Winter training bike

I'll fess up - I've never done a triathlon (boo, hiss).

I'm a runner but I'm going to start factoring in some long distance commutes on the bike (20-30 miles). My current racing bike is vintage, a little too small and I keep breaking pieces off, though I think that's my unwillingness to spend decent money on it rather than a fault of the bicycle itself.

So I need to change it and I guessed you lot probably have the best handle of what winter trainer/tourer would be good. Being a bloke, I should love buying kit, but I'm a libran so it actually becomes a nightmare - I recently decided against upgrading my telly because I couldn't make a decision!

I need to do a commute on some quite crummy surfaces, would like to be able to ride smooth trails and fire lanes without worrying, and sturdy enough to carry a child seat on the back. Needs to accommodate mudguards, perhaps a pannier.

Budget £500 but I could push it up a little. I'm using the cycle scheme. Under consideration are:

Ridgeback Platinum

Ridgeback Voyage

Ribble Audax 7005

Jamis Aurora (expensive)

... and would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.



  • If you are riding trails and commuting you will want something that can take mudguards and still fit wider tyres.   That rules out anything that doesn't require long drop brake calipers (unless they use cantis or discs) for a start so I'd ignore the Ribble on that basis.     If you are mixing road and trails you might want to look at cyclocross bikes and maybe some file tread cyclocross tyres (they race on them on hard ground)  but I don't know how they'd fit with mudguards on too.   There are a few brands do cross bikes with mudguard eyes - Kinesis, Dolan, Specialized, Genesis for starters - Genesis in particular do some stuff that might interest you.   

    Are you going to be racing on this bike too or is it just training and commuting ?   If it was me I'd be looking for the lightest bike that would take say 28c tyres (you wont get a cross tyre that narrow but so long as these trails aren't too rough should be OK) with mudguards but was still relatively light - in other words the Ribble but with more tyre clearance.  

  • I had a look at the Genesis CDF at lunchtime but it's way too pricey for me. The Kinesis racelight looked good but I can't find one. Dolan? I'll try them.

  • Ooh. Dolan looks pricey too. Good advice though. Thanks.

  • Its a shame that the trail stuff is a factor, "in other words the Ribble but with more tyre clearance". I really do like the ribble bikes and had to really right to stop my self from buying one, i just can't justify 2 road bikes to the misses right now, let alone the fixie i would love to own.

  • This is precisely my problem. I'd dearly like a decent mountain bike as well, but I'm more inclined to use it on the road than I am to do any downhill. I did think about getting a nice steel MTB with some skinny tyres and tri-bars but I think the geometry is going to be all wrong.

    Essentially, I want the moon on a stick and I don't want to pay for it - or that was the look on the sales guy's face as I told him of my 'needs'. 

  • Think about it this way, if you buy a one bike that does it all. Will you end up getting a road bike and a mountain bike a little further down the line?

    If the answer is yes maybe pick one now, go with that then add the other when you can. Otherwise you will end up with three bikes and a biger hole in the wallet.

  • you could always use a cross bike and fit a seatpost clamped rear mudguard like a Raceguard if there are no mudguard eyes - that should keep the arse dry.  and stick a Crud Catcher on the downtube for keeping your front clean .

    (I have nowt to do with the company - they just make useful products!)

  • I wonder whether I'll do the same with this as I did with my shoes - deliberated for ages then bought the pair that looked the best! (Adizero XT's if you must ask, but then I only run on trails)


    What do you think of this? Anything dodgy or that you'd change straigt off? It looks like quite a good deal.

  • are you set on buying new?

    If you can up something that is 10 speed it will be easier to upgrade components over time. Also its worth calling in your LBS and comparing the difference between sora/tiagra i found it to be quite significiant. If that bike can take 700 28c tyres and mud guards it may be worth considering, but if your already compromising on the tyres/guards etc then you have far more options

  • I use a cyclocross bike in the winter. 32 size tyres. I think they are brilliant, takes mudguards too. 

  • dust boy, I just saw one for ??550 and I think that's got a chance. I reckon it's between that and the Gt - just thinking spec for the money. I like the look of the carbon fork on the tri cross, The Gt may be better matched to what I'm going to use it for is ??50 notes cheaper and comes with pedals, guards and rack.

    Training hill, I am set on buying new, as a ??500 bike on cycle scheme will only cost me ??280 over 12 months interest free!

    Like LPG tax relief, it could change any day!
  • Raleigh airlite 400?
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