First of all I would like to introduce myself. I'm new to bikeforums and am very excited to start learning and sharing experiences with all of you. So, hello! My name's Terence Steinberg, I'm a triathlete and cycle enthusiast from Minnesota and I'm currently preparing for a cycle tour of the UK and Ireland, which I will undertake in late August and early September.
The plan is to do about 1000 miles over three weeks, starting and finishing in London. I've been looking into certain deals on bikes, but I'm not sure what will be best since I've never done a tour this size before. Can anyone advise me on whether it's a better idea to purchase a bicycle in person and make sure the fit and everything is perfect - and pay a premium for the service - or to purchase a cycle online from some discount store such as discountbicycles.co.uk or cyclestore.co.uk? It seems these online stores may be able to give better deals. Is anyone here familiar with cycling in the UK and could provide some recommendations? My total budget for a bike, panniers, and related gear is around $1500 (900 pounds). I am planning on bringing my own spd pedals and shoes, helmet and apparel.
Any info at all is greatly appreciated. Thanks very much!