Tried a couple of road bikes.

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by croyde, 24 Apr 2010.

  1. croyde

    croyde New Member

    Having only owned a Mountain Bike, modified with narrow tyres and now a Giant M1 Hybrid with 26ins wheels, over the past 15 years, I thought I'd try a road bike.

    Currently I normally a do a minimum 21 miles to Richmond Park for a circuit or two and then a very mild off road across Wimbledon Common and I am slowly getting my fitness up. (Middle aged and a heart attack last year so not as fit as I was but I did cycle London to Brighton 5 months after getting out of hospital).

    But it bothers me as I am going great guns in Richmomd Park when some lycra clad fella/gal steams past me on their pristine road bike. I know they are probably a lot fitter but am I right in suspecting that their bikes help as well.

    Now I presumed that these beasts would be awful to ride on the roads, especially the state of them after this past winter but I was pleasantly surprised.

    The nice people at Evans lent me a Specialized Allez and a Secteur for a quick mile and a half circuit and boy they are so light, easy to ride fast and soak up the bad road surfaces.

    The comfort surprised me as I presumed that my Giant would be built for soaking up the bumps but these road race bikes were great.

    When I handed the Secteur back, I could barely lift my Giant up as it felt like it was made of pig iron.

    Now can I buy a new bike and hide it from the wife.

    PS does anyone know a bike shop near Richmond Park that would hire out a Road Bike for a couple of hours or so?
  2. accountantpete

    accountantpete Legendary Member

    TBH croyde the reason they are going that fast is 20% the bike and 80% their legs - it does take a year or so to develop half decent muscles.

    BTW a Specialized Allez could be regarded as a heavy lump of pig iron in comparison to some tastier bits of kit!
  3. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    Could try Prologue in Sheen, looks a sound place (only driven past)

    I am not sure I'd want to ride a road bike on the gravelly paths in the park, almost went sliding on a hybrid the one time I went round :ohmy: Then, I am a rubbish cyclist :biggrin:
  4. OP

    croyde New Member

    Ah well. I'll keep slogging then and thanks for the Prologue heads up, I might pop in on Mon.
  5. Riverman

    Riverman Über Member

    Sur de Inglaterra
    You don't happen to originally come from Devon?
  6. swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Legendary Member

    Hmmmm...not sure I'd quite go along with that. Sure, ultimately it's all down to the legs. But a good racer makes a helluva difference to the speed you can get out of any given pair. (Needn't be majorly costly neither...a decent ebay '70s/80s 531 £150 +/- will crap on any mountain bike any day of the week.)
  7. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    Sell the hybrid and put the lolly towards a really nice road bike. You won't regret it.
  8. OP

    croyde New Member


    Naw Sarf London innit! Name is from a place that I used to holiday a lot in.
  9. RyanW

    RyanW The abominable Bikeman

    Ashford, Kent
    There is an evans next to richmond park at ham gate, google "bike shops in richmond" and look at the list, if it comes to it call them all up and ask, there are a fair few in the area. Im sure one wont mind, but then again asking to borrow a £500+ piece of kit might be asking alot, unless you wanna leave something with em, car keys or the like.
  10. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    It takes from age 8 to age 16 to develop 'half decent' muscles. It takes from age 16 to age 24 to develop 'whole decent' muscles.

    Just as a BTW, the Spesh Allez WITH pedals weighs the same as my old 531 Pug PX10 from 1975.
  11. MLC

    MLC New Member


    Its all about the engine (admittedly if you put that same engine on a lighter faster bit of kit then it should be even better)

    I went to try a local cycle club last sunday and went out on their training loops I averaged around 17 mph (with stopping albeit very briefly) but we were regularly seeing 20-22 mph on the flat and one of the guys with us was on an old Rayleigh steel mountain bike complete with knobblies. He stayed with us and looked a lot fresher than me when we stopped for tea and cake !
  12. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    Get yourself down the gym and do a Max HR test.

    After a rest, get back on the upright bike and find out what power you output at 80% MHR.

    Then get both bikes and do a 'freewheel downhill test' and determine the bikes' Roadload curves, and Coefficients of Drag.

    Draw the two curves and see HOW MUCH FASTER the road bike is over the MTB for the power you got at 80% MHR.

    Then pick a speed and see HOW MUCH MORE EFFICIENT the road bike is over the MTB.
  13. PK99

    PK99 Guru


    don't you just hate people like that - apparently one guy in our club years ago used to pull alongside someone really struggling on a long hill - and whistle!

    But, reverting to topic, I found switching from MTB (with semi slick tyres) to even a Tricross made a tremendous difference. far more responsive than the MTB and far more reward when putting in extra effort which seem to translate into more speed far more effectively.
  14. GrasB

    GrasB Veteran

    Nr Cambridge
    I did something similar with an MTB on knoblies & on slicks both at maximum pressure, for the same HR the bike was about 10% faster on the slicks.
  15. ward-c

    ward-c New Member

    i bought an allez sport and its a fabulous bike, really comfy. but i had a near miss the other day and its put me right off- am thinking of selling it.
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