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tboy

Tour De France Fan, Now Thinking Of Getting A Racer

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Not been particularly into cycling, but having thoroughly enjoyed this years Tour de France I'm thinking of getting a road bike....seems there's tons of different makes, any good pointers? Money's not really a problem but reckon 500-750 or so is about as much as I should really spend. 6'1" and 16.5 stone so it better be sturdy !! Relatively fit and cycled a lot in the past on my mountain bike, never racers though. Any experts out there?

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Not been particularly into cycling, but having thoroughly enjoyed this years Tour de France I'm thinking of getting a road bike....seems there's tons of different makes, any good pointers? Money's not really a problem but reckon 500-750 or so is about as much as I should really spend. 6'1" and 16.5 stone so it better be sturdy !! Relatively fit and cycled a lot in the past on my mountain bike, never racers though. Any experts out there?

If you're used to mbx, don't forget that a racer is very fragile in comparison - especially the wheels. No bunny hopping the kerbs!!

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Not been particularly into cycling, but having thoroughly enjoyed this years Tour de France I'm thinking of getting a road bike....seems there's tons of different makes, any good pointers? Money's not really a problem but reckon 500-750 or so is about as much as I should really spend. 6'1" and 16.5 stone so it better be sturdy !! Relatively fit and cycled a lot in the past on my mountain bike, never racers though. Any experts out there?

I'd spend a little bit more than that if you can. Aside from finding something that's comfortable, there's a number of things to look out for:

- you want the most rigid frame you can afford, that way the power makes it to the road and doesn't get wasted on bending the frame. Carbon fibre is best.

- unless you're planning on cycling up lots of mountains, weight isn't the be all and end all of what makes a good road bike.

- the thinner the tires, the less rolling resistance but bear in mind the really skinny slicks are lethal in the wet or even on white lines on the road in the dry.

- get clip-less peddles and cycling shoes from day one, makes a huge difference. Shimano SPDs are easy to use and are compatible with almost all cycling shoes. You'll need to buy some suitable peddles separate from the bike (good bikes usually come with rubbish peddles as they expect you to chuck them in the bin and put your own on).

- try a few different saddles (you can get your ar5e measured amusingly enough to find the righ width). Unlike a mountain bike, you'll spend a lot of time sitting on it so a crap one will really hurt after a while.

- I prefer 7 or 8 speed blocks myself, they seem more settled when in gear but most higher end bikes seem to have 10 speed ones on these days.

- don't go to halfords!

- don't buy over the interweb unless you're prepared and able to do a full setup yourself, much better to pay a few quid more and get it from a decent shop.

- try a few bikes out and find one that's the right size _and_ shape for you - you can't go on frame size alone since the geometry varies quite a bit and depending on how long your arms are, some will fit and some won't.

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Guest theboltonfury
I'd spend a little bit more than that if you can. Aside from finding something that's comfortable, there's a number of things to look out for:

- you want the most rigid frame you can afford, that way the power makes it to the road and doesn't get wasted on bending the frame. Carbon fibre is best.

- unless you're planning on cycling up lots of mountains, weight isn't the be all and end all of what makes a good road bike.

- the thinner the tires, the less rolling resistance but bear in mind the really skinny slicks are lethal in the wet or even on white lines on the road in the dry.

- get clip-less peddles and cycling shoes from day one, makes a huge difference. Shimano SPDs are easy to use and are compatible with almost all cycling shoes. You'll need to buy some suitable peddles separate from the bike (good bikes usually come with rubbish peddles as they expect you to chuck them in the bin and put your own on).

- try a few different saddles (you can get your ar5e measured amusingly enough to find the righ width). Unlike a mountain bike, you'll spend a lot of time sitting on it so a crap one will really hurt after a while.

- I prefer 7 or 8 speed blocks myself, they seem more settled when in gear but most higher end bikes seem to have 10 speed ones on these days.

- don't go to halfords!

- don't buy over the interweb unless you're prepared and able to do a full setup yourself, much better to pay a few quid more and get it from a decent shop.

- try a few bikes out and find one that's the right size _and_ shape for you - you can't go on frame size alone since the geometry varies quite a bit and depending on how long your arms are, some will fit and some won't.

After the Tour of 2007, I got the bug and bought a Specialized Allez. Then we had a baby and I sold it last month. A story many men will share up and down the country no doubt.

