Want to start cycling, needs to some guidance on equipment

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Hitman
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Joined: 30 Jan 2017, 6:20pm

Want to start cycling, needs to some guidance on equipment

Postby Hitman » 30 Jan 2017, 6:32pm

Hi All,

I am looking to get into cycling, primarily to keep fit. However, I want to know a reasonable bike for beginners, and I have a few other concerns.

Firstly, my budget is around £300 for the bike only. I have already got clothing and a front torch, although I would need a rear light, helmet and a camera (Camera would be dead essential! I use a dashcam, in my car and it's something you must have nowadays).

I'm not sure on other equipment I would need, but please do let me know.

Secondly, my main concern is how safe it is, drivers around here drive erratically complete disregard for other drivers or road users (Me being a driver my self, I have had a few near misses). The police don't give a damn about anything. This really does put me off cycling, last thing I want to do is break every bone in my body! - I guess I can't really do much about this. Maybe you guys might have a few tips?

Lastly, insurance, would this be something I would need? If a driver hit me, would his/her insurance cover me?

Thanks

marcus.sangster
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Joined: 30 May 2016, 6:49pm

Re: Want to start cycling, needs to some guidance on equipment

Postby marcus.sangster » 30 Jan 2017, 7:02pm

This month's Cycling UK magazine carries articles on cheap bikes. But at this price anything you buy is going to be heavy. My advice would be to do some research, draw up a list of bikes that you would like up to around £1000 and then look for one second hand - the classifieds here are very good. For example any used Kinesis road bike will be a far more pleasant ride than a new £300 bike.

For me mudguards and a rack are important, but not everyone agrees.

Cycling is never going to be completely safe but riding defensively and not putting yourself in difficult situations e.g. passing on the inside, weaving between slowly moving cars, being pedantic about who has right of way and so on - makes a big difference.

If you are in an accident and not to blame then the driver's insurance should apply - but a significant proportion of drivers won't stop or have no insurance.

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Heltor Chasca
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Re: Want to start cycling, needs to some guidance on equipment

Postby Heltor Chasca » 30 Jan 2017, 7:07pm

There'll be loads of great advice coming in reams soon.

My recent camera experience was with a TomTom Bandit. LONG story but I had 3 faulty cameras. All returned. NONE of them worked even from my dining room table so no chance on a bike. Utter junk. The software was awful too. 2 months later I am still waiting for a full refund. Over €300 worth. TomTom is one to avoid. (10 years ago I had similar issues with a TomTom satnav)

I'm a mug for trying them again. Good luck with your hunt.

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foxyrider
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Re: Want to start cycling, needs to some guidance on equipment

Postby foxyrider » 30 Jan 2017, 8:45pm

You do not need a camera or to spend more than your £300 budget. And yes - unless you are very unlucky, you will not die. There are plenty on this forum with more than my 40 riding years who started out on budget bikes long before bike cameras and have managed to survive!

What you do need to do is go to a decent bike shop and ask their advice. They should be able to point you to something suitable for the riding you want to do - there are plenty of good bikes about without having to break the bank.
I would also suggest searching out your local bikeability scheme (try the local library who should have contact info) - some basic free on road training is worth more to your enjoyment and survival than spending thousands on a bike you are not yet equipped to get the best of.

You won't get fit overnight, heck you might spend quite a time just getting used to riding but it will be a positive in your life. Go on enjoy yourself! :D
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

Hitman
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Re: Want to start cycling, needs to some guidance on equipment

Postby Hitman » 30 Jan 2017, 9:30pm

I already go to the gym, cycling is something I'd like to add to my routine. I think nowadays camera is essential, especially with the nutcase drivers around here!

landsurfer
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Re: Want to start cycling, needs to some guidance on equipment

Postby landsurfer » 30 Jan 2017, 10:25pm

Hitman wrote:
I already go to the gym, cycling is something I'd like to add to my routine. I think nowadays camera is essential, especially with the nutcase drivers around here!


Wheels are essential. So are brakes and a frame.
A camera is pointless ... So you want pics of what exactly.
Get a bike ... Cycle .. !!!
It's not about the bike .. It's about the journey .....
The Road Goes On Forever ........................

eileithyia
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Re: Want to start cycling, needs to some guidance on equipment

Postby eileithyia » 30 Jan 2017, 11:03pm

Most of it has been covered; Lights, Mudguards, possibly a rack. Suitable clothing and waterproof.
Bike; My usualy advise for those on a low budget; Decathlon.. some decent bikes for a reasonable price.

Camera sure it captures the idiots, I have one and use it sporadically, I did not like the person it was turning me into; 'All het up about a seemingly close (possibly not so close and no harm done) passes, and subsequently spoiling my enjoyment of my ride...

Learning to ride; Bikeability. Do you have some local canals or cycle paths.... might be a good place to start, to get used to your bike, the handling of it etc., and gain your confidence.

And welcome.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

igauk
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Re: Want to start cycling, needs to some guidance on equipment

Postby igauk » 31 Jan 2017, 12:28am

eileithyia wrote:Most of it has been covered; Lights, Mudguards, possibly a rack. Suitable clothing and waterproof.
Bike; My usualy advise for those on a low budget; Decathlon.. some decent bikes for a reasonable price.

Camera sure it captures the idiots, I have one and use it sporadically, I did not like the person it was turning me into; 'All het up about a seemingly close (possibly not so close and no harm done) passes, and subsequently spoiling my enjoyment of my ride...

Learning to ride; Bikeability. Do you have some local canals or cycle paths.... might be a good place to start, to get used to your bike, the handling of it etc., and gain your confidence.

And welcome.


Agree, something like the B'Twin Hoprider 300 from Decathlon, lights, guards and rack included for £230 so enough to get helmet, lock, puncture repair kit, spare tube, pump, mini-tool under £300. Bikeability or similar a better investment than a camera.
Moulton TSR 30

andrewk
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Re: Want to start cycling, needs to some guidance on equipment

Postby andrewk » 31 Jan 2017, 1:30am

£300 is a low budget but workable, try Decathlon who out compete other retailers on cheap bikes. A £300 bike is also a sensible starting point, it'll let you decide if you like it and figure out what type of bike you would really like. Helmets and cameras are optional. All you need is a bike, lights, good quality lock, pump and a multi tool. Everything else is optional.
Cycling is not nearly as dangerous as the public percetion of risk, in fact it is statistically very safe. Go buy a bike and just do it!

hamster
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Re: Want to start cycling, needs to some guidance on equipment

Postby hamster » 31 Jan 2017, 8:20am

Firstly, put your mind at rest: in terms of injury or death per km travelled, cycling is safer than walking (DoT statistics). The BMA also came out emphatically that the benefits outweigh the risks.
You'll probably ride on quieter minor roads compared to what you would use in the car, this also makes a big difference. I did have an episode with a car last week (I bailed out rather than let him left hook me). He was untaxed and uninsured (probably DSQ as well). However, on reflection that's the first time in the last 50,000 miles of riding.

I'd suggest trying your local Cycling UK group as a starting point.

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pjclinch
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Re: Want to start cycling, needs to some guidance on equipment

Postby pjclinch » 31 Jan 2017, 9:03am

£300...

That may be not much to a keen cycling enthusiast, and they may sniff at bikes that cost that much, but the truth is that a modern £300 hybrid is categorically better in pretty much every respect than my first "proper" bike, which cost me £250 back in '89 (£430 according to an inflation calculator I just popped that number in to) and was an excellent steed that did everything I ever asked of it. So don't worry about the budget, it's entirely adequate: in automotive terms that may be more familiar you'll be getting a basic Focus rather than a BMW 5 series, but the fact of the matter is that a basic Focus is still entirely adequate for most of the people, most of the time.

Safety...

Cycle safety has a lot in common with pedestrian safety, and in the UK the two are very closely linked. Things that are good for one (e.g., evidential breath testing for drink-driving) are usually good for the other in equal measure. And the bottom line of cycling safety is the bottom line of pedestrian safety too, and just about any pedestrian knows that that is not being hit by a moving motor vehicle. That's it. Cameras and helmets may have their places and functions, but anything that doesn't stop the direct collision in the first place is very much secondary, so cameras and helmets are (at best) secondary.
As others have already pointed out it's typically pretty safe, but that's mainly the case if you know what you're doing. Get some cycle training and/or read Franklin's Cyclecraft and you have a much better take on what you're doing.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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martin biggs
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Re: Want to start cycling, needs to some guidance on equipment

Postby martin biggs » 31 Jan 2017, 10:29am

Hitman wrote:I already go to the gym, cycling is something I'd like to add to my routine. I think nowadays camera is essential, especially with the nutcase drivers around here!


£300 is a very workable budget loads of good lightly used newish machines out there for sale 2nd hand that have done less miles than days in the month .

Or you could invest in a nice retro steel framed bike and have some change for the other bits you mention .

if you are based anywhere Northamptonshire you are more than welcome to come and try one of my roads bikes and see how you get on
Last edited by martin biggs on 1 Feb 2017, 4:03pm, edited 1 time in total.

shaunnroberts
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Re: Want to start cycling, needs to some guidance on equipment

Postby shaunnroberts » 31 Jan 2017, 10:40am

My opinion probably doesn't count for too much being a newbie myself, however I got a Carrera Virtuoso for £300 after reading a lot of good reviews online. I bought from cycle republic on interest free credit for £50 a month.

It's been a great road bike so far and has quickly become something I enjoy and dare I say cherish.

Seems well put together with good quality parts..... The only thing I changed straight away was the pedals - to double sided Shimano SPDs.

Shaun.

nirakaro
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Re: Want to start cycling, needs to some guidance on equipment

Postby nirakaro » 31 Jan 2017, 2:03pm

shaunnroberts wrote:My opinion probably doesn't count for too much being a newbie myself

That makes it a particularly valuable opinion, for another newbie.

JohnW
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Re: Want to start cycling, needs to some guidance on equipment

Postby JohnW » 31 Jan 2017, 2:36pm

hamster wrote:Firstly, put your mind at rest: in terms of injury or death per km travelled, cycling is safer than walking (DoT statistics). The BMA also came out emphatically that the benefits outweigh the risks.
You'll probably ride on quieter minor roads compared to what you would use in the car, this also makes a big difference. I did have an episode with a car last week (I bailed out rather than let him left hook me). He was untaxed and uninsured (probably DSQ as well). However, on reflection that's the first time in the last 50,000 miles of riding.

I'd suggest trying your local Cycling UK group as a starting point.


+1 to your last paragraph hamster - can hitman tell us where in the country he is?

Just a reference to your 'episode' - firstly my sympathies - it hasn't happened to me as badly as that, but it does happen.

But was it the car that you had the episode with? - surely it was the violent criminal behind the wheel - the motorist. Cars are benign until someone gets in the driving seat and starts up. It's the driver who is dangerous. Luckily, that wasn't typical. It does make a chap seeth though, doesn't it?