Advice for an unfit & nervous newbie!

dst87

Well-Known Member
Location
Falkirk, UK
Hello all!

First let me apologise in advance if I'm asking stuff that's been covered 101 times before. I'm a member of other (unrelated) forums and I know it can be annoying - I'm gonna be that guy! If there are other threads in which this has been discussed feel free to link and I will read them!

So I'm very new to cycling (I haven't actually got a bike yet). My new life insurance provider gives me lots of incentives for weight loss and healthy living, and I'm trying to make positive changes. I'm losing weight, slowly (with Weight Watchers), and currently trying to go out for a walk for around an hour a day with the dog. It's going well!

Part of the incentive is 50% off a cycle through Evans Cycles. I loved my bike when I was a kid, and thought this might be a good time to try my hand at cycling, assuming I can remember how (I believe it's a bit like riding a bike... :okay:) I'm mostly happy to go with the advice of Evans on what to buy - I think it'll be a hybrid bike - but there are other questions and concerns that maybe this friendly forum can help with.

Fatness: I'm a big guy. 6ft tall and around 19.5stone (and falling, thankfully). Does this put any restrictions on what I should be buying or doing? Will it impact my cycling? Any other big guys on here cycling with any tips?

Transportation: I live in Falkirk in Central Scotland, and I have two options for Evans Cycles - Glasgow/Edinburgh city centre, or Braehead retail park. The city centre locations make me nervous because I'll need to get the bike to a train station, work out how to take a bike on a train and then cycle back along the canal path (which I'm not too worried about). City centre road cycling as my first experience since childhood does not sound like a good idea. Is there any shame in walking from the store to the station? If I go to Braehead I would need to bring the bike home in my car, a current-generation Kia Cee'd. I have a feeling it won't actually fit, and I don't know if there are any other difficulties transporting a cycle in the back of a car.

Adjustments: I understand that Evans will fit the cycle to me when I buy it. Does anyone have any comments about this? Is this enough or do I need to learn how to do certain things when I get it home?

Storage: I do not have a garage or shed. My original thought was to store in the back garden, locked to the fence, with a cover on. The guy I had a brief chat to said this was basically a terrible idea - theft was inevitable, suspension will cease, chain will rust, etc. etc. He suggested storing it in the hall, which is an option (albeit an unpleasant one). What are your thoughts?

Hopefully I can share my journey with anyone who cares, if I can build up the courage to actually get off my ass and buy the thing! Any advice related to the above or my situation in general would be very much appreciated!
 

Bobby Mhor

Wasn't born to follow
Location
Behind You
Fatness: I'm a big guy. 6ft tall and around 19.5stone (and falling, thankfully). Does this put any restrictions on what I should be buying or doing? Will it impact my cycling? Any other big guys on here cycling with any tips?
One point, you are taller than me:okay:
(jeez, I'm not much lighter, lbs actually)
I've a hybrid bike probably because I like the odd wee jaunt along trails and forest tracks that come into play when I'm out, anything gets too rough I get off. Bike is too valuable to abuse.

It's what you want do..road stuff, cycle track stuff, off road stuff, serious mountain bike stuff, big choice..
sit back and work out what you want to do then decide on your choice transport.

Mines is kept in back room, Mrs Mhor wasn't too happy but its dry...
and don't be embarrassed using the train, I think most of us would.
A man with a spanking new bike?
there will be folk looking at you with envy:okay:

oh, and good luck fella:okay:
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
I'd avoid getting a bike with suspension unless you plan on spending a couple of thousand pounds as below that price suspension tends to be 'cheap n cheerful', just basically adding weight for no real benefit.
If they have one at your price point I'd recommend a CrMo frame and forks over an Aluminium frame with 38mm or so tyres and the ability to take mudguards so more of an 'adventure treking' bike than a hybrid (although you'd be pushed to tell the difference)
As for storage indoor is best.
 
OP
dst87

dst87

Well-Known Member
Location
Falkirk, UK
It's what you want do..road stuff, cycle track stuff, off road stuff, serious mountain bike stuff, big choice..
sit back and work out what you want to do then decide on your choice transport.
I like the idea of cycling on roads, but I don't have the confidence yet. My plan initially is to ride on the canal path which is reasonably smooth and the local forest and parks which are either mostly tarmac/paved or again reasonably smooth. I suspect the canal will be my first and most common journey (well definitely, as my local train station to home is 100% canal path) and this is maybe a little rough in places, some small loose stones etc, but nothing too extreme I don't think. I'm basing this on walking though, so I might need to re-analyse through the eyes of a cyclist.

I work from home, so cycling initially will be about seeing what's out there and exercise that I can (hopefully) enjoy. I tried running a while back on a Couch to 5k, but my knees didn't like me for it. I understand cycling to be a little lower-impact which I hope will help!

oh, and good luck fella:okay:
Thanks very much! I will certainly keep the forum up to date and hope I can eventually contribute and give back to some other budding newbie! :smile:
 

Mo1959

Legendary Member
If I go to Braehead I would need to bring the bike home in my car, a current-generation Kia Cee'd. I have a feeling it won't actually fit, and I don't know if there are any other difficulties transporting a cycle in the back of a car.
I've had my bike in my Fiat Panda :laugh: Your Cee'd should be no problem. Worse case scenario, you may have to remove the front wheel which is a very simple job. I am sure the bike shop will show you if you ask.

