Author Topic: New bike for Audax from Halfords.  (Read 7033 times)

New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« on: 22 April, 2024, 11:03:35 pm »
Hello.
I apologise for probably asking the same old question. I live in Gravesend in Kent UK. There’s a good Cycling club which I will apply to join once I have built up my strength and endurance. I’m fortunate to have a 2.5 Km cycle track locally. my question is I want to buy a bike suitable for Audax. The only local shop is Halfords. My question is which make and model bike should I consider buying. I have a Carrera Parva hybrid bike which I’ve had for five years. It lives outside and is ridden every day. I have a Brooks leather saddle on the shelf so I can overlook that component on my new purchase.

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #1 on: 23 April, 2024, 07:05:02 am »
Morning. On an Audax you will see lots of different bikes from steel tourers to carbon 'race' bikes so there isn't one right answer.

Halfords will sell you a useable bike but it's worth looking at other options. Decathlon bikes are very good value and they have stores at Surrey Quays (which you could reach by train) or Lakeside (bus or drive).

I got my Audax bike second-hand on Gumtree (from a chap in Gravesend) and it works really well. I did upgrade the saddle and tyres from the original ones.
2019 🏅 R1000 and B1000

Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #2 on: 23 April, 2024, 07:07:05 am »
You ready own a bike suitable for audax.

Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #3 on: 23 April, 2024, 08:20:31 am »
You ready own a bike suitable for audax.
I was going to say the same. You have a bike you ride every day. That is your audax bike. Just ride it a little further than usual on one of the days. How far do you ride it currently?

Bike clubs are changing. There are still some old fashioned clubs where you have to be a serious racer to join but most will have a slow group on club rides which will take the shorted route to the cafe so everyone gets there at the same time. They will generally be very welcoming.

Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #4 on: 23 April, 2024, 09:25:01 am »
The above posters are correct that you have a bike that you can use for Audaxing.  However, there may be one or two changes that you can make to allow a more comfortable riding experience.


1. Change of Tyres.


Part of the effort needed to ride a bike is attributable to the rolling resistance of the tyres.  You may therefore get some good benefit from changing your current tyres to something lighter with less rolling resistance.  A quality tyre is a good investment so something like  a Continental Urban in 35c, or even a Continental GP5000 in 32C or 28C.  There is lots of choice but if you want to be overwhelmed with information take a look at  https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/.


2. Change your innertubes.


Again, related to making the wheels go around easier, you could change your inner tubes from the rubber ones you currently have to the newer type of TPU.


3.  Handlebars


The straight(ish) bars fitted to your bike don't give many options for hand positions.  If you don't already have something similar, swapping your handle bar grips to something like Ergon grips would be good as this type of grip is much more supportive to the hands.


4.  Are you sitting comfortably.


This is about getting the sadlle position and stem length correct for your style of riding.  Refining your position as you get fitter will minimise the aches and pains you get from sitting on a bike for extended periods.  A 200km Audax ridden as 20 kph will take 10 hours!  Have a read of  https://wheel-easy.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/bike-set-up-2017a.pdf


5. Practise for 'mechanicals'


When you do longer distance rides your are more likely to run into minor mechanical issues.  I'd suggest getting familair with two activities.


A. Replacing inner tubes (don't faff around on Audaxes mending punctures.  Take two extra innertunes with you to swap in if you get a puncture.  Mend punctures at home in the warm whilst indulging yourself with a nice cup of tea and a bit of cake).


B. Adjusting the indexing of your gears so that they run smoothly.


6.  Get some decent quality cycling shorts ( and some chamois creme)


A decent set of shorts will fit comfortably without and rubbing (small movements of material around your sitting area).  Even so you might benefit from applying chamois creme as your rides get longer.


7.  Saddle


Be prepared to discover that the saddle/bum interface is not good for longer distances and that you will need to seek out a different saddle as the distances increase.  Saddles are very personal things so you will need to do some research.  Good saddles to look at initially would be the SPA Nidd or Selle SMP TRK.  You say you already have a Brooks saddle but this type of saddle doesn't suite everyone and is also not the best type of saddle for the design of bikes you get today (seat tube angles and all that).  A common problem with Brooks saddles is that it is not possible to move the saddle back enough to get to your optimum bike position.


