Buying advice - the elusive 'do-it-all' bike

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PH
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Re: Buying advice - the elusive 'do-it-all' bike

Postby PH » 12 Nov 2015, 9:02pm

Vorpal wrote:As for weight and sportives.... well, sportives vary hugely from leisure rides that people take on town bikes and hauling kids

That doesn't sound like any sportive I've come across, put the word into Google images and you get thousands of photos, but none of town bikes hauling kids. I'm sure there'll be exceptions, but I think most people's understanding is that these rides are about sport rather than leisure and not taking weight into consideration on a bike for such events makes no more sense to me than having it as the only criteria.
IMO, having a bike the right size will make more difference than a few pounds.

I don't get your point, a lighter bike isn't any less likely to be a good fit than a heavier one.

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Re: Buying advice - the elusive 'do-it-all' bike

Postby Vorpal » 12 Nov 2015, 9:46pm

PH wrote:
Vorpal wrote:As for weight and sportives.... well, sportives vary hugely from leisure rides that people take on town bikes and hauling kids

That doesn't sound like any sportive I've come across, put the word into Google images and you get thousands of photos, but none of town bikes hauling kids. I'm sure there'll be exceptions, but I think most people's understanding is that these rides are about sport rather than leisure and not taking weight into consideration on a bike for such events makes no more sense to me than having it as the only criteria.
Some are really just charity rides that get labelled sportives http://rnli.org/howtosupportus/getinvol ... -2015.aspx http://www.kids.org.uk/event/bikeride I don't know why, but there seem to be more and more of these things. Most sportives fall in between leisure rides and races. But I guess my point was mainly that unless the OP wants to ride them competitively, weight won't mean much. If she does want to ride them competitively, she probably needs a road bike, not something she can tour on.
PH wrote:
Vorpal wrote:IMO, having a bike the right size will make more difference than a few pounds.

I don't get your point, a lighter bike isn't any less likely to be a good fit than a heavier one.

I meant that if the OP wants to be faster, or ride more effectively, having a bike that is the right size will make more difference than having a bike that is lighter by a few pounds.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
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ElaineB
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Re: Buying advice - the elusive 'do-it-all' bike

Postby ElaineB » 13 Nov 2015, 2:12pm

I would be inclined to maybe look for a second hand Thorn Audax with a triple chainset on it. It has mudgurad eyes and rack mounts on the front and rear for lightweight touring but rides beautifully without racks. You could ride sportives with a saddlebag/pack and 25mm tyres. As for touring it can take 2 kg on each front fork but on the rear I carried enough to camp for 4 days, no problem. If like me you are 5ft 4ins and female a 'touring' bike really doesn't have to be a great heavy bike with 40mm tyres. Start with your weight...add the panniers and tent etc combined weight and I bet you would still only come to in total what an average man would weigh. Lightweight women really DO NOT need great big heavy touring bikes, read an Ann Mustoe book and see how she toured the world on a bog standard bike before she discovered Condor Cycles in London! Ok she wasn't camping but so much crazy stuff is written about cycle campers needing a bike to carry the kitchen sink, really you can cycle camp on just about anything. If the wheels have enough spokes and the tyres are 25mm +....go for it, it's not as if you are planning a round the world trip (yet!). I cycle camped on my Salsa casseroll with all the gear on the back and it happily climbed anything with the triple chainset. If you are not planning a 6 month trip and only taking lightweight camping gear (or not) then a Thorn Audax would be ideal IMHO. The most important parts on the bike are low enough gears, decent wheels/tyres and YOU and the attitude you carry with you. All the best and good luck. x

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Re: Buying advice - the elusive 'do-it-all' bike

Postby Brucey » 13 Nov 2015, 4:30pm

I would broadly agree with the sentiments above. However finding a good used Thorn Audax bike in your size is a bit of a challenge; whilst I'd sooner have one of those than (say) the Triban I suggested upthread, I reckon the Triban will do the job almost as well, the difference being that you will get a new bike in the size of your choice with a warranty etc for about the same money.

cheers
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reohn2
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Re: Buying advice - the elusive 'do-it-all' bike

