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  1. #1
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    Question about road bikes

    I've never ridden a road bike before but I am thinking about buying one. The riding position puts me off slightly. With the drop handle bars are you always in a low crouching forwards position? It just looks uncomfortable to me to be in that position all the time but I see lots of people on them so it can't be that bad? Is it possible to ride it in an upright position (leisurely cruising) while still being in control and have the brake levers within reach?

    Which one of the Carrera bikes priced at 350 has the better spec?

    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/s...5710_langId_-1

    Is this one any better?
    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-3-id_8167038.html

  2. #2
    Kitten Legion Master
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    You ride up right'ish using the hoods. That upper part you see on the brake levers, or on the the handle bar near the stem.

  3. #3
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    Welcome To Bike Forums, VNam75!

    If I were you, instead of buying a road bike with cheap components, I'd rather look for a used chromoly steel 10 speed, with quality components. The frame will last a long time and your components will operate more efficiently.

    Keep searching for a decent quality road bike...

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Lots of straight bar type setups with skinny tires are on offer.
    in fact Campag even offers a fairly prestige priced build kit
    for 'fitness riders' that is precisely that.

    Trek FX series are nice.. Shimano equipped..
    the 7.7 gets into the 105 level of some components
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-14-12 at 10:35 AM.

  5. #5
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    What are you riding at the moment? Why do you want a road bike if you are uncertain whether you'd like it? Can you borrow one and try it for a while? For what it's worth, I see many people on road bikes who have no wish to race or ride fast and have bought the bike simply because that's what they think of as a "proper" bike, when they'd be just as happy and more comfortable on a hybrid or a touring bike.

    From the links you provide I'm guessing you're in the UK. If I were you I would not buy from Halfords. With the exception of their rather pricier Boardman range, the bikes they sell are not of particularly high quality, and are often not very carefully assembled, so they need adjustment before they'll function efficiently.

    I'd suggest you go and talk through the options with an independent bike shop. Or, if you are within reach of a branch of the Edinburgh Bike Co-op, try them. They carry a wide range at pretty competitive prices and the staff are usually knowledgable.

    To answer your specific question, you don't ride in the drops all the time, the drop bars offer a variety of hand positions. For many more experienced riders, the more stretched out one's riding position, with a flat back, the more comfortable one becomes - but this does take working up to.
    Last edited by chasm54; 06-14-12 at 05:37 AM. Reason: Typos
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  6. #6
    Senior Member catonec's Avatar
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    Believe it or not I found that being in the forward crouched position shares the weight between my butt and arms which is actually more comfortable in the long run. On a Mtb or something more upright all my weight is on the saddle which makes my lower back and butt hurt more.
    2010 Kestrel RT900SL, 800k carbon, chorus/record, speedplay, zonda
    1997 Trek ZX6000, 6061w/manitou spyder, xt/xtr, time atac

  7. #7
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    ^^^^^ What he said

  8. #8
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Yes to both above. I find flat bars on the road hurt both my hands and my ass. Drop bars give your body options to move around.

    Frame material is not really important compared to fit. Just like a pair of shoes, a bad fit will cause problems.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  9. #9
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    The drop bars give you three positions. I spend about 60% of my time on the brake hoods and the other 40% split between the top of the bars or in the drops. I define my amount of leisure by the pace I'm keeping and not so much by where my hands are resting on the bar. I don't find road bikes to be uncomfortable at all. Maybe that's from growing up riding 10 speeds back in the 70's/80's so they just feel like the natural way to ride a bike to me.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Why do you care which bike has the better spec? I'm thinking it's because you think it will make you faster or more efficient. If that's the case, here's something you should think about:

    Your position on the bike affects your comfort, efficiency and performance every single minute that you're on the bike. In terms of importance, nothing else even comes close.

    My advice is to shop for a bike shop first. When you find the one with personnel who ask the "right" questions about how you intend to use the bike and who seem interested in properly fitting the bike to you, that's the one.

    Buy the best bike that you can afford in a brand that they carry and you'll never go wrong.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the replies. I'm after a racing bike because its the missing link/next step upwards. I've always ridden mountain bikes. At the moment I have an hybrid, an old mountain bike I "ride to the shops" on so I'm not worried about it gettting stolen/vandalised, and a Dahon folding bike. My hybrid is by far the most comfortable and enjoyable bike to ride.

    See here

    http://s309.photobucket.com/albums/kk391/VNAM75/?action=view&current=DSC01028.jpg#!oZZ2QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs309.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fkk391 %2FVNAM75%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3DDSC01028.jpg

    I'm assurred by others about the riding position now so thats OK. The halfords bike is the cheapest road bike I can find (apart from the decathlon one). I don't see what the problem with it is. I know I'm not going to win any competitions with it but thats not what I'm after. The reason I asked about the spec is simply to find out which is the better bike for 350. My hybrid is a 2006 claud butler urban 400 with a lowly deore groupset but it rides perfect still. I don't believe in spending loads on a bike. I normally buy my bike parts from Chain reaction cycles but their cheapest road bike is way too expensive and overkill. If anyone can find a better alternative for under 400 in the UK then I'm interested!
    Last edited by VNAM75; 06-14-12 at 05:52 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Yes to both above. I find flat bars on the road hurt both my hands and my ass. Drop bars give your body options to move around.

    Frame material is not really important compared to fit. Just like a pair of shoes, a bad fit will cause problems.
    Depending on your physical condition and agility, you might find a road bike is not for you. It can take some time for your back muscles to adjust and HTFU to the crouched over riding position. After a while, you won't notice. I see many people on the Hybrid forum who want a hybrid because the road bike looks too crouched over. Six months later, they are looking for a road bike. Not all people who ride road bikes ride with a flat back. I think typical riding positions are more like 45, and with different stem you can achieve more upright. We need a tread... "Show me your crouched riding position!"

    Personally, I hate my hybrid :-(
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  13. #13
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
    Personally, I hate my hybrid :-(
    I did too until I got rid of the flat bars and put some Nitto "Dove" bars on it. Flipped them to give a less upright position and put some cloth tape to give me some grip on the inside of the bars for another hand position and aero posture.

    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  14. #14
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    Hi i need some help deciding between 3 bikes. 2011 Gt gtr carbon sport $1300,2011 Kestrel rt100 $1600, 2012 Cannondale super 6 apex $1600. Thanks guys

  15. #15
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bood747 View Post
    Hi i need some help deciding between 3 bikes. 2011 Gt gtr carbon sport $1300,2011 Kestrel rt100 $1600, 2012 Cannondale super 6 apex $1600. Thanks guys
    Hijacking a thread won't get the best results.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  16. #16
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    OP, search Craigslist or equivalent for a used bike once you decide type & size. You can also try eBay and limit your search to local sales so you can look at it firsthand before buying.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bood747 View Post
    Hi i need some help deciding between 3 bikes. 2011 Gt gtr carbon sport $1300,2011 Kestrel rt100 $1600, 2012 Cannondale super 6 apex $1600. Thanks guys
    After test-riding all three, for at least 20 minutes, decide for yourself which one felt the most comfortable and was the easiest to ride. Most inevitably, that same bike would have been the most enjoyable one, too!

  18. #18
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    Here is a picture showing the most common postures on a road bike. The guy closest looks to me to be well balanced and not hunched over and is not straight arming the bars. I try and keep that picture in my head.

    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

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