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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 07-26-03, 09:25 AM   #1
sheepy
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im new to road cycling..... what essentials do i need to buy?

im guessing this is what i need, and/or would need to take with me when going out for a ride:
  • A bike? lol, aint decided which one yet - suggestions welcome - around the £300/500 mark
  • Waterbottle/CamelHump
  • Pedals & Shoe Combination
  • Helmet (Giro?)
  • Those shirts/shorts in halfords with the wee air holes in them.....
  • Any good books? Haynes Manuals?
  • Tyre Slime?

basically..... tell me what you got when you started up cycling, or what you would get if you had £500 to spend on the gear.
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Old 07-26-03, 09:32 AM   #2
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a good pump (or CO2 inflater)

spare tubes

patch kit

lights (if riding at night)

tool kit

some sort of bag, for carrying spare parts and tools (frame, handlebar, or under seat)

a cycling computer is very helpful

some sort of eye protection

padded riding gloves, (I love them)

I dont use slime,,,,,, just good kevlar protected tires.

Lots of the guys use heart monitors,,,,,, Im not that exact with it.
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Old 07-26-03, 09:59 AM   #3
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tools and gloves added to the shopping list...

what bike manufacturers should i steer clear from, like the crappest of the crap..... like the ducatis of the motorbike world... built for performance not for reliability...... as i want a bike to last a good 3 years or more!
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Old 07-26-03, 10:00 AM   #4
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cycling computer? you mean a speedo?
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Old 07-26-03, 10:01 AM   #5
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Most bikes use the same basic components. Try and get a bike with at least Shimano 105 equipment. The best advice I have heard here, is to find the right bike shop first, and then buy something they offer.

The computer is a speedo, an odometer, a stop watch, and will calculate average speeds over distances for you. They are very helpful in tracking your progress. CATEYE makes some nice ones.
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Old 07-26-03, 10:03 AM   #6
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i went into halfords the other day and a cycling dude came in with his front wheel in his hand, and as i was leaving i noticed a smart looking bike outside with no front wheel...... is this what you lot do to stop your bike being nicked?

or was he just looking for an innertube? the tyre he had over his shoulder looked fine tho.....
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Old 07-26-03, 10:05 AM   #7
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The best advice I have heard here, is to find the right bike shop first, and then buy something they offer.
right bike shop? offer? well does halfords fall into that category or should i avoid them and go somewhere else? they have a nice road bike in there for £250 on offer...... ill go out now and find out what its called and post it..... maybe it might suit me?
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Old 07-26-03, 10:05 AM   #8
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He was probably just in for some service. The back wheel comes off just at easy as the front. He might have only had one lock, and ran it through both the frame and rear wheel. I usually dont leave mine unattended anywhere in public. Ive got far too much wrapped up in it for that.


Im not familiar with Halfords. What brands of cycles do they carry? In the US we have dealers that will carry several different brands in the same store. It's pretty easy to find something that will work for you. Is Halford's a department store?, or a actual bicycle shop?

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Old 07-26-03, 10:15 AM   #9
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halfords is a place that stocks all sorts of bikes from all sorts of manufacturers... no bikes over the £1000 mark, nothing that fancy, also it sells car stereos, baby seats, loads of cycling gear, everything for cars, motorbikes and cyclists really......
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Old 07-26-03, 10:22 AM   #10
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That sounds cool. We dont have anything like that. If they sell, and service bikes, give them a try. You want someone who can repair the bike when it is needed as well. There will be adjustments and things that will need to be done.
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Old 07-26-03, 10:27 AM   #11
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i think this is the bike:
Carrera Virtuoso @ http://www.halfords.com/shop/item.asp?id=881920
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Old 07-26-03, 10:33 AM   #12
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Firstly try to buy from a good lbs for advice - I'm not sure about Halford's bike hut stores, but I personally feel that in the mainstream stores the service isn't as good as in a LBS.

You don't need to bother with specialised bike shorts if you don't want to - I ride my road bike with just cotton walking shorts - not particularly fashionable but VERY practical - inside zipped pockets for valuables, phone etc.

I've steered clear of camelbacks myself - I prefer to rely on a waterbottle and not have the heat of a backpack. Cycling tops are useful because of the rear pockets that allow you to store stuff - they're also miles mopre comfortable than a cotton t-shirt. I've bought a frame pump that attaches to the bike so I can just carry a spare tube, type levers, and patches in one of the pockets of my jersey and have the other 2 free for sunglasses, food etc.

As far as manuals go I'd say you can just rely on the owners manual you get with the bike and look on the net for advice. Sheldon Brown's site http://www.sheldonbrown.com is brilliant for DIY bike repair.

