Help selecting an entry level road bike

Discussion in 'Sports, Adventure Training and Events' started by the_mentalist, Oct 30, 2007.

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  1. Firstly, sorry if this has been done before, I did a quick search but didn’t come up with much.

    I am hopefully doing a 700mile charity bike ride in May next year in aid of help for heroes.

    I have little or no cycling experience other than to and from work on a cheap mountain bike, and need some help in selecting an entry level road bike.

    I do not want to spend more than about £400 and am therefore happy to look in the second hand market as well as new, the cycle market is a minefield with so much to choose and no idea where to start, so that’s where you guys come in.

    What should I be looking for in the bike? (I know this will open the flood gates to sarcastic comments like; wheels/breaks/saddle etc.....Bearing in mind what the bike ride is in aid of please only give constructive advice) I am 5'7" and have 31" inside leg, what size frame do I need, how many gears, what type of seat, what type of pedals/shoes, what type of bike etc.

    Also if anyone has a bike for sale which would be suitable (within my price range) or if anyone works for a company that would be happy to lend/donate me a bike, then that would be helpful(it is for charity).

    Many thanks T_M
  2. Honda R6. Oh wait....

    Giant OCR, they're the budget version but Ive got one and seems to serve me well (although, Im 60 miles max) mine was about £350ish as I recall.
  3. Would suggest looking on the forums in Cycle Chat and Bike Radar, google them, lots of advice on choosing a bike as well as training etc.

    I would suggest a triple chain ring if new to cycling as the granny ring means you should be able to have a go at hilly bits!. Don't forget that there are many road bikes now with flat bars that may be more suited to you. Not everybody is a lycra clad, doped up pro cyclist!!
    I have found Giant bikes to be well equiped for the price and 2007 models are going with decent discounts in many places. I have recently returned to cycling after a many years and now wonder why I ever stopped. Have fun and enjoy yourself.
  4. Thanks for the reply Arby.

    I have seen them on Ebay, what size frame do I need and what sort of pedals do you recomend? :?
  5. WAH? (by the fact honda dont do R6)
  6. Do not go to Halfords, use your local bike shop - ask a cyclist if you're not sure which one, they'll usually be happy to help - they'll ensure you get a suitable model and that it fits (the amount of people I see on ill-fitting bikes is staggering).

    The problem with road bikes is that as they are not as popular as mountain bikes, the entry level is comparatively high for a new model. If buying new, the best I can think of would be a Trek 1.2 at £470. However, buying this late in the year will mean there will be some bargain 2007 bikes available if you look around. Choose from a larger manufacturer, i.e. Trek, Giant or Specialized etc., rather than a niche company and you should be fine.

    There is no hard and fast rule over what size will fit you, a good local bike shop will help, but with a 31" inside leg you will probably be looking for a frame in region of 52 to 54cm. Try before you buy though as with modern bikes there is more to fitting than seat tube length - reach and standover also need to be considered.

    How many gears you have is a personal choice. A new road bike will have 10 at the back and either a double or triple ring, giving 20 or 30 gears respectively. Double is more reliable and lighter, triple gives you more options if you're struggling on the hills.

    Saddle is trial and error, I won't bore you with ischial tuberosities, but every arrse is different. What works for one person may feel like sitting on a pitchfork for another. For me it's a Fizik Arione, but whatever you choose, don't assume that big and fluffy = more comfort. And wear shorts.

    With pedals and shoes, go clipless, but make sure you get used to them rather than falling off at traffic lights. They're much more efficient and foot friendly than anything else, 700 miles in trainers with clips and straps would not be pleasant.

    Oh, and pop along for a few rides with a local cycle club.

    Hope that helps, and good luck.
  7. Thats great Ottar, thanks :D
  8. Sixty

    Sixty LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. ARRSE Cyclists and Triathletes

    I've got a hybrid (part road bike/part mountain) which I find is an ideal compromise:


    £249.00 so it didn't break the bank. Got it from the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative who make their own.

    Here's their guide to sizing/adjusting etc Click
  9. Some good advice on here already. Get yourself along to your Local Bike Shop. Any decent bike shop will advise you on what size you might need, including reach etc, without any commitment. They should want you to come back and buy accessories etc later even if you don't get your bike from them.

    Remember that the 3 most important factors regarding choosing a bike are getting one that fits you, getting one that fits you and getting one that fits you. For long distances, comfort equals speed/less effort.

    Don't forget also that many Regts own bikes. If you can get on ArmyNet, ask your question on the Army Cycling Union forum. They're a good bunch and shouldnt see you off.

    If you're determined to buy, you might also do well to visit a dedicated forum such as this one:

    They're time trial specialists mostly but as they're also the biggest bunch of spotters that you're ever likely to meet, they should point you in the right direction.
  10. If you are anywhere near Gutersloh, PM me, I know a couple of serious road riders who know all the ins and outs - and more importantly where to get a good set of wheels at the right price.
  11. Some top advice there guys, so you reckon £400 is enough for starters, bearing in mind I going to need other gear like shoes a helmet and padded bum shorts! :?
  12. Thanks mate, but unfortunatly I am UK based. :cry:
  13. If your in the SE:

    There is a shop near Epsom called Corridori, they are good to an amateur cyclist like me yet my mate who is semi pro also buys from them. They have their own website and are worth a look.

  14. Do you have their web address mate?
  15. Cancel my last, I found it. Everything is out of my price range though!!! :oops: