Starting regular cycling: advice on bike, please.

PaulBowden

Senior Member
I am 55 and hoping to start regular road cycling, for health and pleasure. I currently have an ancient (1983) Raleigh Royale, which is as creaky and rattly as me, which I've used on and off since new. Recently (last 3 months), I've been cycling more: not a lot, I suppose, but 25-30 mostly flat miles 3-4 times a week. I like the look of the Specialized Allez and Trek 1.1, which are both cheap (around £500) and wonder whether anyone has any comments or advice. I live very close to an excellent specialised (not the brand!) bike shop, whose young owner builds bike and I will certainly ask him for advice, but I just can't see him being able to compete on price with the ones I've mentioned and I would hate to try and beat him down, but £500 is about what I feel comfortable spending at the moment.
I would be very grateful for any advice.
 

accountantpete

Brexiteer
Being so ancient, I'd advise getting as good a bike as you can afford.

Stick to the major brands (like Specialized,Trek,Giant etc) and you want Shimano Sora/Tiagra as the minimum groupset as on this bike

http://www.evanscycles.com/products...oogle&utm_medium=froogle&utm_campaign=froogle


Pete (54)
 

palinurus

Legendary Member
Location
Watford
I've no idea what's available at the entry level now but in 2004 I bought an Allez and I still like it (although I have a couple of other road bikes now). Ok, I've put on some nice wheels and upgraded the brake calipers but it was reasonable before I did that- although those wheels really did improve matters.

I took it out yesterday, 60-odd miles, still feels good to ride. It's a bit dull to look at though. At the time it would've cost £500 new, I bought it in the autumn when the 2005 models were just coming through so I got it for about £430. Bargain. I do wish it had mudguard clearance- but now these are available that's less of a problem.

I haven't upgraded the groupset- I quite like the Sora stuff, and I think it's better now than it was then.

The point of this I suppose it that "entry level" bikes around that sort of price are pretty reasonable, although I'd recommend a wheel upgrade after a while (I wore out the original wheels first, the rear anyway. The front started popping spokes so I replaced that at the same time)

If you are reasonably confident you can find something that'll fit you then £500 could go a long way if you look at secondhand.

Probably worth asking your local shop what they can do though- they might have, or know of something, for you.
 
OP
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PaulBowden

Senior Member
SPECIALIZED OR FORME?

Thank you to both for good advice (although it irks to listen to a mere child of 54, like Pete (see above!))
The local bike shop is pushing the Forme Rapide at £499, so I'd be particularly interested if anyone has experience or comments of this, compared with the Specialized Allez.
Thanks again.
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
I'd go with Spec(if you like the aesthetics) or Giant.

Never heard of Forme, but they appear to be a very new brand, wouldnt touch them until they have been around long enough to have feedback and chance to build a reputation, good or bad.

Unless you really know what you are looking at, you wont be able to judge it without others experiences.
 

accountantpete

Brexiteer
Rob3rt said:
I'd go with Spec(if you like the aesthetics) or Giant.

Never heard of Forme, but they appear to be a very new brand, wouldnt touch them until they have been around long enough to have feedback and chance to build a reputation, good or bad.

Unless you really know what you are looking at, you wont be able to judge it without others experiences.
I'd agree especially as it has alloy forks which tend to allow a lot of road buzz through to the hands/upper body which makes riding uncomfortable. The carbon forks on the linked bike in my post will reduce this (although they wont be the best fork on the road).
 
Advice on bike

Hi i might be a bit late with the reply to this thread, but anyhow i bought the specialized allez from ciclisport which is my local specialized shop here in northern ireland last month and the new price was £499, im well pleased with the bike it's light fast comfortable and very easy to ride, it is my first new bike in 20yrs so im only really starting out again after that long lay off, the reason i bought the allez was because of the resonable price tag and it looks good as well, so whatever you buy i wish you good luck and safe riding.
 

Demoose

New Member
Location
London
PaulBowden said:
I am 55 and hoping to start regular road cycling, for health and pleasure. I currently have an ancient (1983) Raleigh Royale, which is as creaky and rattly as me, which I've used on and off since new. Recently (last 3 months), I've been cycling more: not a lot, I suppose, but 25-30 mostly flat miles 3-4 times a week. I like the look of the Specialized Allez and Trek 1.1, which are both cheap (around £500) and wonder whether anyone has any comments or advice. I live very close to an excellent specialised (not the brand!) bike shop, whose young owner builds bike and I will certainly ask him for advice, but I just can't see him being able to compete on price with the ones I've mentioned and I would hate to try and beat him down, but £500 is about what I feel comfortable spending at the moment.
I would be very grateful for any advice.
Have you considered a folding bike? Apart from Brompton's, there are other brands on the market to consider. They are excellent in the sense that when you've had enough of cycling, you fold it up & let the train take the strain.
 

battered

Über Member
Both those bikes you mention are excellent at the price. I would certainly go to your LBS and ask his advice, he may after all say "I've a really nice bike I sold to a chap last year, he wants something else and he's traded it in..." at which point you may end up with a lightly used bike that's *much* nicer. £500 gets you a very nice SH bike. Let's be honest, new bikes are lovely but if you are doing 80-100 miles a week then after a year it won't look any different to one that someone did 1000 miles on before you owned it.
 
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