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1508 posts

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#251003 4-Jun-2019 16:29
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My boys (both 11 and not that tall) are into triathlon and up to now we've been watching them struggle along with the wrong bikes for road use (maintain bikes), now they are eligible to enter proper races but have to have allowed bikes.

 

I'm looking for some pointers on lightweight road bikes that would be more suitable, not be stupid prices and fit in with the cycling nz rollout length rules and other rules (still wrapping my brain around that).

 

Any brands models I should be googling for ?  (and hopefully finding on Trademe for a pittance! :-)


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53 posts

Master Geek


  #2251355 4-Jun-2019 17:21
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I know bugger all about competitive triathlons, but one of the coaches at the cambridge velodrome I know does, so I'll ask her opinion tonigh.

 

For young kids, I'd say any alloy road bike would be plenty suitable, especially as the bike will need to be changed in a few years anyway.

 

Rollout is changed by swapping chain rings & cassettes

 

 

 

 


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Ultimate Geek


  #2251442 4-Jun-2019 19:16
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I have one of these.

 

It's got 28 gears, so fantastic no matter the conditions (and happily cruises at 30km/h) and thin tyres for road, front suspension, hard tail and really 'bullhorn' style handlebar means it's comfortable for long and short distance.

 

Not sure if it fits their idea of a bike, but it's kinda neither here nor there as a road bike or mountain bike, but personally has the best of both worlds. 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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Master Geek


  #2251543 4-Jun-2019 21:13
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So after asking the coach, she says don't go overkill and a standard road bike is more than enough. The bike she races on, is 2nd hand (although she's changed some components)

 

I asked about the rollout - she's not heard of that before, that's normally for track events. The weight & length restrictions should be formalities with any road bike.

 

Regarding brands, I wouldn't rule any out. I've had an Avanti, Diamond Back, Scott, and now have a Cannondale - they've all been solid bikes. I hear good things about Giant and Merida bikes too.

 

Ultimately, it comes down to how comfortable your kids are on the bike.


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  #2251600 4-Jun-2019 21:44
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Alloy bikes are stiffer than steel and carbon fibre softer than steel. If they are riding long distances the effect of road surface vibrations through the handle bars and pedals will be worst on an alloy bike. I went from an alloy bike to a carbon fibre bike and the difference in the effect of the road vibrations was like night and day.

 

It wasn't a problem for shorter distances say 30 to 40 Km but longer than this I'd get numb hands and my feet felt like they were on fire. The carbon bike didn't eliminate the problem completely bit it sure made a huge difference. YMMV.





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  #2251606 4-Jun-2019 21:51
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alloy bikes can take bumps, drops and the occassional time you may crash, carbon fibre not so much. for a younger kid starting out i would go alloy.

 

if you get numb hands because of the vibration get padded gloves.


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  #2251613 4-Jun-2019 22:04
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Jase2985:

 

alloy bikes can take bumps, drops and the occassional time you may crash, carbon fibre not so much. for a younger kid starting out i would go alloy.

 

if you get numb hands because of the vibration get padded gloves.

 

 

I was using padded gloves so they don't always work in this regard.

 

I agree alloy will generally take more punishment, however I had one spill on my carbon fibre bike that I would have expected major damage from and it was unscathed. I'm not sure an alloy bike wouldn't have been damaged.

 

For younger people who may not take good care of something carbon may not be the best choice. I made my comments to give the OP more information on which to base his/her decision on. I still think steel might be a worth a look at.

 

Here's a couple of articles that may be worth reading. I haven't read them in detail but they seem to give some points when deciding what type of frame to choose.

 

https://road.cc/content/feature/198695-choosing-steel-aluminium-titanium-or-carbon-road-bike 

 

https://road.cc/content/feature/235141-there-still-place-steel-road-bikes-age-carbon-fibre 





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  #2251705 5-Jun-2019 05:47
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You'd be best off going into a decent bike shop about this. Casting my mind back many years, there's not only rollout length but there were also restrictions on what gears you could have in the cassette and chain rings and what depth of rim the wheels could have. This will have changed to some extent over time and I no longer have any idea what those were. A good bike shop will not only be to give you loads of info around this but will (if you buy through them) help with thorough and proper set ups of bikes.

