Home Chat General Chat

bikes....old or new?

hi folks,
yet another newcomer after some advice! iv just entered my hometown liverpool tri and have started
training but my old spesh mountain bike just wont do so im looking for a road bike around the £600
mark. at this price im not sure to go new with something like the specialized allez or buy 2nd hand?
I went to formby cycles who obviously said im best buying new for the aftersales and bike set up
included etc. but i know il get more bang for my buck 2nd hand. also my bike knowledge i.e
maintenance is limited to say the least. my main criteria are reliable components and comfort.
any hints or advice would be appreciated thanks.


  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    I had this dilema when I first started.

    heres what I thought.....
    1. Second hand bike ebay seems cheap! Decided not to as the chances of it being stolen are high and also you cant tell if its bent or not true (frame) from the picture.
    2. Second hand from the police auction site. seems a good place to buy bikes but never what I wanted and in my size.
    3. Local paper/freecycle website. Again never anything worth while or in my size.
    4. A nice new bike would be the best option for me. There are some good deals after xmas.

    So with all that to chew on its your choice.
    I think you can get a bargin on the for sale page of this forum and if its from a forumite it should be what they say it is.
    It is worth getting sized up at a LBS before you buy as those inches make alot of difference.

    Good luck
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Hi and welcome

    Echo above; first tri £60 MTB, splashed £500 out on a road bike, had that 1 season, next season got tri bike. Important to get sized which they did at my LBS where I got the road bike otherwise would have got wrong size.

    I really wouldn't spend a lot as you will probably get a tri bike later on but you do need to get sized. If you do a search you will get all sorts of sizing guides e.g inseam (in cms) x .65, some say .67. This one is quite comprehensive http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CC ... ATOR_INTRO

    The cheapest way is to hook up with a local cycle/tri club that way you can try different bikes, sizes etc and hopefully pick up a decent 2nd hand bike
  • thanks folks for the quick replies...b*****ks to it im gonna get a new one and with the interest free
    deals around il increase my budget . looks like £1500 is a more realistic price for a decent bike....
    she moaned mexico was too hot last year anyway!
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    If I had that much money I would be looking at the Boardman at £999
    Not sure if holfords do interest free credit or come to mention it credit at all. They would be daft not to.

    Happy hunting and I forgot earlier WELCOME. ( I had a red grifter in 1987) Loved it.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Actually for not much more than your £600 initial budget
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Focus ... 360037593/
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    Now thats a good looking ride. I still think the boardman would take my cash though!
    Carbon and under a £1000! Need I say more?
  • thanks lads, that focus bike looks great vfm! i could just take it to a lbs to get set up properly.
    and a grand for a carbon frame cant be sniffed at...any idea of the reputation of these bikes?
    i dont really equate halfords with quality bikes?? im thinking a crap bike with boardman selling
    his soul for a quick buck?
  • jacjac Posts: 452
    The Boardmans have had rave reviews. A mate has got the Pro Carbon and loves it. Very light, but stiff - and fast. They are the best specced bikes for the price, without a doubt. If I had 1,500 quid free I'd buy it tomorrow.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    guys lets not forget the importance of a good bike fit.

    Grifter ( I remember those bikes too....i had the spoke clackers on mine!!), I was in a similar position to you last year. I had a budget of £500 for all my tri gear at the time. I popped along to my now ex LBS and purchased a Claud Butler San Remo 2008 model. Cost me £350. The fitting I got was to stand over the frame and that was it..no meausurements nothing.

    I battered along in tri's and training trying to fathom out why my back was killing me... eventually after discussion with someone else I realised the bike didn't fit.

    Now I have my measured frame and back probs gone..

    long winded story but felt nec as CH touched on it. I have no experience with Boardmans and i do believe they are good bikes.

    if i was grifter I would seriously consider getting fitted for whatever bike he/she decides to go for.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Re the Focus - my very first post the-old-question-which-bike-etc-t14316.html#p14326
    Had it for two years now, good spec, highly rated.

