Beginner attempting JOGLE - Which bike?

Discussion in 'Bikes and Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by Bungalow Bill, 12 Jun 2019.

  1. Bungalow Bill

    Bungalow Bill New Member

    Hi all

    Ive been roped in to cycling JOGLE in 10 days next June despite not having owned a bike since I was 9. Ive got a year to get ready which seems enough time but Im going round in circles looking for the right bike. Every time I find one which seems suitable I see another review which causes me to hesitate.

    From what Ive read I should be looking for an Adventure/Gravel bike, disc brakes, Tiagra/105 gears and will upgrade the saddle, tyres etc as I get further into my training.

    Can somebody please give me a few examples of what I should be looking at? I dont want to spend more than £1000 (which to be honest is already £400 more than my stated budget when I said yes to the challenge!)

  2. SkipdiverJohn

    SkipdiverJohn Über Member

    All you need is a functioning bike of a suitable size with a reasonable choice of gears. You could easily get that from spending £25 on a secondhand hybrid or MTB. All this stuff some people trot out about needing a certain level of groupset, or needing disc brakes before you can venture beyond the end of your street - is utter tosh. Ignore all the nonsense "reviews" and just lay your hands on something that actually works as a bike. I do 99% of my mileage on various old secondhand steel bikes that cost me £20 or less to buy, and in some cases didn't cost me a bean. Even with new tyres etc fitted, they are still only £50 bikes. My entire shed full of bikes hasn't come close to costing me £1k and I'm absolutely spoilt for choice.
  3. PeteXXX

    PeteXXX Cake or ice cream? The choice is endless ...

    Riding nearly 100 miles a day, for 10 consecutive days, I'd think about the saddle as much as the bike!

  4. SkipdiverJohn

    SkipdiverJohn Über Member

    Get something with sensible, stable geometry (long wheelbase and not racy) and build up saddle time gradually to toughen up your backside and find out what saddle fits your anatomy. The sooner you get riding - on anything that's remotely bike-shaped - the sooner you will get toughened up and accustomed to being in the saddle. The best saddle in the world will not be comfortable at first if you haven't ridden for many years. Get back into riding first, then decide on saddle choice later with some mileage and hours under your belt.
    Vantage, HobbesOnTour and jay clock like this.
  5. Crackle

    Crackle Squatter

    What bike will suit you is very difficult to say if you've not been on one for a long time, it also matters if you're going to be carrying your own luggage or not and how. The fitness and bikes of your companions may have a bearing too, your route and how much you intend to carry. How long you intend to ride each day and how fast. As Skipdiver john says nothing is going to feel comfortable if you haven't ridden for years. At this point can you borrow something or ride some friends bikes, give you a little bit more of an idea or perhaps tell us what you've been looking at so we can pass on our own experience?

    Gravel/adventure bikes come in different flavours in terms of geometry and capability, you don't necessarily need such a bike, a road bike or a tourer might do, it could be flat barred or drops but if you're carrying panniers it will need mounts for racks, if you're not, well, almost anything will do.
    HobbesOnTour likes this.
  6. YukonBoy

    YukonBoy Extra solar

    Ultima Thule
    Unless you are doing a completely off road JOGLE no idea what leads you to think you need a gravel bike. I'd say you need a Tarmac bike.
    Vantage, HobbesOnTour and johnblack like this.
  7. Heltor Chasca

    Heltor Chasca Out-Riding the Black Dog

    Look for reviews that mention ‘endurance geometry’. Racy road bikes and aggressive gravel geometry is going to hurt. You will go further and less painfully on a steel tourer, but there are lighter options out there.

    A year isn’t that long at all so don’t be complacent. You need to build up a massive aerobic base. Long, long rides back to back will serve you well in your preparation.
    HobbesOnTour likes this.
  8. johnblack

    johnblack Well-Known Member

    I'd want a road bike, not gravel. But definitely with a more relaxed geometry. Get the best you can at the price point you're willing to pay, you're going to be spending a huge amount of time on it over the next year. And the right fitting saddle makes things so much more pleasant. Good luck.
    HobbesOnTour likes this.
  9. Dogtrousers

    Dogtrousers Kilometre nibbler

    If you can budget for it, it might be a good idea to plan for two bikes. First a cheaper bike while you get going. Any decent second hand road bike. This will enable you to discover the things you do and don't like about the bike and you'll know what you want. Then you'll be in a great position to choose the perfect bike. Or you may be happy to stick with your first choice.
    ChrisEyles and HobbesOnTour like this.
  10. rivers

    rivers Über Member

    tom73 likes this.
  11. HobbesOnTour

    HobbesOnTour Senior Member

    The Netherlands
    How exciting! You've got a goal, you've got a reasonable time frame and you have a budget.
    I know your focus is on LeJog in 12 months time, but another way to look at it is that this is just a first step on a journey that could be far longer, more exciting and more rewarding than a trip the length of the country.

    I agree fully with the following...
    Experience gained is worth far more than what you'll pick up reading or watching videos. If you're facing into 100 miles in crappy weather the day after 100 miles in crappy weather, it doesn't matter what any sales blurb says, it only matters that you're comfortable enough in your setup to be able to do it.

    Some other reasons for a cheapy first bike....
    Time: You'll have time (coupled to expanding experience) to pick out the best bike for you, at the best price while your training (or practising as I prefer to call it) goes on.
    Mechanics: Presuming you haven't done any since you were 9, it's psychologically easier to begin playing around with an older bike than a newer one. Consumables are cheaper too, giving you the chance to experiment more.
    Security: An older bike is less attractive to thieves and is more conducive to getting used daily for shopping, socialising etc. All that means more time in the saddle, more bike experience, more confidence.

    My suggestion is to get out on a bike, any bike, as soon as possible.
    Spend a bit of time planning nice routes so that there are as many positives as possible to your early adventures. is a great planner, especially for round trips.
    Get a basic bike computer to log your distances. Watch the frequency and length build up - it can be very inspirational. Going to a more advanced computer may lead to a performance focus and that may mean that you lose your enjoyment of actually cycling. Of course, they can help significantly with navigation.
    I think your primary focus should be to enjoy your cycling. If you enjoy it, you'll do more of it.
    Try to use the bike as much as possible. Commuting? Shopping? It was eye opening to me when I stopped using my car for a month and did everything on the bike. It did wonders for my confidence. (Not so much for my car - I sold it!)
    Don't underestimate the time taken to achieve the fitness required. And not all of the training will be easy! Try to keep a balance and it will be better in the long term.

    Best of luck!
  12. tom73

    tom73 Über Member

    +1 London rd love mine great all around bike give's options for flexible set up once you start building the miles.
  13. swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Legendary Member

  14. OP
    Bungalow Bill

    Bungalow Bill New Member

    Thanks for the replies, lots to think about.

    The Planet X and the Ribble are both on my list although I think I need to go into a shop and get sized up properly rather than buy online. Im determined to get into cycling as Ive been looking for something to keep me active for a long time since stopping playing football. If anyone has any other suggestions let me know
  15. PeteXXX

    PeteXXX Cake or ice cream? The choice is endless ...

    Surely any decision on tarmac/gravel/adventure etc bike will depend on your route. If you follow Sustran 1, for example, it might be tricky on a road bike.
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