Great bike though.

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- don't go to halfords!

funny you say that...I just read this review for a Boardman Comp, which sounded good, but they only sell it in Halfords...some of comments pointing out that the state Halfords give you the bike in is practically lethal !

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Not been particularly into cycling, but having thoroughly enjoyed this years Tour de France I'm thinking of getting a road bike....seems there's tons of different makes, any good pointers? Money's not really a problem but reckon 500-750 or so is about as much as I should really spend. 6'1" and 16.5 stone so it better be sturdy !! Relatively fit and cycled a lot in the past on my mountain bike, never racers though. Any experts out there?

I`m a bit of a roadie ( for the past 10 years or so ) so here is my 2 cents worth.

If you are really that weight I would recommend a steel frame. The style of frames vary a bit depending on the type of riding you want to do. Obviously the tour riders have the top end racers but if you are just starting and looking to get fit then you might look at an Audax or Touring bike.

A touring bike will be stronger, heavier, take mudguards and have a more relaxed riding position, making it more comfortable.

An audax bike is a bit of a halfway house between a racer and a tourer and will be be able to take a rear rack and narrow guards but will keep some of the nimble handling of a racer.

A nice site to look at is Mercian They will probably be out of you price range but you`ll get an idea about what I mean.

If it was me I`d be looking in the local classifieds for something like an Orbit or a Dawes for a couple of hundred quid or if you go to a bike shop see if you can get a model from last year on sale.

The changers, brake calipers, axles etc often come in manufacturer "group sets". Personally I prefer Campagnolo over Shimano purely on the way the gear change lever operates, and I agree with the previous poster that 8 or 9 sprockets on the rear whell and 2 chain rings is plenty.

As for saddles well your guess is as good as mine. I find most modern saddles not very comfy at all even with gel in them. In fact the only comfy sadle I have is a Brooks leather saddle which cost about £40 and is a bit on the heavy side. It`s okay though as it`s on my day tourer.

If you go for clipless pedals, well I`ve tried "Look" and "SPD`s". I think Look are better for racing bikes, but you can`t walk very well as the cleats are a lump of plastic screwed to the bottom of the sole.

SPD cleats are inset into the sole of the shoe so you can walk about okay but I find them trickier tp clip in and out of.

The best shoes ( for me ) are Sidi and use them on my racer with Look pedals. I also have some very nice Specialized Taho with SPD pedals on my day tourer.

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After the Tour of 2007, I got the bug and bought a Specialized Allez. Then we had a baby and I sold it last month. A story many men will share up and down the country no doubt.

Great bike though.

Every cloud has a silver lining. Too much riding apparently makes you infertile. You win this one. ;)

Edit: Post 4000 and I didn't even mention boobs or poop. :(

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Buy second-hand for half the price - the UK is full of boys who pay a grand for a bike, use it for a few weeks and then try to flog it on eBay when they are bored with it.

Get yourself a good NEW helmet and gloves.

Shave all your body hair off. :rolleyes:

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Boardman all the way if you want the best bike for the money. I'm basing my opinion on their mtb's but no doubt the road bikes are the same. Specs and geometry are unbeatable in the price range,

Halfords bike staff are hit and miss (allegedly). Personally I'd visit your local store and speak to them about the bike in question. You'll soon know if they're the real deal.

You're definitely going the right way about it imo though. Best of luck.

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1 - Get measured.

A proper cycling shop will measure you and get you the right size frame.

Do NOT be tempted to buy an off-the-peg model on the day; wait for your frame to be delivered.

2 - Get road rims and tyres. Dont end up buying a 'flash' bike that you cant ride over a bump.

3 - Saddles are the most important thing. You might like the look of a pro-razor saddle but they will cut your b*llox off if you are not used to them.

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Shave all your body hair off. :rolleyes:

I have to say I see a lot of City lads commuting wearing lycra shorts and these don't go well with hairy legs and ordinary trainers.

I assume pro cyclists shave, due to the need for frequent massage or physio therapy rather than aerodynamics

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I have to say I see a lot of City lads commuting wearing lycra shorts and these don't go well with hairy legs and ordinary trainers.

I assume pro cyclists shave, due to the need for frequent massage or physio therapy rather than aerodynamics

Am sure I read in Lance Armstrong's book that he shaved his legs so that when he fell off his bike it was easier to pick the gravel out...dunno if he was being facetious or not...

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Am sure I read in Lance Armstrong's book that he shaved his legs so that when he fell off his bike it was easier to pick the gravel out...dunno if he was being facetious or not...

He was being serious I think.

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Am sure I read in Lance Armstrong's book that he shaved his legs so that when he fell off his bike it was easier to pick the gravel out...dunno if he was being facetious or not...
He was being serious I think.

They shave so that sweat does not linger on their bodies and freeze on long downhills.

The same reason they stick newspapers down their shirts on downhills - the sweat can freeze.

Its to avoid the 'wind chill' thing.

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Guest DisposableHeroes
They shave so that sweat does not linger on their bodies and freeze on long downhills.

The same reason they stick newspapers down their shirts on downhills - the sweat can freeze.

Its to avoid the 'wind chill' thing.

A bit more aero dynamic too.

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Guest DisposableHeroes

Road mud guard might spoil a nice carbon road bikes lines, but it looks more stupid with mud up your back and in your face.

Shimano Tiagra, looks achievable with your budget. Try wiggle (focus bikes http://www.wiggle.co.uk/c/cycle/7/Road_Bikes/) or ribble (own band bikes very good). Focus bikes were used by one of the teams in the tour.

Both offer good value.

Only snag with Wiggle is that your neighbours think your incontinent, when your Nice big branded box turns up.

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They shave so that sweat does not linger on their bodies and freeze on long downhills.

The same reason they stick newspapers down their shirts on downhills - the sweat can freeze.

Its to avoid the 'wind chill' thing.

Hmm...I feel you have made that up... ;)

Shaving legs reduces the friction between your leg and the ground when you fall off (which will happen sooner or later if you ride a lot), the hair has a habit of literally pulling skin off. Also helps for recovery, reduces chances of infection and also pain involved in removal of plasters/dressing.

The aerodynamic improvement is negliable.

Also a vanity thing ;)

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Not been particularly into cycling, but having thoroughly enjoyed this years Tour de France I'm thinking of getting a road bike....seems there's tons of different makes, any good pointers? Money's not really a problem but reckon 500-750 or so is about as much as I should really spend. 6'1" and 16.5 stone so it better be sturdy !! Relatively fit and cycled a lot in the past on my mountain bike, never racers though. Any experts out there?

As for what bike to go for, I'd recommend getting yourself measured up to find out what size suits you, and then keep an eye out on ebay. Can get a quality spec bike on there for £300-£400. Good makes, there are indeed tons of makes, Specialized, Trek, Giant, Bianchi are all generally decent.

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As for what bike to go for, I'd recommend getting yourself measured up to find out what size suits you, and then keep an eye out on ebay. Can get a quality spec bike on there for £300-£400. Good makes, there are indeed tons of makes, Specialized, Trek, Giant, Bianchi are all generally decent.

Don't buy anything too racy.Think MondeoST rather than Lambo.Tiny tyres are fine and will go a bit faster but a good tourer is the best bet.I bought my Holdsworth (Pet name Reg) in 1977.It cost £199 so was probably quite pricy for its day.I toured France on it twice and once put 105 miles into a day.Trains usually take them for free and it's a good day out to go 40 miles or so then ride back.Use country lanes.

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They shave so that sweat does not linger on their bodies and freeze on long downhills.

The same reason they stick newspapers down their shirts on downhills - the sweat can freeze.

Its to avoid the 'wind chill' thing.

That would explain the all over body shaving. Also perhaps easier to detect injury after a crash too. Racing suits not much protection in the event of a spill at 40mph (or insulation).

Still sore from my 20 mile cycle into London yesterday and partially back again but I was knackered by Ilford and put the bike on the train, back to Gidea. I need a decent tourer. My modified MTB, with even with slicker tyres is hard work.

I'm even thinking of getting some electric assistance! That last few miles from Goodmayes/Chadwell Heath really knacker me out, even though its only a very gradual climb out of London.

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I'm even thinking of getting some electric assistance! That last few miles from Goodmayes/Chadwell Heath really knacker me out, even though its only a very gradual climb out of London.

Ah, we may have a convert! Have a look at this forum for lots of information and advice : http://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/

The even have some (relative) :P youngsters on there.

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