Learning Curve

Twinks

Über Member
Looks like its a steep and expensive one this cycling game. After a lifetime with horses which are complicated and expensive I thought my new hobby would be much simpler and far less costly. First off me and hubster purchased a couple of Halfords hybrids, pootled about and then did a couple of charity rides - really enjoyed and wanted to get involved in more distance and mass participation events so road bikes looked like a good idea. I purchased a Cannondale womens sora triple 7 from Evans sale. Liked how it is so light and loved the 27 gears which are a huge help on the hilly terrain around home. Was not so pleased with the set up from Evans, only got a few hundred yards on first ride, made a turn, handlebars turned front wheel didn't! Heyho returned home tightened up the screw on the stem AND checked everything else and all good. Then first ride with any serious long descent I couldn't stop the booger! So off to a local bike shop. They sorted that good and proper with new pads, calipers and just in case put me cross levers on as well. £130. Whilst it was in I asked them to tweak the gears as the change was not so smooth as I would like. When I read the invoice it said gears adjusted as best as possible due to cheap cassette!!!! and they are not really any better. They're not really a problem, just not so smooth. Lesson learned here. So my question is....... can I improve (upgrade) my bike and at what cost? And would it be worth it? Am going to have a chat with guy at LBS but would welcome opinions from you lot. ( should have asked you all first!) LBS chap also checked out the fit for me and said I would probably be better with slightly wider bars. Heck that's why I went for a women's specific....... narrower bars to suit the female frame? I ain't no hulk!
 

vickster

Legendary Member
The best upgrades for an entry level roadbike are probably better wheels and tyres and perhaps a higher level groupset, depending on how much you want to spend. Sora is perfectly serviceable but you'll find 105 shifts much better for a cost of a few hundred (same for the wheels)

Bar width is determined by the width of your shoulder blades, not your overall size. I'm a pretty big woman but use a 38cm bar, a 40cm bar gave me hand issues due to wrists rolling in
 

Turbo Rider

Just can't reMember
One of the best investments you can make is time and patience when it comes to mechanical issues. Check out Youtube for instructional guides (I find Global Cycling Network vid's are particularly clear with instruction) and get yourself a bike tool kit. If you buy at the right time, you can get them for £15 or so, though the minimum RRP I've seen is upwards of £30. I say patience though, because in all likelyhood you will get things slightly wrong, unless you're mechanically minded and / or experienced, so do be prepared to spend a good few hours cursing, before making a very slight adjustment here or there and everything suddenly clicking into place. Besides that, frequent vistits to an LBS can be good, because once they get to know you it's like most things, they will help at a discount where they can. Good news is that with cycling, once you're set up with your initial overlay plus all the added extras that you didnt think about, it really is very cheap...comparitively.

As a sidenote, I haven't ridden a horse in yeeeeeeeears and I used to quite enjoy it, so I might have a look into that sometime - cheers for the spark :smile:
 

Paulus

Started young, and still going.
Location
Barnet,
With any bike, no matter what the cost the brakes should stop you. The gears will go out of adjustment when newish as the cables stretch and always need to be adjusted at least once. As for the headset coming loose, well, just plain dangerous. You should of gone back to Evans as i think the bike was obviously not set up correctly from the start.
 
A Cannondale with Sora should be a fine ride. You've been messed around by Evans (definitely should have got them to sort out the bike for free and to replace/refund if they can't). Now your LBS say they can't adjust the gears on a sora cassette! I'd go take the bike back to evans (book it in for it's free service) and get them to sort the gears. Then find a new LBS you can trust.
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
I'd agree with @vickster completely on this one, but if they've uprated the calipers then you don't need them plus the crank should be OK for now so I'd wait until that is 'kippered' before changing that.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
One - if I couldn't stop I'd have gone back the Evans and played h--l !! Even quite low quality bikes usually have working brakes now -
however they are still better than the brakes on a horse
As long as you can reach them which I think may have been the OP's issue hence the cross levers, as well as potentially poor pads.

Shimano hoods are useless for me, I can't get the right purchase, hence my road bikes wear SRAM, much slimmer hood shape which means I can reach the levers
 
OP
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Twinks

Über Member
A Cannondale with Sora should be a fine ride. You've been messed around by Evans (definitely should have got them to sort out the bike for free and to replace/refund if they can't). Now your LBS say they can't adjust the gears on a sora cassette! I'd go take the bike back to evans (book it in for it's free service) and get them to sort the gears. Then find a new LBS you can trust.
Think I may be doing the LBS a disservice by explaining things badly. Just spoken to the guy and he said the cassette is just a cheap one and recommended changing to a Shimarno one at cost of £40 inc labour. Am inclined to trust him as the difference he made to the braking was amazing. The brakes really were rubbish even though I know I am a bit feeble in my wrists and grip. Having read reviews of the bike there were others who made similar comments.
 
OP
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Twinks

Über Member
As long as you can reach them which I think may have been the OP's issue hence the cross levers, as well as potentially poor pads.

Shimano hoods are useless for me, I can't get the right purchase, hence my road bikes wear SRAM, much slimmer hood shape which means I can reach the levers
Yes this is part of the problem/
 
OP
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Twinks

Über Member
Paulus, I did take it back to Evans for its six week service and gears were supposedly adjusted.....not impressed.
 
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