Postby reohn2 » 13 Nov 2015, 8:02pm

Brucey wrote:I would broadly agree with the sentiments above. However finding a good used Thorn Audax bike in your size is a bit of a challenge; whilst I'd sooner have one of those than (say) the Triban I suggested upthread, I reckon the Triban will do the job almost as well, the difference being that you will get a new bike in the size of your choice with a warranty etc for about the same money.

cheers


You surprise me.
Do you really think a Triban frameset is in the same ballpark(Freddie alert :wink: )as a Thorn Audax Mk3(TA3)?
I'd say nowhere near,not even in the same universe let alone near the same class.
I've owned and ridden a good few thousand miles on a TA3 and the same on an Aeron(cheaper end Alu frame standard CF fork and regarded as quite a good winter trainer),having owned them both at the same time was able to compare the two back to back(another Freddie alert :wink: )absolutely no comparison in ride quality.

There's a negative comment about 40mm tyres by ElaineB,which is unjustified IME.
I've posted on here before about how close in time I've ridden 37c(35mm actual)on the Vaya,compared with 28mm tyres on my TA Mk3,and whilst the Thorn was without doubt a comfortable bike,having ridden many century on it,the Vaya/35mm Hypers was far and away more comfortable and within 1mph of the Thorn on various test rides.
The Aeron didn't come close to either.
Indeed it was the lack of use of the TA MK3 after buying the Vaya that caused me to sell it and buy another Vaya.
To also compared the Vaya to another similar bike,Kona Dew Drop,Alu frame steel fork*,run on Hypers(in fact same wheels out of the Vaya,and same gearing),which again was found lacking,though the Kona was comfy,once over 60 or 70 miles the difference was felt(harsh) compared to the Vaya.

I don't want to paint any of the three bikes,TA3,Aeron or Kona,as bad bikes,they're not,it's just that the Vaya is much better in ever respect IME and considered POV.


* I ran the Kona on the stock P2 forks and a pair of LHT forks which were bought for their extra clearance for up to 42mm(actual size) tyres as the P2's were a bit tight with 35mm actual size tyres and m/guards.
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fast but dim
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Re: Buying advice - the elusive 'do-it-all' bike

Postby fast but dim » 13 Nov 2015, 8:26pm

reohn2 wrote:I've owned and ridden a good few thousand miles on a TA3 .

I thought it was nearly new! :D

I think people get too hung up on frame material.My steel thorn is marginally more comfortable than my alloy frame and fork Hewitt audax, which is marginally comfier than my carbon dolan. I suspect if I had the same saddle on either, and messed with tyre pressure I'd not be able to tell after a day in the saddle.

Comfy saddle, triple chain set, decent wheels and tyres and a frame that fits...

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Re: Buying advice - the elusive 'do-it-all' bike

Postby Brucey » 13 Nov 2015, 8:30pm

reohn2 wrote:
Brucey wrote:I would broadly agree with the sentiments above. However finding a good used Thorn Audax bike in your size is a bit of a challenge; whilst I'd sooner have one of those than (say) the Triban I suggested upthread, I reckon the Triban will do the job almost as well, the difference being that you will get a new bike in the size of your choice with a warranty etc for about the same money.

cheers


You surprise me.
Do you really think a Triban frameset is in the same ballpark(Freddie alert :wink: )as a Thorn Audax Mk3(TA3)?
I'd say nowhere near,not even in the same universe let alone near the same class.....


eh? I think that I've made my views clear enough... and you should of course try before you buy.

I think you could be a year or so hunting out a used Thorn that is suitable (and a new one is too much money) is my point; in the meantime you could be riding around on a bike that will do the job OK. If you sell that when you find the bike of your dreams, you might lose £150 or so but for a year's cycling that is small beer, I'd have said.

A reminder;
ejt123 wrote:Because of budget and space constraints, I am looking for a single bike that I can use to commute on (year-round), head out with a laid-back local club, do a few sportives, and a couple of touring holidays a year (mostly Scottish highlands and islands, northern England and possibly Scandinavia in the near future).

I understand/hope that such an all-rounder may be out there!

