Opinions/suggestions for new bike?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Gareth Crawshaw, Apr 27, 2003.

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  1. Hi.

    A year ago I bought the cheapest mountain bike the local sports centre had to offer (to the
    disappointment of the sales assistant!), the idea being that if I didn't use it again after a week,
    it would not have been such a waste of money. A year on, I am out most days on roads, covering 20-25
    miles (although there is scope around for much longer rides).

    So now I am looking to replace the old thing with a decent road bike (and put and end to the other
    road bikes speeding past!), so... any suggestions? Local dealers seem to stock only Trek, Cannondale
    & Marin. For up to £1000 (one dealer offered a Trek 1500 for £1100 - not quite 10% off - although
    they would have to order the correct framesize... is it worth it over the 1200?), is there anything
    else anyone would consider/recommend (and where)?

    Thanks...

    Gareth
     
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  2. Clyde Ingram

    Clyde Ingram Guest

    Gareth,

    > So now I am looking to replace the old thing with a decent road bike (and put and end to the other
    > road bikes speeding past!), so... any
    suggestions?
    . . .
    > is there anything else anyone would consider/recommend (and where)?

    Only the Raleigh Randonneur

    Regards, Clyde
     
  3. Dave

    Dave Guest

    "Clyde Ingram" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Gareth,
    >
    > > So now I am looking to replace the old thing with a decent road bike
    (and
    > > put and end to the other road bikes speeding past!), so... any
    > suggestions?
    > . . .
    > > is there anything else anyone would consider/recommend (and where)?
    >
    > Only the Raleigh Randonneur
    >
    > Regards, Clyde
    >
    >
    ....or, save a fortune and get an old 'racer' out of your local press for....hmmm...around £25.
    Then, if you really need to you could wack some half decent stuff on it for maybe another hundred if
    it needs it. There are some real bargains to be had out there. If you get the gears right and you're
    fit enough, there's no reason why any 'modern' road bikes should pass you ;-) Dave.

    p.s. - no, honest.....
     
  4. For £1000, I'd be looking to have one custom made. There's no comparison to a bike that fits
    perfectly and has all those little braze-ons that you 'just need'.

    Regards,

    Pete.

    ---------------------------
    Peter Connolly Derby UK

    "Gareth Crawshaw" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi.
    >
    > A year ago I bought the cheapest mountain bike the local sports centre had to offer (to the
    > disappointment of the sales assistant!), the idea being that if I didn't use it again after a
    > week, it would not have been such a waste of money. A year on, I am out most days on roads,
    > covering 20-25
    miles
    > (although there is scope around for much longer rides).
    >
    > So now I am looking to replace the old thing with a decent road bike (and put and end to the other
    > road bikes speeding past!), so... any
    suggestions?
    > Local dealers seem to stock only Trek, Cannondale & Marin. For up to £1000 (one dealer offered a
    > Trek 1500 for £1100 - not quite 10% off - although they would have to order the correct
    > framesize... is it worth it over the 1200?), is there anything else anyone would
    > consider/recommend (and
    where)?
    >
    > Thanks...
    >
    > Gareth
     
  5. "Peter Connolly" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > For £1000, I'd be looking to have one custom made. There's no comparison
    to
    > a bike that fits perfectly and has all those little braze-ons that you
    'just
    > need'.

    [snip]

    Hi Peter

    Thanks for that bit of advice... any idea/suggestions as to what I should expect for a custom bike
    around that price (or any good places to browse)?

    Gareth
     
  6. Kit Wolf

    Kit Wolf Guest

    Gareth,

    It sounds as if you're pretty serious about cycling, but I'm still not exactly sure what you need
    the bike for. For example, do you think you'll eventually want to race competetively? By longer
    rides do you have in mind Audax or touring?

