20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Bonefishblues
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Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Postby Bonefishblues » 5 Apr 2019, 3:03pm

5 Ten also big in watersports, BTW.

Just apropos of this, and other brands, they do often seem to be built on narrow lasts, so that might limit choice if your plates are like mine!

thelawnet
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Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 12:56am

Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Postby thelawnet » 5 Apr 2019, 3:15pm

Paddywan wrote:£475 is significantly out of my price range considering the alternatives, and similarly I was rather hoping to avoid pre-owned if at all possible, I just don't feel comfortable in my ability to look over a bike and call it fit for purpose. All things considered, the subway 1 is looking to be my primary choice at this moment in time.


Well as mentioned most bikes aren't ridden that much

If you look at sales on Fleabay

https://m.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R ... &LH_Sold=1

They do come up

If you use it a bit of common sense, i.e. buying a newer model that appears to have little use then theres a decent chance you can get it like new for £50ish (new cables and chain, cheap servicing out of someones house /mobile servicing)

And if you are lucky, it won't need anything

Things like mudguards btw cost more than you think if you want them fitted by a shop, so if you find something with them fitted , it's worth having.

There are plenty of models that meet your requirements exactly, i.e. hydraulic disc brakes, rigid fork, cassette, triple chainset with sub 30t small chain ring, but there might only be one or two on sale at any time.

Try googling 'hybrid hydraulic disc' and you get some model names such as Trek FX Disc, Specialized Sirrus Disc - to a large degree every manufacturer has a bike with such specs, so if you have a long list of candidates then you can find a used bike earlier.

The new Subway 1 is quite servicable as well, but there is a risk with Halfords that it won't necessarily be as well setup as a used bike off eBay!

simonhill
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Location: Essex

Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Postby simonhill » 5 Apr 2019, 7:39pm

Re shoes, don't worry about them. I wouldn't look for cycling specific, you don't need them - all that is a bit of a red herring. You could end up spending 20%+ of your bike budget on a pair of shoes. I've cycled for decades in squash trainers, £20 a pair - fairly stiff sole, flat and lightweight.

Also, gotta laugh at the way people keep pointing the OP to buying second hand even though he regularly says he doesn't want to do it. To be honest, I don't blame him if he has little knowledge. It is asking for a bum deal. What to us may be a great/awful buy is not going to be so apparent to him.

Wandering around a few shops is usually a good idea, but unfortunately your price point means you have little option for new. Also, I'm not sure how much I would trust the advice from some of those chains. Glad to see you are thinking about a bike hub type places. They are manned by volunteers who know about bikes and should be able to give an un-biased view. At least you now know the sort of bike you want (MTB/hybrid type) so don't be seduced into buying something inappropriate. Nonetheless, its always worth visiting a few places to get a wider range of options and opinions.

Another option is to poke your head in a normal bikeshop and ask if they have any secondhand bikes. They won't be a bargain, but they should be properly checked out and have some sort of guarantee.

thelawnet
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Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 12:56am

Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Postby thelawnet » 5 Apr 2019, 8:09pm

simonhill wrote:Also, gotta laugh at the way people keep pointing the OP to buying second hand even though he regularly says he doesn't want to do it. To be honest, I don't blame him if he has little knowledge. It is asking for a bum deal. What to us may be a great/awful buy is not going to be so apparent to him.


Buying new isn't always better.

When I got my bike new from Decathlon, the nearest shop was 30 miles away. They didn't set it up properly.

Took it back to the shop.

Still not set up properly.

Languished in the garage for several years.

Eventually learned how to sort it out myself. Finally sorted.

You still need a good mechanic if you buy a new bike. And they don't necessarily work in the place you bought it from.....

Jamesh
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Joined: 2 Jan 2017, 5:56pm

Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Postby Jamesh » 5 Apr 2019, 8:36pm

If he wants a new bike this bike shop in Halifax does good cheap bikes.
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 3688858167
Or in midlands
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 3675419096
There is another one in Winchester which does similar range

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 3684882316

All good deals

Best off buying cheaper end getting fit and the buying better when OP has better idea what he wants.

