Newbie asking for advice

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Ibrahim
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Joined: 12 May 2019, 3:39pm

Newbie asking for advice

Postby Ibrahim » 12 May 2019, 4:07pm

Hi everyone,

I'm new to cycling and was thinking of buying a hybrid bike for commuting. I was offered this one for 150 pounds. Someone told me it's heavy and not that good. What do you think? Any input will be much appreciated.

Thank you
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mattsccm
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Re: Newbie asking for advice

Postby mattsccm » 12 May 2019, 8:16pm

State of chain, rusty, suggests not much attention but some the bike looks as if it hasn't had much use. It's a cheapy anyway with real bottom of the range kit. Probably only twice that price new so in theory overpriced now but equally you could say it's bottomed out.
Despite my criticisms it would be fine for commuting etc as long as it's well maintained and probably given a once over now. Pay someone though and they will want to replace cables, break block and chain etc. Add labour and you could double its price which is not good value.

simonhill
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Re: Newbie asking for advice

Postby simonhill » 12 May 2019, 8:23pm

How far is your commute and what sort of roads or tracks?

Also you could check out The Big Bike Revival, which could help you smarten this bike up a bit ( Google it,).

Foxy
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Re: Newbie asking for advice

Postby Foxy » 12 May 2019, 8:50pm

Hi Ibrahim

It looks like a Ridgeback Velocity or similar. IMHO they are a lot better than the average Halfords bike and a quick Google search suggests they currently retail at c£400.
This looks like an older model - we had two in the family and they were fine for moderate riding, light touring and commuting; my son did a 500 mile tour on it. It had an aluminium frame, which wasn't too heavy, but didn't have much flexibility, and the equipment was quite basic but it was fine.

I would check three things:
1 It's the correct size - if it doesn't fit you, don't buy it.
2 How it feels of in terms of weight etc
3 Everything works

You can clean it up, lubricate the moving parts etc, but if any of these three points don't pass... i'd be reluctant to buy.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Newbie asking for advice

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 12 May 2019, 10:31pm

Hi,
Freewheel is not a good idea, better a freehub.
But good bikes are hard to find that have not been neglected / abused.

A bike with a freehub even a shimano copy will last a long time, freewheel which this bike has will fail prematurely.

Good luck.
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Oldjohnw
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Re: Newbie asking for advice

Postby Oldjohnw » 14 May 2019, 7:56am

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
Freewheel is not a good idea, better a freehub.
But good bikes are hard to find that have not been neglected / abused.

A bike with a freehub even a shimano copy will last a long time, freewheel which this bike has will fail prematurely.

Good luck.


As an ignoramus on almost all things mechanical could you explain more the difference, please? How could you tell on this picture?
John

Cycling and recycling

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TrevA
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Re: Newbie asking for advice

Postby TrevA » 14 May 2019, 10:21am

In a free hub, the part that free wheels is built in to the hub itself. You just add the sprockets (known as a cassette), which is held in place using a lock ring which screws into the end of the hub. In most free hubs, the bearings are nearer to the end of the axle, which better supports the hub and the forces applied to it.

A freewheel hub has just a screw thread, and the freewheeling mechanism is part of the set of sprockets (known as a block) which screws on to the thread of the hub. The drive side bearing is further in towards the centre of the hub, so the axle is not so well supported. When changing the sprockets (block), it is easy to bend the axle with this arrangement which means that the axle will eventually break.

You can tell by looking at the smallest sprocket. If there is a recess, then it is a freewheel hub. If it is flat or has a raised locking ring, then it is a free hub. The sprockets on a free hub are easier to change than on a freewheel hub.
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Brainbighter
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Re: Newbie asking for advice

Postby Brainbighter » 14 May 2019, 10:33am

Freewheels are ok, I've toured for years on them, my 1980 Mercian still has one, never had one fail on me yet. It might not be the most up to date kit, but very cheap to replace.