    Kit

    > Hi.
    >
    > A year ago I bought the cheapest mountain bike the local sports centre had to offer (to the
    > disappointment of the sales assistant!), the idea being that if I didn't use it again after a
    > week, it would not have been such a waste of money. A year on, I am out most days on roads,
    > covering 20-25 miles (although there is scope around for much longer rides).
    >
    > So now I am looking to replace the old thing with a decent road bike (and put and end to the other
    > road bikes speeding past!), so... any suggestions? Local dealers seem to stock only Trek,
    > Cannondale & Marin. For up to £1000 (one dealer offered a Trek 1500 for £1100 - not quite 10% off
    > - although they would have to order the correct framesize... is it worth it over the 1200?), is
    > there anything else anyone would consider/recommend (and where)?
    >
    > Thanks...
    >
    > Gareth
     
  7. "Gareth Crawshaw" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Peter Connolly" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > For £1000, I'd be looking to have one custom made. There's no comparison
    > to
    > > a bike that fits perfectly and has all those little braze-ons that you
    > 'just
    > > need'.
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    > Hi Peter
    >
    > Thanks for that bit of advice... any idea/suggestions as to what I should expect for a custom bike
    > around that price (or any good places to browse)?
    >
    > Gareth

    Well I got a Pinarello Equiped with Centuar for this price. And I have been delighted with it. I
    previously had a 653 ultegra (and I still prefer ultegra) - I certainly noticed a difference in
    Riding the Pinarello - much more responsive.

    There seems to a trend at the moment to stay that a new bikes won't feel any different - well that
    is absolutley not my experience !

    I got if from JE James in Derby.

    Of course you could get a none name alumunuim bike of similar spec for probably a bit cheaper - some
    of the Rondeli's were getting good reviews.

    Let me know if you want any contact details ect.

    Pete.
     
  8. "Kit Wolf" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]...
    > Gareth,
    >
    > It sounds as if you're pretty serious about cycling

    I hadn't thought about it like that, but I do enjoy it!

    > but I'm still not exactly sure what you need the bike for. For example, do you think you'll
    > eventually want to race competetively? By longer rides do you have in mind Audax or touring?

    Longer rides... I live in a small town called Olney... Draw a triangle between Northampton, Milton
    Keynes and Bedford and Olney is slap bang in the middle of it which makes it great for getting out
    into country roads. I have a number of circular rides ranging from 11 miles up to 42 miles (all
    worked out courtesy of Autoroute!). On the (old and very heavy mountain bike) I go out for about
    half an hour in the morning for a seven mile round trip, weekday evenings (3 out of 5?) I go out for
    between 1.25 - 1.5 hours and 2hrs plus at the weekend.

    Every ride is timed (so I am essentially racing against myself every time I go out - so it might be
    fun in the future to start riding against others although I hadn't thought about it before, I
    wouldn't rule it out.) The nature of the routes is such that they are difficult to do back to back
    without doubling the time I am out, which is not always practical (or desirable!) Trouble is, as I
    get faster, the shorter routes get too short. The idea of the new bike is that the longer 25-30 mile
    rides are more accessible to me during the week... (and at the weekend...)

    Gareth
     
  9. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Gareth Crawshaw wrote:
    >
    > Longer rides... I live in a small town called Olney... Draw a triangle between Northampton, Milton
    > Keynes and Bedford and Olney is slap bang in the middle of it which makes it great for getting out
    > into country roads. I have a number of circular rides ranging from 11 miles up to 42 miles

    For a conventional bike to do this it would depend whether you want to carry anything and ride in
    the wet (surfaces, not just rain at the time). If either of those, an Audax bike would fit the
    bill (see the other current thread on the Dawes Audax 02). Otherwise a racer would make life a
    shade easier.