Cheers James

Paddywan
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Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Postby Paddywan » 6 Apr 2019, 11:16am

Update: Turn's out a small-medium frame fits me. Had a ride on a few bikes at the bike recycling place, but the only one which seemed to be a good fit for my requirements was around £140, and was made out of 3 different rigid frames. Front mech disc & rear V, however it was comfortable to ride, but I did not see any mountpoints for mudguards and it had those twisty gear shifters. I will go back next weekend when they will have some new stock and see if anything else jumps out at me. The people there were very helpful in searching for my requirements and gave me some very good advice, so not only did I thank them, but also you guys for recommending them to me. After I return next week, if I don't decide on anything while I'm there, it looks like the Carrera is going to likely be the choice I settle upon.

Again, thanks so much for everyones help. I feel much closer to being able to making a somewhat well-informed decision.

slowster
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Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Postby slowster » 6 Apr 2019, 2:17pm

That's great news. Unfortunately many bike shops are more interested in making a sale than making sure their customers get a bike that's suitable for their needs and fits them. It sounds like the place you went to is not out to make a quick buck, and because they exist to provide an opportunity for prisoners to learn a useful trade and skill, there is probably more likelihood of the bikes they sell being in good working order than some retailers of new bikes (the quality of mechanics/servicing at some of the big retailers can be highly variable, and new bikes are not always properly assembled, e.g. it's not uncommon to find grease was not used when assembling a new bike, with the result that things like pedals and seatposts become seized and impossible to remove).

Hopefully the place you visited will have a bike that ticks enough of your boxes if you keep going back over the next few weeks to check. The most important thing is that the bike fits you. However, there are some 'nice to haves' which you may want/need (even if only in the longer term), which might influence your choice if you end up with the luxury of having to choose between more than one bike, or which you might be able to get more cheaply when buying a bike:

- Mudguards. As I've said, you can get by without them in spring and summer while it's warm and dry, but the more you ride in winter and on wet/muddy roads and paths, the more you will want them. It's possible the bike you choose might even have them fitted, but that's unlikely because you want an MTB, and they are often not fitted to MTBs (they tend instead to be fitted as standard more on bikes with narrower tyres, like hybrids and utility bikes). However, as long as an MTB has mudguard eyelets you can fit them (which is more likely on a non-suspension MTB).

When selling a new bike most bike shops will fit mudguards free of charge if the mudguards are bought at the same time. The bike recycling place probably does not sell accessories like mudguards, but they might be willing to fit a pair of mudguards for you if you buy them from a shop and take them there. Mudguard fitting is not difficult, but it is a fiddly job, so if you do not feel comfortable doing it yourself and they will offer to do it for a small extra charge, that would be something to think about. Note that you need to make sure you get the right size when buying mudguards (both for the tyre diameter, e.g. 26", 29" or 700C, and the tyre width - MTB tyres need wide mudguards).

- A rear rack. Once you start riding any distance, or if you ride to the shops, you will want to be able to carry stuff. You can use a small backpack or similar, but it's usually more comfortable and more practical to have a bag on the bike, which means you will need a rear rack. Although you can buy panniers and other purpose made bags to fit on a rear rack, to begin with - providing you are not carrying too much - you could probably get away with almost any bag and just use a bungee cord to strap it to the top of the rack. This will allow you to carry a jacket or spare item of clothing (which you can then take off/put on when you get hot/cold), some food like sandwiches, something to drink, tools, and a lock (Bristol has a poor reputation for bike theft).

Although you can fit most rear racks yourself quite easily, it's possible that the recycling place might be willing to fit one for you. I say that because they are recycling many bikes, and some of them will have racks fitted. If you get an MTB (which is unlikely to be fitted with a rack), they might be willing to take off the rack from one of the other bikes they have in stock and fit that to the MTB. If they will offer to do that for a small charge, I would do that because a new rack will probably cost upwards of £20.

Finally you will also need some very basic tools and spares, which you will probably need to buy separately/from a shop:

- One, but better two, spare inner tubes (buy the correct size for the tyres fitted to your bike, with the same valve type, i.e. presta or schraeder. This is something which the recycling place might sell, so they would make sure you bought the correct ones (or they could tell you what size/type to buy from a shop).

- A multi-tool, e.g. like the Topeak Hexus, which Wiggle has currently on offer for £12.99

- The Hexus comes with a couple of tyre levers, but they are not great, so it's best also to buy a separate set of tyre levers. This set of Park tyre levers plus glueless patches is good value for money, and if you buy them together with the Hexus, you get free delivery from Wiggle. The glueless patches are not good for permanent puncture repairs, for which you need something like this, but they are excellent for an emergency on the road if you've already used your spare inner tube(s). Youtube will give you some videos showing how to deal with a puncture on the road (when it's usually best/quickest to replace the tube with a spare, rather than patch the tube).

