/ An appeal to the road bikers
I would like to pick the brains of the numerous UKC road bikers please. Im a keen fell runner and have contrived to acquire a nasty spiral fracture of the fibula with a lot of ligament damage. The bone was pinned and plated 3 weeks ago and I'm still early in the recovery and rehab process with no weight bearing. Both orthopod and sports physio anticipate it being months until I run and climb again and maybe a year for fells/ultras. Needless to say what little was left of my sanity is fast disappearing due to lack of exercise.
My physio says I could potentially get in to road biking in a few weeks time and push fitness this way for months before I can run properly so it's obviously a no brainer to go ahead and get a road bike - not something that's ever really appealed to me much but I have often contemplated it over the years as a low impact way to work on fitness (I turn 50 this year) and I guess I'll probably turn out to really enjoy it once I get used to the whole thing.
So I need to buy a road bike suitable for a relative novice (used to commute 20 miles a day on a hybrid town bike but have never been on a "proper" bike as an adult) but that will not end up needing upgrading in a year's time if I get really in to it. Budget is not too much of an issue and I presume a certain amount of getting what you pay for applies but equally I don't want to plunge for an "all the gear but no idea" ridiculously over spec'd machine beyond my needs. Something user friendly and not too hard to maintain would be nice. I would anticipate hills being my thing. Also it would be nice to know what other peripherals to get.
Over to you...... any and all advice very gratefully received
edit - PS I'm Manchester based if you have any specialist shop recommendations and 6'5" if that makes much difference model wise
I'd look at a Dolan or Ribble "winter bike" with mudgards at around £600-700 mark.
On top of that you'll need to budget for...
clip-in pedals £40
2 spare inner tubes £10
bag for above £10
lycra to taste, say shorts, legging, jersey, light wind proof jacket say £200 from decathlon.
You'll definitely be hooked so you might as well spend as much as you can. £1000 is a good starting point - you'll get something good which won't need upgrading staright away.
There's lots of stuff around at that price, carbon frame with similar spec and decent wheels.
I've been riding Dolans for 10 years now. Just like most manufacturers his frames are from the far east but sprayed up in Ormskirk. I'm recommending him because you can have a drive over there and spec something out in person.
Here's the Dolan Etape with Campagnolo Veloce groupset - looks like a very good deal.
Have a look at a range of bikes of different prices, to get an idea of what you get for your money, and maybe ride a few to se ehow you get on size wise, as well as to get an idea of whether you like SRAM/SHimano/CAMPAG shifters etc. (they are all much the same in standard, but have different methods of operation that you may/may not get on with.
You will probably want to go for an Aluminium or steel frame with some carbon forks or similar to take away some of the road buzz. I would expect a good frame like this with a decent set of wheels and good running gear would come in at around £1000. You can get a full carbon frame for this money, but the bits will not be as good etc.
One of the most important things though is to invest in some proper cycling shorts (spend £100+) it will make the world of difference to your riding enjoyment. There are other periferals like this you ought to figure into your budgeting, like shoes & pedals (£100) helmet if you want to use one, get-you-home-lights (essential - you'll feel like using them in murky daytime weather too) some basic spares & tools (folding allen key set, chain splitter, tyre leavers spare tubes etc) set.
The main bike shops in the city centre are Evans (big chain, lots of different brands, variable service), Harry Hall (independent, Trek & Spec, good service) and The Bike Rooms (Porn).
You've not explained that if he does get hooked he'll need (at least) both the bikes we've spec'ed. ;)
There's a certain sweet spot in bikes, it starts around the £800 mark and probably extends to around £2000 after which it really is diminishing returns. You'll find that the £800 - £1000 price range is good value for money due to the Ride-to-Work scheme so if you can use that you'll save a bit of money.
As for what to look out for: most of the big manufacturers - Giant, Specialized, Trek, etc. will have something in that range usually using either Sora or Tiagra (or a mixture) for the drivetrain and brakes. Everything is built to a price and usually the first thing that's sacrificed are the wheels - even bikes at the £2K price bracket often have a basic wheelset and it's usually the thing that gets upgraded first.
Add Planet-X to your list if you're musing.
I like Cookson Cycles north of town and Keep Pedalling (Northern Quarter) because they are big on customer service, spend time with you and do that odd thing where they actually listen to what you need. Keep pedalling are fab because they won't just assume a road bike is what you need, and will challenge you to consider touring bikes, cross bikes etc. etc. Having said that, I've only ever had good service from Evans (Velodrome) but find their flexibility on being able to mix and match bits and bobs to get the bike right for you just isn't the same. Equally nothing bad to say about Harry Halls except they tried to tempt me in with a very much outside my price range Genesis Croix de Fer which I am still coveting.
Might I suggest you ease gently into the idea of cycling by having a go on a static one to make sure it's feasible for your legs to manage that movement. The velodrome watt bike beginner sessions may be a reasonable introduction but you'd need to have a chat with them about the injury first. They are seriously good value for money too!
If you don't want to spend loadsa money then Decathlon do decent bikes. I've got a Triban 3 road bike (£300) but they also do more expensive ones like the Triban 5 (£430) and more. These are good bikes without breaking the bank and spending a grand or two.
Clip in shoes and pedals, helmet and good cycling shorts are all useful, you could easily spend £200+ for these.
Bob knows his onions on such matters!
wow that's great - thanks for all the rapid responses. I can see my inner gear freak is going to have a field day :-)
If I'm only just weight bearing when I start should I be holding off on the clip in pedals to begin with?
Hi to see planet x
I got into road biking for the same reasons, no weight bearing after a running accident.
As a fell runner I would suggest that you get something light and concentrate on hills. The power to weight ratio you have will be a benefit. There is little point getting a cheap heavy bike when you could be embarrassing MAMILs ;)
proper shoes and bib shorts make a big difference.
I was surprised at how much more comfy a "proper racing" road bike was over a relaxed geometry one.
>"If I'm only just weight bearing when I start should I be holding off on the clip in pedals to begin with?"
Yes, the sounds sensible. Just flat pedals and trainer sounds like a plan to begin with. I doubt the leg twist required to disconnect the clip in pedals would be good in the short term.
Also there is the inevitable forgetting you are wearing cleats when you first start. This normally results in some highly amusing falls at junctions and traffic lights, which wouldn't be good for your leg.
Not a good result when you come to a stop ,but haven't mastered getting out of the clips.
I still ,on occasion keel over like a felled tree.
Besides never hurting myself,somebody always seems to have witnessed it.
Someone suggested mudgards, I wouldn't bother with these. Never had then, never been bothered, ridden in all sorts of crap weather.
GPS watch around the handle bars, on a bit of pipe lagging can give you all the speed, distance, altitude data you want, so don't bother with a cycle computer if you already have a garmin.
You will want good leggings if you are going out in sub 10 degrees, shorts if it is warmer. Bib shorts/Bib leggings are better than waist shorts.
Your running waterproof/gloves will do the job, running tights will also work at a pinch.
Get a compact gear setup, (not a standard road setup, which is designed for flat racing), if you want to go up hills. Probably 10 speed, Compact double on the front, 12-28 on the back if you can find it. If you are fit you won't need a triple on the front unless you are planning on going really slowly or riding up Hard KNott pass every weekend.
Get a strava account, I love it, for the first year or so it was why I rode the bike, trying to get KOM's or improve pb's.
Get some waterproof shoe covers if you are planning on going out in the rain. BBB do some good cheap ones in a wetsuit type material.
Don't bother with lights/reflectors unless you are planning on going out after work, and might get caught out by the dark.
Strava relies on everyone being honest.
