New to cycling

by Steakie75   July 2, 2013  

Hi, Im new to this road biking thing... I recently bought a 2003 Trek 1200 from a family member as a starter bike. The frame is a little large for me as its a 56cm one and im only 5ft 6 so stretching a little and killing me when cycling distances. Im not sure whether its worth buying a new bike or just getting hold of a smaller frame. The Trek has the following set up:

Group Set: Shimano Tiagra -
Brakes: Flight deck Shifters
Wheels: Front - Mavic Cosmic Elite
Back - Mavic CXP30
Headset: FSA

I know when im looking the Tiagra set is on the bikes that are £700 plus.....

Is is worth just getting hold of a smaller frame and moving the stuff across??

Cheers Guys any help is appreciated.

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17 user comments

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A 2013 sora group is probably better than a 2003 tiagra. And that is not even counting the millage...
I would buy a new bike with a 2013 sora group. You should be able to find good bikes for less than 550.

posted by juanerasmoe [11 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 12:15

1 Like

Personally I would look on eBay for a Boardman 'TEAM' in Medium...you will get one for an absolute bargain and then you have a platform to move forward. Its mostly 105 and a great bike...lots of people selling them hardly used.

After this summer if you still like the road shift the TEAM to become your winter bike (its Alu so ideal) and start building a new summer bike...away you go....

posted by NeilXDavis [113 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 12:18

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Personally I'd avoid Sora at all costs - very low end. And I'm not being a bike snob at all - I'd say that there is a clear gap between Sora and Tiagra that's worth the price difference, whereas for a beginner, the differences between contemporaneous Tiagra and 105 ranges are negligible.

For £500 you should easily be able to get a pretty decent 2nd hand road bike with full Tiagra or 105.

StuayEd's picture

posted by StuayEd [64 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 16:38

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For example take a look at this! It's worth trawling through eBay patiently! I got an aluminium pinarello in mint condition with full Tiagra for £360 a couple of years ago!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ribble-Carbon-Road-Bike-58-Large-/251296048795

StuayEd's picture

posted by StuayEd [64 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 16:54

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IME the downside of sora and 2300 is the small 'thumb' shifter as you struggle to get to it (if at all) from the drops. It's something that doesn't bother you when you start out but gets annoying as you progress.

posted by Super Domestique [1639 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 17:49

1 Like

Super Domestique wrote:
IME the downside of sora and 2300 is the small 'thumb' shifter as you struggle to get to it (if at all) from the drops. It's something that doesn't bother you when you start out but gets annoying as you progress.

Absolutely, that's one of the main things that puts it in a totally seperate "value" group from the rest of the range

StuayEd's picture

posted by StuayEd [64 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 18:38

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I bought my cannondale from eBay with combination of ultegra and 105 for 800 quid, there are bargains aplenty if you are patient enough.

ask yourself, what type of riding do you plan on doing in the future?

commute to work, just buy something cheap.

commuting and Sunday sportives, look for tiagra min

sportives and a bit of racing, look for 105 min.

also I asked the question a while back from experienced people " what's the most important thing when buying a bike"

I was told 1/ frame 2/ wheels 3/ groupset.

I followed that advice and I'm pleased I did.

posted by billyman [128 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 19:55

1 Like

StuayEd wrote:
Super Domestique wrote:
IME the downside of sora and 2300 is the small 'thumb' shifter as you struggle to get to it (if at all) from the drops. It's something that doesn't bother you when you start out but gets annoying as you progress.

Absolutely, that's one of the main things that puts it in a totally seperate "value" group from the rest of the range

Erm.

You guys are a bit behind.

The new sora has 'tiagra style' brifters... that is to say; no small thumb lever.

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1733 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 20:10

1 Like

^
I forgot that but still feel it's worth mentioning in case it's a 'last years model' type thing which could appeal.

posted by Super Domestique [1639 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 21:17

1 Like

Raleigh wrote:
StuayEd wrote:
Super Domestique wrote:
IME the downside of sora and 2300 is the small 'thumb' shifter as you struggle to get to it (if at all) from the drops. It's something that doesn't bother you when you start out but gets annoying as you progress.

Absolutely, that's one of the main things that puts it in a totally seperate "value" group from the rest of the range

Erm.

You guys are a bit behind.

The new sora has 'tiagra style' brifters... that is to say; no small thumb lever.

DOH! Missed that one!

I guess if there is a new Sora group I haven't seen then I can't comment on its quality, but I'd certainly expect the leap in quality between Sora and Tiagra remains.

Can anyone offer a more educated insight?

StuayEd's picture

posted by StuayEd [64 posts]
2nd July 2013 - 21:20

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I have a Giant defy 3 2013 with full sora 2013. It have paddle shifters and a 2x9 transmission. I love the bike and I haven't have any shifting problems. However, this is my first road bike, so I can't compare it with anything else...
For what I've read online, the 2013 sora is basically the same 2012 tiagra. The only difference between 2013 sora and tiagra is that it is a 2x9 transmission, while the tiagra is 2x10. The questions is then, how much are you willing to pay for an additional cog?

posted by juanerasmoe [11 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 8:53

2 Likes

Have you tried changing the stem (the bit that connects the bars to the steerer)?
If you buy a shorter stem then you won't be stretching so much. You should be able to pick something up for about £25 and it will only need an allen key to remove the old one and fit the new one.
This way you'll be able to see if you can make your bike comfortable enough to ride for a minimal outlay.

If you do buy a new frame to swap all your parts onto bear in mind that you'll probably need a new bottom bracket and you will need a new set of cables and bar tape. You also need to budget for £100 or so for your LBS to put all the bits together on the new frame or you'll need to spend the same money on tools and a manual to do the job yourself.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [324 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 10:47

1 Like

To the OP: How much is "a little too big" ?

I've read some articles on bike fit, the consensus is that you can adapt a bike that is too small for you (within reason) by changing the seat post, stem, crank length etc, but this brings into question toe overlap on the front wheel when turning.

However, there is nothing you can do if a bicycle frame is genuinely too big for you (even after you've changed the stem, moved the saddle forward etc).

If I were you, I would flog the Trek and get something that fits you perfect, otherwise you risk to become de-motivated if cycling causes you discomfort / pain.

Frame Swap: Unless you can do a transfer from one bike to another yourself (can require special tools, which aren't cheap) I would recommend you take it to an LBS (If you know what you're doing, it takes between 2 and 3 hours in my experience)

As mentioned above, you can pick up some decent used bargains, I recently bought a used BMC SL01 from 2005 with full Ultegra 6600 triple.. Cost? £400. A small overhaul (new bar tape, cables, brake pads and new tyres) was needed, but it's my favourite bike to ride right now.

For example: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/specialized-allez-sport-road-bike-/151069440006?pt=UK_Bikes_GL&hash=item232c70b806

Cheers,
Hector

posted by Hector Ch [52 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 11:26

1 Like

56cm frame at 5'6"? That's 2 or 3 sizes too big.

I'd sell the old bike - 10 y/o components will be tired now and it's never going to fit you - and go for a new or recent model. A Giant Defy in size Small (46cm) would be my recommendation but there's lots of choice, the price will depend on the drivetrain level you want.

Could you use the C2W scheme with your employer? You get tax relief and pay in instalments. Otherwise browse ebay and sort by distance or check local club websites, they often have classified sections.

Tiagra (4600 series) is now 10 speed, Sora 3400 is 9 speed. The new Sora shifters are effectively rebadged 9 speed Tiagra, not at all like the clunkier 8 speed stuff. Some people like the thumbshifters on the 8 speed systems but many find it awkward.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2033 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 13:05

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+1 with Simon E.
Sell the 56" bike, I'm your size-ish and 56" is too big.

If you want start getting out riding regularly and soon, I would recommend you buy new.

You can, as other poster says trawl ebay and any local LBSS for second hand but I didn't have much luck finding smaller frames so after several months ended up buying new (on cycle to work scheme - NB you don't even have to cycle to work on it).

Either way you def should get yourself down your LBS and ask their advice over sizing.
Def get your legs over a few bikes -
for instance, I really wanted a Boardman but found their small a wee bit too big.
I ended up on a 48" Cannondale which I didn't expect to go so small but it fits and that's the most important thing.
As said previously you can change things like position of seat, stem length but pointless if frame doesn't fit.

You may even find someone on here that'll take the Trek off your hands.

Joselito's picture

posted by Joselito [140 posts]
3rd July 2013 - 14:49

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A little large is an understatement I am 6 foot tall and ride a 56cm frame. A very short stem may make it rideable for you (but not a good fit) Get a smaller frame/bike

Groupset evolution New Sora = 3 year Tiagra = 6 year 105 = 9 year old Ultegra

So changing to Sora is not a downgrade, it is an upgrade.

posted by nickobec [261 posts]
4th July 2013 - 0:19

1 Like

Thanks for everything on this...gonna put the trek on ebay.....looking at the specialized Allez or maybe the secteur triple as its on at a decent price......need to go try them out but under 600 and worth a go..

Not thought about the ride to work scheme, thanks for that as I may even look at increasing the budget now..

Cheers for the advise regarding frame/wheels/gearing it looks like sound advise and I will use it when choosing a new bike.

Only got the Trek as family member was selling it cheap and thought it was a good way to get into cycling...never even gave the size a thought until started riding it.... Smile not as easy as I thought....! Confused

Steakie75's picture

posted by Steakie75 [2 posts]
4th July 2013 - 9:05

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