Brands

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
jb
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Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 12:17pm
Location: Clitheroe

Re: Brands

Post by jb »

Apologies for offsetting the thread a little, I just thought the original comment was a bit harsh on someone giving what was clearly their personal experience.
Cheers
J Bro
biketips666
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Joined: 19 Jun 2021, 7:17pm

Re: Brands

Post by biketips666 »

Englishhammer wrote: 19 Sep 2021, 9:12pm
Tangled Metal wrote: 19 Sep 2021, 10:52am The OP said he's been limited to a brisk walk.
Just for clarity on this, this was purely precaution because hospital appointments were like gold dust at the point of diagnosis (a week after the first lockdown started). It’s just taken 18 months to balance the correct medication and play it safe that’s all. I’m relatively fit, 11 stone (ideally should be 1/2 stone less) and things such as blood pressure have never been anything other than normal. It’s purely coming from the unknown to finding my new thresholds really.

So despite extending the lengths of my walks lately, it’s true I will need to build up the strength/endurance again. After reading all these great comments I’m going to go with my head instead of my heart and ignore my road cycling interest for now. I’ll definitely start with something that is a bit universal that can cope with my very short work commutes and the use of my local trails too.
I must admit to being a little confused about your actual medical condition. You may not want to give details about your condition or illness, I understand. But at the moment what we know is that you've seen a cardiologist, who said don't do anything more than a brisk walk, which was "safety" advice pre lockdown. But at the same time you say your BP is normal, your weight appears to be within bounds (depending how tall you are) and you describe yourself as "relatively fit".

"Relatively fit" and "limited to a brisk walk" don't seem to match up, to me. I'm not a doctor so probably won't understand, but what is the specific issue with your heart or CV system?

I'll repeat, depending on the knowledge or experience of the cardiologist, it's important to understand the very great differences in heart rate on different terrain and different cycle speeds. I wear my heart sensor on practically every ride. I'm looking now at the heart rates on a 26 mile ride in a relatively flat part of the country. Pootling along on the flat, or downhill, my HR was in the 120s. A fairly gentle incline got me into the 140s fairly quickly, peaking at 150. On a steep hill near me, average 8% incline, with short sections at 16%, I once hit a HR of 183. I don't mind pushing my heart rate, as I am, according to a consultant who did a very thorough examination in preparation for a drugs trial, "very healthy".

In sports training, it seems to me (I'm not a sports cyclist), there are all sorts of approaches to do with training for endurance vs HIIT and so on. If you've got a specific medical condition, the different sorts of "doing more exercise" are surely worth examining?

I'd be inclined to go with flat roads, raising your heart rate by a moderate amount. But you're in Cornwall, so...
Tangled Metal
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Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Brands

Post by Tangled Metal »

@OP
Don't forget to post a few electrocardiogram to support your health status. Other evidence might not be sufficient proof of your cycling limitations. 😉

Taking you at what you say about brisk walk, under a cardiologist and with normal weight/ height/HR. I would simply get whatever bike fits you in a decent bike shop. No need to spend much. I tend to think about £500 in a hybrid bike with no suspension is probably as high spec as you need to go until you're past any health risk.

Commuting is a reasonable way to keep a steady fitness. I found that starting out I quickly got fitter and faster the reached a plateau. I don't think it sounds like you're trying to get faster just yet so taking it easy on a commute sounds good. There's been others with cardiac issues I think and wearing a Heart rate monitor might make sense. I've heard of cardiologists recommending that with a maximum HR the patient must back off before hitting.

Whatever the OP's health condition is I hope he recovers fully and finds a love of cycling in the process. Even if he ends up not liking cycling forums!
Stevek76
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Joined: 28 Jul 2015, 11:23am

Re: Brands

Post by Stevek76 »

biketips666 wrote: 19 Sep 2021, 9:25pm Then he should say it's his opinion.
As jb noted, the wording made that perfectly clear. Also, at no point did I suggest that someone with no/minimal cycling experience would hop on a bike and do 30miles on the first ride (and yes, unfit family members, particularly with BSOs aren't likely to manage that), simply that it isn't as tough as it sounds. And it's hardly just my direct personal experience that is evidence here, cycling forums are littered with personal accounts of people who surpassed their own expectations. Case studies on transport cycling, including post evaluations of quality infrastructure, tend to find a similar outcome, albiety for obviously shorter distances. Same idea though, new cyclists finding that, actually, it isn't half as much effort as they thought it would be. If you cycle for transport I'd be surprised if you haven't experienced the amazement of others when you turn up at something 5 miles away in normal clothes.

