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?