No use if guys start getting Wiggins to take their phone for a ride
Go to Harry Hall's and test a couple of their aluminium road bikes or even a budget carbon bike; Specialized are particularly user-friendly. You need something with good steady handling and an "endurance" position but don't go for anything too heavy or you just won't enjoy riding it. Budget for some padded shorts (dhb from Wiggle are great value) and a helmet, mitts, eye protection and a jersey (you can wear a Ron Hill top under it) and perhaps a folding waterproof or windproof. Buy snug-fitting clothes that won't flap annoyingly as you'll go quite fast. A track pump will enable to you get the tyres up to 100 lbs. Buy a small saddle bag (Scott are very neat) and a set of tyre levers, a puncture repair kit, a couple of spare tubes and a pocket mini pump for flats when out on the road. Chain lube - Finish Line. Start with flat pedals and progress to SPDs later. A tub of baby talc will lubricate dry rubber and make tyre fitting easy.
You should get at least a 10% discount on the advertised prices.
Ribble in Preston are excellent value but I wouldn't recommend them for a novice as you need a shop for backup and Ribble is more an outlet than a shop. Cooksons in Whitefield are also very good.
Personally I've never spent close to half of that on cycling shorts and have found the pairs I've got super comfy. If you get mid range Decathlon ones you probably don't need to spend much more than 30 quid and they're great. In fact I not spent even close to that on bib tights.
Paul - my only suggestion would be that if you can get a bike with Shimano 105 on it. Riding my road bike is a pleasure over my CX mainly just because 105 is so much nice to use than the Sora on my CX. Lots of people say "get a good frame then you can upgrade components" but that seems odd to me because if you have decent components particularly on a road bike (as compared to getting bashed about on an MTB or CX bike) they're gonna last for years. Get a bike that rides well from the start I reckon. Planet X do sub-a grand bikes with carbon frames and 105 or even ultrega (next step up from 105) which must be worth a look at least!
Yes it does, and that's great. One of my runs recently got flagged as "likely to have been ridden on a bike" one of the options for me to rectify this was "trust me, this is a run" brilliant.
People soon realise that the only people who care about good strava times are the rider who got them, so what's the point of cheating?
No, but you'll quickly run out of friends if you want to ride with other people - and cycling's endlessly more fun with mates.
Sorry to hear about your injury. Get well soon.
Others are better placed than me to supply you with luscious bike porn. I'll just say this: while you're recovering and crazy for some exercise, go upper-body. Using crutches is a brilliant way to get a six pack :-)
Yep - true, my CX is Boardman and I've been pretty happy with it particularly considering it was more than a third off buying it in September.
+1 for mudguards. My club strongly recommend these during winter. It ain't nice hanging on the wheel of someone without one. I had to overtake two mudguardless dudes on Saturday because I was hating the muddy splashing I was getting. If you don't want to be chicked, get mudguards ...
Being serious, though, there are some really lovely friendly clubs full of normal people, not lycra gadget and appearance obsessed folk but normal folk who ride bikes. I love the chance to chat as I ride, and to have someone else responsible for sorting out the route!
£1200 - Ultegra and Aksium wheelset. Or £850 with 105.
That looks nice - but 7.65 kilos with Aksium wheels and Ultegra? - can that be right?
In reply to Enty:
Dolan ( few guys ride them and love them)
Planet X (Sheffield & Barnsley, bang for buck)
then the major players are all worth a look, Giant Defy, Specialized (Allez or Roubaix but not up to speed with them) Trek Domane to name a few
Places such as Cycle Surgery and Evans normally do 0% interest should you want/need that
I would try and make sure you get a group set of 105 (or equivalent) to avoid the need/want to upgrade should you enjoy it. Ultegra is a great option if the bike is within cost.
My other advice with the injury, should you start doing some mileage or feeling discomfort is visit a bike fitter. There is a good one in Manchester but expect to pay £100. Normally I would only suggest if you are in discomfort but this could be a preemptive idea.
Some people thing they are a waste of time, helped with my VMO and shoulder though.
Oh with the mudguards, your choice, majority of people in my club have mud guards which save their own arse and do nothing for the guy behind them, but if group riding it is considerate.