 

There doesn't seem to be a lot of generally available local info on this floating around (although I didn't have a particularly convo with uncle Google tbh) but Gisborne Cycling Club (GCC) have this brief document published on sporty.co.nz.

 

This document from British Triathlon has a bunch of links towards the end which may also provide further guidance but you really need local info.


 
 
 
 


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Master Geek


  #2251708 5-Jun-2019 06:32
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Technofreak:

 

Alloy bikes are stiffer than steel and carbon fibre softer than steel.

 

 

 

 

That's incorrect. Carbon fibre has better stiffness to weight and strength to weight than both steel and alloy.

 

http://www.dexcraft.com/articles/carbon-fiber-composites/aluminium-vs-carbon-fiber-comparison-of-materials/:

 

 

A component made from standard carbon fiber of the same thickness as an aluminium one will offer 31% more rigidity than the aluminium one and at the same time weight 50% less and have 60% more strength.

 


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Ultimate Geek


  #2251815 5-Jun-2019 10:08
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I compete in med distance multisport (eg 70.3 Ironman) events, and have for many years done road races (anywhere from 90-320km in distance). No experience with the junior competitive scene though, so can't comment on the rules. Although I do understand its more around chain rings and clusters than anything - and these things are swap out items so wouldn't get too hung up on those. 

 

Oh yeah and I also commute to work 40+km each day (rain/hail/shine)...so do a few miles :) 

 

I have one race bike, which is carbon and is my garage queen. Love it to bits. But wouldn't suggest a bike like that for kids getting into the sport. 

 

My other bike is alloy. Hell I actually bought it back in 2004!! And its still going strong. Only things I have had to swap out are those consumable items (brake pads, tyres, tubes, chains, 1 x chain ring and 1 x rear cluster). I ride this bike as my commuter and also for the majority of my training rides. Its light, stiff and comfortable. In terms of the vibration; sure its not as softening of those NZ roads as carbon, but getting a carbon seatpost and carbon handlebars makes a massive difference (IF you are doing the miles and conditions to justify it). 

 

My money would be on an alloy road bike, mainly for price point and durability (given care factor of kids and their friends). Look to get one second hand IMO. There are facebook groups (eg BikeShelf) which I would probably troll (rather than Trademe) to see if something comes up suitable and in the price range you are looking for...just check the serial number against police records before buying :) 

 

Brand wise; not sure I would rule anything out. But as usual try and get as new as possible for the price you are after because the technology bubbles down with subsequent releases. 

 

Good luck and hope they enjoy the sport!




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  #2252141 5-Jun-2019 15:25
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Thanks all, will go do some more homework :-)


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  #2252303 5-Jun-2019 19:02
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Deamo:

 

Technofreak:

 

Alloy bikes are stiffer than steel and carbon fibre softer than steel.

 

 

 

 

That's incorrect. Carbon fibre has better stiffness to weight and strength to weight than both steel and alloy.

 

http://www.dexcraft.com/articles/carbon-fiber-composites/aluminium-vs-carbon-fiber-comparison-of-materials/:

 

 

A component made from standard carbon fiber of the same thickness as an aluminium one will offer 31% more rigidity than the aluminium one and at the same time weight 50% less and have 60% more strength.

 

 

 

Have you actually ridden both types to be able to compare them? I think other posters have made comments that align with what I said.





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  #2252312 5-Jun-2019 19:28
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Technofreak:

 

Deamo:

 

Technofreak:

 

Alloy bikes are stiffer than steel and carbon fibre softer than steel.

 

 

 

 

That's incorrect. Carbon fibre has better stiffness to weight and strength to weight than both steel and alloy.

 

http://www.dexcraft.com/articles/carbon-fiber-composites/aluminium-vs-carbon-fiber-comparison-of-materials/:

 

 

A component made from standard carbon fiber of the same thickness as an aluminium one will offer 31% more rigidity than the aluminium one and at the same time weight 50% less and have 60% more strength.

 

 

 

Have you actually ridden both types to be able to compare them? I think other posters have made comments that align with what I said.

 

 

The statements about material qualities might be true for a single piece of tubing but with a bike frame you are talking about an assembly where the geometry of the frame and the assembly methods also come into play.