    However, if all you want to do is have an enjoyable burn you can do it in far more comfort on a
    recumbent bike. Something like the Optima Stinger (as ridden by Guy Chapman, a frequent poster here)
    would do just nicely (see http://www.optima-cycles.nl/eng/2-10-1.htm). I ride a recumbent tourer
    (see http://kinetics.org.uk/html/streetmachine.html) but it's better for loaded touring than a quick
    burn. The Speedmachine (details at the same site) would be better for high speed day hacks, but
    costs a bit more. If you've got the money though, these machines are quick, very comfortable with it
    and a *huge* amount of fun.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  10. Gareth,

    At that price, you should expect anything you like. For example, my bike has a nodule to hang the
    chain on whilst removing the rear wheel, two spare spokes which also act as a rear-stay chain
    protector, and small rings on the down tube to tie the lighting circuits to.

    Have a look at Mercian (http://www.btinternet.com/~merciancycleslimited/), George Longstaff
    (http://www.cobr.co.uk/longstaff/index_main.html) or Roberts (http://www.robertscycles.com). There's
    also a good index of lots of cycle and component manufacturers at
    http://www.mikebentley.com/bike/bikemfg.htm

    HTH,

    Pete.
    ---------------------------
    Peter Connolly Acute Computing Derby UK

    "Gareth Crawshaw" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Peter Connolly" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > For £1000, I'd be looking to have one custom made. There's no comparison
    > to
    > > a bike that fits perfectly and has all those little braze-ons that you
    > 'just
    > > need'.
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    > Hi Peter
    >
    > Thanks for that bit of advice... any idea/suggestions as to what I should expect for a custom bike
    > around that price (or any good places to browse)?
    >
    > Gareth
     
  11. N Morgan

    N Morgan Guest

    Gareth,

    I've just moved to Turvey - couple of miles from you. I too ride a MTB on the road - i was looking
    at a road bike as well. But, I wonder about the quality of those lanes and a fragile race bike.
    Lovely place for a ride though.....

    Neil

    > Longer rides... I live in a small town called Olney... Draw a triangle between Northampton, Milton
    > Keynes and Bedford and Olney is slap bang in the middle of it which makes it great for getting out
    > into country roads. I have a number of circular rides ranging from 11 miles up to 42 miles (all
    > worked out courtesy of Autoroute!). On the (old and very heavy mountain bike) I go out for about
    > half an hour in the morning for a seven mile round trip, weekday evenings (3 out of 5?) I go out
    > for between 1.25 - 1.5 hours and 2hrs plus at the weekend.
     
  12. Kit Wolf

    Kit Wolf Guest

    On Mon, 28 Apr 2003 06:19:04 -0700, N Morgan wrote:

    > Gareth,
    >
    > I've just moved to Turvey - couple of miles from you. I too ride a MTB on the road - i was looking
    > at a road bike as well. But, I wonder about the quality of those lanes and a fragile race bike.

    I'd suggest a tourer - fragility isn't a problem and they're still better suited for road riding
    than an MTB.

    Kit

    Lovely place
    > for a ride though.....
    >
    > Neil
    >
    >> Longer rides... I live in a small town called Olney... Draw a triangle between Northampton,
    >> Milton Keynes and Bedford and Olney is slap bang in the middle of it which makes it great for
    >> getting out into country roads. I have a number of circular rides ranging from 11 miles up to 42
    >> miles (all worked out courtesy of Autoroute!). On the (old and very heavy mountain bike) I go out
    >> for about half an hour in the morning for a seven mile round trip, weekday evenings (3 out of 5?)
    >> I go out for between 1.25 - 1.5 hours and 2hrs plus at the weekend.
     
  13. Kit Wolf

    Kit Wolf Guest

    >> Gareth,
    >>
    >> It sounds as if you're pretty serious about cycling
    >
    > I hadn't thought about it like that, but I do enjoy it!