8.  Finally


Many people make the mistake of buying an Audax specific bike too soon.  I'd suggest a year of Audaxing on your current bike (with minor upgrades) before you make a purchase.


Have fun
Clever enough to know I'm not clever enough.

Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #5 on: 23 April, 2024, 09:49:43 am »
2. Change your innertubes.
Again, related to making the wheels go around easier, you could change your inner tubes from the rubber ones you currently have to the newer type of TPU.
Honestly, not necessary for the expense and mythical, hypothetical limited miniscule gain.

Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #6 on: 23 April, 2024, 10:05:41 am »
Delidroid, do not limit yourself to Halfords. Many bike shops will ship bikes to you.
Just one for instance is Biketart near Canterbury. They are very friendly https://www.biketart.com/
And you could take the train up to That London

Give me a shoutt if you venture to Decathlon - I am nearby

Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #7 on: 23 April, 2024, 10:24:34 am »
Quote
Honestly, not necessary for the expense and mythical, hypothetical limited miniscule gain.

Hence the 'could'.  In my personal experience, TPU tubes are good for a 1 -2 kph increase in speed over a 2 hour ride.
Clever enough to know I'm not clever enough.

Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #8 on: 23 April, 2024, 12:28:08 pm »
You could try this 100km audax local to you, on your existing bike. Talk to others on the ride, see what they are riding, see how you go, and it will help inform your decisions on what to ride.

https://www.audax.uk/event-details/10648-hop_garden_100km

Blodwyn Pig

  • what a nice chap
Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #9 on: 23 April, 2024, 12:52:17 pm »
Hello.
I apologise for probably asking the same old question. I live in Gravesend in Kent UK. There’s a good Cycling club which I will apply to join once I have built up my strength and endurance. I’m fortunate to have a 2.5 Km cycle track locally. my question is I want to buy a bike suitable for Audax. The only local shop is Halfords. My question is which make and model bike should I consider buying. I have a Carrera Parva hybrid bike which I’ve had for five years. It lives outside and is ridden every day. I have a Brooks leather saddle on the shelf so I can overlook that component on my new purchase.

Hi there, might  ask which club you intend to join? Is it the Gravesend Cycling Club, which tend to be very much road/race orientated, or it the Gravesend section of the CTC (that was).  If the latter, then this club is less focused on speed, but does have quite a few riders who are well into the audax scene, and I'm sure the Hop garden Audax linked to above, is one of ours. Why not come along for a ride, we meet every Thursday evening, @ the cyclopark entrance, leaving at 7.30pm for a ride of approx 25km to a different pub every week. No one is left behind, and there will be a wealth of knowlege to tap into.  Friendly bunch, this week I believe we are going to the Kings Arms at Upnor. I also live in Gravesend, and hope to be out this week, Do come along and say Hi, you will be most welcome, Steve Dyer is our main man, might see you Thursday.
Having tried to entice you to come along, this doesn't quite answer your question. I might suggest, if you want to stay local for your purchase, there is Decathlon over the water @ Lakeside, and not forgetting Ribble have a fantastic shop at Bluewater, first floor,  and they  are bound to have something to your liking that is suitable. Or a little further afield there is Pearson cycles at Sutton, and Condor Cycles in London, a short train ride away.

arabella

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Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #10 on: 23 April, 2024, 01:31:47 pm »
On the subject of handlebars, I can say that I have done up to 600km with straight bars, albeit the allrounder type rather than completely flat which it looks like you have.  And along the way I put a bit of bar tape further in along the bar to get my hands closer together as a change and even rest my elbows on the actual handlebar grips (note particularly comfy but a change of position).  I did a number of years of touring on actual flat bars doing around 100km/day before I even got to audax.
TLDR: dont worry about the handlebars yet either. 

The 25km to a pub sounds like your best place to start, depending on how far you do generally go.
Get some nice padded gloves if you don't already have any.
Any fool can admire a mountain.  It takes real discernment to appreciate the fens.

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #11 on: 23 April, 2024, 05:46:47 pm »
You ready own a bike suitable for audax.