Ultimately I was simply attempting to provide a bit of positive encouragement but you be a wet blanket if you want. :?
Tangled Metal wrote: 20 Sep 2021, 1:23pm Whatever the OP's health condition is I hope he recovers fully and finds a love of cycling in the process. Even if he ends up not liking cycling forums!
:D
The contents of this post, unless otherwise stated, are opinions of the author and may actually be complete codswallop
drossall
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Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 10:01pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Brands

Post by drossall »

To pick up the original question about brands, I tend to feel that a reasonable rule of thumb is to buy from a brand that makes bikes twice your budget. In other words, brands that make expensive bikes tend also to make decent bikes lower down the range. Now that's unfair on a whole load of specialist brands that only make really good bikes. However, brands that only make low-end bikes tend to be the ones to avoid. That's not completely fair either, and people will be along in a moment to point out that Decathlon bikes, for example, can be quite serviceable, but it is a workable rule of thumb if you're new to bike buying and can't recognise the reliable brands.
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freiston
Posts: 907
Joined: 6 Oct 2013, 10:20am
Location: Coventry

Re: Brands

Post by freiston »

drossall wrote: 20 Sep 2021, 11:30pm To pick up the original question about brands, I tend to feel that a reasonable rule of thumb is to buy from a brand that makes bikes twice your budget. In other words, brands that make expensive bikes tend also to make decent bikes lower down the range. Now that's unfair on a whole load of specialist brands that only make really good bikes. However, brands that only make low-end bikes tend to be the ones to avoid. That's not completely fair either, and people will be along in a moment to point out that Decathlon bikes, for example, can be quite serviceable, but it is a workable rule of thumb if you're new to bike buying and can't recognise the reliable brands.
I'll bite. Not sure what you're saying about Decathlon bikes - it sounds like you mean that they make only low-end bikes (because you single them out as an example of a possible exception to the rule that a brand that only makes low-end bikes are the brands to avoid). You use price to distinguish high/low end bikes but Decathlon sell an own-brand bike for £5k kitted out with Dura-Ace - I wouldn't call that low end.

https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/road-bike ... mc=8569107
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)
Englishhammer
Posts: 6
Joined: 17 Sep 2021, 6:01pm

Re: Brands

Post by Englishhammer »

biketips666 wrote: 20 Sep 2021, 12:08pm
Englishhammer wrote: 19 Sep 2021, 9:12pm
Tangled Metal wrote: 19 Sep 2021, 10:52am The OP said he's been limited to a brisk walk.
Just for clarity on this, this was purely precaution because hospital appointments were like gold dust at the point of diagnosis (a week after the first lockdown started). It’s just taken 18 months to balance the correct medication and play it safe that’s all. I’m relatively fit, 11 stone (ideally should be 1/2 stone less) and things such as blood pressure have never been anything other than normal. It’s purely coming from the unknown to finding my new thresholds really.

So despite extending the lengths of my walks lately, it’s true I will need to build up the strength/endurance again. After reading all these great comments I’m going to go with my head instead of my heart and ignore my road cycling interest for now. I’ll definitely start with something that is a bit universal that can cope with my very short work commutes and the use of my local trails too.
I must admit to being a little confused about your actual medical condition. You may not want to give details about your condition or illness, I understand. But at the moment what we know is that you've seen a cardiologist, who said don't do anything more than a brisk walk, which was "safety" advice pre lockdown. But at the same time you say your BP is normal, your weight appears to be within bounds (depending how tall you are) and you describe yourself as "relatively fit".

"Relatively fit" and "limited to a brisk walk" don't seem to match up, to me. I'm not a doctor so probably won't understand, but what is the specific issue with your heart or CV system?

I'll repeat, depending on the knowledge or experience of the cardiologist, it's important to understand the very great differences in heart rate on different terrain and different cycle speeds. I wear my heart sensor on practically every ride. I'm looking now at the heart rates on a 26 mile ride in a relatively flat part of the country. Pootling along on the flat, or downhill, my HR was in the 120s. A fairly gentle incline got me into the 140s fairly quickly, peaking at 150. On a steep hill near me, average 8% incline, with short sections at 16%, I once hit a HR of 183. I don't mind pushing my heart rate, as I am, according to a consultant who did a very thorough examination in preparation for a drugs trial, "very healthy".

In sports training, it seems to me (I'm not a sports cyclist), there are all sorts of approaches to do with training for endurance vs HIIT and so on. If you've got a specific medical condition, the different sorts of "doing more exercise" are surely worth examining?

I'd be inclined to go with flat roads, raising your heart rate by a moderate amount. But you're in Cornwall, so...
It’s cardiomyopathy. So its to do with the heart muscle. In lamens terms the “output” pump on my heart isn’t as good as it should be. He sees no harm in pushing it as medication controls it a lot and should stop me deteriorating over the years like I would without meds. He wants me to find out my limits so pushing is allowed, but from tests so far I doubt this will go above 150bpm at this point in time before discomfort comes.
drossall
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Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Brands

Post by drossall »

freiston wrote: 21 Sep 2021, 10:29amYou use price to distinguish high/low end bikes but Decathlon sell an own-brand bike for £5k kitted out with Dura-Ace - I wouldn't call that low end.
https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/road-bike ... mc=8569107
Neither would I :D That puts them firmly in the "also produce bikes I can't afford" bracket then, at least for me. In which case, they still qualify either way as worth a look!

