New to road bikes - need advice

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
IoWnewbie
Posts: 1
Joined: 24 Jun 2019, 4:13pm

New to road bikes - need advice

Postby IoWnewbie » 24 Jun 2019, 4:41pm

Hi. I’m a 50 year old reasonably fit male planning to buy my first road bike (up to around £1000) and am hoping for some advice as I know very little about modern road bikes.

I will use the bike for:
Commuting about 9 miles each way on the Isle of Wight (lots of hills) twice a week.
Entering my first duathalon next spring (I’ve done marathons but never done a duathalon).

I went to the island Halfords and they recommended the Boardman SLR 8.9a Road bike and I went to the island independent bike shop and they recommended the Scott Speedster 20 disc at my price range. Both bikes are exactly the same price, look visually good and I am not sure which to buy as I know too little about modern road bikes. I know the Bordman is lighter at 9.2 kg compared to 10.1 kg. And the Speedster has disc brakes but the Boardman has calliper brakes. But, I am not sure what I should be prioritising and which is the better bike overall for my two purposes.
Any advice would be genuinely appreciated. Thank you.

slowster
Posts: 938
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: New to road bikes - need advice

Postby slowster » 24 Jun 2019, 5:17pm

IoWnewbie wrote:I will use the bike for:
Commuting about 9 miles each way on the Isle of Wight (lots of hills) twice a week.
Entering my first duathalon next spring (I’ve done marathons but never done a duathalon).

So for the first year quite literally 99% of your riding will be the commute, and 1% will be a race. Moreover the race is something which is a bit novel for you, and it's not certain that you would want do more duathalons. Presumably you would still continue to use the bike for commuting even if you entered no more duathalons?

Under the circumstances, it sounds like you should choose a bike that is best suited for your commute, even if it's far from ideal for a race, in the same way that many first time triathletes might use an MTB to begin with.

Do you intend to commute throughout winter, i.e. in the dark and on gritted/wet salty roads? Will you pick and choose which days you commute by bike, in order not to ride in rain and bad weather? Do you need to be able to take a change of clothes or other items (laptop etc.), or will you take those in on the days you do not cycle to work? Do you have showers at work?

The answers to the above questions should help you to determine what sort of bike would best suit your needs.

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TrevA
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Joined: 1 Jun 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Nottingham

Re: New to road bikes - need advice

Postby TrevA » 24 Jun 2019, 5:31pm

A lot depends on how much stuff you wish to carry on your commute. If you have somewhere to leave clothes at work, then you don't need to take much stuff in each day. I used to take underwear, a clean shirt and my lunch which could all easily fit into a small bag or rucksack. If you are carrying more than this then you'll need to get a bike that's capable of having a rack fitted so you can used panniers. Also, think about mudguards or at least the capacity to fit them, if you are thinking of commuting all year round. It's not nice riding with a wet backside from the spray off your back wheel.

I've always used rim brakes and found them to be OK performance wise, even on steep hills. Disc brakes may be better but do you really need them? Any bike from one of the major manufacturers should be OK. They all come with warranties if thingsgo wrong, but on the whole a bike in the £500-£1000 price range should be reliable if looked after. Look at wheels, more spokes are better - don't get too hung up on bike weight, it doesn't make that much difference.

dim
Posts: 88
Joined: 12 May 2019, 5:59pm

Re: New to road bikes - need advice

Postby dim » 24 Jun 2019, 8:00pm

£350 will get you a good older bike for starters .... one that can take a rear rack,fairly light, with decent wheels ....

get decent tyres,a pannier bag and you are good to go (with your remaining budget, get a helmet,a used garmin satnav, a decent used saddle, etc etc

but before you do that, get a few bike shops to size you for the correct frame size

in time, you can upgrade

that's what I done

start with something like this:.....(this one is advertised for £345.00 ): (it,s not mine)

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Koga-Miyata-Gents-Luxe-58cm-vintage-steel-bike/173875276476?hash=item287bc62abc:g:vVMAAOSw4uhcjrkT
Image

whoof
Posts: 1883
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: New to road bikes - need advice