 

At the end of the day I think you're unlikely to scientifically select the most comfortable bike based on those comments.

 

Tyre selection and tyre pressure are more relevant factors you can change easily though.

 

If you pump your tyres to 160 PSI and ride on chip seal it ain't gonna be comfy.


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  #2252519 5-Jun-2019 21:48
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Deamo:

 

Technofreak:

 

Alloy bikes are stiffer than steel and carbon fibre softer than steel.

 

 

 

 

That's incorrect. Carbon fibre has better stiffness to weight and strength to weight than both steel and alloy.

 

http://www.dexcraft.com/articles/carbon-fiber-composites/aluminium-vs-carbon-fiber-comparison-of-materials/:

 

 

A component made from standard carbon fiber of the same thickness as an aluminium one will offer 31% more rigidity than the aluminium one and at the same time weight 50% less and have 60% more strength.

 

 

 

Carbon today (not chinese clones) are wayyyyy stiffer than alloy but is very easily damaged. The strength lies in certain force vectors only. The force of crashing does not apply. The force of wrongly torquing your bolts does not apply. The force of wrongly clampting the bike frame onto clamps (eg bike rack) does not apply. In reality it's very brittle other than normal riding, it's very very very very strong and will not break from that.





Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


Mad Scientist
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  #2252520 5-Jun-2019 21:51
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elpenguino:

 

Technofreak:

 

Deamo:

 

Technofreak:

 

Alloy bikes are stiffer than steel and carbon fibre softer than steel.

 

 

 

 

That's incorrect. Carbon fibre has better stiffness to weight and strength to weight than both steel and alloy.

 

http://www.dexcraft.com/articles/carbon-fiber-composites/aluminium-vs-carbon-fiber-comparison-of-materials/:

 

 

A component made from standard carbon fiber of the same thickness as an aluminium one will offer 31% more rigidity than the aluminium one and at the same time weight 50% less and have 60% more strength.

 

 

 

Have you actually ridden both types to be able to compare them? I think other posters have made comments that align with what I said.

 

 

The statements about material qualities might be true for a single piece of tubing but with a bike frame you are talking about an assembly where the geometry of the frame and the assembly methods also come into play.

 

At the end of the day I think you're unlikely to scientifically select the most comfortable bike based on those comments.

 

Tyre selection and tyre pressure are more relevant factors you can change easily though.

 

If you pump your tyres to 160 PSI and ride on chip seal it ain't gonna be comfy.

 

 

Carbon bikes are stiffer than alloy and you might feel more bumps. But the way they build it is to make is absorb bumps. I have no idea if that's true, but Carbon wheels - you will feel it in your pockets as well as in your backside!





Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


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  #2252523 5-Jun-2019 21:56
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Mark:

 

My boys (both 11 and not that tall) are into triathlon and up to now we've been watching them struggle along with the wrong bikes for road use (maintain bikes), now they are eligible to enter proper races but have to have allowed bikes.

 

I'm looking for some pointers on lightweight road bikes that would be more suitable, not be stupid prices and fit in with the cycling nz rollout length rules and other rules (still wrapping my brain around that).

 

Any brands models I should be googling for ?  (and hopefully finding on Trademe for a pittance! :-)

 

 

I know nothing about kid road bikes.

 

But adult road bikes there are at least 6 types.

 

For your child I would recommend getting an alloy road bike that is the CORRECT SIZE. THat should make all the difference. If you get an adult one their fingers wouldn't be able to shift the gears let alone brake properly. 

 

If you have money to burn then buy a modern one, they have 2 gears in front, 10-11 gears at the back (some have 10-12). The more gears you have at the back the less they will struggle. They also have disc brakes which is easier to maintain than rim brakes, and work much better in the wet.

 

If you are on a super budget it's easy to get a mountain bike and convert it to a road bike - you need a longer stem and mount it upside down to lower the handle bars. Wind resistance is a major thing - the lower the upper body the faster you go. Next change the tyres to skinny road oriented tyres, rolling resistance is the second major thing. But you need a modern mountain bike. No more than 2 gears in front - that means it's modern. But if you were going to spend money buying a modern MTB to convert, you might as well get a proper road bike - they are built to go fast with as little effort as possible. Not so with MTBs.





Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


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