I got my first road bike 3 months ago. Its a 2003 Trek 1000 which comes in at just under £500 - I like it, but I think its arguably overpriced for what it is. Assuming that like me you're from the UK I'd say consider having a look at the Saracen and Dawes ranges as they offer similar bikes for considerably less.
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Old 07-26-03, 10:43 AM   #13
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Halford's is looking too department storish to me. Id look for someone that specializes in only bicycles. There are tons of good brands, Giant, Trek, Lemond, Specialized, Fuji, and etc. Look at alot of places before you buy. Find a place where they will answer your questions, and help to educate your buying decision.
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Old 07-26-03, 11:28 AM   #14
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For the Canadians replying here - Halfords is a better version of Canadian Tire. It stocks the cheap bikes(gotta cover the whole spectrum) but goes right through the range to top of the range models(not all stores stock them but can get to order) Halfords have specialist stores(called Bikehut) which have designated Bike specialists(yes, poached from LBS's)

I'm not sure on the specialist knowledge of the regular stores but the chances are they will have at least one 'specialist' on their staff.

I'm not sure what products they stock(left the UK a couple of years ago) but the Bikehuts should have a good range of quality brands in stock whereas the regular stores will have some but can get the rest to order.

Eek, it looks like I'm trying to sell 'em!
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Old 07-26-03, 12:05 PM   #15
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First thing I would suggest you do when you get the bike, practice taking the tire off and replacing the tube and pumping it up with your pump. It's a bad time to learn to do this when you get a flat on the road.
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Old 07-26-03, 12:13 PM   #16
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First thing I would suggest you do when you get the bike, practice taking the tire off and replacing the tube and pumping it up with your pump. It's a bad time to learn to do this when you get a flat on the road.
ive had plenty of practice with mountain bikes and their fat tyres, im assuming road bike tyres will be easier cos they have thinner tyres and will get past the brake pads easier...... the back one will be a bastard to get off i bet...... surely theres a technique?
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Old 07-26-03, 12:19 PM   #17
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Back one is no more dificult really then the front.. I find road tires are harder to get on and off then my MTB tires since they are narrower. This vary's alot depending on the tires and rims you get though.
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Old 07-26-03, 01:24 PM   #18
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I'd get a dirtbag (a little pocket that attachs under your seat) and get some tools... like pry arms for your tires (to help you remove your tires), a set of metric hex wrenches (allen wrenches), patch kit and a couple spare tubes.

-Dan the Man-
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Old 07-26-03, 02:08 PM   #19
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Dude don't go to Halfords they genrally deal in Crap ! Find a good local bike shop, ie, small with someone who knows what he's talking about. I was in Halfords the other day as they are selling Coca Cola - Tour de France drinks bottles which I have fancied for a while. I overheard an assistant showing some fella their bikes... and well frankly he was talking rubbish. Not saying that everyone who works there is clueless but I think alot are just people earning some pocket money. And their bikes aren't that well put together etc. Although to be honest they have improved (Which isn't saying alot).

One thing though is that a bike shop bike will more than likely be more money, but frankly a road bike isn't a cheap peice of kit! It is a performance item.

Tim
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Old 07-27-03, 04:26 AM   #20
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If you are on a tight budget, I would suggest sticking to the essentials, and leaving the nice-to-haves till you have a bit more cash.
Decide if you want a competition racer, or a bike you can also use for transportation and winter riding.
Besides trhe bike you need a basic toolkit/puncture kit and some spares to carry (mainly an inner tube). A large under-seat bag is an easy way to carry stuff, but make sure you have room for a spare jacket.
You will need a helmet: expensive ones are designed to keep you cool in very hot conditions. I finnd cheaper ones work fine in the UK.
Gloves (to protect your hands if you fall), and a lock.
A waterbottle is much cheaper than a camelback.
If you are going to ride for more than 1 hr, then cycling shorts are a real help. Get at least 2 pairs, and ALWAYS wear clean ones.
Cycling shirts are nice, but not neccessary. You can ride in T shirts (this is England, ave July temp 22C). Wicking T shirts are also good. Look in the cheapie bins of bike shops for bargains.
Clipless pedals and cycling shoes will cost you about £70+. You dont NEED them to rise, a pair of trainers and some toe-clips will be sufficient. You probably need them if you start to race.
Think about lights, and a windproof jacket (Pertex is good and cheap)with relective piping.
In cooler weather you will need some leggings (Ron Hill tracksters are popular) and some full-finger gloves.
Halfords is OK as a bike shop, but there are lots of better ones.
Just for some ideas, check out Edinburgh Cycles, they do some fantastic value bikes that are very highly rated.
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