As mentioned think about accessories and DHB from wiggle is a good place for gear.
yeah, agree with this - I've made this error with my first road bike, its a nice bike (specialized secteur) but the parts are not going to run out soon, and having swapped the wheels for something decent I'll find it really hard to justify an upgrade to other parts - wish I'd spent a couple of 100 more at the off.
I would think there are two ways of looking at this:
1)Get an aluminium frame, with good components (& carbon forks) such as the bikes at the more expensive end of the Specialized Allez range- so you have a good bike that will do you for more than just starting out, but won't break the bank.
2)Go for a decent frame, maybe even carbon depending on budget, but with relatively lower-end components, so that upgrading down the line doesn't mean a whole new bike. So for example, as a student, and with help from a friend who could get me a really good deal, I recently upgraded to a BH RC1, but with Shimano 105 components, so down the line I have a really good carbon frame and can just upgrade the drivetrain when I have a 'proper' job and a proper income.
Just my thoughts
You will really enjoy the road biking and with your running your only a short swim from a triathlon ;-), good luck with the recovery.
find a good local bike shop where you will be looked after (big chains like Evans can be very hit and miss). I like Geoff Smith in Bolton
Ask them to adapt or builb a bike to fit YOU. This should ideally be carbon frame, 105 (or if you can run to it Ultegra)components, decent wheels (or hand built 105/ultegra hubs with open pro rims) with stem, bars, crank length, saddle etc sized for you. Have a careful think about how hilly your riding will be when choosing gears, many folk opt for a compact chainset these days, two chainrings but with a big gap to get more gearing options.
105 is a good level of equipment to aim for; if you pay the extra for Ultegra you are just getting the same function but slightly better materials and finish.
> You will really enjoy the road biking and with your running your only a short swim from a triathlon ;-), good luck with the recovery.
Good point, you could save yourself a fortune and just go swimming instead?
Thanks again everybody, I've been overwhelmed with the number of helpful replies and it's given me plenty to look in to and and then agonise over endlessly ;-)
PS like the look and specs of that Dolan bike Enty linked to - how long do packages/offers like that stay around for?
A pair of decent MTB flat pedals with pins in like Superstar Nano pedals and some 5:10 sticky MTB trainers would help with efficiency if you're not going clipless straight away.
I chewed up the sole of some old Guide Tennies with flat pedals so it's probably worth buying some MTB specific shoes.
I keep meaning to go clipless, but a history of dodgy knees is putting me off when they're now trouble free.
Unless I know I'm going out on a bright sunny day there's always a rear light of some description on my bike - even if it's one of those micro LED jobbies that fix with an elastic band to the seatpost. If it turns wet, and there's any spray about it can't do any harm to be a bit more visible to motorists! Virtually all the guys who ride in our club time trial series use a rear flasher - even on super aero TT machines. Don't give a motorist an excuse to say 'I never saw him'. Even so it's no guarantee of safety -- apparently Sir Brad was lit up like the proverbial Xmas tree when he was knocked off his bike just over a year ago by a motorist who 'failed to see him'.
You can't be too careful out there.
Can't fault the wheels or 11 speed Ultegra at that price, but the Rose has an Aluminium frame - so possibly a harsh ride yet not as stiff round the BB area as an entry level Dolan or Ribble Carbon frame.
You pays your money and takes your chance.
And it takes mudguards, so you can keep your arse dry all year round.
Bloody hell! Things have gone mad after my initial musings - it transpires that I only have until this friday to get in a quote via my cycle to work scheme so no time for the meticulous research and time wasting I would normally enjoy. I've therefore put in a quote for Enty's suggestion for now just so as not to lose out on the massive subsidy. Will go over to Ormskirk for fitting etc in a few weeks when it and me are both ready. So a couple more questions if you don't mind:
Given no pedals provided (and temporary need for non clip ins which will hopefully evolve), default wheels etc etc what upgrades should I be paying for myself to optimise things to begin with for a good ride, simple mechanisms and safety? Some people have mentioned drive chain fro instance
Is there any chance this bike simply won't fit/suit me? Obviously I have no tastes/preferences to start off with and just want to pound out some hilly miles - is it jut a matter of good set up? The situation I find myself in is a bit odd - not currently fit to try any models but with a strong incentive to buy straight away. Mind you, even if I could try and compare lots of different bikes I'm not sure I would be in much of a position to judge like I would be with skis or whatever
quite excited about it now - if all comes good, could be cycling within a month or so
Since reflectors are a legal requirement on all bicycles on the road, not the best advice.
