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Old 03-14-10, 03:54 PM   #1
Don Sorrentino
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Newbie- need serious advice

So here's the deal. I'm looking at completing a london-paris bike ride with some friends in the summer, not as part of an organised event.

I'm a newbie when it comes to biking, and have average fitness. I obviously plan to train very hard in coming months, but even with this is it a viable task to give myself?

Also, i'm not a great budget, so what kind of bike could i look at getting second hand for around 200?

EDIT: looking on Evans Cycles- would a sub 300 bike from new be up to standard?

Last edited by Don Sorrentino; 03-14-10 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 03-14-10, 04:50 PM   #2
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You might try posting this in Touring also.
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Old 03-14-10, 06:35 PM   #3
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You could also ask in the UK regional subforum or the Europe regional subforum.
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Old 03-14-10, 07:58 PM   #4
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A used bike under 15 yrs old with tire under 38 mm width, and 21 or more speeds would do, but make sure it fits you well. You would have to include tools, rack, panniers, water bottles, lights and mudguards in your shopping list. If you get a straight barred bike get bar ends to give a choice of hand positions. For training you need to get used to long hours on the bike, you dont have to achieve any special average speed.
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Old 03-15-10, 11:58 AM   #5
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Two types of bike are sold in the UK in volume. Mountain bikes and Road bikes. For this ride- Mountain bikes will be heavy and need a few changes to get it suitable for a Road ride. Road bikes would be better but unless you are used to riding one- you could run into a few Body problems. Neck and Back ache being the main ones.

But there is a bike that is termed a "Fitness" or "Hybrid" bike- A road bike with the more sensible gearing and lightmess but with straight bars fitted.

Now secondhand could be a problem as there would be a problem on getting the fit right if you do not know bikes. Perhaps one of your mates could help there- if they understand bikes.

Looking at the Evans site they have plenty of Hybrid bikes such as the Kona Dew linked below. Bit on the heavy side- and gearing a bit low but if 300 is your limit- then you are restricted in what you can buy new. If you can stretch your budget a bit then plenty of actual Straight bar "Road" bikes out there. One of which is the Specialised Sirrus. Link below aswell. This is one bike that can be recommended by a lot of us here.


http://www.evanscycles.com/products/...-bike-ec017268

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/...-bike-ec020018

But what part of the UK are you from? Plenty of Local Bike shops that will do deals- if we know the area you live in.
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Old 03-15-10, 12:24 PM   #6
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341 miles for a beginner? seriously? GOOD LUCK! :-)

don't forget to post your pictures!
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Old 03-15-10, 04:23 PM   #7
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Sorry for posting in the wrong section guys, it's a big forum, and i was short on time!

I know it's a tall order, but i'm not taking it lightly and am starting some proper training. Hey, if you don't challenge yourself in life, where's the achievement ehh

Im from Northamptonshire, there's a leisure lakes in my town, i think that's about it. I'll pop in this week.

Sorry for the lack of useful input my part, when i've got a bit more time i'll expand on this.

Thanks for the help so far guys, much appreciated
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Old 03-16-10, 09:22 AM   #8
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Part of the fun is setting a goal and seeing what you can accomplish. Best of luck to you. As stated above, you might want to post in the touring or long distance forums.
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Old 03-16-10, 12:33 PM   #9
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341 miles for a beginner? seriously? GOOD LUCK! :-)

don't forget to post your pictures!
With a bit of training- Mainly for the Butt- that milage will not be bad. It will not all be done in one day so no severeproblems.

I was at a shop in London last year and there was a similar standard of rider looking for his first bike to do John )'Groats to Lands end. The length of the UK and around 600 miles. Reason for him doing it was that he had just been cleared of Cancer after 5 years of treatment. He did it and only found the 2nd day hard. After that he used Chamois Cream.

But I would also find a local Bike shop that stocks a respectable make besides the chain stores. They can often get a last years model at discounted prices.
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Old 03-16-10, 09:49 PM   #10
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A used bike under 15 yrs old with tire under 38 mm width, and 21 or more speeds would do, but make sure it fits you well. You would have to include tools, rack, panniers, water bottles, lights and mudguards in your shopping list. If you get a straight barred bike get bar ends to give a choice of hand positions. For training you need to get used to long hours on the bike, you dont have to achieve any special average speed.

This is almost exactly what i was going to suggest. IMO, pay special attention to tire width--you want room for something significantly larger than the standard 23 or 25. Somewhere around 35-38 is fine.
I have bar ends on my flat-bar bikes and rarely use them, but they do give extra hand positions on long rides. And do concentrate on time in the saddle rather than average speed. A friend of mine is a far faster and stronger rider than i am up to about 30 miles, but he rarely goes farther than that. He suffers dramatically on anything over about 50 miles.
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Old 03-17-10, 02:54 PM   #11
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A good style of bike for long endurance rides is the Audax or light touring or Sportiff bike. They have a more relaxed position than most race bikes and use lower gearing (eg a 34/50compact double rather than 39/53 racing double)

They can take tyres sizes up to about 28mm and usually have threaded eyelets to accept full-length fenders/mudguards. Some can take a rear luggage rack.
The advantage of these features becomes apparent when you want to train on wet roads or use your commute as extra training.

Tyre clearance is an important factor but for unladen endurance riding you dont want a 35mm, its too heavy. Almost everyone would select a 25mm for summer use and a 28mm for winter. I use 32mm for camping loads and ride tracks and trails. The tyre clearance decides the brake style. You need a caliper brake, preferably of the "long-drop" style, not a short-drop racing brake.

Road bikes come with trad curly drop bars or flat ones. "Fitness" bikes have flat ones but over long hours you will need to move around to prevent fatigue so go for drops.

If you have 200 to spend, I would advise a used bike that was good quality when new, rather than a low-end new bike.
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