Wanted: someone nice to help me find a bike

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  • Hi there, I've been looking for my dream bike for months now, and I always find myself in the same (very frustrating) situation. My knowledge of bikes and the bike market being pretty limited, I struggle to make the right decision and end up with bikes that don't fit the bill.

    I would love to meet someone who can help me with my search, someone knowledgeable and eager to spend a bit of time to advise me on a satisfactory purchase. For London-based charitable souls, I can make up for the time spent in beers, coffees, bike rides and French lessons - vraiment.

    I'm looking for a 54cm road bike (or smaller, I'm a 5ft9 female) with the possibility to fit gravel tires. I'd like to be able to go touring with it - I'm planning to go on a 1000+kms bike tour in September. I would also use it to go on my usual weekend bike rides on roads and Regents Park laps.

    I would be extremely grateful if someone could help me find it, feel free to send me a message!

  • Readin this my first questions would be New or second hand? What's your budget?

  • DoubtfulAce Ah yes, I forgot. Second hand and around £700-800 for a full bike!

  • Ok! Do you have a prefered frame material ?

  • Aluminium would be my first choice, but I could be convinced otherwise

  • You can find very good bikes with alum frames and carbon forks for your price range. I’m in south London, happy to help if you want to drop me a pm.

    Some things to consider:
    1- Campag, SRAM or Shimano groupset? If you don’t know, it’s worth trying them all out to see which fits your hands better.

    2- Disc or rim brakes? Discs are found on modern bikes and work better in the wet. Rim brakes are cheaper, lighter, simpler and there’s tons of choice for parts.

    3- 650b or 700c wheels? For your height you’re probably ok with 700c but some smaller people find a smaller wheel suits them better. Again, something to try out.

  • While I probably cant contribute to the full scope of your request, with a 175cm & female combo I would probably size down on the frame. Of course it depends on a lot of other things, but you'll likely end up with a longer reach than ideal with a 54. Frame sizing can be tricky to compare between manufacturers (54cm what? Seat tube? Effective top tube? Top tube?), so I would look out for the "reach" number and compare it with whatever bikefit calculator you used to get the 54. Other thing to check is that your handlebar is of appropriate width, that can make or break a fit, but a relatively easy and low-cost fix to get the right one.

    And (I think) a smaller frame with a few spacers under the stem (if youre not flexible enough) looks better than a larger frame with a very short stem.

    Just my 2 cents, best of luck!

  • Getting panda1 vibes. Meh, who knows.

  • Fantastic.

    1 - I currently have a Campagnolo groupset but I don't know much about it, happy to be enlightened on the topic...
    2 - Difficult, I'd say rim brakes - esp. if I want to change tires every now and again.
    3 - I'm on 700c wheels, yes!

    I've sent you a message, thanks a lot :)

    P.S.: I'm not Panda1, or whoever that is.

  • Thanks a lot! It's an ongoing debate in my group of cyclist friends. I have always been on 52 cm bikes and I keep on hearing "your bike is too small for you" whilst others object it's the right size for me. I feel comfortable on my bike, but I guess that it's because I'm used to small bikes and I don't know any different.

    As you can see, my seat post is quite high but it works okay. So... should I stick to 52? I should probably learn more about bike geometry and size variations.

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  • The cockpit on that bike looks fine. I would suggest staying with a 52 if that's comfortable for you. Measure the top tube center to center aswell as reach is important too. You could always test ride a 54 to see how you feel.

  • I would also suggest a compact chainset or semi compact if you want to tour.

  • Hi if you already have a groupset your happy with I have a cannondale bike I’m about to split so if you just want a frame I could help it’s a 53cm I’ve also got a surly pacer frame in 54cm
    cheers k

  • Great, thanks a lot - I'll stick to a 52 then!

  • Hey, thanks I messaged you!

  • Did you try visiting a local bike shop for advice? Some good advice can be received but then again they will also try and sell you something (anything).

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Wanted: someone nice to help me find a bike

Posted by Avatar for meltuel @meltuel