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Hairy_Hogg

Need some bike advice

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Cooffe said:

I actually own the 520 flatbar so may be able to comment if you would like. I think it has the Shimano 105 gearset and Shimano cranks etc. I've never had the ability to fault it if im honest apart from right now I'd like to get something more sporty and aggressive. The V-brakes are OK but I suspect the compound of the pads aren't the best so would be worthwhile changing them. Adding some clipless SP pedals such as the Shimano 520 clipless and buying some cleats is a definite.

The Flat-bar advertises itself as a hybrid however I'd say its definitely more road-biased, but saying that I have taken it a few miles down canal paths before and it seemed to hold its own. It comes standard with the Victoria Randeunner (I think that's how it's spelt) tyres, which are known to be good, however I think you can put 26's on the standard wheels.

The carbon forks seem well made and the frame is also well made. 

All in all i think it's actually a lot of bang for your buck, however would definitly advise a) looking out for them second-hand and b) consider if you really want a flat bar, and if you do, consider if you'd actually more prefer a gravel bike than the 520 which is a heavily road-biased hybrid.

Thanks for this, it was a hybrid bike that I started looking for (that was the search term) and this came out top. However reading comments this seems to be nearer a road bike than what I probably need even though a lot of my time is spent on road it is as I said not unusual to be off road occasionally (especially as I live in a small village in the middle of the countryside). I am more of a keen amateur than someone who spends 7-8 hours on a Saturday banging out a 70 mile road expedition week in and out. Will have to try googling 'gravel bikes'

 

ETA: No idea about the best handle bars, I currently have more of a traditional on my Carrera and not sure if flat bars being anything to just "pootling along the countryside"

Edited by Hairy_Hogg

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There's a lot guff out there about various genres of 'allroad, 'adventure road' or 'gravel' bikes, and it covers a huge range of frame geometries, component choices and ridding styles. At the gnarlier end are the monstercross style bikes which are essentially hardtail MTBs with drop bars, then you've got the middle ground of slightly relaxed road geometry but with clearance for big tyres and (ideally) lots of braze-ons for extra bottle cages and racks, and then you've got what are essentially progressive road geometry bikes with disc brakes a bit more tyre clearance.

The Triban RC120 is in the latter camp and would be more than capable of the riding you've described, but, with max tyre clearance of 36mm it would struggle with much beyond well maintained bridleways with someone of your size on board. As @Cooffesays, it's more a progressive road bike; very capable but there are limits. I've got a Kinesis Tripster AT which sits in the middle of the spectrum and with two wheelsets for different terrain it covers 95% of what my old road bike and hardtail XC ride could do.

Worth mentioning that flat bars are pretty good for on road use too. There're a couple of riders in my local club who use flat bars due to back injuries and they easily keep up with mid-paced club groups. Costs them a bit more when they take a turn at the front but they're no slouches.

 

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@Skizz - Reckon you are on the right track and in his case I would be tempted to get a flat bar hybrid and see if discs are an option given the tougher terrain.

Also worth noting the max tyre sizes don’t include mudguard clearance on the frames or under the fork bridge. You will also struggle to fit mudguards under standard drop road calliper brakes with a safe level of clearance for mud/stones. I wouldn’t have an all year round commuting/touring bike or winter trainer that I couldn’t easily fit full length SKS chromoplastics onto.

Now down to an old flat barred steel touring bike for commuting with 35mm tyres plus mudguards. For faster stuff I have a Surly crosscheck with drops, lighter parts and 25mm road tyres as my proper road bike since I don’t do sportives/club rides anymore.

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1 hour ago, Skizz said:

There's a lot guff out there about various genres of 'allroad, 'adventure road' or 'gravel' bikes, and it covers a huge range of frame geometries, component choices and ridding styles. At the gnarlier end are the monstercross style bikes which are essentially hardtail MTBs with drop bars, then you've got the middle ground of slightly relaxed road geometry but with clearance for big tyres and (ideally) lots of braze-ons for extra bottle cages and racks, and then you've got what are essentially progressive road geometry bikes with disc brakes a bit more tyre clearance.

