What kind of bike do I need? :)

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Stroud24
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What kind of bike do I need? :)

Postby Stroud24 » 10 Feb 2018, 7:17pm

Hi.

I'm new to this forum, and cycling in general, and I'd appreciate a little basic advice.

I recently signed up for a 46 mile charity ride, for which I have 6 weeks to prepare.

I don't even have a bike, and I was hoping someone might tell me what equipment I will need. It's a hilly road course around a reservoir.

Essentially, I want to know what kind/make of bike I'll need? Something that will suit an unprepared amateur and the hilly road course. What will the other amateurs likely have?

Thanks

Andy

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gaz
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Re: What kind of bike do I need? :)

Postby gaz » 10 Feb 2018, 7:55pm

Welcome to the forum.

You need a bike that fits you well and probably one with some low gears.

Aside from preparing for and in due course riding this charity event, do you see yourself riding the bike regularly? e.g. commuting, leisure, shopping, etc

What's your budget?

Where will you be riding? e.g. roads, made up paths and trails, muddy forest tracks?

What maintenance experience do you have?
Hand wash only. Do not iron.

brynpoeth
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Re: What kind of bike do I need? :)

Postby brynpoeth » 10 Feb 2018, 8:03pm

Where is it exactly? For a fit experienced cyclist 46 miles is not so much
When did you last cycle? Do you just want to do the 46 miles, or will you be cycling more after?
I like to spend time looking at the bikes parked by the train station, you could do that too, to get some ideas
Generally there is no need for very fancy stuff such as 30 gears or suspension
The bicycle is a simple machine, best not to make it too complicated
Might be worth thinking about just hiring a bike for the day
Last edited by brynpoeth on 10 Feb 2018, 8:10pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Stroud24
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Re: What kind of bike do I need? :)

Postby Stroud24 » 10 Feb 2018, 8:09pm

Hi Gaz, thanks for responding.

I've never really thought much about cycling, but a lot of my friends ride a lot, so if I get up to speed, I'll probably go out fairly often.

I don't really want to spend more than a few hundred. But I don't want to go too cheap if it means buying a two ton boneshaker. I've tried that before.

I think the charity ride is all road. And I really want to prepare specifically for that.

I have zero maintenance experience. I think my Dad showed me how to fix a puncture when I was eight :) But I think I can Youtube that stuff in the next few weeks.

Cheers

Andy

thirdcrank
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Re: What kind of bike do I need? :)

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Feb 2018, 9:02pm

I'd recommend trying to borrow a bike: there are plenty hidden away in garages and sheds, often bought with good intentions and hardly ridden.

If you have no recent cycling experience, be prepared for excruciating saddle soreness the first couple of times you ride. New riders often assume that a lovely soft saddle is the answer, but the problem is that you are exercising the muscles in your backside an a way they are not used to and sitting on them at the same time. If you persist, the agony will go away after the first couple of rides. Six weeks isn't long and it's likely to be curtailed by some rotten weather. Try to ride as often as you can without biting off more than you can chew. If you manage to get a few miles in between now and the event, 46 miles is not impossible by any means.

On the day, follow a few simple rules. Eat before you start. Others will probably post with dietary advice, but something like porridge is good. Don't set off too fast. The fast starters are either idiots who will suffer later, or experienced strong riders who know what they are doing. There's no shame in starting off steady and it will give a much better chance of finishing in decent condition. When you are riding, your blood/sugar level will drop gradually but imperceptibly. Keep nibbling away at something to replace that energy. You can get special energy bars and gels but something like home-made flapjack is fine. I say imperceptibly, but if it drops below a certain level, the result can feel devastating. You can recover quite quickly by eating something to boost the level but so much better to avoid it by snacking long before you feel hungry. Even if you are not sweating, your system will also be gradually losing fluid. You can get various potions but keeping hydrated is the key to avoiding discomfort.

