New to road riding

Discussion in 'Sportives' started by Bazz, 27 Jan 2008.

  1. Bazz

    Bazz New Member

    Hi, new to this site and road riding and looking for some advice. I'm going to be getting a bike through the cycle to work scheme that my employer has just started, however there are 2 restrictions on this particular scheme, 1. bikes must be brought from 2. maximum spend allowed is £1000. I've narrowed it down to:

    Giant SC1

    Giant Alliance FCR
    Felt F75

    I'll be using the bike for general fun riding when i can't get out on the mountain bike trails and commuting to work in the summer, 35 miles each way. I'm 6 foot tall and around 15 stone if it makes any difference, also could someone tell me the difference between a compact and standard and would one suit me more than another. Cheers.
  2. Peter

    Peter Senior Member

    Bazz - welcome to the forum.
    The choice of bike is a personal preference. Just make sure you have a proper bike fit, so that there are no aches and pains on the distance rides.
    Your height and weight should not influence your choice as you are not outside the normal parameters.
    35 mile commute (each way) I take my hat off. sir!!
  3. OP

    Bazz New Member

    Thanks for the reply, i'll be working up to the commute distance and only doing it about 3 times a week, any advice on the compact/standard thing?
  4. Peter

    Peter Senior Member

    This again is a personal matter. I'm sure there are several threads for and against. I use a compact setup and that suits me for most of the time. On really steep hills I wish I had a triple.
  5. OP

    Bazz New Member

    I thought it had something to do with the frame size, sloping top tubes or some thing, and was wondering if it affected the handling.
  6. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    There was another similar thread to this not long ago and I will repeat my advice, think about getting a bike with clearance for mudguards and braze ons for a rear rack. This will give you the flexibility to use the bike all year round for commuting, shopping, leisure, touring, club runs and so on. You only need a lightweight carbon thing if you intend to compete at any level, and in that case you might want to get one of those as a separate purchase.
  7. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    spesh tricross

    about all I could find that was decent roadie with rack and mudguards, plenty of lovely bikes around £600+ but very little with points for guards and rack
  8. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    Respect on the commute distance! you say "only" 3 times a week, that's still over 200 miles a week... be prepared for daft comments from non-cyclists at your work place: "you live where? what, and you cycle all the way?",
    "you're surely not cycling all the way back are you?"
    "bloody hell, don't you get tired?"

    Also be prepared for things to wear out on your bike, e.g. tyres, brake pads, so keep checking it and maintain it in good order.

    I must say I have to disagree with what domtyler says. Contrary to popular belief, you don't need mudguards on a normal day-to-day road bike. I commute 23 miles to work, and when I arrive the only traces of mud are a few tiny specks on the back of my high-viz jacket. If you actually cycle in your suit like Boris Johnson then you probably want mudguards to prevent even these few little specks, but i'm guessing at 35 miles you're probably going to be wearing cycle gear and a cycling jacket and possibly a high-viz vest, and get changed at work.
    Thus, it begs the question, is carrying heavy mudguards and therefore possibly necessitating having a whole separate bike if you want one that's lightweight, worth it just to avoid a few tiny specks on the back of something you only wear when cycling anyway?
    I completely disagree with the whole 'summer bike'/'winter bike' mentality. Get the lightest and best equipped bike you can afford, and then get your use out of it. The only two reasons you would need more than one bike is (a) if it's too valuable to leave locked up outside the shops, then just get a cheap hackbike, possibly a rigid-forked mtb with a pannier rack, that you can ride to the shops, or (;) if you do other disciplines like touring, MTBing then you want the appropriate bike for that. Basically a lot of people fall into the trap of buying a beautiful new road bike and are so in awe of how beautiful it is that they want to protect it and don't want to take it out in the rain, so they get another cheaper bike and call it their 'winter' bike, but the truth is that rain won't damage it one bit, in fact if anything it'll clean it.
    Get that carbon bike and ride it to work with pride!
  9. longers

    longers Veteran

    Hello Bazz and welcome to the forum. A can of worms has been opened now you realise ;).

    Mudguards would be a very sensible thing to put on your commuting bike. They keep me drier and cleaner and they also keep the drivetrain on your bike cleaner also, and a clean drivetrain lasts longer and is easier to maintain. They are not heavy.

    Your commute is indeed impressive. Chapeau sir!

    And two bikes are better than one ;).
  10. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    Hi Bazz, I also commute quite a bit and can assure you that without mudguards on a rainy day, your bottom and everything above it on the back will get very wet and dirty. Rain does not clean anything on the bike because the rainwater flushes out sand and dirt from the sides of the road and that flies up with the water spray and gets the frame and more importantly the chain and gears, very mucky indeed. I would say that if you intend to commute in all weathers mudguards are a must!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ps A 70 mile per day commute is really going some!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  11. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Giant SCR series? Don't have a rack on mine, but it takes mudguards and 26C tires no bother. I thought about a 'cross bike, but figured the gearing would be a bit low for me (the ruggedness of a cross bike is good, but I like a 50T at least for the big ring, most seem to be 48T).

    Local builders might be an option too - it was out of my budget, but Withington Cycles (local to me) were doing an Audax bike for £699 - Campag Xenon equipped, as I recall, and clearance/braze ons for guards and rack.
  12. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    Bazz, I doubt you will need a compact unless your ride goes through the Alp D'Huez or the marmote. A compact is pretty much a normal chainring without the big chain, so speed is comprimised but climbing ability is gained. If you do have hills and you struggle on them then I would advise getting a triple chainset.

    Any of the bikes you mentioned are good bikes, I would initially go for a Giant myself.
  13. OP

    Bazz New Member

    Woah!!! excellent response thanks everyone, with regards to the comute at the moment i travel to work with a mix of train and bike, cycling around 16 miles per day, i would continue with this on the first day of every week to take in all my uniform and kit and use the new bike on the remainder of the days, and only in the summer when the light and weather is better as i would have to negotiate some pretty fast unlit roads on my journey. As for comments from collegues, probably doubtful as there are alredy 3 25+miles each way cyclists there, it was them that inspired me to leave the train out. As for the bike i'll probably go for the Felt F75.
  14. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    The other reason for a mud-guard is out of pity for the cyclist behind you ...:biggrin::biggrin: just cos its not going up your back doesn't mean its not in their face.
  15. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    nah, it's more like without the middle, isn't it, than without the large? e.g. a triple is a small medium and large, a double is a medium and a large, and a compact is a small and a large. But just not quite as small and large as on a triple.
    e.g. this Compact Hollowtech II Double Chainset is a compact, and
    has got a 34 and a 50. A triple might have 30, 42 and 52 (like mine say). So the 50 is nearer the 52 than it is to 42, so it's closer to my big ring than it is to my middle.

    this on the other hand is one that foregoes the big ring, having just a 22 and a 32, but it's for an MTB. (in road terms that's a small and an extra small, but in MTB terms it's a small and a medium). (and that is a very nice crankset indeed i might add, it would be the one i'd get if i had to replace my mtb cranks).
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