Bike Shopping

So this is an open call for any cyclist to give me advice. I’m looking at getting into this road cycling business and to be honest I have not got a clue what I am looking for.

Off course I have gone into a shop and talked to people and sat on a few bikes etc. I thought I found one that I liked and told my cyclist mate who has a brother who works in a cycle shop. He now informs me that the bike they selected is not ideal and that I should pick one from his stock and he recommended some that would suit me. 

The argument that he puts forward is that the Focus Culebro SL 3 is not a built for comfort and the handle bars are quite low, so its less of a natural position. 

I am now confused as when I tried it in the shop it seemed like I was sat quite upright and they said they could do stuff to make it better in the bike fit,  but another mate says you shouldn’t make a bike fit you.

So what do I do? I want to get moving on this as any kind of cost I need to act quick otherwise I start questioning how much I need the purchase etc. 

So any cyclists out there, please help me out. 

Thanks. 

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3 thoughts on “Bike Shopping

  1. rcraft6826 July 21, 2014 / 23:13

    Hello there,
    I have many years working in the bike industry so I thought I would chime in with my two cents.
    First off, you need to determine what you are mainly going to do with the bike. If your planning on racing, then you’ll want to look for something more aggressive. Usually these types of frames will have a shorter head tube and a longer top tube to put you further bent over and out of the wind. The drawbacks to these are that they can cause fatigue quicker if your not used to riding them. The other option is something with a more endurance type geometry, (taller head tube, shorter top tube) this will obviously put you more upright and directly into the wind, bit it will be much more comfortable over longer distances since your not putting as much weight on your wrists and shoulders. Once you figure out your goals for the bike you’ll want to look at the proper size bikes within your selected category. Keep in mind minor fit issues can be remedied with things like longer/shorter stems, setback seaports, and making changes to the Stack height of the handlebars. Also, the bike should be 100% fitted to you before you make any decisions. If it feels wrong at the store even after making fit adjustments then it is not right for you. Also, just to clarify, the focus culebro is in fact an endurance geometry bike, not a race, which probably explains why it felt more comfortable to right off the bat. (the Cayo is the newest version of the culebro, while the izalco is their race geometry bike)
    Here’s some good examples of bikes that lay in each category.

    Endurance:
    Kestrel legend
    Specialized roubaix
    Scott solace
    Giant defy

    Race:
    Kestrel rt1000
    Specialized tarmac
    Scott addict
    Giant tcr
    Cervelo r3
    Litespeed l3

    I hope this helps a bit, please feel free to respond with any other questions and ill answer them promptly!

    • lddex July 22, 2014 / 11:52

      thanks for this.

      So in your opinion, for some one who is just starting out on this crazy but addictive thing called road cycling would you go for the focus???
      I’m more of a runner so my bike could do with sitting up more than bent over the handle bars. As I said in the blog the bike felt right, but all they got me to do was sit on a several, pedal a bit, quickly adjusted the stems and sits to see what bike may go with. The guy in the shop said I was akward as I was between sizes on most bikes and if they did 57’s that be me. Something about 56’s goes up to my height and 58’s start from my height.

      My brothers mate said that the Focus would not be a good comfy ride as the bars are lower and he suggested the following (which he happens to stock in his shop) Scott speedster 20, trek 1.5

      Be great to hear your thoughts. Basically I just want to ride. Go out with my mate, ride away, maybe 50 miles, maybe use it to ride to work, but also as a training tool for my running. I know from that experience, getting and choosing the right trainer can have a large impact on run and performance as well as injury, so I’m not jumping into road cycling without caution.

      To sum up. the shop after many sits on many bikes and some quick small adjustments and getting me to cycle with positioning hands where they could put the bars etc have recommended the Focus. They say that with a full bike fit they’d be able to have me on the bike and be happy to sell it to me.

      My small research and mates have questioned how comfy the ride would be as its built for speed, but you have now pointed out its built for race endurance which implies to me, it has too be comfy in some form. Plus there are these other two bikes that some one has suggested.

      My main goal is just to cycle for fun, maybe at a later stage do racing or Duelathlon events, it mainly use it as a cross trainer alongside running. My budget could be considered small, but I’m looking at 700=800 for the bike. Thats pounds.

      It would be good to hear any more advice or your response on this.

      Thanks.

  2. rcraft6826 July 23, 2014 / 05:23

    What size is the Focus you were looking at? With you being in between sizes, I would recommend you go with something on the smaller side. That is going to put you more upright, and in a much better position if your looking to do some climbing, while putting less stress on your lower back. And since your not planning on doing any road racing with the bike, you’ll be much happier with something you can ride comfortably for longer distances The Scott Speedster and the Trek are both decent bikes, but if your able to get the focus for a similar price I would spring for that. Its going to be a bit nicer frame construction from a much more boutique style brand. Whichever way you end up going, make sure you go with something smaller like a 56cm. It will more than likely feel more twitchy in the parking lot during a test ride, but as the miles and climbing start to add up you will be much better off on the smaller size.

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