Don't start too fast. And if I forgot to mention it, don't start too fast.
==================================================================
PS
A tip I picked up from somebody who did a lot of running, including the London Marathon. Wear something with your name easily read from the roadside. Ignore idle comments from layabouts but a few cheers of "Come on, Andy!" from total strangers should boost the adrenalin, but don't be tempted to ride any faster just because people are cheering you on.

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TrevA
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Re: What kind of bike do I need? :)

Postby TrevA » 10 Feb 2018, 9:51pm

If you want a new bike, you won't go far wrong with a Decathlon BTwin. This one is £500 - has 27 gears and is reasonably light. I have the same bike but last year's model.

https://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-520- ... 77757.html

They have cheaper models if you don't want to spend that much, and flat bar road bikes if you prefer them.

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Paulatic
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Re: What kind of bike do I need? :)

Postby Paulatic » 10 Feb 2018, 10:04pm

Can I guess it’s this ride? https://www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/Event/rtr2018
You need to start riding anything now. Beg steal or borrow anything for Little rides whenever you can. By the time the day of the event comes you’ll need something reliable and which you are comfortable to ride. Be it a drop handlebarred or straight barred Hybrid bike. It will need gears but if it’s the ride I’ve guessed on the hills aren’t too severe. ( I’m only saying that because I cycle more than you are presently) You will know there are hills on route.
I would hope alongside lots of small rides you’ll have done at least a couple of 30 ml rides before the event then in some company at the back of the field you’ll sail around. As others have said 'take your time'.
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Re: What kind of bike do I need? :)

Postby Username » 11 Feb 2018, 7:10am

brynpoeth wrote:Where is it exactly? For a fit experienced cyclist 46 miles is not so much
When did you last cycle? Do you just want to do the 46 miles, or will you be cycling more after?
I like to spend time looking at the bikes parked by the train station, you could do that too, to get some ideas
Generally there is no need for very fancy stuff such as 30 gears or suspension
The bicycle is a simple machine, best not to make it too complicated
Might be worth thinking about just hiring a bike for the day



On the contrary, fancy stuff has less gears, and hardtails are often preferred over full suspension bikes. Hardly ever see triples these days, its mostly doubles, and even single chainrings seem to be coming more popular. A 10 or 11 speed double is ideal if you have the right ratios.

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Spinners
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Re: What kind of bike do I need? :)

Postby Spinners » 11 Feb 2018, 8:09am

With six weeks to go you should have no problems coping with 46 miles - even on a hilly route. I think you need to look beyond the event and ask yourself whether you can see yourself continuing to cycle or whether this will be a one-off.

If the latter, I'd get something off Gumtree. As an example, I've got a quality hybrid currently on there for £110. Personally, I'd get a road bike but I'd happily do it on a hybrid or MTB. A similar ride (actually 55 miles but without six weeks to prepare) is what got me into cycling many years ago!

Good luck and I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
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Vorpal
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Re: What kind of bike do I need? :)

Postby Vorpal » 11 Feb 2018, 8:40am

If some of your friends can help you select a used bike, you will get better value for money than buying new. Borrowing one (as recommended by Thirdcrank) is also a good idea.

Otherwise, the Decathlon linked above is a good starter.

I suggest trying some bikes. Take them for a bit of ride, if you can, not just around the car park. Try a local bike shop, or Evans or something if there is one near you, as well.

Some people prefer to start with flat handlebars. They can be a bit easier to get on with, but don't offer as many differnt positions for comfort.

Alot of cheap (new) bikes have suspension. Some people find suspension worthwhile (I have it on my mountain bike, but not on any road bikes), but it's a lot of extra weight to carry around if you don't need it. Also, the suspension systems on cheap bikes is not durable, so I would avoid it in the £500 price range.

So, try some bikes. Borrow one if you can. Start riding, and good luck :)
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Stroud24
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Re: What kind of bike do I need? :)

Postby Stroud24 » 11 Feb 2018, 8:57pm

Thanks everyone. Very useful advice and much appreciated. Thanks for your time.

Yes Paulatic, it's that one :)