    Perhaps 'serious' was a bad choice...
    >
    >> but I'm still not exactly sure what you need the bike for. For example, do you think you'll
    >> eventually want to race competetively? By longer rides do you have in mind Audax or touring?
    >
    > Longer rides... I live in a small town called Olney... Draw a triangle between Northampton, Milton
    > Keynes and Bedford and Olney is slap bang in the middle of it which makes it great for getting out
    > into country roads. I have a number of circular rides ranging from 11 miles up to 42 miles (all
    > worked out courtesy of Autoroute!). On the (old and very heavy mountain bike) I go out for about
    > half an hour in the morning for a seven mile round trip, weekday evenings (3 out of 5?) I go out
    > for between 1.25 - 1.5 hours and 2hrs plus at the weekend.
    >
    > Every ride is timed (so I am essentially racing against myself every time I go out - so it might
    > be fun in the future to start riding against others although I hadn't thought about it before, I
    > wouldn't rule it out.)

    I was going to suggest a recumbent, as Pete already has. It probably wouldn't be ideal for road
    racing though, which is why I asked this question (it's not that they can't be fast - they're banned
    from the sport). Mine is in the repair shop at the moment, and I have to say I groan whenever I have
    to do any distance on my girlfriend's hybrid.

    > The nature of the routes is such that they are difficult to do back to back without doubling the
    > time I am out, which is not always practical (or desirable!) Trouble is, as I get faster, the
    > shorter routes get too short. The idea of the new bike is that the longer 25-30 mile rides are
    > more accessible to me during the week... (and at the weekend...)
    >
    They're not for everyone, but they're fantastic fun, and ideal for the sort of distances you're
    talking about. I use mine for everything from city traffic to 150 mile rides. If you have time, try
    borrowing a street-machine or challenge hurricane from Bikefix or London Recumbents. I think Pete
    has some recumbent-related links on his website.

    Kit
    > Gareth
     
  14. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Kit Wolf wrote:

    > I was going to suggest a recumbent, as Pete already has. It probably wouldn't be ideal for road
    > racing though, which is why I asked this question (it's not that they can't be fast - they're
    > banned from the sport).

    It depends what sort of racing you want to do. If you have particular aspirations about a sort of
    race then unless it's HPV racing it's quite possible you'd be outlawed. However, if it's *any* sort
    of racing then there are races where a recumbent is not only welcome but entirely normal.

    > They're not for everyone, but they're fantastic fun, and ideal for the sort of distances you're
    > talking about. I use mine for everything from city traffic to 150 mile rides. If you have time,
    > try borrowing a street-machine or challenge hurricane from Bikefix or London Recumbents. I think
    > Pete has some recumbent-related links on his website.

    The main "not for everyone" point is if you are in any way particularly self conscious. If you're
    not happy being an exhibitionist to some degree then you'd either dislike riding one or would only
    get to go out at about 3 in the morning, as you *will* be noticed and commented upon (both
    positively and negatively). No list of 'bent sites on my pages as yet, but a load in my bookmark
    file. Get in touch if you want any.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  15. "N Morgan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Gareth,
    >
    > I've just moved to Turvey - couple of miles from you. I too ride a MTB on the road - i was looking
    > at a road bike as well. But, I wonder about the quality of those lanes and a fragile race bike.
    > Lovely place for a ride though.....

    I don't think that they are too bad (the roads)... From Turvey, you have a good ride up to
    Carlton/Pavenham etc... even up to and around Wellingborough, back down or over to Bozeat - all of
    them are quite good roads - there are a few places where sand and mud end up in the middle of the
    road (which is not really a problem until the winter when your lights are running a little low!),
    but I don't think that the roads are a problem... I often see road bikes out and about... The other
    side of Bozeat I often have seen quite large groups of road bikes, either a club or competition, or
    both... Bozeat, Denton, Grendon, Easton Maudit etc...

    The only thing I don't like about the roads around there is the speed of the traffic. Not many
    cars, but those that there are drive ridiculously quickly (especially between 6:00-7:30AM and
    5:00-7:00PM) ... Between Olney and Yardley, cars go up and down there at over 70 and 80mph (I know
    because I drive along there at a modest 40-50 and am consistently being overtaken at breakneck
    speeds for people to make it in time for the blind bends) which is outrageous for a single
    carriageway country B road...

    Along the main road (A428) between Olney and Brafield, 44 casualties, 10 fatal accidents in three
    years: not bad for a 4 mile stretch of road. I steer clear of the A428 (and the A509 and the one
    past Salcey forest) when possible...

    Gareth
     
  16. "N Morgan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Gareth,
    >
    > I've just moved to Turvey - couple of miles from you. I too ride a MTB on the road - i was looking
    > at a road bike as well. But, I wonder about the quality of those lanes and a fragile race bike.
    > Lovely place for a ride though.....
    >
    > Neil

    Where would you look for a new bike Neil? Bedford?
     
  17. "Peter Clinch" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Kit Wolf wrote:
    >
    > > I was going to suggest a recumbent, as Pete already has. It probably wouldn't be ideal for road
    > > racing though, which is why I asked this question (it's not that they can't be fast - they're
    > > banned from the sport).

    > The main "not for everyone" point is if you are in any way particularly self conscious. If you're
    > not happy being an exhibitionist to some degree then you'd either dislike riding one or would only
    > get to go out at about 3 in the morning, as you *will* be noticed and commented upon (both
    > positively and negatively). No list of 'bent sites on my pages as yet, but a load in my bookmark
    > file. Get in touch if you want any.
    >

    I'm not sure about the recumbents... the roads around can be quite twisty - a lot of blind bends -
    hilly, and quite narrow. As I said in an earlier post, traffic is something that concerns me around
    here: because the number of cars is low, people drive extremely quickly and I have seen many close
    calls with people bumping up embankments (there are no pavements or curbs...) just to get past each
    other in places... So... I'm not sure about the safety aspect of a recumbent on the roads around me
    - although that could be just my lack of knowledge in these things? Plus... cycling in the evenings
    and mornings, especially during the winter, a third of my rides this last year have been in the dark
    (there is no lighting up the country roads!)... Just a thought. Would those considerations have any
    impact on your thoughts about a recument?

    Gareth
     
  18. Kit Wolf

    Kit Wolf Guest

    On Mon, 28 Apr 2003 18:54:03 +0100, Gareth Crawshaw wrote:
    > "Peter Clinch" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >> Kit Wolf wrote:
    >>
    >> > I was going to suggest a recumbent, as Pete already has. It probably wouldn't be ideal for road
    >> > racing though, which is why I asked this question (it's not that they can't be fast - they're
    >> > banned from the sport).
    >
    >> The main "not for everyone" point is if you are in any way particularly self conscious. If you're
    >> not happy being an exhibitionist to some degree then you'd either dislike riding one or would
    >> only get to go out at about 3 in the morning, as you *will* be noticed and commented upon (both
    >> positively and negatively).

    The other day, two whole floors of a double decker bus turned their heads in unison as they passed
    me at a T-junction.

    >> No list of 'bent sites on my pages as yet, but a load in my bookmark file. Get in touch if you
    >> want any.

    Sorry, Pete, I must be thinking of someone else's site.
    >>
    >>
    > I'm not sure about the recumbents... the roads around can be quite twisty - a lot of blind bends -
    > hilly, and quite narrow.

    The hills shouldn't be a problem. You probably wouldn't be able to cycle up them quite as fast
    but it is still possible to get to the top of almost anything without killing yourself, or even
    coming close.

    > As I said in an earlier post, traffic is something that concerns me around here: because the
    > number of cars is low, people drive extremely quickly and I have seen many close calls with people
    > bumping up embankments (there are no pavements or curbs...) just to get past each other in
    > places... So...

    Not my ideal roads on any bike. Once people have seen you on a recumbent they take a bit more notice
    of you. If they zip round a corner straight into you, I don't see it makes much difference what bike
    you're on.

    > I'm not sure about the safety aspect of a recumbent on the roads around me - although that could
    > be just my lack of knowledge in these things?

    There are recumbents and recumbents... On a lowracer your head will be below wing mirror height -
    all the better to avoid decapitation on fast roads but I'm told not so good round town. On a
    highracer like my M5 28/20 you're no lower than a racer on the drops. You can always use a flag so
    people can see you above the hedges, though it will slow you down some.

    > Plus... cycling in the evenings and mornings, especially during the winter, a third of my rides
    > this last year have been in the dark (there is no lighting up the country roads!)... Just a
    > thought. Would those considerations have any impact on your thoughts about a recument?

    Car lights shine into your eyes more - I've never ridden a lowracer at night but I do find this to
    be true for my highracer/touring recumbent, which is still my bike of choice in these conditions.
    But I'm a convert, so I can't do 'objective'.

    Schmidt make a good hub dynamo for recumbent wheels. I can testify mine is a work of art - I haven't
    got it built into a wheel yet.

    Kit
     
  19. "Gareth Crawshaw" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected].de...
    > Hi.

    Thanks everyone for your responses and links... not sure that they have cleared anything up for me,
    but maybe you have saved me some money and given me food for thought before I go out and blow a
    grand on something I might kick myself about later on..! Time to start pondering again....

    Gareth
     
  20. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Gareth Crawshaw wrote:

    > I'm not sure about the recumbents...

    That is, of course, one of the problems with uptake ("if they're so great, how come hardly anyone
    rides them" is a somewhat circular argument...). You either get something you know will work well,
    or risk something that even though it might be better is rather an unknown. I took the risk (very
    glad I did) but I completely understand why people prefer a more traditional solution.

    > the roads around can be quite twisty - a lot of blind bends - hilly, and quite narrow.

    Then you want a bike that handles very well. 'Bents have a lower centre of gravity so a well
    designed one for speed with the weight centred between the wheels can be hurled into tighter corners
    than an upright and come out shining IME. Also the case that the rider position lower down means
    that the brakes can be far more effective.

    > As I said in an earlier post, traffic is something that concerns me around here: because the
    > number of cars is low, people drive extremely quickly and I have seen many close calls with
    > people bumping up embankments (there are no pavements or curbs...) just to get past each other in
    > places... So... I'm not sure about the safety aspect of a recumbent on the roads around me -
    > although that could be just my lack of knowledge in these things?

    For blind bends it doesn't make any difference: if you're round the other side then you can't be
    seen no matter what you're on. As pointed out above, braking on a 'bent tends to be better at high
    speed because there's no tendency to sail over the bars. Visibility of a 'bent is one of the most
    frequently quoted "I wouldn't ride that because" I hear but to an extent the design will affect that
    (mine is car-seat height for the rider) and even the low ones, though they're not best in traffic,
    are far from invisible on the open road. I find I get given *more* space on a 'bent, probably
    because of the "wtf" factor. None of the 'bent riders here seem to have problems with not being seen
    is the bottom line.

    > Plus... cycling in the evenings and mornings, especially during the winter, a third of my rides
    > this last year have been in the dark (there is no lighting up the country roads!)... Just a
    > thought. Would those considerations have any impact on your thoughts about a recument?

    None at all. They'll take lights the same as anything else, and the back of the seat is a nice large
    area to cover in reflectives so you're actually easier to see from behind at night. Mine has a SON
    hub dynamo which is good enough for unlit lanes at night (you need to use the brakes rather more on
    twisty descents, but I could supplement it with battery lights if that was an issue for me) and no
    need for batteries or worrying about them going out.

    Thing to do is give them a try. D-Tek in Cambridge, Bikefix and London Recumbents in London,
    FutureCycles in Surrey and Kinetics in Glasgow are the Usual Suspects for 'bent demonstrators. Can
    be a bit wobbly on the first few goes, but once you've played a bit they're fine. Make a day of it,
    starting on something like an HPV Spirit, and work your way towards the faster stuff. Even if you
    don't end up getting one, you'll have a fun day playing on cool toys ;-)

    Enjoy! Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
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