Q: I was bitten by the cycling bug early last year, and after the swelling died down I had a great time. Initially I didn't know what kind of riding I would be doing - off road, on road, Tour de France, once a week or once a decade, but I have been riding about three times a week since last April and have kept going in the wet and cold. I have grown out of cycle tracks and like doing between 20 and 50 miles on the hilly roads just south of Bath. Sometimes I will just go out and do two and a half hours of hills!
When I bought my bike earlier in the year I didn't know whether I would stick to cycling or what I would be doing. I didn't want to buy a very expensive cobweb holder so I purchased a Marin Fairfax Hybrid for but I could see myself touring and would like to do some 100-mile trips.
There is a Specialized Allez for sale in Bath for £400 and I note your recommendation of the Trek Triple 1000. My local dealer is recommending I go carbon and buy a Cannondale, but it doesn't take mudguards or a pannier and seems a little flimsy for all-day rides.
A new subscriber
A:The benefits of a road bike over a hybrid are many, but boil down to speed and ease of propulsion. That is to say, you will be able to go further, faster and for less effort or some combination of these on the road bike. It will be lighter and offer a more efficient riding position, provided this is set up correctly. A good dealer can do this for you. If you are planning on doing some touring and longer rides, you will need to be able to fit mudguards and a pannier rack to get the best out of your cycling. A touring-specific machine from a specialist such as St John St Cycles - 01278 441500 in Bridgwater will fit the bill.