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Help me choose a bike!
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Erika



Joined: 09 Oct 2004
Posts: 387
Location: Lambeth/New Cross

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:54 pm    Subject: Help me choose a bike! Reply with quote

A friend and I are planning to do LEJOG over the summer and are looking to buy new bikes, but are generally clueless as to what we are looking for.
We're planning on taking it quite leisurely (compared to you lot at any rate), over 2 weeks, and staying in B&Bs to limit how much we have to carry.
Budget: starting point of ~£500 but could be persuaded upwards if it's especially pretty! (has to be under £1k including all fittings/accessories/clothing etc)
Should we be looking at light tourers, audax bikes, road bikes with space for luggage, women-specific bikes in these categories???

All advice gratefully received
Thanks  Very Happy

Oh and is anyone a member of CTC and could download me their official LEJOG pack?
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Van



Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 398
Location: SW London

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:43 pm    Subject: Reply with quote

I don't know much about bikes, but Nati just got a ladies Boardman hybrid for about £450 and likes it very much. I'm sure Howard will be along shortly to say what a brilliant buy it was Very Happy

Good luck with the LEJOG - sounds like a brilliant venture.
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Mikey-two-Names
LSST Coach


Joined: 24 Feb 2004
Posts: 4232

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:47 pm    Subject: Reply with quote

Nati's bike is very nice, and looks the business!!  I was chatting to my cycling mates when Van and Nati rode past last weekend, and they were like "wow, that's a nice boardman!"

Erika, I suggest going to a several of shops and trying lots of bikes out.  Define what you need - panniers, mudguards, etc., and then make sure the bikes you're looking at have the necessary bits.  And/or take Howard with you, LOL!
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matty
LSST Committee Member


Joined: 05 Aug 2010
Posts: 615
Location: Godalming - sunny surrey innit :)

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:21 pm    Subject: Reply with quote

Erika, I've got one word for you (and I think Howard might agree)

Surly...

brilliant, practical and long lasting bikes... definately not fashion items..

I can definately also recommend Brixton Cycles.. by far my fave bike shop in London...

I love my surly (its only a fixed gear) and I'm sure there's one to suit you too.. maybe a crosscheck?
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dan_b



Joined: 15 Jun 2004
Posts: 2496

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:21 pm    Subject: Reply with quote

"Light tourer" and "Audax" could pretty much be considered descriptions of the same bike, but I'd guess it's the kind of bike you should be looking for - luggage space (rack and panniers) and more relaxed geometry than a full-on race bike.  

Only guessing, mind you.  Never done anything remotely like a LEJOG
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Howard



Joined: 24 Jan 2010
Posts: 352
Location: W2 now init.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:35 am    Subject: Reply with quote

matty wrote:
Erika, I've got one word for you (and I think Howard might agree)

Surly...

brilliant, practical and long lasting bikes... definately not fashion items..

I can definately also recommend Brixton Cycles.. by far my fave bike shop in London...

I love my surly (its only a fixed gear) and I'm sure there's one to suit you too.. maybe a crosscheck?


hehe yeah +1 to the surly! We bought ours off the peg from Triton in the end. Brixton Cycles are lovely but they messed up their pricing a bit - we were going to supply half the bike and they still quoted us £800 for a build. Shame.

Anyway as Matty says the Surly Cross Check is a great do it all bike - just as happy smashing around the forest as it is all mudguarded up and touring. It would work well for Lejog I feel. The frame is really well designed, relaxed geo and plenty of clearance for touring tyers. And the new light blue version actually looks nice too!
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roger



Joined: 26 Feb 2004
Posts: 547

PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:19 pm    Subject: Reply with quote

You should definitely take a look at the Verenti Kilmeston from Wiggle.  It would make a very practical LEJOG bike.  All it needs is a rack - it has drillings for mounting the rack - and you are away.  And its only 750 pounds currently.  I bought one for commuting and winter use and have been very happy with it - just been out today and did a fun 80km on it!
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ed!
LSST Committee Member


Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 6733
Location: E R, London

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:40 am    Subject: Reply with quote

The CycleChat forum has a dedicated sub-forum for LEJOG:

http://www.cyclechat.net/forum/40-lands-end-to-john-ogroats-lejog/

You might find some useful info there.

