I?m now 60 and a casual cyclist. I would like to do more for the same effort. Would a different bike help?

My current bikes are a 1950s Higgins and a 1960s Hetchins, both equipped with Italian parts. A replacement bike needs to have better brakes, more gears and more comfort. I have never ridden anything modern but am told carbon-fibre is the way forward. I have £2,500 to spend. Can you help?

John Foy, email

Modern bikes are efficient and easy to use, and there is something for everyone. If comfort is your priority, consider a bike from the cyclo-sportive products that most big manufacturers include in their ranges.

These have compact chainsets, usually 50/34-teeth chainrings, to give you both a low and wide range of gears. They certainly take the strain out of climbing steep, long hills. The bikes? frames have slightly different geometries to out-and-out racers in that they allow you to sit a little more upright, but with dropped handlebars you still get good downhill aerodynamics.

For your budget the Trek Madone (non-pro models), Specialized Roubaix and Cannondale Synapses are good examples. You won?t find one to cater for your preference for Italian components, but the Japanese stuff works just as well.

Chris Sidwells

Fitness expert. A qualified coach and experienced author and reporter