Saturday, 2 January 2010

New bike finally ordered.

After many hours online looking at different bikes and visiting a few shops, as well as monitoring a few bikes for sale on Ebay, I have now ordered my first ever new bike. Too long have I relied on battered 2nd hand bikes plus a borrowed one for the last couple of months. I hadn't planned on spending £500 (and by the time I have the mudguards and pannier rack it will be more than that), but that was before I did any proper research, and it became plain that my £300 budget was simply unrealistic. Sure I could have bought a bike for that, but I need a bike I can rely on, one that will cover my 15-20 miles daily commute as well as the 600+ miles of my charity ride, one that is nice to ride (what a novelty that will be!!).
So, the deposit has been paid, the order placed and, Thursday or Friday next week I will be the proud owner of one of these. Specialized Allez 16, granted it's only the entry model but according to many sources it's a fine peice of kit. Can't wait to ride her.
It will look less sexy due to the mudguards and the rack, but they are pretty essential. Commuting whatever the weather is more fun without a wet bum and legs, and dirty splashes all over me (thawing snow is the worst in my opinion, really dirty mess it leaves behind - at least when it rains the rain helps wash the crap off). And having the rack will mean I can retire the rucksack - no more sweaty back syndrome, and hopefully fewer unsightly spots too. Not that I go topless too often in public, a combination of English weather and my large belly make that unwise, but we are going on a "proper" summer holiday this year, 2 weeks in Turkey with the wife and kids, so it will be nice not to be self conscious about my back - although I realise I will have to work hard to sort out the belly :-)


  1. Nice bike mate, I too am thinking of getting a road bike. I just have to persuade the fund holder!

  2. Thanks mate, to be fair almost half the money I was given at xmas, so that kind of softened the blow, although I did have to persuade her of the benefits of investing in quality. I'll have to make sure the bike is well looked after now won't I?!

  3. The Mudguards are essential for the winter, but I would be inclined not to use the new bike in the 'weather', Not wishing to teach you to suck eggs n all but if you do use it you will have to be prepared to do a proper job cleaning it and drying it.

    I spend more time cleaning the darn things than using them this time of the year!

    My winter bike however is very old school with a user maintainable BB, I always use KMX chains with a missing link so they can be cleaned properly off the bike, and I always remove the rear cassette and strip it apart to clean it - That way it all lasts longer and you don't end up with gear change problems (Just oiling a chain without cleaning it is like sticking grinding paste on it!).

    The bike will be a good'n but it will only last if its properly maintained :-)

    I look forward's to seeing you and the blog progress :-)

  4. Thanks John, your advice is appreciated. Proper maintenance is something I've never really done, but as all my previous bikes were £20 or £30 second hand bargains, it never seemed worth it. Reading yours and others blogs has made me realise that I need to take it seriously.

  5. I never understood the point of leaving mudguards off a bike - who likes having a streak of dirt and water splattered up their bum & back?

    Unfortunately, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome prevents me from being able to get out and exercise properly - I just keel over within a few minutes.

    However, back at the time I was aware of feeling tired, but hadn't been diagnosed, I figured I was just unhealthy, so got a bike for my 40th birthday - the ultimate midlife crisis present.

    I wrote about it here if you're interested:

    Am I in the midst of a mid-life crisis?"

  6. Kim,

    I too was 40 when I started cycling again, but I had my mid life crisis at 30 so it wasn't that!!

    Sorry to hear about your illness, makes what you have achieved even more impressive.

    & thanks for the link, that was a very enjoyable read.

  7. I've just found this blog. I'm looking forward to following your build-up to your chairty ride.

    John is right. The salt just kills everything. The full length SKS mud-guards are the best (If they'll fit) but failing that have a look at the new Crud road racer guards.