Which catagory of Bike suits my needs

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Funka, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. Funka

    Funka New Member

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    I apologise for having already posted this thread in the "buying guide" however feel as though it is equally as relevant within this forum...

    Hi, im am an 18 year old living in the north east and looking to buy a decent bike for this spring that will let me get around the local country side's roads and out and about for distances up to about around 40km a day. I also hope to try the coast to coast but aim to travel as light as possible. I am looking to spend at most £700.
    However i am also off to uni next year and would like a bike which would not be unsuited to university travel.

    The options i am considering are Road, Cyclocross and Tourer bikes; each with their own advantages and disadvantages for how i intend to use the bike.

    I would like a bike which is most like a road bike; with dropped bars and a light frame. However i feel as though a pure racing bike would be unpractical at university and therefore have considered tourers and Cyclocross bikes, of which at the minute Specialized Tricross appeals to be the most appealing.
    I also am unsure as to how much riding a tourer would affect the speed and distances i could achieve if i was only out for an afternoons ride, traveling light - i dont want to end up with a bike that feels too clunky and does not have a good range of gears.

    If anyone could please point me towards any other styles of bikes which may suit me more it would be much appreciated, or if anyone has any other solutions to my needs?
    Such as buying a two cheaper bikes such as a £500 road bike and a £200 bike for university needs.

    Thanks again
    Sam
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. I recall reading that the highest bicycle thefts are in University towns in England ...

    So, you probably want to spend closer to £100 for whatever you can find at a thrift shop for whatever you end up taking to university than £200 that you have budgeted.

    I recommend you choose a "touring" bike (I'm presuming drop bars + a fender friendly frame) as your second bike -- a USED bike may be a good choice for you.
     
  3. Funka

    Funka New Member

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    Thanks, so that clears that up - this bike will not be for uni!
    So, my imagination of Tourers is that they are significantly bulkier than Road bikes; is this wrong? In other words - by buying a tourer isit possible to not eliminate myself from being able to enjoy many of the thrills that i look for in Road cycling. (I have had the experience of riding my dads old Raleigh Road bike (1980's ish)- it has a lovely short wheelbase and feels like nothing under me when i ride it and i am looking for a bike that will give the same 'free' feeling')

    Thanks again
     
  4. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Well, you know something which a lot of people under 50 years of age just don't seem to know -- that a steel frame (from the 80s, and other vintages, earlier-and-later) often provides a really nice riding bike ...

    FWIW. One frame that I bought (circa 1980 -- I still have it) was a FUJI S12-S LTD ... it had the same tubing as the "racing" frames which FUJI made, but it was classified as for "light touring" -- 73º head & seat tube angles, more tyre clearance to allow for fenders + slightly longer chain stays and (therefore) a slightly longer wheelbase than its racing brethren -- a great riding frame ...

    It was one of many light touring bikes which seemed to vanish as a category when "touring" bikes with braze-on bosses for cantilever brakes appeared; but, many of the "racing" bikes from the 80s continued to have more clearance than most of today's "racing" bikes ...

    With the components I used to build it up my Fuji, it weighed under 22 lbs (at least a pound heavier than a bike set up for racing which might have been made with super light tubing ... and, my Fuji was definitely porky by today's standards).

    Why don't you look for an 80s vintage, steel bike that you can retrofit with contemporary components?

    FYI. The 126mm rear spacing is easily tweaked to 130mm using only your upper body strength by applying whatever you estimate to be 30lbs of force ... measure & repeat until the dropouts are 130mm apart ... the dropouts are aligned by sandwiching the dropouts between two small scraps of plywood & very gently tweaking the dropouts with a pipe wrench.
     
  5. roadhouse

    roadhouse New Member

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    i'd get a good up to date used cyclocross bike. you can put a road wheelset on a cross bike (if you want the more complete road appeal from time to time) so it's a two-fer and perfect for your needs or so i'd have to imagine.
     
  6. Funka

    Funka New Member

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    Thanks again; any tips of how to find second hand bikes - from talking to a guy in a local shop he said you've just got to keep checking the internet and magazines...

    Thanks for your opinion - it looks like if i cant get something nice second hand then i'll buy the tricross - which appears to be one of the cheapest cyclocross bikes available.
     
  7. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the internet (eBay, etc.), thrift shops, "yard" sales.

    A very good frame in good condition might cost you about £150 ... £300 will get you a supposedly great frame (e.g., a used Colnago, Pinarello, etc.) in good condition.

    Of course, you can buy a complete bike for those amounts, too ... if you find a Fuji made with their 331 tubing, you might only have to pay about £200-or-less for a complete bike ... but, maybe a knowledgeable seller would want more for just the frame/fork.

    It just depends on how much you really want to spend at this point in time and how patient you are in your search ...

    The lesser quality steel frames will weigh more, but the ride will only be different in meaningful way if the geometry is different (which it may well be) ... the head tube angle & fork offset matter the most, IMO ...

    When you buy an older, steel frame, be aware of the brake caliper's "reach" between its mounting bolt and the rim's braking surface ... a really long reach is inconvenient unless you are 'okay' with using the calipers which are on the frame ... a 60mm-or-longer reach was common on pre-1985 frames (bring a tape measure).

    Also, be aware of the rim/tyre size -- 27" is okay, but there are fewer tyre tread choices & sizes ... 700c is the current 'norm' and there are more tyre choices than you can imagine ...

    You can mount 700c wheels in a frame which has 27" wheels ... less often, you can mount 27" wheels in a frame which was made for 700c wheels ...

    FYI. A 27-1.25 tyre has an equivalent circumference to a 700-32 tyre.
     
  8. roadhouse

    roadhouse New Member

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    i'd also suggest calling as many bicycle stores as you can find in your town and ask them if they sell used bikes. some of the smaller, non corporate ones just might.
     
  9. randochap

    randochap New Member

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    Touring bike, or if you want to stay a little lighter, look for a sport tourer, or what in your country is often called an "audax" bike.
     
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