I got back on a bike in January 2014 after around 20 years of not being on one. I’d given up smoking the previous October and I was determined to get a bit fitter so, to have a goal, I signed up for the annual London To Brighton bike ride. I bought a Specialized Sirrus Hybrid bike (below) for that challenge and it served me well through six months of training and the 57 or so miles from Clapham Common to Brighton sea front.
I plumped for a hybrid at the time for several reasons
- I thought the upright riding style would be easier on my ageing bones
- It seemed, after so long not being on a bike, less pretentious than buying a road bike
- The price at the time was decent (around £300) for a brand that I knew and trusted and there was a chance that I wouldn’t get on a bike for another 20 years!
- The operation of the bike was more familiar to me with regards to gear levers etc
- Most importantly I believed I would be more stable on it!
Since signing up for the London to Paris ride many people, including some very good cyclists, have told me to upgrade to a road bike. Their reasons range from it being lighter to more comfortable, but the one that always stuck in my head is that it is “easier, especially on climbs”. Now any help I can get on that element of cycling is worth having so I decided that I would eventually buy a new road bike.
I found that it’s an incredibly good idea to do quite a bit of research, especially familiarising yourself with common components across price brackets and then reading the reviews. I learnt to look for changes that manufacturers had made in order to hit pricepoints, usually though a lower spec chain or wheelset.
I found Bike Radar’s guide really useful and their You Tube channel has some great content on maintenance as well as equipment
It seems as though I’m buying at the right time as the 2016 models are being cleared to make way for the 2017 ranges. I’ve had my eye on a specific bike for a couple of weeks and today I took the plunge and ordered it, a Felt V75 Disc 2016 road bike from Wiggle.
For the price I couldn’t find a better spec online and although I have spent more than I originally planned to, I do feel that it is worth the extra money.
I have 4-6 days to wait until this beauty lands on my doorstep, I’m hoping that the autumn weather remains favourable enough that I can get a few rides out of it before winter really kicks in! I’m sure there will be some gratuitous new bike shots on our Instagram page when it arrives!