/ A little advice for a newbie...
Ok, ok. So I realise that these questions have probably been done to death and if I used the search function I might get to the answer BUT I have some specific questions which I feel merit my own thread.
I've been a runner all of my life but I'm a reasonable swimmer and I commute to work on a very old peugeot bike.
I'm entered into a big triathlon this coming summer (A little less than a half iron man) and need to get a bike for this but also 'cos I'd like to get into this more. I'm pretty clear that I don't need a pure triathlon bike.
So, I'm looking at entry level bikes and have narrowed it down to these:
Specialized Allez or Secteur
Giant Avail or Defy comp3
Finally, as I will be using this bike for occassional triathlons and commuting am I better getting pedals with toe baskets or clip ins?
All these bikes look nice enough. As they all come in various specs it difficult to say which is likely to offer the best bang for your buck without a lot of research but Specialized has a good name.
Defiantly clip-in pedals - look keo system would be my choice for tri but spud shoes would be better for commuting as you can walk in them a lot easier once you arrive at work.
Any of those will be good, although some of the less well known makes may be better value e.g. Moda. The most important thing with a road bike is fit, so make sure you go to a good shop that will fit for you, and also ride a range of bikes, it's amazing the difference 0.5 degree geometry changes make.
I would go with clip-in pedals, as a show that's good to run in will be useless on the bike and vice versa over the distances you will be doing, also triathletes tend to leave their bike in the change over point with the shoes already clipped in (but loosened off, then you can jump on the bike, pedal off with feet on top of the shoes, and once moving get your feet in and then tighten the shoes (this may not be necessary depending on the event as some have mandatory change over times (i.e. you must take a set time to pass through the change-over.
Firstly clipless pedals are the way forward, SPD or SPD-SL are generally best value for money but choice is yours.
The Allez is basically a Aluminium (and much cheaper) version of the Tarmac and so has quite sporty geometry.
Just try some out is the best advice though.
Thanks everyone for the advice so far even if it is contradictory ;-)
Trying anything out is a challenge at the moment due to -25c conditions and permanent snow and ice cover. Won't be until April before the roads clear. Perhaps an indoor roller would work?
Don't help me with the fit though, does it?
I think I'm erring on the side of the Secteur. I think the more "upright" geometry will suit me better.
Now, about those pedals......
I was answering this part, having done biathlon/langlauf, races and triathlons there is good cross over between the disciplines, and I would certainly be skating around for fitness
> I was answering this part, having done biathlon/langlauf, races and triathlons there is good cross over between the disciplines, and I would certainly be skating around for fitness
Thanks. I Certainly X country ski and skate but I'm a bit pants at the latter mainly due to ill fitting boots (yes, I realise there's an answer for that).
Now, back to the pedals........
I've got the basic secteur triple - as an entry to road biking and i've been very impressed, it was recommended to me because of the upright geometry as i want to use it for all day stuff, but it is very comfy and nice to ride. I've got some basic spd's on it - just fit for my needs
Thanks. Looks like this will be the one.
I have a Allez which is a few years old now (2010). Good bike for the money comfortable but fairly sporty geometry, so fairly quick. Entry level groupset (mainly Sora) which is starting to feel a bit rough now on its 3rd winter of commuting. The wheels (well hubs anyway) are also a mess as they are cheap with minimal sealing.
Can fault the value for money aspect as it was pretty cheap, Spez are 10 to a penny & every other rider seems to have one, as long as you don't mind that then they represent good value for money.
Get clipless pedals, far more efficient than flats or toe clips. Road versions tend to have larger pedal/cleat area so offer more support.
Thanks. It looks like road style clip less pedals are the way forward.
Haha I was going to ask if you wanted to buy my Sectuer Triple off me...then I looked at your profile :)
> Thanks. It looks like road style clip less pedals are the way forward.
I should say that road style spds/clipless shoes and pedals offer more support, but at the expense of being able to walk as the shoes are much stiffer than mtb shoes with cleats. You develop a pengiun like walk to cope with it, bit like wearing ski boots, but you can't walk any distance with them on.
> Haha I was going to ask if you wanted to buy my Sectuer Triple off me...then I looked at your profile :)
Sure, so long as you pay the shipping ;-)
> I should say that road style spds/clipless shoes and pedals offer more support, but at the expense of being able to walk as the shoes are much stiffer than mtb shoes with cleats. You develop a pengiun like walk to cope with it, bit like wearing ski boots, but you can't walk any distance with them on.
I think this is why some triathlon participants go for the MTB style but I've also read that this is a mistake and most will go to the road style in the end.
I bought the basic Allez a few years ago for similar reason. Good bike but because it only has an 8 speed hub, I've been told that an upgrade to Tiagra or 105 groupset would be relatively expensive (the Sora system is a bit rough) as the entire system would need changing. In hindsight, I wish I'd spent the extra £150 or so and gone for the next model up
I have a 2010 Secteur (triple) and am very pleased with it. I've not done triathlons (tho' I may have a go at the sprint distance this year) but I have ridden it on several 100k sportives.
I find it a very comfortable bike for longer rides - the slightly shorter toptube enables a more upright (or less 'stretched out') positioning compared to the Allez. Several friends of mine have the Allez in the same size as my Secteur and I certainly notice the different position.
Mine has Alex rims and cheapo hubs - comparatively heavy and, as others have said, the hubs are not well sealed, so may not last as long as higher quality ones.
Brakes - unbranded (I'm told they're Tektro) are fairly pish! Quality pads improved them somewhat, but I bought some S/H 105s off Ebay which are a whole lot better.
Finally - shifters. My Secteur is equipped with Shimano 2300 groupset. The brake lever/shifter in 2300s has a small thumb trigger on the side of the hoods for shifting to smaller ring. Consequently you can only make such changes with hands on the hoods, not on the drops - might not be great if you're trying to stay aero in a triathlon. I don't know if current bikes still have this system.
As ever, best to have a test ride before parting with your hard-earned!
Plus if you are upright it will be a pain in the arse when you add clip-on tri bars. This IS something that you want to do - tri bars back a measurable difference on anything longer than a Sprint race.
Choice of pedals doesn't matter - buy tri specific bike shoes (one velcro strap) run (with bike) barefoot to the mount line, jump on, pedal, slip foot into shoe, tighten velcro = job done.
Was recomended to get Look style pedals as the easiest to get in and out off.
you can get a feel on rollers, you could even by some rollers and get ahead...
as others have said the specialized has got good geometry and cool funny shaped tubes, apparently the less like 4 standard cylinders welded together the better.
very serious cyclists tell me that anything less than shimano 1020 is lame and will wear out. But once i realised that the groupset was £350 i got a wake up call. But the specialized unless you see a really good deal.
Check out on one, surley and genesis before you spend your hard earned beer tokens on a lump of plastic or even worse al.umi..n..i
I can't even bring myself say it.
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