Numpty IM Bike Thread

Bike ponces only welcome if they don't speak in tongues

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26/07/2005 at 12:21
the air resistance against my balls was insignificant...........they were firmly tucked away up my inguinal canal avoiding any possibility of coming into contact with the road....... ;O)))
26/07/2005 at 12:22
Anyway. Back to bike not physics questions. Any recommendations on bike computers? I've got a wireless on my hybrid (well I will as soon as I figure out how to change the circumference measurement thingy) but it's been a bit awkward to fit & sort out.

What other makes am I looking for? Should I be bothered to measure my cadence? I'm mostly only looking for distance & time at the moment.

And, as ever, I'm not doing an IM. I might have the kit but that's as close as it is going to get.
26/07/2005 at 12:22
he's like a samurai
26/07/2005 at 12:22
I shall ask around in an effort to find out. Which should stop me blowing my brains out at 3am tomorrow morning.
26/07/2005 at 12:34
[wonders back in and looks to see if the Newtonion arguement is finally over]

Thanks Iron Rose & Gavo for brave attempts to rescue the thread back.

Iron Rose - I live in Warwick and the LBS around definately leave me feeling that they are p*ssing themselves after I leave. (Of course that might just be my own insecurities).

Gavo - the proper bikers might have a better answer, but for me, seeing the cadence makes a big difference. For a start, it helps me understand how hard I should be working...
26/07/2005 at 12:35
Just read back and glad I did - thought Candy was getting to in depth stuff like air resistance on yer nadgers and the latest saddle design to minimise that :oS
26/07/2005 at 12:36
based on his TOTP post that is!
26/07/2005 at 12:43
Hi All,
Great thread! Another thick question from a non-cyclist...

Am thinking about getting the Specialized Dolce (woman's fit) £499.

Frame: Specialized Designs for Women Columbus SLX double butted frame with replaceable derailleur hanger and Compact geometry
Fork: Specialized Carbon forks with bonded carbon fibre legs and alloy crown
Gears: 24 speed Shimano Sora front and Tiagra rear derailleurs
Shifters: Shimano Sora shifters with flight deck compatibility
Chainset: Specialized Comp chainset with 52-42-30 teeth chainrings
Brakes: Dual pivot alloy brakes
Wheels: Alex DA-16 alloy rims with Specialized hubs
Tyres: Specialized All Condition Sport 700x23c tyres
Handlebars: Specialized Zertz Womens handlebars
Stem: Specialized stem
Saddle: Womens Body Geometry Dolce saddle
Seatpost: Specialized carbon fibre seatpost
Pedals/Extras: Composite body pedals

Does this sound a reasonable choice for a beginner cyclist aiming for triathlon? If not anyone got any recommendations?

Am I being ripped off into thinking its better cos its a 'woman's fit'?

Are Evans Cycles in London OK? Any of you londoners recommend anywhere else?

Thanks lots!
26/07/2005 at 12:48

That's a decent bike and one which makes most of the recommendations. I believe it's the bike Jane Tomlinson did her IM training on. Regarding the fit, you really need to try it. Womens fit is best for some women. Normal for others.

Evans are a reasonable shop, get tehnm to match the price of Edinburgh Cycles who I think are doing this model for £425 at the moment (or get them to include £75 of kit for free - shoes, pedals, shorts etc)
Calf    pirate
26/07/2005 at 12:53
FFM have you tried the bike shop in tavistock street in (yeah I know) coventry?
Always found the bloke there quite reasonable.
The ones in leamington are for kids or just rude!
26/07/2005 at 13:08
I bought the Specialized Allez a couple of years ago, and I think the Dolce is a women's specific-version of it.
Yeah, decent bit of kit and I've been happy with it.
Wasn't too impressed with the tyres in the wet over Winter so swapped those, but have ridden it for a couple of years, done a couple of Centurys.

I testrode a Trek 1000 for the same price, decided I preferred the Spesh, particularly as it had carbon forks and the Trek was only Chromoly.