Some of the smaller lights are fine for emergency use and: a) hardly break the bank in terms of cost, b) are small enough to leave on the bike in the case of the rear light and put in your pocket for the front. I'd sooner be £50 lighter in the wallet than bear the cost of hospitalisation.
Without actually riding the bike there's no way of knowing if it will suit you or not.
Fit wise, so long as you are truthful with height, inside leg measurement then the frame size is going to be close enough for you. Final adjustments will be done by raising/lowering the saddle and possibly changing the length of the stem (the bit that connects the handlebars to the top of the steerer tube). The only possible complication is that you are on the border between two frame sizes - going for the smaller size might mean that your toes can catch the back of the front wheel, going for the larger size might mean that you are stretched out too much and will put strain on your back.
Actual upgrades: for the bike I'd budget for a set of lights - £50; pedals, you can get touring pedals which are flat one side and clip-in on the other - again £50.
To begin with a pair of trainers will be fine but dedicated cycling shoes will be better in the long run in the same way that you can use a pair of road shoes for fell running but Walshes or Inov8s are better in the long run. As others have mentioned - DHB from Wiggle are decent enough cycling kit so you'll want a couple of pairs of bib shorts (no waistband to dig in while you are leaning forward). Road specific cycling gloves, again at least a couple of pairs.
>"what upgrades should I be paying for myself to optimise things to begin with for a good ride, simple mechanisms and safety? Some people have mentioned drive chain fro instance"
The only thing on that bike that *might* be worth upgrading would the wheels. Basically, the bike is very well spec'ed however really nice wheels are a joy have and are one of the few components you can change that will actually make a diffrence.
The jury is out on whether a nice Mavic wheel upgrade is a sensible thing to do given this is your one and only bike. Generally "good wheels" would be saved for special rides/races/occasions.
If you are going for the bike in Enty's link I would be tempted to upgrade the wheels to the mavic aksiums. I think they are a really good set of wheels which are strong enough to last but light enough not to hold you back.
The rest of the bike I am sure will be fine with some tweaking at the fitting stage as has been mentioned.
Extras you definitely will need are:-
Pump (CO2 mini pumps are great to have but go for a decent mini pump first)
Patches (if you pinch the spare tube putting it in)
These can all be carried in jersey pocket.
I always ride with a flashing rear light on, especially if the sun is low.
Bottle cage and bottle
Dolan might have some cheap/free flat pedals if you are only going to need them for a month or so then get some clipless pedals and shoes.
When you get on the bike work on keeping your cadence high 90rpm as much as you can, that will work your aerobic system but not overload your leg.
Go explore those lanes.
I should add that the Aksiums will become your winter wheels and you will want some summer bling when you get in to it!
There is a chance the bike won't fit - sit on it in the shop and ideally have someone take a picture. Saddle height and position is adjustable but your reach is pretty much fixed within a few stem alternatives so concentrate on getting the frame to fit your preferred riding position. After my first bike purchase, I came to the conclusion I actually wanted a larger sized frame than the 'norm' for my build.
Bastards the lot of you, with your choices of brands, local bike shops etc. Not to mention cheap price, hmph*.
There is lots of good advice above, one addition. Tyre size. Deeper tyres can make a big difference to comfort. My race wheels have 700x20, training (happy) tyres are 700x23. Both with latex tubes (rolling efficiency + less punctures). Ask the bike shop, you may not need to pay for the "upgrade".
Oh, and lights. You need lights. And a decent helmet, they are not all equal (they all meet the standard, some pass, some exceed).