In terms of bike, these are the things to consider:
- You will be practically living on this bike, so make sure it's comfortable - paying careful attention to saddle, handlebars and pedals (your points of contact).
- Have sufficient mounting options for panniers and mudguards (as Mike said)
- Components need to be reliable and easily servicable

Happy to chat with you about it before / after a committee meeting.  I've not done anything like what you're planning, so can't really advise that well, but happy to give general advice.
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Howard



Joined: 24 Jan 2010
Posts: 352
Location: W2 now init.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:38 pm    Subject: Reply with quote

roger wrote:
You should definitely take a look at the Verenti Kilmeston from Wiggle.  It would make a very practical LEJOG bike.  All it needs is a rack - it has drillings for mounting the rack - and you are away.  And its only 750 pounds currently.  I bought one for commuting and winter use and have been very happy with it - just been out today and did a fun 80km on it!


Could you ride lejog on 25mm tyers? A serious question, I honestly don't know. I've done 80 miles in day (well, night) on my single speed with 25mm...but that weighs 9kg and I wasn't carrying luggage. And I wouldn't fancy doing another 80 the next day!

You are right though, seems like a great bike, but more geared for sportives...

ed! wrote:

- You will be practically living on this bike, so make sure it's comfortable - paying careful attention to saddle, handlebars and pedals (your points of contact).


And the wheels...and the tyres! I would guess 28mm would be the minimum for that kind of touring and ideally you'd want rims that would take 30mm plus.
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BigSteev



Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 290
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:38 pm    Subject: Reply with quote

Let me know you e-mail address and I'll send the CTC stuff over.
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roger



Joined: 26 Feb 2004
Posts: 547

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:48 pm    Subject: Reply with quote

I should also have mentioned the Condor Fratello.  This is the bike of choice with the CTC group I cycle with (there were 5 of them out last weekend!), and is a really nice machine - and because each bike is built by Condor you can discuss your needs with them and spec the parts accordingly.  The only real drawback is that there is a bit of a price premium associated with this level of service.  Nevertheless I think this would be an excellent LEJOG machine.

On the question of what wheels to use, my view would be that it depends on how you are doing LEJOG.  If you are travelling light and fast, using B&Bs or with support, then 25mm tyres and a light tourer/sportive bike should be fine.  If you are going to load up with luggage, or are camping, then something more sturdy is called for.

Comfort on the bike can be a rather personal thing, especially with saddles - but I would suggest that if you are buying an off the peg bike under 1000 you should budget to replace the saddle with a better model (Specialized and Fizik do good ones).
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pazza98



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 361
Location: Harringay

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:53 am    Subject: Reply with quote

How's the search for a suitable bike and the LEJOG planning going? In my recent search for a new bike, I found this, a fit calculator on competitive cyclist dot com, which also includes interesting information on fit and styles of bike or riding. Hope this might be of some help. If you already made a decision and or bought your bike, please let us know what you chose.

Good luck.
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Mikey-two-Names
LSST Coach


Joined: 24 Feb 2004
Posts: 4232

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:46 pm    Subject: Reply with quote

Nice seeing you on the road today Erika!  Sorry I didn't slow to ride with you, I normally would have, but was in a rush today.  Good riding btw, I liked your road positioning a lot.

Isn't winter harsh on our bikes?
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pazza98



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 361
Location: Harringay

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:19 pm    Subject: Reply with quote

Did it look like her new bike? If so, what was it?
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Mikey-two-Names
LSST Coach


Joined: 24 Feb 2004
Posts: 4232

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:13 pm    Subject: Reply with quote

No new bike yet.  Oh, and I caught up to MattT last Saturday as well, it's nice to see you guys on the road!!
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