The upper limit of my budget is probably around the £1000 mark, but I am keen to get the best value for money within this with potential for upgrades in future. I'm 5ft 4 and slim so while by no means a weight weenie I am conscious that I am of a size that might be disadvantaged by a super-heavy bike.


FWIW I think that the Thorn will still be ridiculously stiff for the OP to ride unladen, even if it feels nice to someone who weighs half as much again.

So in this case I think that the OP has a choice of bikes all of which will have frames that are basically too stiff. They'll be too stiff thrice over; first because the frame is small, second because the OP is a light build, and third because the bike also has to be strong enough for touring on.

Many of the ladies I have known that are of similar size/weight have ended up with bikes that have really light gauge steel tubes in them before they are comfy and most of those have been custom built. In the meantime the tyres have a lot asked of them.

I suspect that the OP will at least want to try a machine like most other people use on sportives; it is all a learning experience.... :wink:

cheers
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Freddie
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Re: Buying advice - the elusive 'do-it-all' bike

Postby Freddie » 13 Nov 2015, 8:47pm

reohn2 wrote:Do you really think a Triban frameset is in the same ballpark(Freddie alert :wink: )as a Thorn Audax Mk3(TA3)?
I'm back on the tablets. The pharmacy will actually order repeats for free now, how cool is that?

As a result I have been watching videos of kittens cavorting on Youtube all day and staring intently at an old lava lamp I found in the loft.

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Re: Buying advice - the elusive 'do-it-all' bike

Postby honesty » 13 Nov 2015, 8:49pm

Given that the thorn audax frame weighs in at about the same weight as a full touring frame rather than to other audax frames (2.3kg if I remember correctly) it's my view that the thorn audax is a touring frame masquerading as an audax bike (shorter chainstays, etc.). I have one. It's great. I weigh 100kg and tour with an extra 10kg on the bike. A smaller person should be able to tour easily with more stuff on this bike. A frame costs 429 quid. You could go for a frame and rebuild the current bike...

SJS do do cycle to work, but pass the 10% charge on to you and Spa do not do cycle to work schemes as someone asked earlier.

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Re: Buying advice - the elusive 'do-it-all' bike

Postby reohn2 » 13 Nov 2015, 8:50pm

Freddie wrote:
reohn2 wrote:Do you really think a Triban frameset is in the same ballpark(Freddie alert :wink: )as a Thorn Audax Mk3(TA3)?
I'm back on the tablets. The pharmacy will actually order repeats for free now, how cool is that?

As a result I have been watching videos of kittens cavorting on Youtube all day and staring intently at an old lava lamp I found in the loft.


Chill man,chill........
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Re: Buying advice - the elusive 'do-it-all' bike

Postby Vorpal » 13 Nov 2015, 8:59pm

I'm with ElaineB regarding that people can tour on much more than touring bikes. I did many tours on a Raleigh Super Grand Prix, and many more on a hybrid.

The bikes that the OP has suggested will be fine from that perspective. I have to admit, I would probably take the weight penalty and go for a touring bike, especially if it were to be used for year round commuting.

That said, the OP didn't ask about whether she should buy a touring bike. And not many peopl have answered about the specific bikes she asked about....

ejt123 wrote:
My thoughts now are either
- Kinesis Racelight T2 - http://www.kinesisbikes.co.uk/Catalogue ... ht/T2-Bike
- Tifosi CK7 Gran Fondo Tiagra - http://www.tifosicycles.co.uk/ck7.php - RRP £999 but on sale from Fatbirds just now for £809

Any feedback on these choices (especially the Tifosi, which I can't find too many reviews of) or alternative suggestions would be very much welcomed.


Go ride them. Ride those bikes, and a few others besides. If you can, ride some touring bikes, and some road bikes, as well as the ones you think you might buy. In fact, ride as many bikes as you can. They will help you understand why you like what you eventually buy. That's the only advice you need ;)
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Samuel D
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Re: Buying advice - the elusive 'do-it-all' bike

Postby Samuel D » 13 Nov 2015, 10:38pm

The advice to test ride several bicycles is often given by the most experienced cyclists, e.g. Brucey and Vorpal in this thread.

