Do I need a new bike...?

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by SonofSid, 15 Apr 2010.

  1. SonofSid

    SonofSid Active Member

    Long story short, casual cyclist, bike got stolen, replaced with a Trek 7.2 FX 2009 Hybrid, now roped into (supported) LEJOG, not a lot of cash, so - what would the difference be if I spent 500-650 pounds on a new bike such as Specialised Secteur or Kona Dew Drop? Would it be significantly better and easier to get through LEJOG without having a hernia???? SPecs of the Trek below - mean nothing to me really I'm afraid but hope some of you might have some insights.Thanks in advance,Cheers. Frame: FX Alpha White Series Aluminium Fork: Cromo steel straight bladed with low-rider mounts and CLIX dropouts Front Derailleur: Shimano C102 Rear Derailleur: Shimano Alivio Shifters: Shimano EF50 8 Speed trigger Chainset: Shimano M191 with chainguard Chainrings: 48/38/28 tooth chainrings Cassette: Shimano HG40 11-32 tooth, 8 speed cassette Front Brake:
    Tektro V-Brake Rear Brake: Tektro V-Brake Brake Levers: Shimano EF50 Handlebars: Bontrager SSR with 25mm rise Stem: Bontrager SSR Headset: Aheadset Slimstak with Semi-cartridge bearings, Sealed Rims: Matrix 750 32 hole Front Hub: Alloy hub Rear Hub: Shimano RM30 Front Tyre: Bontrager Invert puncture resistant Rear Tyre: Bontrager Invert puncture resistant Saddle: Bontrager Nebula Seatpost: Bontrager SSR
     
  2. Percy

    Percy Well-Known Member

    No, is the simple answer. Riding a supported two (ish) week tour on your Trek will be an entirely pleasant experience, I am sure. A slightly lighter bike with drop handlebars would perhaps make it ever so slightly 'easier', but certainly not £500-600 worth of easier.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    SonofSid

    SonofSid Active Member

    Thanks Percy. (My bank manager will also want to pass on thanks I'm sure)
     
  4. andym

    andym Über Member

    +1 on the 'no' front. Depending on what you currently have on the bike it might be worth investing in a new saddle and tyres.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    SonofSid

    SonofSid Active Member

    What would you suggest? The tyres are 700c 35 I think (excuse the ignorance) Bontrager Invert puncture resistant tyres, Saddle: Bontrager Nebula Seatpost: Bontrager SSR. I've been comfy so far but have been surprised by the amount of vibration both through the handle bars and into the seat and think that might be an issue over longer distances.
    Have to say the bike has been a revelation compared to my previous cheap mountain bikes. Can't get over how easy it is to move. Suppose I just wonder how much better the next step up would be...
    Cheers
     
  6. OP
    OP
    SonofSid

    SonofSid Active Member

    Another question - clips and straps and things. Big difference?
     
  7. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Location:
    Meanwood, Leeds
    Clips will make pedalling more efficient as you can transfer power on the upstroke. As for tyres your current tyres will do unless there are any tyres offering an appreciable reduction in rolling resistance. Have a look at getting some handlebar grips that offer a greater degree of padding.

    The next step up might be an unnecessary and expensive move. Your current bike is up to the job. Feel free to ignore this advice as I have five bikes and can not justify the ownership of them all :-)
     
  8. OP
    OP
    SonofSid

    SonofSid Active Member

    Thanks Vernon. I'm beginning to realise I could easily get carried away... What about suspension seat posts? Any good does anyone know?
     
  9. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Resistance is futile! Moderator

    Location:
    Stevenage
    I'd not bother with the extra weight / cost of a suspension seat post.
    What I would do (and apols if you've done any / all of these)
    Get some decent shorts - a few pairs. Wear a clean pair each day (wash them as you go - they dry quickly). Your undercarriage will thank you endlessly.
    Get some mitts - I like these ones but there's lots out there. Maybe two pairs - handy to have spares.
    Get some narrower, less draggy tyres. Conti Gators are my faves, but again, there's lots.
    Maybe try clipless pedals and pukka cycling shoes?
     
  10. OP
    OP
    SonofSid

    SonofSid Active Member

    Thanks TheDoctor. Had read some threads about shorts and taking care of the undercarriage. Do I have to change the wheels if I change the tyres?
    Cheers
     
  11. Percy

    Percy Well-Known Member

    No - your rims (wheels) can handle a range of tyre widths. If you're not carrying much weight at all I'd go down to around 26/28 wide - this will require a higher pressure and make the ride more 'sensitive' (i.e. you'll feel the bumps!) but the roll quality will increase - i.e. it'll help you go faster/make riding easier. Have a look in a shop at bikes with different size tyres on and see how thin you'd like to go. Having said that, if your tyres are in decent enough nick they'll be fine for the job - 35s are a decent enough size. Just make sure you keep them nicely pumped up.

    I personally wouldn't bother with a suspension seat post - such things seem terribly gimmicky.

    Clipless pedals (i.e SPDs - the ones that clip into the bottom of shoes) will do wonders for your riding efficiency though - that is the one thing over all others that I would recommend you upgrade, as well as some shoes to clip into them with, of course. There's all manner of shoes and pedal styles out there, so just take your pick.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    SonofSid

    SonofSid Active Member

    Many thanks percy. Browsing the site seems most have the same opinion about the spDs, as does my LBS. I'm a bit worried about falling over still attached, but that seems to be a common worry to begin with. LBS also have power straps- wide single strap that goes diagonally across pedal. Wondered about them as an alternative that would also fit the fact the bike is for commute and short trips. any opinions?
     
  13. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Location:
    Meanwood, Leeds
    Don't get hung up on wheel swapping. Stick with what you've got for know and make enquiries about how narrow you can go. There still will not be that much difference if you do go narrower - I speak from direct experience.

    Last year on a tour through France, the frame on my Dawes Galaxy fractured at the drop out. It was an oldish bike with a drive train and brake system that was getting close to needing replacement as were the tyres (700c x 28 Pananracer Paselas - with minimal tread)

    A back of the envelope calculation which factored in the ease of solution suggested that a Decathlon hybrid was a cheaper and for the medium term, a suitable replacement. It came with 700c x 38 tyres a bit like yours.

    Received wisdom suggested that I was in for a draggy pedal for the final week of the tour. Things could not be further from the truth. I couldn't tell the difference in terms of effort required. I'm not even sure that there was an increase in comfort.

    You need to be careful when reducing the width of the tyres - each rim width has a minimum recommended tyre width.
     
  14. emulsifier12

    emulsifier12 New Member

    Location:
    Nuneaton
    I would recommend the clip less SPD pedals and shoes. I got mine about 3 weeks ago, Bontrager shoes and look keo pedals. The best investment ever. I have, touch wood, not fallen yet, just unclip early when you slow down to stop.

    Good quality shorts are important, I have bought some cheepies at the Lidl special and my arse hurts long before it does when compared to the expensive riding shorts.
     
  15. I think you would be best to change the tyres, your Bontrager Invert 700x35 tyres are 500g each and probably have fairly inflexible sidewalls. Try something like Panaracer Pasela Tourguard 700x28 which are a noticeably lighter 330g and have flexible sidewalls giving a more comfortable ride.
     
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