*location Australia, tiny market, limited range etc. we tend to pay over the odds
not sure I like the look of all this lycra though, and do you really HAVE to shave your legs??
Lycra is vital but not in team colours! Shaved legs? What ever floats your boat! I have hairy legs but I also do a bit mtn biking and fell running (wife has banned me too)
I rode for years on the wrong size frame, always too stretched out along the top tube so I could not breathe properly. Saddle and handlebars are adjustable through a wider range than stem length - a short stem causes the steering to get twitchy. I am foot shorter than you so I suspect that you won't have a problem with this, unless very short-bodied, but I'd echo the advice to sit on the bike (and other bikes) to get a feel for the posture.
Some more tips
To help with fit when you are holding the handlebars correctly the front hub should be in line with the handlebars (ie you shouldn't be able to see the hub)
Some lonely male cyclists prefer to shave one leg a day or so before shaving the other; it gives the illusion of sleeping with a woman
Thanks again this has all been very helpful. One last bit of advice please. I live in a Victorian semi in South Manchester (moderate but not terrible burglary levels) with the back being closed off by old fashioned solid wooden gates. Is there any safe and reasonable way of storing a nice bike outside the house in these circumstances. Don't have shed at the moment. Also do you insure your bikes separately?
No - hallway or bedroom.
Insurance for bikes is expensive.
>"Don't have shed at the moment."
I wouldn't be putting my £1000 bike in the shed in an urban area.
Cupboard under the stair?
Yep. Inside the house is really the only option
Insurance wise, I tend to insure them with a 5* policy for the first 3 years (as they are carbon and I don't want to be afraid of riding them hard), and then after 3 years (when the insurance will no longer pay out for full replacement) I put them on a normal household policy.
I am currently paying more to ensure my best 2 bikes than I do for my car
Thanks guys. Maybe I'll hire an ex soviet APC and leave it parked in the drive then bring her down gently to the idea of a bike in the hall :-)
If you take the wheels off it's surprising how little space a bike takes up. I have been known to put my frame either in or on top of the wardrobe. If the wheels are in bags it's almost decorative ... well, maybe not, but at least it protects the walls! I wouldn't even leave a bike in a shed after my brick built one behind a solid wooden garden gate down a gated alleyway was broken into (nothing taken).
How wide is your hallway - or do you have other suitable wall space?
I use a 'cycloc' £50 (so not cheap) but a really neat design for hanging your bike inside... Had to convince my wife the bike was a work of art (it is) and she was actually won over
I got a full out policy from ETA, enough good about them on the internet and the replacement was for new. Keep mine in the house still was more for accidents and liability (get the last one a lot cheaper through brit cycling) cost just under 10% of the bike, so expensive compared to car but if you think you need it or want to avoid home insurance may be worth a look.
My MTB is kept under the stairs, the roadie is in the dining room by the fire out the way, get away with it as I use it 4 times a week. The possible new bike could lead to trouble...
Don't keep it outside. You would be surprised what lengths thieves will go to, even to steal a cheap bike.
Too highlight the contrast.
Here in the island highlands I got up yesterday morning to discover my bike was not in the utility room where I keep it.
Then I remembered.doh.
After the previous evenings cycling ,I cleaned the bike and left it outside to dry.
That was about 8pm ,and I found it standing patiently at the door at 8am ,it's red light still flashing.
Bike cost £3k last year ( Scott Addict) and sat about 10m from the main road all night.
We don't do crime up here ,although someone keeps writing strange things on my muddy van.
