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Old 07-05-2014, 06:18 PM   #1
sycamorex
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road bike dillema - please advise


Hi all,
I don't know much about bikes, let alone road bikes. I'm in need of a good bike. I know 'good' is a relative/individual thing (like with distros). Having said that, could anyone help me choose between the two bikes.

http://www.simpsoncycles.co.uk/produ...ler-torino-sr1
and
http://www.condorcycles.com/Condor-B...ypage.tpl.html

I'm going to use it for commuting. My budget is up to 500. Alternatively, any other road bike.
 
Old 07-05-2014, 08:09 PM   #2
dugan
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One difference that leapt out at me is that one has a carbon fork, one has a steel fork.

Also, do you know how to measure your body and choose a frame of the right size?
 
Old 07-06-2014, 01:38 AM   #3
sycamorex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dugan View Post
One difference that leapt out at me is that one has a carbon fork, one has a steel fork.

Also, do you know how to measure your body and choose a frame of the right size?
Thanks Dugan. Yes, have found a chart showing a person's height and the recommended frame size.

I guess the carbon fork will make the bike lighter.

I have been looking at single speed road bikes as well. Never ridden one yet. I wonder if it's easy to get used to in terms of braking (with your feet).
 
Old 07-06-2014, 03:54 AM   #4
firstfire
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Hi.

IFAIK carbon parts not only lighter than metal ones, but also more expensive and, what is more important, brittle and require special attention when assembled (example).

And, note that for Condor
Code:
Price includes frame, fork and headset only - images show example full builds
So the price of a complete bike may easily double..

I'd say that best way to choose a bike is to try it out.

N.B.: I've never ridden road bikes at all, I ride trials bike, it's a bit different thing. But when I was buyng one, I was discouraged to buy carbon parts for aforementioned reasons.

Good luck!
 
Old 07-06-2014, 11:12 AM   #5
sycamorex
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Thank you. I'm going to do more research on the topic.

Last edited by sycamorex; 07-06-2014 at 04:30 PM. Reason: s/make/do
 
Old 07-06-2014, 11:15 AM   #6
danielbmartin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
My budget is up to 500.
As firstfire points out, your budget points to the Torino.

I have been a recreational rider for many years and now mount a Specialized Sequoia with aluminum frame and carbon forks. The carbon forks don't make the bike significantly lighter. Their benefit is to provide a bit of "springiness" which contributes to rider comfort.

A road bike, and commuting on a road bike, will be a new experience for you. Therefore I suggest you buy an inexpensive used road bike, even a "beater," and use it for a few months. You may discover that commuting is unpleasant (weather, traffic, road surfaces, etc.). If, on the other hand, you like it then you will be justified in spending "big bucks" for a quality machine. [Big Bucks is US slang for a large sum of money. What is the equivalent term in UK slang?]

I like lots of gears and you might too. Look for a bike with a "triple" (three chainrings) which provides low gears for those hills. That which seems like a gentle grade to the motorist may be a minor ordeal for the cyclist.

Daniel B. Martin
 
Old 07-06-2014, 03:26 PM   #7
sycamorex
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Thanks a lot. I think I'll go for the Torino.


The bike will unfortunately be parked outdoors. I have a waterproof cover that I'm going to cover it with every day.

I have ordered Muc-off bike cleaner to clean the chain and other parts.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

What else do I need to know/do to keep it in shape? I have been googling this topic and it looks like the most important thing is to keep it clean.

Anything else to recommend?

Edit: As far as the UK slang equivalent of 'big bucks' is concerned, I can't think of anything (mind you, I'm not a native speaker). Perhaps, others will comment on that.

Last edited by sycamorex; 07-06-2014 at 03:28 PM.
 
Old 07-06-2014, 04:15 PM   #8
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Personally, after having a good amount of experience with bikes and with general road quality, here's what any bike I buy should have:
1) Should be light. This means it should be made of a lightweight alloy or composite. I've had solid steel bikes in the past, and although they are sturdy, they are also impossible to pedal uphill, and difficult to stop downhill.
2) Should have have at least a rear shock absorber. Again from experience with a solid steel bike, hitting an irregularity in the road travels straight up into your rear end and spine. Not at all pleasant, so even a cheap shock absorber does wonders.
3) Should have a single main gear (on the pedal axle). I've noticed that changing gears on the main gear tends to derail the chain. A real PITA to fix if you don't have gloves. As for the rear gears (on the rear axle), 5 to 7 gears should be plenty.
4) The gearing system and shifter should be of only the best quality. The only real problems I've had with bikes is with the gears.
 