Oldjohnw
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Re: Newbie asking for advice

Postby Oldjohnw » 14 May 2019, 1:08pm

Thanks, folk. I knew I could count on you.
John

Cycling and recycling

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Newbie asking for advice

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 14 May 2019, 2:27pm

Hi,

Front hub looks steel but apart from steel spokes there is no problem there.
Rear hub hard to see but probable also steel.

I.M.H.O. fifty max retail for bike then swap out some parts and its a OK machine depending on what you expect to do with it.
Most cheap freewheels have no rubber seals to keep out water from the ratchet, even the shimano copies do have rubber seals.

Edited-
P.S. The quick release denotes hollow axel which IIRC Brucey will tell you are better than the solid ? not least as if the axel goes the QR will hold it together to get home.
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mjr
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Re: Newbie asking for advice

Postby mjr » 14 May 2019, 3:38pm

Brainbighter wrote:Freewheels are ok, I've toured for years on them, my 1980 Mercian still has one, never had one fail on me yet. It might not be the most up to date kit, but very cheap to replace.

Yes, as long as you keep the hub threads greased when refitting (to deter corrosion) and change it when worn, you're basically replacing the freewheel mechanism each time as a side-effect of changing the "cassette". With a freehub, it's a technically slightly better but the freewheel mechanism is another part to maintain...
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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Newbie asking for advice

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 14 May 2019, 5:38pm

Hi,
I should of pointed out that not all freewheels have exposed threads like the one shown.
When viewing bikes to spot a cassette and freehub there will be no exposed thread, and the centre hole is flat like washer, with internal serrations and sometimes hidden close to the frame, makes viewing hard.

Freewheels generally have larger centre holes, the removal spline is recessed, easy to spot, but with smaller top cogs when fitted the centre hole is smaller than standard, an would be easy to mistake for freehub in poor light and with out your glasses.
You can only carefully view at one particular angle in one place (rear of bike gear side 45 degrees and head almost on the tyre), the latter type freewheel and commonly freehubs too, especially if the frame is similar to the pic shown, with that type of add on derailleur carrier, on my skip trainer the gap between the top cog and frame is 4-5 mm, and is completely hidden by the frame and derailleur carrier.
Once covered is oil and crud you cannot see the freehub cassette retaining cap.

But generally a freehub has a flat washer end with flush (almost) with top cog with neat unchamfed serrations for removal, these are relatively close to the axel.

Seven speed freewheels are back in for sometime now, but generally like the one in pic.
I would normally say the QR's on the rear as well as the front would mean freehub, but as pic shows, not!
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drossall
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Re: Newbie asking for advice

Postby drossall » 14 May 2019, 9:40pm

Foxy wrote:I would check three things:
1 It's the correct size - if it doesn't fit you, don't buy it.
2 How it feels of in terms of weight etc
3 Everything works

You can clean it up, lubricate the moving parts etc, but if any of these three points don't pass... i'd be reluctant to buy.

Agree with this. If you can, find someone who knows bikes to look at it for you - otherwise it's hard to be sure of any of them. Of course, if you knew someone, you probably wouldn't be asking here :?

But yes, Ridgebacks seem OK bikes. Unexciting, but a good start. There's a great deal to be said for buying a second-hand, basic bike like that to start. Then, by the time you are ready to replace it (or buy something better for weekend rides), you'll have views of your own on what you want.

NB the bars are set much too high for the saddle. They'll tip the rider back onto the saddle, increasing the likelihood of discomfort from it, and affecting weight distribution between the wheels. Hopefully you'll need the saddle higher. Otherwise it's change the stem to move the bars lower, and you probably don't want to start changing parts like that.

David9694
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Re: Newbie asking for advice

Postby David9694 » 15 May 2019, 10:49pm

£100 tops - vendor will be hard put to do any better.

gregoryoftours
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Re: Newbie asking for advice

Postby gregoryoftours » 15 May 2019, 10:59pm

Yes that bike isn't too bad if the condition is ok- can't really say apart from the rusty chain. But £150 is too high a price for that bike. Maybe £70-80 if in good condition.