I made the remark because, when I made this suggestion previously, as a way for someone new to bikes to pick out some possible, reliable brands, the response was that Decathlon only make lower-end bikes, but they can be OK. I haven't actually looked at their range for some time. Next time I'm in a shop and get the chance, I will.

My central point is that, if you buy a bike from a range that includes models that you can't afford, you'll probably get a decent bike. I realise that it may exclude some good possibilities, as I said before - it's just a rule of thumb in a world where there are so many good ones, but also some lemons.
Englishhammer
Posts: 6
Joined: 17 Sep 2021, 6:01pm

Re: Brands

Post by Englishhammer »

drossall wrote: 21 Sep 2021, 1:56pm
freiston wrote: 21 Sep 2021, 10:29amYou use price to distinguish high/low end bikes but Decathlon sell an own-brand bike for £5k kitted out with Dura-Ace - I wouldn't call that low end.
https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/road-bike ... mc=8569107
My central point is that, if you buy a bike from a range that includes models that you can't afford, you'll probably get a decent bike.
I think that thought makes sense, thanks.
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freiston
Posts: 907
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Location: Coventry

Re: Brands

Post by freiston »

drossall wrote: 21 Sep 2021, 1:56pm
freiston wrote: 21 Sep 2021, 10:29amYou use price to distinguish high/low end bikes but Decathlon sell an own-brand bike for £5k kitted out with Dura-Ace - I wouldn't call that low end.
https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/road-bike ... mc=8569107
Neither would I :D That puts them firmly in the "also produce bikes I can't afford" bracket then, at least for me. In which case, they still qualify either way as worth a look!

I made the remark because, when I made this suggestion previously, as a way for someone new to bikes to pick out some possible, reliable brands, the response was that Decathlon only make lower-end bikes, but they can be OK. I haven't actually looked at their range for some time. Next time I'm in a shop and get the chance, I will.

My central point is that, if you buy a bike from a range that includes models that you can't afford, you'll probably get a decent bike. I realise that it may exclude some good possibilities, as I said before - it's just a rule of thumb in a world where there are so many good ones, but also some lemons.
That makes sense :) . I would think that rule certainly applies to any brand that tops out at around the £300 mark ("Apollo" springs to mind). But then again, there is a thread on this forum singing the virtues of Apollo bikes - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=144675

On the subject of brands, I think it worth saying that some brands aren't what they used to be - and whilst not passing judgement on their current offerings, I think it fair to say that Raleigh, Dawes and Viking fall into this category - they just don't make the class and/or range of bike that they used to.

Not necessarily bike stuff, but some brand names that once carried kudos (and often later fell on hard times) have been bought by companies who then sell cheap tat with the good brand name stamped on it (Sports Direct comes to mind).

With bikes, the components often give the game away. A brand new bike with a threaded steerer and 7 speed freewheel (not a cassette) and an old fashioned bolt-on saddle rail clamp is more likely to be a lemon than a brand new bike with more "contemporary" components. A very cheap new bike with disc brakes and suspension is likely to be more of a lemon than a similarly priced new bike with rim brakes and no suspension
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)
drossall
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Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Brands

Post by drossall »

And of course the other rule of thumb is that any piece of sports equipment, including bikes, with a model name of "Professional" is probably not good enough even for someone trying that sport out. Although again, there have been honorable exceptions.
Tangled Metal
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Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Brands

Post by Tangled Metal »

It seems to me that even brands that have higher prices aren't what they used to be. I'm thinking ribble bike shop isn't what it used to be when I lived near Preston. Possibly wrong but it's a generic Taiwanese/ Chinese frame resellers now. There's a LBS near me who used to make their own frames. A good rep locally but years ago they stopped and got a me too frame from Taiwan. Even their high end frames got outsourced to a guy in Yorkshire IIRC who makes for others.

It all makes me think you're better off getting the big brands even though they're buying from similar factories. I mean I read giant and meriva makes frames for most of the big brands anyway.
pwa
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Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Brands

Post by pwa »

drossall wrote: 21 Sep 2021, 8:26pm And of course the other rule of thumb is that any piece of sports equipment, including bikes, with a model name of "Professional" is probably not good enough even for someone trying that sport out. Although again, there have been honorable exceptions.
One perhaps being the "Pro" branded equipment from Shimano, stems and bars, which are a cut above what you often get at their price point.
pwa
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Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Brands

Post by pwa »

I stick with brands that have served me well in the past. For bike frames my default is Spa, a small outlet that have their own designs made in the Far East, and I know (like I wouldn't with Giant, Spesh, Merida or most other big names) that I won't have trouble getting my toes not to touch the mudguard. And I know full mudguards will fit without an issue. And I know my saddle will go back far enough because the seat tube angle will be slack enough. Spa will remain my default until they fall down on stuff like that.

Another company that used to be small is Ribble, but the Ribble that I remember from the old days competed on cost rather than quality, and their frames could be very rushed in appearance. I remember looking at a shocker just before the recipient sent it back.

So yes, brands do matter to me. They save me the bother of having to think. If I find a brand that seems to merit trust I will stick with it until they let me down.
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