- A pump. I would wait until you had bought the bike before getting a pump. What pump is best/suitable will depend somewhat upon the bike and tyres/tubes it has.

Jamesh
Posts: 358
Joined: 2 Jan 2017, 5:56pm

Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Postby Jamesh » 8 Apr 2019, 5:10pm

Wilko are good for bike tools and basics.
Also Aldi / lidl for
Bike tool kit and clothing.

Cheers James

Bonefishblues
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Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Postby Bonefishblues » 8 Apr 2019, 5:16pm

...or take an inner tube and a couple of tyre levers. That, plus a mobile phone is enough to start with, I'd say :)

thelawnet
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Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 12:56am

Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Postby thelawnet » 8 Apr 2019, 5:25pm

Bonefishblues wrote:...or take an inner tube and a couple of tyre levers. That, plus a mobile phone is enough to start with, I'd say :)


and a pump, shurely.

to save a long discussion just get one of these.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/pumps/size- ... ump-black/ (buy bike first, choose size to fit frame)

Bonefishblues
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Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Postby Bonefishblues » 8 Apr 2019, 5:30pm

thelawnet wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:...or take an inner tube and a couple of tyre levers. That, plus a mobile phone is enough to start with, I'd say :)


and a pump, shurely.

to save a long discussion just get one of these.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/pumps/size- ... ump-black/ (buy bike first, choose size to fit frame)

Happy to make explicit that which was implicit :lol:

Happy 2000 posts

thelawnet
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Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 12:56am

Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Postby thelawnet » 8 Apr 2019, 5:33pm

Bonefishblues wrote:
thelawnet wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:...or take an inner tube and a couple of tyre levers. That, plus a mobile phone is enough to start with, I'd say :)


and a pump, shurely.

to save a long discussion just get one of these.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/pumps/size- ... ump-black/ (buy bike first, choose size to fit frame)

Happy to make explicit that which was implicit :lol:

Happy 2000 posts


Thanks.

I didn't know you if you were a NOS (yes I know it's CO2 but it amuses me to call it NOS) man, or else a 'I'll bring a tube & levers and try to borrow someone else's pump that they've carted around for 5,000 miles to save carrying my own' type :lol:

Bonefishblues
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Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Postby Bonefishblues » 8 Apr 2019, 5:36pm

Actually, stuff it, let's strip it back to just a mobile!

Paddywan
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Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Postby Paddywan » 17 Apr 2019, 1:00pm

Okay, I'm back! So I ended up at the bike recycling place on Saturday and came away with a decathlon Rockrider 520 for only £140! Its not _precisely_ the type/style bike i was recommended to get, however they did do their best to lock the front suspension and turn it into a rigid frame as best they could, and at that price and with such a well kept condition frame/bike, I was really torn between that and the Carrera from Halfords, but that extra £100 saving really did push it over the edge for me, and after riding it around a bit I am very pleased with the bike. So, again, thanks to each and every one of you for guiding me through this journey into cycling. I am glad to report that I am now trying to make it a daily occurrence that I ride, even if not for long. Being 20st (finally dipped under for the first time at 128kg or something) and a relatively sedentary lifestyle, my stamina only allows to me ride for 20 minutes or so in "bursts" of energy before my legs have completely turned to jello and i'm peddling around in one of the easier gears, but I suppose that will never change unless I keep myself committed to both my diet & activity.

I'm not entirely sure if I enjoy it or not yet, it sure is a hell of a lot of effort and work and for the moment I'm too busy being focused on the what's, why's, and hows as well as safely navigating traffic. Perhaps once I've stuck at this for a while longer, built up some muscle mass and become accustomed to the bike I can start to enjoy my travels rather than see them as a means to an end.

Again, thanks to all who have helped me and contributed to this thread/discussion. All of your input has been both invaluable, encouraging, and extremely supportive. I will be sure to check back in with you guys soon.

Vorpal
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Re: 20st. mid-20's Beginner "cyclist" looking for advice on where to start

Postby Vorpal » 17 Apr 2019, 1:38pm

Fantactic news! I'm glad that you like the bike :)

There is nothing wrong with pedalling around in easier gears! If you take it easy, and go at pace that you can maintain for a half an hour or more, I think you will build up your distance more quickly. Going faster can come later.

Keep at it & come back with questions, if you have them.

Enjoy the new bike :mrgreen:
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom