Advice Please

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by G_MAN, 5 Jun 2008.

  1. G_MAN

    G_MAN New Member

    I'm looking at taking up cycling primarily as a way of commuting to and from work 15 miles away but with the intention of joining a club and cycling all year round. My employer is currently taking part in the Ride To Work scheme with Evans Cycles and so i will be looking at purchasing from them, however, i'll be honest and admit i don't really know what i'm looking for. I have a budget of around £800 and have noticed there appear to be a lot of discounts to take advantage of on previous models.

    The manufacturers i have been looking at include Bianchi, Cannondale, Felt, Le Monde, Trek and Specialized, however, i have heard that some manufacturers (ie. Bianchi) are more suited for cyclists who are slightly smaller.

    In adition to this i'm interested in finding out the main differences between Campagnolo and Shimano 105, Ultegra and Tiagra.

    Obviously i'm looking at getting the best bike available for the money i am looking at spending but could do with some advice from those in the know.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. monnet

    monnet Über Member

    All the bikes manufacturers you're looking at are pretty good. As for sizing, sit on them, ask for test rides ask them to fit you for the bike too.

    Campagnolo and and Shimano...don't even go there. Basically there isn't too much difference. There's alot of debate among cyclists as to which is best. Both do the job. Campag looks prettier. Shimano is probably sturdier. The old saying is if you want to wear it in, buy Campag; if you want to wear it out buy Shimano. In other words the first 1000 miles with Campag require a bit of tinkering, Shimano works straight out of the box. Personally I ride Shimano.

    Tiagra, 105 and Ultegra are all Shimano groupsets- Tiagra being a the lower end and Ultegra being Shimano's second best (behind Dura Ace), 105 fits nicley in the middle. For a beginner Tiagra or 105 will be fine (Mirage and Veloce are the Campag equivalents).

    Things to think about, given this will probably be your only bike for a while is how you intend to use it. If you commute everyday, whatever the weather like alotof us here, think about mudguards. Does you're work have showers etc? What sort of luggage will you take to work? 15 miles is a fair way so you might want to think of getting a rack and panniers to carry spare clothes/ lunch etc.

    For that kind of distance you'll need to think about getting some cycling specific clothing too. Welcome to cycling - I hope you didn't think it was a cheap sport! Soon you'll be addicted and spending your petrol/bus savings and more on bits of kit.

    There'll be loads more advice coming, but hope I've helped.
  3. briank

    briank New Member

    Hi G man
    I'd endorse all that monnet says: sound advice.
    Campag/Shimano - ignore The Great Debate. There's those on here who would "rather walk than use Shimano", whereas I belieeeeve in Dura Ace. Just ignore us.
    Do bear in mind though, and budget for, the "extras": the two most important bits of clothing are shoes and shorts.
    Discounts on last year's models should certainly interest you: the changes from one year to the next is marginal: cosmetic mainly, and so of subjective benefit if any, or improving weight or performance by such tiny margins - despite all the advertising hype - that few of us could tell the difference.
    Visit your local branch of Evans once or twice: talk to them and take their advice. You're spending a not inconsiderable sum of money, and, like everone on this forum (except yourself of course) confidently expect that if they help you off to a good start the bug will bite and within a year or two you'll be spending more money. Maybe lots more!;)
  4. Welcome G man to the mad house

    Both posts above are grate I can not knock it one bit. The think as well Make a list of what you need Ie Bike, Lights, lock, Rack?, mudgards?, Inertubes, tyre levers, pu*^£$er kit, pump........ Then go in DONT give them the list just have a look at what thay have got, how much and ask them. Then when you are ready go in and say I need ........ what can you thro in? or what can you up grade?. One more point get a good lock I have sold so meny bikes for £1000+ and they go and ask for a £15.99 lock????????????????? WHY.
  5. Noodley

    Noodley Guest

    As a 6' 4" Bianchi owner I would disagree ;)
  6. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    *bike: get a road bike, i personally recommend getting drop handlebars, didn't used to like them but they are great as they offer more hand positions and are thus more comfy.

    *accessories: you MUST :smile: have the following: padded tights/shorts, clipless pedals+cycling shoes, lock if there isn't secure enough cycle parking at your work

    * mudguards: it has been agreed that I will issue the following statement: I don't personally find them necessary but you might do. Don't quiz me further on it as my response will undoubtedly cause feathers to be ruffled and accusations will fly that I'VE hijacked the thread, as it is a contentious issue amongst some people - just realise not having any is a valid option aswell as the probable plethora of options of different types of guards for you to choose from should you want them, which I recommend you decide on whether or not you do based on your own experience.

    shimano/campagnolo: shimano is like your trusty, well-researched and engineered, japanese manufacturered, in car equivalent terms it's like your nissans, your toyotas. Just dependable, and 'normal', nothing too flashy. Campagnolo is like your alfa romeos - italian, 'romantically' styled, main focus is on good looks, but if anything to the detriment of reliability.
  7. ASC1951

    ASC1951 Guru

    Nonsense, Bonj, nonsense. Campagnolo is better made, doesn't use plastic and in 40 years my various groupsets have always been reliable and hard wearing.

    Of course I have never actually used Shimano. I just know I wouldn't like it. :smile:
  8. OP

    G_MAN New Member

    Thanks very much for the information and advice so far. Can anyone give a list of the table of Shimano and Campagnolo groupsets from base level to the higher quality levels (ie. sora, 105, tiagra etc...)
  9. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    Shimano goes like this; from bottom to top

    Ultegra SL
    Dura Ace

    Campag is as follows:
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