Testride a few, see what you prefer, see what sort of service the shop seems it'll give you.
26/07/2005 at 13:15
Presumably at 5'4" a woman's fit would suit me better?
26/07/2005 at 13:15
Err - OK I'm a physics numpty as well....

Shall I start a new thread? ¦-D

I have it on good authority that Pearsons are a good shop in South London; not that I've used them yet:

26/07/2005 at 13:54
Thanks Andy W and Gumps! Will try some more before I decide, trouble is being only 5'2" most shops don't seem to have the small frames in to try out.
26/07/2005 at 14:05
Pearson's (my local shop) will let you do a trial ride, as will Evans, if you take along a passport or similar
26/07/2005 at 14:08
5'2" isn't that small - have a ring around.

Re women's fit : really cheap bikes would just have a woman on a smaller bike, more expensive manufacturers make 'women-specific' bikes.
Confusingly, other manufacturers make their small sizes in women's fit and bigger ones for men, but don't say so !

'Women's fit' works (roughly!) on the idea that women have shorter bodies and longer legs than a man of the same height, so a woman would need a bike which was shorter from back-to-front, not just 'smaller' than a man's bike.
It's more complicated than that of course, as a woman would also have different length arms, shoulder width, leg strength, etc, etc than a man the same size.

So all the proportions of a 'women's fit' bike are a little bit different - not just a shorter toptube (aka 'crossbar') for the same height seattube (from saddle to pedals), but also the height of the headtube (the tube at the front of the frame that the forks fit in the bottom of), the length of the stem (horizontal bit connecting handlebars to frame), the width of the bars themselves, the angle of the forks, the length of pedal cranks, etc, etc.
The wheels, brakes and gears are the same, but the geometry of the frame is all slightly different (those measurements they always quote in the blurb at the back of the brochure)

However, of course this all assumes there's a 'typical woman' just as much as a 'typical man', but no-one is quite typical and depending on your particular shape/size a woman might be better on a smaller 'mens' bike than a 'womens', or neither might fit quite right.

But that's not a problem, as so long as the basic bike frame is right, then bits like stems, saddles, pedals, etc can be swapped to make it fit you, and a good bike shop will do that for you.

To complicate further, different bike manufacturers measure their bikes from different places too, so the 'same size' frame from different makes may be a lot different in size.

And different bikes can be different styles - fast racing geometry or more comfy but slower touring geometry.
This matters if you want it for racing or long rides, commuting, cross-training, etc ?

What you need is a good bike shop where they'll ask what you want the bike for, show you alternatives, let you try them, work-out what size you need, and then fit the bike to you by making adjustments or even swapping some of the bits.

Not easy, not quick, but this is what you pay for by buying from a bike shop rather than paying less by mail order or internet.

However if you feel that a bike shop isn't willing to spend this time on you and wants to make a quick sale, or just plain doesn't know what they're doing, then try somewhere else.
26/07/2005 at 14:17
Thanks Andy, that's really helpful, will try some 'mens' and 'womens' and see what fits best. I'd like a road bike to take up triathlon but would need to be able to ride it to work too. Will make sure the shop is willing to spend time getting it right, although could still easily get ripped off as no clue really!
26/07/2005 at 14:34
haile - 28mm armadillos or gator skins seem good. and maybe stick a "slime" tyre liner inside them too.

i've got those on my winter bike, a hybrid with old tribars on (i don't use a turbo as i have no interest in dale winton's used thongs), and i never skidded off or got a puncture once.
26/07/2005 at 14:35
RHG, I'm 5'4" and very happy with a 50cm "men's" version of the Trek 1000. As Andy W says, there are different shaped women and different shaped men, and only trying out the bikes will tell you whether one suits you. slugster, FYI, the Treks go down to 43cm frame size, in women's & men's. But I think they go straight from 43 to 50cm, whereas the Dolce (and possibly its men's counterpart, the Allez) has a couple more interim sizes.
26/07/2005 at 14:41
Thanks, are Trek and Specialized the 2 main contenders or should I also consider any other brands?
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