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- Posts: 3
- Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:49 am
Forgive me for treading a well-worn path, but this is a request for advice on buying a first bike.
It's been 5+ years since i regularly used a bike, and even then I never cycled seriously. With the onset of mid-thirties and a job that has me stuck behind a desk, I've decided to start cycling to work and making an effort to add cycling to my already regular running regime.
Despite being highly prone to catching the bug of a new hobby, I can't quite imagine myself becoming a serious road cyclist, (yet). The current priorities for a bike are commuting in traffic, (25km round trip), local errands and general fitness. My instincts are to spend more on quality at the beginning, even if I'm not yet sure where the cycling-bug will take me.
So, having spoken to my LBS, and read as much as possible, I've settled on the idea of a good quality flat-bar road bike. I enjoyed testing a 2012 Focus Planet TR.2, (which are now sold out), so I thought I'd order a 2013 TR.1.
A couple of question;
1- Am I on the right track with the flat-bar idea? My fear is that soon after starting to commit to riding regularly, I'll wish for a drop-bar position. (Or is it reasonable to have the idea of converting later up my sleeve?)
2- If the flat-bar idea is right, am I onto a good thing with the Focus Planet? That seems to be what I've read, and i did enjoy testing it, but happy for any real-world advice.
Many thanks in advance for any thoughts,
- Posts: 658
- Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:58 pm
- Location: Chatswood, NSW
I went through the same thought process when I wanted to get back into cycling. Bought a $1k flat bar because I thought a full blown road bike would be a little too much for me and I was worried that I won't use it properly.
Eight months later, I sold it for $400 ($600 loss) and bought a road bike. Have not looked back since.
Now I recommend people who want to get into serious cycling to just get a proper fitting road bike and skip the whole flat bar thing altogether.
- Posts: 7464
- Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 8:42 pm
- Location: Sydney
It's not that either choice is right or wrong,it's just that different people have different preferences and priorities. The reason that which bike is a well-worn path is that there are so many different variations as each manufacturer tries to find its own niche. If you look at any popular commuting route you will see a wide variety of bikes and riders - at least on my route it is uncommon to see the same bike twice.
So it really comes down to what are you looking for in a bike ?
- Posts: 3
- Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:49 am
I can definitely see both sides. In lieu of the "buy a cheap bike and accept that you'll buy another one soon", I'm looking for experiences that may match mine.
I am relatively fit and I do like to "get into" new hobbies. As I said, my only fear is having a simile experience to NhiTrac, so I'm just vacillating at the moment. I've certainly enjoyed riding the flat-bars I've tested, but can also imagine myself wanting to get serious quite quickly.
Any other points of view are certainly welcome. Thanks.
- Posts: 749
- Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:33 pm
- Location: Sydney (Rhodes to City Commuter)
I've got a few bikes and without fail take the roadie for commuting and cafe trips.
Wet weather commuting it the only time I enjoy disc brakes and 32mm schwalbe marathon plus tyres - all other times its Giant TCR time.
- Posts: 9610
- Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:40 pm
- Location: Brisbane
makes the ride easier. and easier when you do finally get a roadie.
still like commuting on the flat bar - don't have to worry about scratching it/getting it wet - and it's good weight training
- Posts: 25
- Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:04 pm
I love the way the bike handles, it's relative lightness (in comparison to my last bike 25yrs ago) and the feel of being out on the road again. I'd highly recommend the Focus Planet series for what you want to do, if the bug does bite harder once you're out on the road you can always buy a second bike ... remember the Velominati's Rule # 12 (http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/#12):
The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.
2012 Focus Planet TR 5.0
- Posts: 303
- Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:38 pm
- Location: Sydney
Flat Bar Pros:
- RIding a bike is fun
Flat bar cons:
Road Bike Pros:
- quick to accelerate
- hills are easier
- bike is lighter and more "snappy" to ride
- riding a road bike is really fun
Road bike cons:
- Posts: 501
- Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:50 am
Efficient frame layout of a roadie, but with more comfy ride from the fatter tyres. Easy to roadify it with lighter tyres if required.
Inevitable disclosure: Yes I have one. New convert, and very pleased with it as a commuter/ride with my son bike.
- Posts: 4
- Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:03 pm
Unfortunately the Planet was stolen outside my work after only a month of riding it.
I spend another 3 months trying to decide whether to replace it with another flat bar or step up to a roadie (I had moved house in the meantime and my commute was now 18km each way) - eventually I bought a Focus Variado and it's the best thing I ever did.
The entry level road bikes seem to be much better value than the flat bars... must have something to do with the volumes and competition for that market. It's allowed me to really step up my riding and I'm so glad I didn't get another flat bar.
- Posts: 473
- Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:50 am
- Location: on a chair in lycra
That said, I have heard of people going straight to a road bike and then giving it up because it wasnt for them and losing hundreds selling their gear.
Bottom line is only you can tell if you will love it or not. The key is, you need to 'LOVE IT' to take the step of a road bike or you will find it will sit in the shed for long periods of time.
2011 Kona Dew Plus (commuter)
2012 Focus Cayo 2.0 (road)
2015 Cervelo S5 VWD
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