The Triban RC120 is in the latter camp and would be more than capable of the riding you've described, but, with max tyre clearance of 36mm it would struggle with much beyond well maintained bridleways with someone of your size on board. As @Cooffesays, it's more a progressive road bike; very capable but there are limits. I've got a Kinesis Tripster AT which sits in the middle of the spectrum and with two wheelsets for different terrain it covers 95% of what my old road bike and hardtail XC ride could do.

Worth mentioning that flat bars are pretty good for on road use too. There're a couple of riders in my local club who use flat bars due to back injuries and they easily keep up with mid-paced club groups. Costs them a bit more when they take a turn at the front but they're no slouches.

 

Sorry, why is max clearance important?

@Northern_Monkey - sorry, to much jargon mate - could not decode SKS chromoplastics etc :)

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@Hairy_Hogg - Sorry! I was a bit cryptic there 😅

SKS Chromoplastics. They are pretty widely accepted as the one to beat in terms of full length mudguards. Don’t rattle, are safe to use and work really well. https://www.wiggle.co.uk/sks-chromoplastic-road-mudguard-set

You can have problems with racy/sporty style bike frames not having a lot of room between the fork or frame and tyre. If you ride on rougher roads it’s worth bearing in mind since objects can get stuck or you can’t use mudguards.

Almost all “racing” style road bike rim brakes for drop handle bars (i.e. regular Shimano Sora/Tiara/105) sit too close to the tyre to safely fit mudguards under, stones or bits get stuck in between the tyre and guard. This can put you over the handlebars. Disc brakes can give a lot more flexibility and room. https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?t=8627
 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hairy_Hogg said:

Sorry, why is max clearance important?

@Northern_Monkey - sorry, to much jargon mate - could not decode SKS chromoplastics etc :)

You're right, there's a lot of jargon that can be bloody confusing even if you're familiar with it. Wait until you decide to start upgrading a bike and you run into the minefield of componentry standards and compatibility! 

Regarding tyres: the bigger the tyre the lower the pressure you can safely run it at (to a point) and the greater the comfort and traction. The bigger the tyre you want to use then the more tyre clearance you need. Too big a tyre and you'll find it rubbing the frame and/or forks.

I used to ride a cyclocross bike as my general purpose hack and it would only take 35mm tyres, so to run them at a pressure high enough to support my weight on road it would rattle my teeth out of my head. Too low a pressure for the tyre size and rider weight and the tyre will compress and cause a 'snakebite' or 'pinch' puncture, where the tyre and inner tube get pinched between the rim and the road surface. Some of these issue can be overcome by using tubeless tyre setups but that's one to look at once you've found a suitable bike.

I use 38mm tubeless tyres for road riding as I can run them soft enough to iron out most of the bumps but they still roll reasonably quickly; quick enough for mid-paced club rides without too much penalty on rolling resistance. For offroad riding I've a second identical wheelset but with 45mm tyres with a more aggressive tread pattern, also run tubeless and at a much lower pressure.

Your best bet, if you're able to, is to get out and try a few styles of bike in suitable sizes - probably Large or 56-57cm frames for you - and with flat and drop bars. See what you like and what feels comfortable. If theres a bike you like but you think you may be between sizes it's easy and relatively cheap to make minor adjustments to things like stem length and height, saddle to handlebar distance and even crank length.

General rule of thumb is that it's easier to dial in a frame thats slightly too small than one that's slightly too big.  Also worth noting that the vast majority of road and gravel bikes sold have stems that are far too long for 80-90% of people who'll ride them. There's a certain cool factor to having a 'slammed' cockpit (long and low) but unless you're a full on racing snake then all it'll do is give you a miserably uncomfortable riding experience. First thing I've done on most bikes I've bought or built/prepped for other people is shorten the stem and raise it.

