Two weeks with my road bike

I've owned my new Specialized Allez Road bike for just over two weeks. It's been a steep learning curve as shortly after acquiring it, I had to do 70 miles in one go. Compared to my mountain bike, it's quite a different ride, but not too bad.

Here's some of my experiences so far;
  1. the ride is faster than my mountain bike by about 2 mph
  2. the saddle is more comfortable than my mountain bike
  3. the brakes don't inspire the same confidence as disc brakes
  4. the leant over position is fairly comfortable but strains my neck on longer rides
  5. the bike is not as nice to ride standing up as the handlebars seems so narrow compared to the MTB
  6. rough road surfaces are real boneshakers
Since finishing the London to Hastings, I road my MTB most of last week as the saddle is more padded and my arse was hurting. Having gone back to the road bike on Friday for my commute, there seems to be a clicking coming from the crank on every rotation. I'm wondering if something needs tightening so might have to take it to my local bike shop.

On my way home Friday, I had a bit of an accident, which might just have happened if I was riding my other bike. I was riding along at 20mph when a couple of vehicles overtook me. The one directly in front of my was a Transit pickup. The road ahead narrowed to one lane over a short bridge. As the vehicles slowed sightly to go over the bridge I was trying to judge if I needed to slow or stop before I caught them up. Too late, the pickup stopped dead. I pressed the brakes and I couldn't stop before hitting it. I put my left arm up to stop my face from hitting the tailgate. The tops of the brake levers hit the tailgate as did my arm. I was probably down to 5 mph when I hit so no damage done. Lesson learned. I should have been prepared to stop rather than try and push at speed (I was on target to beat my fastest time home and as it happens I did beat it).


  1. That's not good Toby but glad your ok mate

    Yeah I personally think you cant beat disc brakes

    Welcome to the club my Scott is a real bone shaker

  2. For some reason most new bikes are sold with pretty rubbish brake pads. I've always found Koolstop pads to good. (You will also need the appropriate cartridges to put them in.)

    I'm glad you wernt hurt in the crash.

  3. Hope you're ok Toby.

    Was just going to say what Red said about brake pads.

    When my bike was set up recently, the chap who did it said I should get new brake pads. Apparently on all "cheaper" bikes (ie ones less than 1k!) they skimp on the brake pads. Good ones are expensive, but they work. Which is helpful eh. I'll get some soon.

    When you have the budget, also have a look at getting your bike fitted. If you get neck pain etc. this can be sorted by adjusting aspects of the bike to fit your dimensions.

    Since Phil set mine up, it's been so much more comfortable on the saddle. It feels like a new bike.

  4. Thanks for your comments guys.

    The bike has Aztec pads fitted. I asked the previous owner what pads they recommended (being a serious cyclist) and he said Aztec or Shimano. the bike also has Shimano Ultegra dual pivot brakes, so they should be good. Without having another road bike to compare, I don't know if they should be better.

  5. Sounds like you have decent pads & brakes already :( I'm not 100% sure, but Ultegra are better than the ones I have.

    I guess they just don't compare to the uber stopping on a MTB.


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