Old 07-06-2014, 05:01 PM   #9
danielbmartin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
What else do I need to know/do to keep it in shape?
Lubricate the chain weekly. If you ride on wet roads a wax-based chain lube is preferable. Lubricate the control cables (brakes and shifters) monthly. Keep an eye on the tires for any irregularity (bulges, strange twists in the tread surface). Keep the tires inflated to the recommended pressure. A tire which loses air is suspect. Today's slow leak is tomorrow's sudden flat.

For commuting you might want a rear-view mirror and rear-wheel luggage rack.

Wear a helmet!

Daniel B. Martin
 
Old 07-06-2014, 05:20 PM   #10
unSpawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
Thanks a lot. I think I'll go for the Torino.
Looks nice (except it has V-brakes but that's me, I just don't like 'em).
- Its got a straight fork meaning it steers quite aggressively. Might take some getting used to.
- This bike is meant to go relatively fast. Like when driving a car do adjust your situational awareness and look way ahead to anticipate obstructions in your path.
- Nice Shimano set. Don't apply to much pressure on the pedals when shifting allowing the chain to "settle".
- Watch your tires. Those Kenda's (8 bar) may corner nicely on dry, flat tarmac but badly maintained roads, oil, rain and sharp objects are a different story. Lowering pressure may help a bit but durability isn't exactly what I think when I look at those tyres ;-p I hit the road like a maniac and my tyres of choice (4 bar) need replacing once every two years only.
- You haven't got any mud guards. If you don't wear breathing rain clothing check if you want them after a rainy day ride ;-p
- Punctures will be a fact of Live: practice changing inner tubes and carry a spare or two if you don't want to repair them on the spot.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
The bike will unfortunately be parked outdoors.
- Lock your saddle to your frame. If you never switch saddles a steel wire or even a spare piece of chain (wrap in piece of inner tube) should do.
- Add a fixed lock to your rear wheel and always use a lock looping through the front wheel, the frame and a piece of street furniture like a bike stand, lamp post, drain pipe etc, etc.
- When the opportunity presents itself always "camouflage" your bike between others. Avoid places where people can tamper with your hard earned money out of view. (We're in dire need of Bridge Trilogy technology ;-p)


Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
What else do I need to know/do to keep it in shape? I have been googling this topic and it looks like the most important thing is to keep it clean.
Indeed.
- Depending on how much you use the bike invest in a yearly check-up at a good shop. They'll give you advice if needed.
- Keep your derailleurs, rear cassette, front crank set and chain as clean as possible. Dry hard brush is good enough most of the time, lukewarm water and mild detergent when muddy.
- Use lubrication sparingly. Only during winter use a thick lubricant and always wipe excess off.
- Regularly switching chains may reduce cassette / crank set wear and tear. If you're not familiar with using a chain tool there's clips to make changing easy.


And please don't become a statistic: drive safely and responsibly.
Have fun!
 
Old 07-06-2014, 05:54 PM   #11
sycamorex
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Wow. Thanks a lot to all of you for so many good tips.
 
Old 07-06-2014, 06:04 PM   #12
metaschima
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I do maintenance on an as-needed basis, except for the tires, which I check and inflate regularly. If it is dirty, clean it. If the chain makes noise, lubricate it. etc.

If you're gonna be riding it on the road itself, not on a bike path, then definitely wear a helmet and high visibility jacket. You should also take extra care, because none of this can stop you from becoming roadkill.
 
Old 07-06-2014, 06:49 PM   #13
jefro
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Do they get stolen a lot there? That would make me decide if I wanted to leave 500 pounds outside.

Last edited by jefro; 07-06-2014 at 06:50 PM.
 
Old 07-06-2014, 06:51 PM   #14
sycamorex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
Do they get stolen a lot there?
Yes, they do but both at home and at work it'll be stored in an outdoor but safe place.

I'm going to have it tagged
http://www.alphatrace.net/
 
Old 07-06-2014, 07:13 PM   #15
odiseo77
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I guess good quality bikes use good seats, but you might want to make sure it's comfortable if you'll be taking long rides (about one hour) daily. Bad quality seats may cause a very undesirable side effect (search "biking and ed" for details ).

Cheers!
 
  


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