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What do you think of this bike?

FiFi Posts: 31
Hi there,

I'm new to this forum - looks good. I'm going to do a sprint triathlon. At the moment I train in a very heavy old mountain bike (which I think makes good training) but have been web-surfing for a road bike...I'm after a favour. I'm not 'made of money' but I was wondering if I could get people's opinion on the attached bike link below? (It should be a Focus Variado 2008 Road Bike). It really is around the top end of my budget. If anyone could reccommend shoes and the clip pedal things that would be great.


I'm female but I've always ridden a man's bike so I'm not limiting myself to certain models. Any advice or thumbs up or down's would be most gratefully received as I don't want to be blowing my budget.

Thank you so much,



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    transittransit Posts: 163
    The bike looks pretty good for the money. Focus seem to have a really good spec. for the price and as an entry level bike it will be great. (alternatives for good price might be Planet X alu, Ribble bike or Cube from Chain reaction - but the Focus is as good as these)

    Shoes and pedals, well Wiggle do the DHB range which seem to get good reviews and cheap although might be better to get to a shop to try them on. Also look at Shimano. Maybe Specialized. Again, depends if you want triathlon specific shoes. Type of pedal, either SPD - SL or Look if you're gonna be serious or normal SPD and non-recessed cleated shoes if you want a more practical set of shoes. If you hunt around you can usually get some good deals on shoes from various makes.
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    paulfitzpaulfitz Posts: 67
    All the focus Wiggle bikes seem to get a good write up so I dont think you will go far wrong. As for shoes I would agree with above post. I use normal Shimano SPDs on my training and MTB, with a proper soul and grip. I have carbon bottomed Look cleats on my comp bike, but that is only cuz it came with them. I would go with the recessed cleats and shimano spds, as you can at least walk around in them on a training ride when u stop at the petrol station. :)
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    FiFi Posts: 31
    Thanks for the responses. Looks like I'll be getting the Focus. Thank you also for the advise on the cleats and shoes - at least I now know what types and makes to look at which is a great help. I don't think I'm going to bother with tri-bars at the moment. I was told that you need to go atleast 30mph before tri-bars are really needed...I don't think I'll be doing that.

    Fi [:)]
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    transittransit Posts: 163
    Hmm, I think you have been mis-informed re: tri bars. That information sounds like something more applicable to Disc wheels - which I definitely wouldn't bother with unless you have £1k lying around and don't mind getting blown off your bike regularly! (I think a disc wheel is greater than 22mph or something.) 30mph is very quick unless you're going downhill.

    Tri bars are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to save time no matter how fast you cycle, however, I'd leave it a few weeks/months until you get some just because it is harder to control the bike with tri bars on. Once you are comfortable with the new road bike handling get a set, well worth it!
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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    I thought that the 30mph figure was a little high, too. I think it is more like about 18mph/25kph where the aero position makes a noticeable difference, and there's also the posture advantages too.

    Dropping onto my aero bars from an upright position at 25kph is worth an extra gear to me. The difference between riding on the aero-bars compared to the normal drops seems to be comfort only: the stretch out position is far better.

    Agree with transit: Make sure you are happy with the bike, particularly changing gears and knowing what gear to be in for any given situation before you start trying to steer it with your elbows, though.
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