at the front) and then it is the rear cassette (cogs) that can make all the difference as these vary a lot. Roughly speaking starting at 11 teeth for the smallest cog at the rear and 32 teeth for the largest cog will mean you can ride fast as needed and also climb very steep hills more easily. Some riders prefer 11,28 as it means the gaps between the gears are less and it is easier to find the correct gear but can be harder on very steep hills.

    One thing to bear in mind is most bike shops can only sell new branded bikes within their own country and you would either have to buy close to where you live or taking more risk arrange your own courier to collect it.

    You will normally get better value second hand if you can get someone familiar with bikes to help you.
  • napoleondnapoleond Posts: 5,990
    Is there a Tri club you could join over there?

    Triathletes are always upgrading gear and there's always someone looking to sell a bike!
    Insta: ATEnduranceCoaching
    ABCC Cycling Coach
  • lesfirthlesfirth Posts: 1,286
    Never mind the bike, stop being so negative about yourself. You are already better and doing more than the vast majority of the population. Chill out,do your best and enjoy it all.
  • bernithebikerbernithebiker Posts: 4,148
    It'd be worth the drive to France, as you can buy the bike without VAT (20%), and then, if you feel like it, declare it to the Swiss at 8%.
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