Nice - if you left it outside by accident while you had your tea around here there'd be a Coq Sportif track suited bloke with a dodgy 80s perm and an even dodgier tache scooting along the hard shoulder of the westbound M62 just short of Warrington on it before you had finished your chips
Ok a progress report for all you helpful people
I now have a Dolan L'Etape on order in XL with 350mm seat post and will plan to pick up in Ormskirk so they can help with setup and peripherals
Will discuss possible wheel upgrade as suggested above when there (obviously knowing nowt about such things myself). A mate can give me some old pedals until I graduate to cleats
Was thinking to get one of these packs to get me going
What do you reckon? Good value? Would plan pro services in future rather than lots of incompetent self fiddling (fnarr) but clearly need some kit in the field
Have an old helmet from commuting days which should be ok
Maybe get DHB bib shorts and top with all the rear pockets as Bob suggested. Got loads of waterproofs obviously. Any glove recommendations? I used to get v cold hands commuting in winter
Am I missing anything?
Getting very excited about it all now. Will start some mobility/proprioception/strength work on static in next week. Will get even more nagging off the tri crew at my gym now but can't swim for toffee so it ain't going to happen.
Thanks once again for all the helpful advice. Will report back when I'm up and running in Lycra
Good stuff, you won't be disappointed.
just one thing - if you're buying that start up pack to go with your new bike you should definitely buy a new helmet as an old commuting helmet could potentially ruin the whole look ;-)
Ruin the look - I'll have stabilisers and water wings on FFS! Do I need a new helmet?
Post a pic of your old one.
Aldi track mitts are very good value; the winter gloves they had last autumn were good too.
Make sure the stabilizers match then ;0
Enjoy it, was in Dolan today looking at the Ares... damn you Enty for bigging it up so much.
glove wise Planet X often do bundles, but their mitts and flanders gloves saw me through 2 winters. The mitts are now replaced by something far to indulgent, but still good (especially at the price)
For a jersey check out Prendas, really helpful and a different selection normally at some great prices.
Not sure I would get the pack from Dolan, but i've not done the math and nor would I use half the stuff.
my bike essentials -
Lights but get what suits your riding, so you will may want something a bit brighter. (anywhere from 40-180 for front and back)
Tyre levers (few quid for the 3 plastic ones)
Inner tubes (buy 5 for £20)
Bottle cages and bottles (15 quid for 2 of each roughly if you need them, you may have loads from other sports)
Multi tool yes, but I just take a single 5mm out with me as that suits all my bike needs (£)7-20
I hate using a saddle bag, caused seat post rub, encourages you to take more than you need. Jersey pockets do it all.
pump - Get a track pump for home use. I use co2 but each to their own, LifeLine CO2 Tyre Inflator cheap and tiny, buy cartridges from internet/paintball shops for big savings.
Computer - you can pick something up dirt cheap if you just want basics, but if you want stats / maps then their are a other options - in short a luxury item.
Baby wipes - clean your bike especially the chain with them :) or the other halfs face wipes. Makes it a quick job after a bad weather day.
I'm also going to be purchasing my first road bike soon. Have been eyeing up a few machines and came across this on Wiggle, which seems like a good deal (from the little that I have learned). Anyone got any thoughts?
No idea, but Wiggle though often solid with issues seem to crop up as a pain the ass with full bike returns/problems. I would also suggest you can grab more for your money from a load of the bikes listen above. As it is your first road bike I'd suggest go visit a nearby bike store size some up and see if they will compete with an online price.
Do note though I've never used/seen a Moser so my knowledge on them is next to useless
Thanks for the response. I've been looking at the Dolan L'Etape that the OP has decided on. Very tempting. Been trying to find out which groupset would be best. I was set on 105, as this was recommended to me by an experienced rider I know. A 'do all' groupset, as he said. How does the Campag Veloce campare to 105? Are they much the same, coming down to personal preference?
In short personal preference. Both work and have fans, fairly similar groupsets and both are IMO the entry point along with SRAM Rival.
Anything more than Ultegra 6800 (which feels great to use btw) Sram force or Campag Athena is an indulgence, but who doesn't like to indulge.
I've never used the Veloce (used Athena which is a step up), but I know riders who do and are good with it. It generally comes to preference. Campag has a solid feel to it (some would say clunky which is the sound rather than the movement) and the shifters are slightly different with a thumb shifter behind the hoods.
