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First road bike - sizing and recommendations

Discussion in 'Bikes and Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by beanzontoast, 12 Jul 2007.

  1. beanzontoast

    beanzontoast Veteran

    Location:
    South of The Peaks
    I'm looking at getting a first road bike. Yes, after all these years of commuting, finally (approaching 50 :?: ) decided to see what fun I can have with a proper road bike. Have been looking at the Specialized Allez Elite on internet (but can't find one to try for feel locally, and anyway, would be looking at a 2006 model as £500 is my budget). Is this a reasonable bike to aim for? What size should I be thinking about - I'm 5' 8".
     
  2. chris42

    chris42 New Member

    Location:
    Deal, Kent
    Talk to your LBS they will have bikes you can ride.
    What ever feels right usually is
     
  3. best bet is to try and find a shop that has them and check them out... sizing can vary.

    might be too late to look for a 2006 model now, but the 2007 models will be old hat in a couple of months!

    i'd try and try one for size and comfort, even if it means a bit of a journey. if you like it you can look elsewhere to order one - although having a good relationship with a LBS does help for servicing and repairs.

    good luck
    L
     
  4. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Location:
    Penarth, Wales
    The Specialized Allez Elite seems to get good reports from what I've seen but as others have said try and get a ride on one to establish the size. Even to sit on one in the LBS will give you some idea although I admit it's not the ideal way to check it out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  5. beanzontoast

    beanzontoast Veteran

    Location:
    South of The Peaks
    Lawrence - another couple of months will give me a bit longer to expand the budget a tad! :?:

    Keith - yes, that's what attracted me to it. Plus some bikes do just look the business, don't they? :?:
     
  6. Soltydog

    Soltydog Guru

    Location:
    near Hornsea
  7. beanzontoast

    beanzontoast Veteran

    Location:
    South of The Peaks
    Thanks Solty - seems one or two other places are also starting to discount 2007 bikes now. Torn between the Sport and the Elite (despite the price difference) - anyone explain the benefits of each?

    When do the 2008 models come out anyhow?
     
  8. monnet

    monnet Über Member

    I've got a spesh Allez Elite. Great bike. Like everyone says, try them out for size but for your height (a bit shorter than me) I would say a 54cm but do try one first.

    As for the differences between the sport (which I also looked at):

    Better groupset. Shimano 105 is, for my money, the best value groupset around.
    Saddle: the Alias has been a revelation to me, took about 100miles to get used too it but it's so comfy now.
    Zertz inserts: unless you're racing you really don't want an ultra stiff bike and those Zertz in the seat post and forks really do make a difference.

    One thing to be aware of (and I guess this is true of the Sport too) is that the brakes are a bit shoddy- they're not Shimano but in house Specialized copies. I'm forever having to adjust them, which is doubly annoying as the adjustment is done via an ultra thin allen key. So i'd say it's worth switching them for proper 105 or Ultegra complete with new blocks.

    Overall though, a great bike. For me it rides well, it's responsive, it's comfy and I've not regretted getting it for one moment.
     
  9. beanzontoast

    beanzontoast Veteran

    Location:
    South of The Peaks
    monnet - Sounds good to me. Just waiting for the rush of offers appearing as the shops discounting gets into full swing...

    :eek:
     
  10. Monty Dog

    Monty Dog New Member

    Location:
    Fleet
    2008 model year bikes should start appearing next month, so 2007 models start to get discounted. At 5'8" you're probably looking at a 53 or 54 cm (conventional sizing) but a lot depends on reach/top tube length and your flexibility - impossible to determine without seeing you sat on one.
     
  11. vorsprung

    vorsprung Über Member

    Location:
    Devon
    gears

    The only trouble with road bikes for beginners is that the gearing is impossibly high unless you live in a flat place like Linconshire
    Most "racing" style bikes have a 52x39 front rings plus a 12x23 at the back
    I live in Devon and I find a 50x34 plus 13x29 much more appropriate. And I'm slightly more able to ride hills than a beginner.
     
  12. beanzontoast

    beanzontoast Veteran

    Location:
    South of The Peaks
    Monty - agreed, I wouldn't consider buying without sitting on one. My LBS's are a bit deficient in Specialized, so may have to travel to do this, but eessential I feel.

    Vorsprung - The Allez Sport Triple has 50x39x30T and 12X25. Wondering if this is a better option, or the Double (which I think is 50X34T?)?
     
  13. monnet

    monnet Über Member

    The triple is a great idea, forgot to say that's what I ride. Failing that a compact of 50-36/34 should serve you well.
     
  14. vorsprung

    vorsprung Über Member

    Location:
    Devon
    If you live in a hilly area then get the triple
     
  15. beanzontoast

    beanzontoast Veteran

    Location:
    South of The Peaks
    I do live in a hilly area - at least, I like going into the hills to the north. Detoured towards Ashbourne on my way home from work today, then came back to Derby through the villages off the A52. All up, down and winding, but great fun (apart from a puncture about 10 mins from home, but hey - the sun was shining, so who cares?).

    Am thinking the road bike won't see too much of the hilly roads though - for one thing, they're pretty broken up surface-wise around here (hence today's puncture). That's what my Galaxy is for! Think I'll have a look at both the double and triple before settling, but am verging on the triple, as you guys say.