Postby whoof » 24 Jun 2019, 8:40pm

Are you going to ride at the weekends for enjoyment.
If so £1000 could but you a second hand hybrid or mountain bike (no suspension and road tyres) for commuting and a road bike for the weekends and events such as your duathlon. There are often well maintained bikes for sale on this forum, I picked up a good quality mountain bike in good condition for £125.
This is £900

https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/CBPXSLPRI ... -road-bike

Bonefishblues
Posts: 6777
Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: New to road bikes - need advice

Postby Bonefishblues » 24 Jun 2019, 9:06pm

whoof wrote:Are you going to ride at the weekends for enjoyment.
If so £1000 could but you a second hand hybrid or mountain bike (no suspension and road tyres) for commuting and a road bike for the weekends and events such as your duathlon. There are often well maintained bikes for sale on this forum, I picked up a good quality mountain bike in good condition for £125.
This is £900

https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/CBPXSLPRI ... -road-bike

Planet X are the masters of bang for buck, and that's a really good example. The 34-32 bottom gear will come in handy on those short sharp IoW climbs too.

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The utility cyclist
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Joined: 22 Aug 2016, 12:28pm
Location: The first garden city

Re: New to road bikes - need advice

Postby The utility cyclist » 24 Jun 2019, 9:54pm

I think this is pretty decent VfM, gets good write ups, has mudguard and pannier rack mounts. https://www.decathlon.co.uk/rc-520-grav ... 54425.html
Forget the planet x, it has no rack/guard mounts so unless you like a wet bottom or want to fit inadequate retro fit guards and a post mount rack for commuting duties then I'd give it a wide berth.

whoof
Posts: 1883
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: New to road bikes - need advice

Postby whoof » 24 Jun 2019, 10:44pm

The utility cyclist wrote:I think this is pretty decent VfM, gets good write ups, has mudguard and pannier rack mounts. https://www.decathlon.co.uk/rc-520-grav ... 54425.html
Forget the planet x, it has no rack/guard mounts so unless you like a wet bottom or want to fit inadequate retro fit guards and a post mount rack for commuting duties then I'd give it a wide berth.

My suggestion of the Planet X wasn't for commuting,hence the second hand hybrid or mountain bike. For £1000 you can have both.

Eyebrox
Posts: 253
Joined: 5 Aug 2015, 8:56pm
Location: Ayrshire

Re: New to road bikes - need advice

Postby Eyebrox » 25 Jun 2019, 12:30am

My choice would be the Boardman - lighter, better gearing and rim brakes. 105 gearing is a step up from Tiagra, with a few component refinements, though this won't affect your cycling progress. The brakes on the Scott are basic cable discs and they will stop performing fully after the first heavy winter. This can result in having to replace cables and calipers, especially at the rear, and this can be costly against the relative non cost of keeping rim brakes maintained. Being higher up on the bike reduces the crud build-up which afflicts the lower sited cable units. Not much difference in the two bikes but you did ask for a choice to be made. Enjoy whichever you go for.

Jamesh
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Joined: 2 Jan 2017, 5:56pm

Re: New to road bikes - need advice

Postby Jamesh » 25 Jun 2019, 5:07pm

Agreed on the Boardman.

Although tbh the better looking Boardman's were the last generations ones which I rekon have better frames compared to new ones since Halfords brought the brand off Chris Boardman.

Cheers James

Eyebrox
Posts: 253
Joined: 5 Aug 2015, 8:56pm
Location: Ayrshire

Re: New to road bikes - need advice

Postby Eyebrox » 25 Jun 2019, 5:59pm

Jamesh wrote:...the better looking Boardman's were the last generations ones


Agreed.

Jamesh
Posts: 615
Joined: 2 Jan 2017, 5:56pm

Re: New to road bikes - need advice

Postby Jamesh » 25 Jun 2019, 6:53pm

Still some nos on eBay if your quick.

Cheers James

gxaustin
Posts: 504
Joined: 23 Sep 2015, 12:07pm

Re: New to road bikes - need advice

Postby gxaustin » 29 Jun 2019, 5:18pm

If you do Facebook try Facebook market place. You can then go and have a look. You might find a nearly new Boardman.
I see a photo of an old bike with down tube shifters earlier in the thread. I would definitely steer clear of antediluvian gear like that (dons tin hat) because modern brake/shifters are so good and you can keep both hands on the bars in traffic.