Hey guys, you've probably heard this all 1000x over, but could you give me some advice as to everything I need to get started as a road cyclist? Also I'm looking at getting a Specialized Allez - good choice?
welcome to the forum and best of luck with your new hobby/sport/obsession....
Probably the best place to start is with your local cycling club, most are pretty friendly and the British cycling website will be able to point you in the right direction (worth joining as well - free first time round and you get insurance cover thrown in).
Your local club will be able to give you pointers on how to ride in a group and training guidance etc if you want to take things more seriously.
On bikes, you can spend an age looking at them but the first question to ask is what type of riding are you planning ? If it is flat out racing then a "flatter" geometry like an allez or tarmac are worth considering if specialized is your chosen brand. If you are looking at longer rides a more relaxed geometry might be appropriate (easier on the back). Personally I ride a carbon frame Roubaix which I am very happy with.
The next question is groupset and within reason, you want to get the best your pounds can stretch to. In shimano terms they start at 2300, sora, tiagra, 105 then ultegra. Thereafter you are into electronic groupsets which I would not recommend as a starter....
We could now go into wheels but we could spend all day on how much to spend going lighter etc when for most of us (myself included) it is easier to lose weight off our bodies than our bikes..... essentially on a starter bike you probably want something fairly sturdy which is what you will generally get off the peg.
The next question is frame - generally the choice is aluminium vs carbon on starter bikes. Carbon is lighter, more comfortable and more expensive. Crash a carbon frame and it may well be a write off as it can't be repaired....
If I was looking at aluminium frames I would take a look at the cannondale range - well made and light (have a look at the caad 8- a good starter bike).
There are loads of good bikes on the market and now is a good time to shop around with sales on at wiggle and evans cycles.
Anyway best of luck getting started and no doubt some one will be along to contradict me shortly
Yep, welcome to the forum and to cycling!
Best advice is to ask around - local clubs, cycle shops, forums, do your own reading (see if you can pick up some brand brochures), possibly see about going to the cycle show at the NEC at the end of this month:http://www.cycleshow.co.uk/
That'll give you loads of options to allow you to work out what you want in terms of what riding you're doing, what budget you have etc.
Most of the shops have sales on at the moment as they try to shift end of season 2013 stock and make way for new 2014 stuff, have a look at Evans Cycles, Wiggle and as many independent local shops you can. I'd advise against buying online for your first bike though, you really need to find a good roadie shop that has what you want and can set it up properly for you.
Allez is a good bike. Most bikes from £500 up are similarly capable, and more gears dosn't necessarily make it better. Some info:http://road.cc/content/buyers-guide/63013-roadcc-buying-basics-buying-yo...http://road.cc/content/news/72001-best-entry-level-road-bikes-under-£500http://road.cc/content/buyers-guide/71216-best-£500-£900-road-bikes
I would second the recommendation to find a good shop (LBS=local bike shop). Then choose whichever one you really like that is within your price range and fits you.
In addition you might want to consider padded shorts, SPD clip-in shoes and pedals and a few tools. It's easy to get carried away and spend a fortune but TBH you don't need anything flashy to enjoy riding your bike.
And I too would suggest you find a club.
Hi Ben, thanks for starting this as being equally new to road cycling all hints and tips are appreciated (all MTB for the last 10 years or so).
I've got the bike sorted, my questions are on the accessories - guess I can't really wear my baggies on a road bike so need a new road-friendly wardrobe - but where to start?
Here's a random tip. Don't pay £10 for a tub of something called chamois cream (you spread it on your undercarriage) recommended by some pervert in your local cycling shop. Even the most basic handcream found in Boots will perform the same function. And you tend not to need any in winter anyway.
Chamois cream isn't anything like hand cream! What are you moisturising with?!
The closest thing to it is nappy rash creams such as Bepanthen.