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Newbie £500 bike recommendation

Aiming to do my first tri later this year and need to get myself a bike.

I've got around £500 to spend, maybe a little more for a good deal.

I intend to go to my LBS measured for the right size but would like so recommendations from people please.

Also, do you guys listen to music whilst training on the road? Or think it's unsafe?


  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    Try Chain reaction . com.

    They have a sale at present and some BeONE bikes look good.

    I dont listen to Music whilst on the road. Its a bit like being an organ donar (I quote Bopomofo)
  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    Boardman range? Excellent write ups and great value.

  • graham33graham33 Posts: 265
    TopH, I would recommend: http://triuk.com/web/index.php/Triathlon-Packages/TRIATHLON-BIKE-PACKAGE-1/flypage-ask.tpl.html

    you get the Giant Defy and a wetsuit, trisuit, tri specific shoes, pedals etc - and only £574. I just got a package from them and it was top notch!

    Lets us know what you get........
  • [toPh][toPh] Posts: 244
    Wow, that's areally good deal!

    However there's a few bits of kit I won't need amongst them.

    I'm only planning on doing indoor swimming to begin with, and already have a helmet and pedals.

    Will deffinately look into the Defy 4 though, sounds like a good bike. Hopefully I can test ride one somewhere near Bristol.
  • graham33graham33 Posts: 265
    Hey - well you could get it (once you know you like the bike) then

    1. sell every thing on Flea bay

    2. keep as back up - esspeciallythe helmet

    3. I started with only sprints with indoor swims next year I want to do Ironamn!

    Good luck
  • graham33graham33 Posts: 265
    Ah If you're in Bristol - Evans cycles are very good - Tri UK matched their price for my bike, Evans are very resonable!
  • [toPh][toPh] Posts: 244
    Yeah Evans is where I'm going to head on the weekend.

    Also seen the 2009 Specialized Allez, does anyone have any opinions about them?

    Will hopefully try them both this weekend.

    Also are 27 gear necessary? Or would 18 be enough? On my mountain bike I've tried to get rid of all the gears I do use, and now only ride with 9 doing all mountain and cross country rides.

    I guess it's another personal preference thing
  • BlurredgirlBlurredgirl Posts: 292
    I got my bike from Evans - and aprt from being excellent value, I rate them as a bike shop. Nice staff, very knowledgable, got a proper bike fit, 10% off a couple of sportives and 10% off the next 3 services. I also got £85 worth of bike computer thrown in for free.

    You may not use all the gears for racing, but if you go road biking for fun you probably will. It's a long story but I found myself very unexpectedly on Mont Ventoux last summer. I used up all my 27 gears and searched for more in vain. Apparently I was whimpering.

  • jacjac Posts: 452
    Hi toPH,

    I bought a Specialized Allez 18 in January and have been really pleased with it.

    It's light, handles well and is a smooth ride. The only upgrades I've made are Gator Skins for training during the winter months and some Look Keo Sprint pedals because I wanted to go clipless.

    I looked at the Boardmans and Scott range in a similar price bracket - but Halfords wouldn't let me test the Boardman so I gave up on that. The Scott bike - sorry can't remember the model - rode well but overall I preferred the Allez.

    Happy hunting!

  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    My recommendation would be use the 'Search' function with phrases like 'Newbie', 'Cheap bike' and probably '£500' as well.

    Sorry if that sounds uncharitable, but there's a load of info on here and those of us that answer lots of questions only have so much time.

    And yes, I've had a crap day and I'm grumpy.
  • gaterz1981gaterz1981 Posts: 233
    I listen to music in the car....so i listen to music on the bike. I use my eyes to look and the last time i checked it wasn't illegal for deaf people to ride bikes.

    £500 gives you quite a few options for a good road bike, i cycle all giants. But to be honest i think it comes down to personal preference with bikes.

  • TeapotTeapot Posts: 7
    I listen to music. I find it stops me getting intimidated by the sound of large vehicles which means that I hold my position on the road, making it easier for drivers to predict my behaviour and overtake me safely. Having said that, I never have the music on so loud that I can’t hear what’s going on around me.
  • deeessdeeess Posts: 150
    never ever ever would i ride with music in my ears. you are travelling at high speed...with very little protection...and unpredictable drivers...and you choose to deprive yourself of one of your senses? asking for trouble.
  • graham33graham33 Posts: 265
    I listern to music if I'm comuting - with only the near side ear peice in, when i'm training on the road I don't listern to music.
  • gaterz1981gaterz1981 Posts: 233
    The main sense on the bike is your eyes, you can ride with no hearing, but it would be a problem if you took your eyesight away then tried to ride along a busy road. That was the point i was making.

  • puddlespuddles Posts: 37
    Hi, i got the Specialised allez sport '07. Bought it in the sale when 08 bikes came out. paid £550 for it instead of £700. Its my first road bike so i cant compare it with others but i do really like it. Just ordered a 12-27 rear cassette tho as its a double. Wish i went for a triple as there are lots of fairly long and very steep hills near me.

    Last yrs models are a good bet tho. there's still a few about : )
  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    Try Boardman - i've small hands and the levers fit lovely better than the Giant which i also have.

  • BlurredgirlBlurredgirl Posts: 292

    Women's specific bikes are always both too expensive and also not specced-up enough. I ended up buying a small size and tweaking it by changing the saddle and bars. There are wee little gadgets also that you can insert into the brake levers to bring the whole system closer to your hands, and I also bought a bike that came with a slightly shorter than normal stem, so the reach is right. I got properly fitted, and with the tweaks it all works. This was last year's Bianchi Via Nirone alu/carbon. Gorgeous bike.

    So you could try that approach i.e. find the bike you like and then replace the bars, stem and get the levers closer to your hands.


  • BlurredgirlBlurredgirl Posts: 292

    They're called shims, I've not tried them, but am tempted to: http://www.evanscycles.com/products/specialized/slim-shim-brake-lever-spacer-ec008424?utm_source=froogle&utm_medium=froogle&utm_campaign=froogle

    Looks like you'd have to make sure that your levers are compatible.

    I'm going to have a hard job hiding my new tri bars from husband, once I've got them on the bike. Don't think a cry of 'oh my god - how did they get there?!' is going to cut it.


  • [toPh][toPh] Posts: 244
    I finally settled on the Specialized Allez after trying it at Evans and then my local specialized store.

    After getting sized up correctly I did a search on the internet and managed to get an 09 Allez Elite for £650!

    Going to collect it on Saturday, very happy for that price.
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