Try some and let us know how you get on.

Edited by Skizz
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Keep an eye on Freewheel. They’ll have more bikes going up on there over the next few days & weeks as 2021 stuff lands and ex display bikes from this year are added.

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ECM Synchronika | Eureka Mignon | VST

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On 23/06/2020 at 20:43, Hairy_Hogg said:

 

I want a new bike, I have had my Halfords Carerra for a good few years now and the cost to get it serviced and new tyres are pretty much £110 and if I consider what I could get for it second hand that covers a £550 bike on a 4 year cycle to work scheme (£26/month post salary sacrifice and a £38 payment to HMRC in 4 years)

 

I tend to cycle about 8 to 10 miles every morning after a gym session or a run before work and this is mainly on the road with the odd farm track thrown in through the week with the odd longer ride at the weekend.

 

Caveat, I know bugger all about bikes although can change an inner tube.

 

After looking at some reviews online I think I want the Triban 520 Flatbar (£549) from Decathlon however would be interested in any thoughts from anyone who knows about this.

 

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

 

 

 

Tyres don't cost £100's and really, servicing is very, very easy. 

Doing it yourself is free and only encourages you to cycle more.

Bikes are mature tech. They are Bombproof and designed to be abused and used.

My advice is to do the old bike up. A local bike co-op can help and perhaps you might know somebody handy with a few tools.

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Would agree if you have a basic level of mechanical aptitude and are happy to spend a bit on some necessary bike specific tools, that building a bike up is a good way to go.  Plenty of resources online now as well - the park tools website is pretty good for most stuff.

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On 18/07/2020 at 13:55, danburbridge said:

Would agree if you have a basic level of mechanical aptitude and are happy to spend a bit on some necessary bike specific tools, that building a bike up is a good way to go.  Plenty of resources online now as well - the park tools website is pretty good for most stuff.

The Park Tool Big Blur Book looks interesting if you want to learn basic cycle repair. Might get one myself.

 

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Honestly bike maintenance is very simple in general. The tricky things are knowing what to grease, threadlock etc and having the right tools to do the job. Thats also where the cost comes in.

I bought a second hand hardtail trail bike last year and I reckon i have spent about £200 on tools and gubbins to be able to service everything. Shock pump, fork service stuff, cleaning kit, tools, tubeless sealent, multi-tool for on the trail repairs etc.

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29 minutes ago, mctrials23 said:

Honestly bike maintenance is very simple in general. The tricky things are knowing what to grease, threadlock etc and having the right tools to do the job. Thats also where the cost comes in.

I bought a second hand hardtail trail bike last year and I reckon i have spent about £200 on tools and gubbins to be able to service everything. Shock pump, fork service stuff, cleaning kit, tools, tubeless sealent, multi-tool for on the trail repairs etc.

Quite true.

Youtube is a good source but don't go off the 1st video you watch. Look at a few.

 

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On 23/06/2020 at 23:49, BlackCatCoffee said:

Can you hang on a few months?

People have gone crazy for bikes during lockdown.

I suspect shortly we will see the second hand market flooded with bikes that have seen very few miles indeed.

There will be some bargains to be had for sure.

Definitely the experience in London - most shops are sold out on new bikes. Tried to customise a Brompton, was told factory shut for new custom orders until next year... 

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Definitely the experience in London - most shops are sold out on new bikes. Tried to customise a Brompton, was told factory shut for new custom orders until next year... 
I think you'll find they will be open sooner than that

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You guys set me on the way to looking at e-bikes. Looking at either a Van Moof or a Cowboy. I'm sure I'm getting sucked in by the marketing. 


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54 minutes ago, Hairy_Hogg said:

I think you'll find they will be open sooner than that

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 

Insider info? Lol

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Insider info? Lol
Yep :)

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Mr LSOL - August offering here -> Clicky <-

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