I would agree but in due course it might be worth spending more for a stronger, lighter bike with more durable components. That depends on the OP's budget and how they get on with their existing bike.
2019 🏅 R1000 and B1000

Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #12 on: 24 April, 2024, 04:32:41 pm »
Thank you all for the advice.
Freeflow. Today I changed the tyres and handlebars with what I had in the shed. A pair of thick slick tyres and a W shaped handlebar. I rode to Cobham which is 4.4 miles (I got lost going) coming home took me under 30 minutes. I feel like I’ve busted something between my legs. That nerve. It could be the set up or change of handlebars that contributed.
Blodwyn  pig. Thank you for the invite but I shall ride 25 Km in the cyclo park first so that I know I can do it. My usual rides are never more than 1 1/2 Miles at a time.

Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #13 on: 24 April, 2024, 06:38:14 pm »
my 2p. Second the n+1 option, when the time is right.  Carrera bikes tend to be on the heavy side - think the Parva is 13.5kg (med frame?); so with 1.5kg of water in summer, & saddle pack with extra kit, you may be knocking on 16kg + rider.   Having said that I don't tend to stress too much about weight, particularly since I'm not the lightest myself these days either.  Drop bars are great for multi hand positions on longer rides (& I hardly ever use the drops), though the flat bars can be good for 'working' those hills. In the fullness of time, a lighter bike, with drop bars, from Halfords - Boardman bikes can be a good option - gravel bikes would give a wider ranger of tyre sizes, mudguards no problem, & lowish gearing* 1:1 or better. (probably).     *maybe not as good as your hybrid (triple?).

edit
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #14 on: 24 April, 2024, 07:07:03 pm »
Good thing about getting involved with a club is that as other riders change bikes, upgrade, have birthdays etc you can get access to a pool of known and cared for secondhand machines. Well worth having ime.

Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #15 on: 24 April, 2024, 07:32:32 pm »
As others have said, use your present bike, gradually increase your milage, and write down what you do or don't like.
It may or may not be worth changing some components, but you will get a better idea of what you want of a new or second-hand bike in due time.
Due to arthritis, I have to ride a bike with flat bars. I find that with very unfashionable bar ends I have just about as many hand positions as with drop bars. You don't have to have a bike with drop handlebars. Observe how many cyclists you see actually riding with their hands on the drops.
I'm never going to be riding long distance again, but up to 100k I can trundle around on my mountain bike.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #16 on: 24 April, 2024, 08:29:25 pm »


The three areas to focus on, imho, are:

- Contacts points: hands, feet, arse. If you're not comfortable on the bike, you won't enjoy going very far
 Make sure you're comfortable. Bar ends? Bar grips? Good saddle?

- Tyres - swapping to something like conti gp 5k can give you a good speed boost for not much money. Get the largest size that will fit your rims. Ideally the 32mm ones.

- Navigation: being on route is faster than being off route. Having good navigation device (I like the wahoo element bolt) can be he difference between finishing, and spending the day riding in the wrong direction. On one ride I picked up 3 other riders who all had nav failures and guided them home.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #17 on: 24 April, 2024, 09:30:30 pm »
So much good advice here. Thank you all.

My old Parva is worn out. The rim wear grooves have gone, the chain was killed by road salt, the brakes drive me mad as one pad or the other rubs the rims after trying to adjust the stupid spring tension screws. I recently bought a new one. It’s still a Carrera Parva but it has disc brakes which I’ll be asking questions about later. I forgot to mention that both bikes have 650B wheels. Road tyres are limited choice unfortunately.

Andyoxon: I changed the handlebars because I don’t like straight bars. The original ones were steel and I weighed them. 665g I imagine the seatpost is as bad but I not going to spend $$$ upgrading everything.

Quixoticgeek: I have Chris Hoy’s Library book and I’ll spend time tomorrow setting it up properly. I’ll have a look at Satnavs too.

Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #18 on: 26 April, 2024, 08:23:29 am »
If you are planning on spending many many hours on the bike, fit is more important than brand or weight or whatever. In my opinion, you're better off going to a specialist bike fitter before buying a bike, and getting their advice on the bike/size/setup before spending money. The only counter to that is if you are looking at the inexpensive secondhand market and the bike fit would be a high percentage of the total cost.

Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #19 on: 26 April, 2024, 10:29:37 am »
There is a massive difference between 1-1.5 mile rides and even the shortest Audax ride.  Build up slowly, enjoy riding your bike, develop strength and resilience.  Don't launch into buying a new bike until you know a bit more about what you want from it.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #20 on: 26 April, 2024, 02:18:14 pm »
I shall ride 25 Km in the cyclo park first so that I know I can do it. My usual rides are never more than 1 1/2 Miles at a time.

To be blunt, you're some way off being audax-ready.

Cyclopark is a good place to practice building up your distances but audaxes are on open roads and as it states in the guidance for riders, are only suitable for people who are experienced at riding on open roads.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #21 on: 26 April, 2024, 04:29:16 pm »
...I shall ride 25 Km in the cyclo park first...

Another 2p.  As a training goal you could see if you can eventually build up do 25km in 1hour.  Not that I've done an Audax at an average speed of 25km/h before, but over 25km - if have reasonable potential fitness, may be a challenge to try.  Training on the same track could be 'boring' though, so after a while perhaps take it to a decent handful of diff routes...
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #22 on: 26 April, 2024, 05:07:03 pm »
...I shall ride 25 Km in the cyclo park first...

Another 2p.  As a training goal you could see if you can eventually build up do 25km in 1hour.  Not that I've done an Audax at an average speed of 25km/h before, but over 25km - if have reasonable potential fitness, may be a challenge to try.  Training on the same track could be 'boring' though, so after a while perhaps take it to a decent handful of diff routes...

Varying the routes isn't just a nice thing to do to make training less boring - as per previous post, experience of road riding is essential.

There's too much well-meant-but-misguided positivity in this thread, and focusing on daft stuff like inner tubes instead of what actually matters. As an organiser, I wouldn't be happy about accepting an entry from the OP - for their own safety.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Kim

  • Timelord
    • Fediverse
Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #23 on: 26 April, 2024, 05:10:38 pm »
There is a massive difference between 1-1.5 mile rides and even the shortest Audax ride.  Build up slowly, enjoy riding your bike, develop strength and resilience.  Don't launch into buying a new bike until you know a bit more about what you want from it.

This.

I'd suggest that, irrespective of how fast you actually go, there's a point at around 2 hours in where it stops being about stamina and more about things like ergonomics, hydration and digestion.

On that basis, I'd suggest that you need to be confident doing >2 hour rides before making informed decisions about bike ergonomics, as most people can ride anything that vaguely fits for an hour or two.

Going faster is another kettle of fish entirely...


(FWIW, I find that riding on tracks like Cyclopark[1] is very different to road riding.  Speeds are much higher, even though that bottom corner is a bastard, as you don't have to deal with poor surfaces and motor traffic.  The real world has more Scenery[2] too.)



[1] As occasionally visited by the BHPC.
[2] May be a euphemism for 'hills'.



Re: New bike for Audax from Halfords.
« Reply #24 on: 26 April, 2024, 06:25:00 pm »
...I shall ride 25 Km in the cyclo park first...

Another 2p.  As a training goal you could see if you can eventually build up do 25km in 1hour.  Not that I've done an Audax at an average speed of 25km/h before, but over 25km - if have reasonable potential fitness, may be a challenge to try.  Training on the same track could be 'boring' though, so after a while perhaps take it to a decent handful of diff routes...

Varying the routes isn't just a nice thing to do to make training less boring - as per previous post, experience of road riding is essential.

There's too much well-meant-but-misguided positivity in this thread, and focusing on daft stuff like inner tubes instead of what actually matters. As an organiser, I wouldn't be happy about accepting an entry from the OP - for their own safety.

Apologies for any potential bunkum spouted.  ;)  I was kind of assuming since the OP was thinking about joining a cycling club & doing Audax, that they had resonable road riding experience to build on.  I went through several years of hardly riding at all, but prior to that had had experience of commuting in London / cycle tours etc, but anyway... 

[Maybe if OP doesn't have much previous road cycling experience, as other have said, 'all things in good time' build it up slowly, safely, concentrate on building confidence / road skills first, perhaps riding on familiar quieter road routes, at quieter times of day, gradually increasing distances; go out with any experienced cycling friends...etc]

Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson