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Hello and bike advice

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by XCKid, 17 Aug 2007.

  1. XCKid

    XCKid New Member

    Hi everyone!

    Hope this is the right place to post this. Thinking about buying a road bike, but really don't know what kind. I do some mountain biking, but I'm fed up with all the mud from the crap weather so I guess I need something more appropriate for tarmac. I know nothing about road bikes so any tips would be gratefully received. What sort of money do you need to spend to get an ok road bike? How much faster will I go on a road bike compared to a mountain bike?

    Thanks guys (and gals).
     
  2. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Location:
    Auld Reekie
    For what it is worth, my standard advice is to decide on a budget, go to as many bike shops as you can and try out as many bikes as you can within your budget and buy the one that feels right and is the most fun. Oh and keep an open mind as to what type of bike you want to ride.

    If the shop won't let you ride the bike out side on the road, then walk away and don't go back.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    XCKid

    XCKid New Member

    Thanks Hairy Jock that makes sense.

    Is there a price point at which road bikes start getting alright? I mean with MTBs once you get to about £400 you can get a Deore level bike thats kinda respectable. Is it the same with road bikes? What is the Deore equivalent for roadies?
     
  4. OP
    OP
    XCKid

    XCKid New Member

    Sorry I meant to ask something else as well.

    When I test ride a road bike what should I look for?, I'm totally confused about the different varieties of road bikes. Just want something that I can ride on tarmac for keeping up my fitness. So it doesn't need to go like a rocket :-) but I'm quite a big guy and the bike will be going out in all sorts of weather.
     
  5. johnr

    johnr Über Member

    I've got a cross bike - looks like a road bike but with thicker tyres; great on rubbish tarmac and paths etc. The thin wheeled road bikes tend to be nippier but with easier to break wheels. I feel a lot less scrunched up on my cross bike than on the road bikes I tried. You do want to check for yourself though; I was surprised at the differences between brands even though they all had similar specs
     
  6. OP
    OP
    XCKid

    XCKid New Member

    I suspect I'm going to have to get used to more delicate roadie wheels :-)

    John where can you go on a cross bike? Does that mean towpaths and fireroads, or a bit rougher?
     
  7. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    Location:
    South Manchester
    Road wheels aren't delicate at all - you should see the abuse mine get. So long as you aren't doing full off road, they are fine.
     
  8. zimzum42

    zimzum42 Legendary Member

    Beware of crap wheels on bikes that seem a good deal........

    And seriously consider second hand, you can get so much bike for your money. Look for examples, post a link, and people on here will tell you if it's a good deal or not.....
     
  9. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    Cross bikes will handle all sorts of stuff. However having no suspension and low volume tyres means it's rough going on the bumpy stuff. Although the wheels are plenty strong enough, the smaller tyres means the rims are more vulnerable to being bashed and bent on the rocks.

    The big difference between riding a mountainbike and a cross bike on the rough stuff is the speed of the transition from 'challenging, but okay' to 'I think I'm going to die'. On the mtb you have far more time (because of better brakes, tyres, grip, suspension, handlebar width, etc) to get it all back under control. On a cross bikes it's all okay one minute and then it's just, well ... all over.

    So although a cross bike seems like a 'jack of all trades' I would think carefully before going down that route. If you have a mountainbike I would supplement it with a pure road bike.

    And getting a road bike doesn't mean you're no longer a mountain biker. It's not an 'either / or' situation . Lots of us are both. I would even argue that you become a better rider all round if you do both. Certainly you will be a much stronger, fitter cross country mtb rider if you get the road miles in, especially during the winter.

    So if you have some idea what you would like to do with the road bike, it helps narrow down the options (within a given price band). If you want to ride in the winter when the trails are at their crappiest (this summer excluded), then what is called a 'winter training bike' might be quite appropriate as it is a race style bike, but can take mud guards. Although not essential they do make foul weather riding more tolerable.

    However if you have a lack of 'intestinal fortitude' and only ride in the dry, then any 'race bike' will do just fine.

    Ribble Cycles do a winter training bike that is good value, as are their road bikes. (Their shop / mail order service is however 'variable'). You are right to think about a minimum acceptable groupset, however with a road bike, the frame has more of an influence on the total 'ride' than it perhaps does with mtbs, where the fork is perhaps more important. The bits on a decent frame can be upgraded, but a crappy frame will always be a disappointment.

    I think 600 quid is a significant price point. Here you will get choice from both the big bike companies and your independent bike shop. This should get you a reasonable frame and wheels with probably Shimano Sora or Campagnolo Mirage or even the slightly better Tiagra or Veloce componenets.

    Remember proper fit is important on a road bike. A decent shop will get you set up properly with the right stem and bar width, etc, at no extra cost. Buying 'on -line' or through a super market will mean you will be responsible for swapping these bit if necessary at your cost.

    Depending on where you live, lots of people on here will be able to recommend good shops. If you're in NW England, Hewitts in Leyland is a no brainer. But don't over look the French sports store 'Decathlon' if they have one of their ever increasing number of stores near you. (London, Essex, Stockport, ???)
     
  10. OP
    OP
    XCKid

    XCKid New Member

    Thanks for all your replies. I was under the impression road wheels were weaker and more prone to being dented by potholes and stuff. Ah well learn something new every day :-) That's good news then.

    If I'm looking at 2nd hand bikes what sort of size should I go for? I know I'll need to test ride, but just so I can rule out clearly unsuitable bikes. I'm
    187cms.

    Actually that makes sense. There's no point in having too much overlap. Can I ask some other things about the difference between MTBs and road bikes? What's the advantage of roadie type handlebars? Is it about getting down lower to decrease wind resistance?

    Probably the winter training bike best describes what I'm after. I've found myself spending as much time cleaning my bike as a do riding it because of the mud. So I've been riding roads more which is ok for a while on an MTB but isn't really ideal.

    I honestly hadn't thought about mud guards, but they sound like a good idea so I'll add that to my list of stuff to check. Thanks for all your help Tim. Lots of stuff for me to think about there. I won't be making a snap purchase because I'm probably need to save a bit more money, but I'll have a look on Ribble just to get an idea.
     
  11. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    like I always say to people new to road bikes thinking of getting one - not sure many listen, but still: don't feel you need to have drop handlebars if you don't like them. There are road bikes with flat handlebars, so work out whether you actually want drop handlebars before you buy a bike, because 'road bike' doesn't have to mean drop handlebars.
    It's recently occurred to me that a lot of people have drop handlebars but never use them - one person on bikeradar even admitted to only using them 'just when I feel I haven't used them much recently'. :ohmy:
     
  12. zimzum42

    zimzum42 Legendary Member

    Get profile airwing bars, ubercool.....