    Boardman likewise good spec highly rated - but then the Focus is a triathlon specific bike, triathlon geometry. The Boardman is a road bike and very good at what it does.

    Do a search and you will see that adopting an aero position is a big feature in triathlon. A road bike is designed for the purpose of maximising the transfer of power from the legs into forward motion either on the 'hoods' or 'drops'. Its geometry is such that it maximises the power of the quads. If you then fit aero bars the geometry and centre of gravity is thrown out and power output decreases however the aero advantage outweighs the drop in power. A tri bike's geometry is such that it drops the rider into the aero position and does so in a way that uses different muscle groups than on a road bike so that the triathelete is fresher into the run.

    I seriuosly suggest you do a LOT of research before committing yourself to your first bike and spending more than £500. With my first 'proper' bike a Giant SCR2 I wish I had gone for the model below the SCR3, I would have saved £150 as a year later I got my Focus tri bike.

    If you buy a road bike you will get a lot of flexibilty in use, leisure, commuting competing, group rides etc. With a tri bike it is full on no holds barred competition bike, you will not be welcome in group rides and have an 'interesting' time commuting in traffic.

    Much as I love my Focus and would never compete on a road bike again I would hesitate about getting a triathlon bike at first as you are talking of a full on commitment to the sport. But I would not spend a grand on a Boardman as unless you have deep pockets a tri bike is THE way to go simply because a tri bike is designed for triathlon.

    As Conehead says, use your existing bike for the first tri or so, see how it goes; in all probability you will get hooked and start selling furniture and assorted relatives to fund the addiction and then realise you need a fully pimped carbontri bike.
  • jacjac Posts: 452
    But if you have £500 to spare even the base Boardman would be a good buy.
    Shadowone1's point is a good one though - if the bike don't fit you WILL get problems.
    A road bike, IMO, is the way to go to begin with. Flexible, comfortable (providing fit is good!), adaptable and still quick.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Absolutley Jac,

    A road bike is the way forward, just ensure that the road bike fits.

    you can always tinker with the road to try and get to a TT bike... like I have.
  • muffsmuffs Posts: 17
    Shadowone1 I am in the same boat as you were and have £500 for a bike. My problem is though I know nothing and if I go to a bike shop I wont know if they are fitting me out correctly or not. My other concern is would a £500 bike be suitable. I know there are some but when buying new they don't come with pedals etc and that would have to be taken off the £500 budget therefore making my bike budget £450ish.
  • JellybabyJellybaby Posts: 180
    Nobody's said it yet, I know you're all thinking it ...

  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    yes jelly... been thinking it... do we mention it??
  • JellybabyJellybaby Posts: 180
    Of course! None of us are sponsored by him. You've seen fit to go all the way down from Scotland for your bike and I've done the same from south london, so he must be doing something right. You can get bikes for the same or less online, but buying them from an LBS (or a not so local one) keeps them in business and means you can talk to someone if there is an issue with the bike, etc
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    I was back there in December getting Battlekat fixed. Was having a bit of a problem with the gearing which was my doing. Fixed in no time. Mike is a legend!

    Red Grifter..there is a bike shop in the midlands that I/we use, albeit there are others that you can go to. But I travel 4 hours to go and see Mike as he is a total legend. Even if you don't buy from him he will give you honest advice. He's given me more advice that my LBS anyway.

    There was a thread about other bike shops also that are pretty good, perhaps worth a search.

    However, for your information the bike I'm refering to is

    Bridgetown Cycles www.btownbikes.com - The guy's name is Mike Taylor and I'm sure he will help you with a not only getting a good bike, but getting you fitted and making sure you are happy.

    Caveat - there are other LBS's out there also....
  • thanks again lads,
    being new to all this i need some honest advice and it seems bridgtown come highly recommended by you all and thatl do for me.
    there only based in cannock so less than 2 hours from me, so during my day off next week il drive down
    and pick mikes brain.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Mmm think I have heard of that LBS as well - can't think where now.

    Redgrifter, yes absolutley get as much info as poss and weigh up all the opinions, good luck and I'm sure Mike will give you some good advice.
Sign In or Register to comment.