Maybe it’s precisely because I haven’t ridden so very many bicycles that I find this advice not very useful. It takes me a lot longer than ten minutes to get to know how a machine rides. And the important differences between two bicycles are often masked by setup differences (not just saddle height but things like brake lever position on the bars, chainring sizes, etc.) and tyre differences. These differences limit the usefulness of test riding for non-experts, in my opinion.

A test ride may serve the separate useful purpose of testing the shop, though. The value of that is obvious.

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Re: Buying advice - the elusive 'do-it-all' bike

Postby reohn2 » 15 Nov 2015, 12:43am

Samuel D wrote:The advice to test ride several bicycles is often given by the most experienced cyclists, e.g. Brucey and Vorpal in this thread.

Maybe it’s precisely because I haven’t ridden so very many bicycles that I find this advice not very useful. It takes me a lot longer than ten minutes to get to know how a machine rides. And the important differences between two bicycles are often masked by setup differences (not just saddle height but things like brake lever position on the bars, chainring sizes, etc.) and tyre differences. These differences limit the usefulness of test riding for non-experts, in my opinion.

A test ride may serve the separate useful purpose of testing the shop, though. The value of that is obvious.


I'm of the opinion that you can get used to any bike's quirks,it's only after a couple of hundred miles at least that you get to know and to accept or even welcome such quirks.
Occasionally a quirk-less bike comes along that seems to ride in such a way as to feel right and trustworthy(if that's the right term)almost from the start.
It's a bit like a settlement without much,if any, compromise.Such a bike is a keeper and has a nice 'buzz' to ride,for a number of reasons some which are immediately recognisable some which only become apparent after a few rides or when the unexpected happens and it seems almost to look after itself for you,something which is hard to define or explain,they don't seem to need any guiding or work to ride,it's as if they just get on with it.
I've only ever had three bikes totally like that,one which the frame broke after 18 years use,another I still own two of,the third,an MTB,is similar though my MTB experience is limited it's remarkable in it's surefootedness and ease of manoeuvrability.
These bikes are or were nothing special yet very special in their unspecialness.
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Re: Buying advice - the elusive 'do-it-all' bike

Postby Vorpal » 15 Nov 2015, 9:12am

Samuel D wrote:The advice to test ride several bicycles is often given by the most experienced cyclists, e.g. Brucey and Vorpal in this thread.

Maybe it’s precisely because I haven’t ridden so very many bicycles that I find this advice not very useful. It takes me a lot longer than ten minutes to get to know how a machine rides. And the important differences between two bicycles are often masked by setup differences (not just saddle height but things like brake lever position on the bars, chainring sizes, etc.) and tyre differences. These differences limit the usefulness of test riding for non-experts, in my opinion.

A test ride may serve the separate useful purpose of testing the shop, though. The value of that is obvious.

I think even an inexperienced person can tell what is comfortable and not. A good shop should be able to help set up the bike correctly, even for a test ride. That won't make it perfect, and you are correct that set up differences can mask the difference between bikes, but again, a decent shop can help with that. Buying a new bike--for someone who does not yet know how to set up a bike on their own--is a combination of finding the right bike, and finding the right shop.
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PH
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Re: Buying advice - the elusive 'do-it-all' bike

Postby PH » 15 Nov 2015, 10:11am

I'm sat on my computer chair, as I am far too much of the time, if it were to break and I went shopping for another I'd sit on a few and choose the most comfortable. At least that's what I'd think I was doing, but how would I know what was comfortable? I wouldn't, what I'd feel is called muscle memory and the one that felt right would be the one that felt familiar even is that wasn't what I was looking for.
My experience with buying bikes has been the same, my first bike was cheap and secondhand, my second and third bikes bought after test rides were very similar, though I didn't realise it at the time. My forth bike (Hewitt Cheviot) bought untested after a fitting session, nearly got sent straight back it felt so wrong (Different) yet after I'd ridden the first thousand miles I wouldn't have changed a thing.
I think test rides are great if you know what you're looking for and are familiar with it, but if you're looking for something different I think you need more time to see if it's the right different and you might be better off buying on other criteria and accepting that you might not get it right.