I've used both and like both. I prefer the feel of Campag hoods/brakes, but Shimano just works out the box and does have a more streamline look.
I read recently that Shimano is like owning a Nissan GTR, its solid, it performs but it doesn't excite. I think that bike is what excites.
You don't need a helmet at all. So it's up to you. I wear a cap outside winter, much better.
Thanks for all the advice so far. As the time to receiving the bike gets closer (although I don't know when I'll actually be allowed to use it yet!) I'm turning my mind to getting kitted out. I'll use trail shoes and flat pedals until I'm a bit more mended and then check out clip ins.
From all my other activities I've got base layers, pertex, waterproofs bulging out of the cupboards. I'll probably get a helmet and short and long fingered gloves. Being limited in my ability to get about I might have to shop online. this is where I always have a clothing issue being 6'5", reasonably "athletic" build but long gangly arms and legs. I thought I would start with some bib shorts and a jersey and would go for good quality ones that will last and will be comfortable on my unaccustomed nether regions for long rides. So any recommendations, especially from those of similar measurements? The Wiggle dhb stuff was mentioned by Bob and looks promising in many ways but the sizing charts look like anything long enough will have a very big waist. I know there are lots of tall thin cyclists out there - so whats do you find fits well?
I'm not a cyclist but my other half is a 6'5 athletic but skinny cyclist - he mostly wears DHB, Endura and (more recent purchases) Morvelo kit. I can go and look at labels inside clothes if you like?
that would be really helpful thanks Clare as I will almost certainly take the same size
was looking at
but size chart matches med, maybe just lg for my waist which makes me wonder about length
again wondering about shoulder size, arm length, bagginess
looks like the Morvelo tops and shorts get great reviews so would also be interested in sizing
thanks very much, Paul
His DHB shorts look a lot like those and they're medium, and his Morvelo gilet is Large. He has broad shoulders, waist somewhere between 30 and 32" (he's extra skinny at the moment because of recent diagnosis of being coeliac) and a 35" inside leg if that helps?
Oh and Morvelo kit in particular seems to be cut pretty slim - Mr TC gets annoyed about sportswear flapping about the midriff (he says things are cut for tubby folk, I say they're cut for *normal* folk).
thanks Clare that's great. When I look at a sizing chart and it suggests I might be medium the alarm bells start to ring so it's very helpful to read that.
Anyone use Castelli kit? Is that Assos undercarriage cream a good idea?
Dont stress about the cream unless you need it, unless I do big rides for 4 days in a row then I don't use the stuff.
Castelli is solid, sometimes pricey but I like my stuff. The Gabba jacket is prob the best thing going should you see it at a good price for next winter.
if you are really skinny, keep an eye for race cut gear.
Italian brands tend to be on the harsher sizing, so people will say I take L but went XL and the opposite with some other brands. Wiggle sizing chart on DHB is pretty accurate.
The guys at Prendas are always happy to help if you ask them about sizing too. They have emailed to adjust an order of mine in the past and they were right.
Dhb sizing is pretty much spot on; I'm Mr Average at 6' with a 32" waist (average for a fit person, I mean) and their medium stuff fits me well and snug enough that there's no flapping in the breeze.
Don't go for cheap bib shots with a gel pad; it's horrible and it's sweaty. Spend around £65 to £80 with dhb. You need a pad that's firm and doesn't wrinkle, not a pad that's thick and soft.
Will dhb Aeron Pro bib shorts be good for the job?
Any recommendation for pocket pump? CO2 maybe?
I really need those bib shorts to arrive - 2x45 mins on static bike with racing saddle and I feel like I've had a swimming lesson off Michael Barrymore!
I think you need to adjust your saddle a little.
Is there a Ladybird Book Of Bicycles or the like which I might find helpful?
Yes. You can place it between the saddle and yer arse.
Your arse will toughen up
I could now go 12 rounds with the Village People.
Buns of Steel.
Cripes might indeed have to use the Ladybird book for protection - maybe superglue it in place
A Puffin might be more comfy.
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