Bike makes confusion

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by DaveyDave, 13 May 2008.

  1. DaveyDave

    DaveyDave Active Member

    Hi All,
    After many years of riding around on my old mountain bike, I'm considering getting a decent road bike. I mainly want it for recreational rides with my local cycling club and for doing the odd triathlon.

    Trouble is, I'm really not sure which make or which features I'm looking for. Also, particular shops only seem to stock particular brands which make side by side comparisons difficult. I'm also concerned about ensuring that I'm measured up so that I get a frame size right for me. If it wasn't for this, I'd consider buying something off ebay or similar, but I reckon for my first road bike it's worth making sure that I get the right frame size.

    Can anyone recommend a good shop (around Maidstone, Kent) that would be prepared to measure up a prospective buyer up and allow them to try bikes for comfort?.

    I guess I'd be prepared to fork out up to £1500. I suppose the makes I would automatically consider would be Specialized, Giant and Trek but only because these are the brands that the local shops seem to stock.

    Any recommendations would be gratefully received,

  2. col

    col Veteran

    Hi DaveyDave,welcome,i think with that amount you have a great choice to choose from,im sure more knowledgable people on that price range will be along soon:smile:
  3. Dave5N

    Dave5N Über Member


    If you are riding with a club, ask the club. They will know what's good and bad in your area.
  4. I went from a mountain bike to a road bike (drop bars). Feeling and extra speed is great. I did find the hills a bit more of a problem as the gearing is not going down as low.

    I am very pleased I went for three cogs on the front and I even dropped down the size of the small one to give near mountain bike hill ability.

    Some may look down on me with my "granny" but not when I pass them as they walk up the hill!

    You could buy a £50 bike to settle into the new position with and get a feel for the size on a long ride and then sell it once you have the new bike. You will settle on a most comfortable hand position after a while that you may not sit in when you first get on. I have my hands back a bit from the brakes most of the time and never seem to use the drop bars unless I am in a headwind.
  5. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Hi DaveyDave

    The brands you mention are a damn good start, and 1500 buys a hell of a lot of bike, but you do need to know a bit about what you're buying. I can't help with local dealers but as suggested, contact somebody at the club to see which shop they use.
    £1500 puts you into Carbon Fibre with Shimano 105 or Campagnolo Veloce type equipment, more than good enough.
    Will you ride all year round?
    Will you do much long distance stuff?
    What gearing do you need, I assume hilly where you are?

    A good all-rounder could be say the Specialized Roubaix range of "Sportive" bikes, good enough for a bit of cycle sport but not so extreme that a long day in the saddle won't be comfortable. Gearing wise, I'm partial to triples and I don't care about the sniggers. The other option is a "Compact" double chainset, they look nicer but IMO are less user friendly than a triple.
    Try several before you buy, get good fitting advice or a basic measure-up, budget for Pedals and shoes of the SPD-SL/Look style.
    Keep asking questions, the more specific the better!
  6. k-dog

    k-dog New Member

    For that money I wouldn't hesitate to get a Trek Madone 4.5

    It's the cheapest of the Madone's but is a fabulous bike - super stiff but very comfortable and nicely specced.
  7. The most important thing to decide is which shop rather than which bike. You cant go wrong with any of the brands you mentioned. The age-old rules still apply; ride as many bikes as possible, take a tape measure with you and measure the (effective) top tube, bar height and reach of each bike. You'll develop an idea of the dimensions which suit you. Fitting a bike is a complex ergonomic equation, fit/comfort is all and the shop which expends the most effort to make you comfortable should get your spondoolies.
  8. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    If you are spending that much, and are not sure about 'bike size' you need, but have an idea of the machine you want, get a proper 'bike fit' done - the shop will knock the cost of the bike fit off the bike anyway.
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