I store my bike collection in my spare bedroom because I don't want them either outside or in a cold, damp garage. Suppose you could get one of these bike box thingies in the garden but I don't know how secure they are.
 
OP
dst87

dst87

Well-Known Member
Location
Falkirk, UK
I'd avoid getting a bike with suspension unless you plan on spending a couple of thousand pounds as below that price suspension tends to be 'cheap n cheerful', just basically adding weight for no real benefit.
If they have one at your price point I'd recommend a CrMo frame and forks over an Aluminium frame with 38mm or so tyres and the ability to take mudguards so more of an 'adventure treking' bike than a hybrid (although you'd be pushed to tell the difference)
As for storage indoor is best.
Hi! Thanks for the comments. I'm not up on all of the terminology and brands, but I'll google and work out what it all means!

The bike I saw at Evans when I popped in for a quick look and that the guy recommended as a good entry-level with some nice features was the "Pinnacle Cobalt Two 2015 Hybrid Bike" at around £450. We didn't cover the specific bikes available as I made it clear I was after a preliminary chat rather than being ready to buy. It's very confusing for me as there was a whole row of 'Hybrid' bikes that he led me to ranging from £450 up to about £650, but I wouldn't have a clue what the difference was.

I've had my bike in my Fiat Panda :laugh: Your Cee'd should be no problem. Worse case scenario, you may have to remove the front wheel which is a very simple job. I am sure the bike shop will show you if you ask.

I store my bike collection in my spare bedroom because I don't want them either outside or in a cold, damp garage. Suppose you could get one of these bike box thingies in the garden but I don't know how secure they are.
That's interesting. I wasn't sure about transport, as the original guy I spoke to at the city centre branch implied that they need to put it together for safety (at the demand of some of the manufacturers) and I suppose I assumed that this meant the whole thing would have to be taken in one assembled piece.

If I can get it in the car, I'd much rather go to Braehead. I imagine that it's easier to test the bikes there because you have a large, quiet car park rather than a busy city-centre street!
 

matiz

Veteran
Location
weymouth
I always keep one of my bikes in the hall ready for a quick exit ,whatever bike you choose its best to start with short trips and gradually build up the mileage over time a lot of folks overdo it at first then give up , I wish all the best
 
Location
Pontefract
@dst87 bikes are pretty tough things, I want say how far my £300 Viking has covered, nor how much I have spent on it. Weight @BrianEvesham can give you tips, as can others, don't however think cycling in itself will make you lose weight, it takes a lot of miles to do that, instead work on steady riding (difficult to start with I know) trying to keep your HR down, again this gets better with time and exercise, a lower HR will burn more fat than a higher HR, as you lose more weight it becomes easier to maintain a lower HR as will your increased fitness, in other words just keep riding and don't worry, and :welcome:
 

Katherine

Guru
Moderator
Location
Manchester
Hi there, wishing you all the best.

Why don't you visit both Evans stores for a chat and see who you get on with the best / takes the most interest in you. Hopefully you will find them both welcoming places, but you may find you build a repore with someone who will give you some ideas and suggestions to go home and think about.
 

ScotiaLass

Guru
Location
Middle Earth
I brought a bike back from Evans in Glasgow (and returned it).
It was dead easy and Evans is close to Queen Street. Avoid the rush hour times and you'll be fine for getting it on the train back to Falkirk. If you need any help, give me a shout!
 

Supersuperleeds

Legendary Member
Location
Leicester
@dst87 bikes are pretty tough things, I want say how far my £300 Viking has covered, nor how much I have spent on it. Weight @BrianEvesham can give you tips, as can others, don't however think cycling in itself will make you lose weight, it takes a lot of miles to do that, instead work on steady riding (difficult to start with I know) trying to keep your HR down, again this gets better with time and exercise, a lower HR will burn more fat than a higher HR, as you lose more weight it becomes easier to maintain a lower HR as will your increased fitness, in other words just keep riding and don't worry, and :welcome:
Your Viking is the cycling worlds Triggers Brush.
 

Arrowfoot

Veteran
  • Evans will deliver the bike. No need to worry about transport
  • Get a starter bike - hybrid or mountain bike without suspension. Less heavy and better value unless you want to hit the dirt trails.
  • Range should be £250 to £350
  • Once you are comfortable, you can upgrade and use the starter bike to do hack runs to store, pub
  • Always lock bikes indoors and invest in a proper lock.
 

mcshroom

Bionic Subsonic
Hi dst87 :welcome:

On your points. I'm currently nudging 18st, and was over 19st not too long ago. Two of my bikes are road bikes, so I wouldn't worry about restricting your bike choice due to weight. The worst that is likely to happen is that the wheels will need truing back straight a little more often or you may break a spoke every now and then (not common IME). Pick a bike depending on what sort of riding you want to do. I sort of agree with the comment on suspension above. It's not needed unless you are going to start mountain biking. On roads and gravel trails/towpaths it is probably going to be more hassle/weight than it is worth.

Transportation - I don't know either shop, but I'd probably go to the Braehead one and drive the bike home. Then I could take my first ride where I wanted to ride it. I'd expect the bike to fit in with the back seats folded down, at worst you may need to remove your front wheel which shouldn't be difficult to do. What you do need to watch is that the bike pedals and chain rings don't scratch the boot lip on the way in and out of the car. If I put a bike in a car I use a plastic tarpaulin under the bike and spread over the bumper when loading to try and avoid this.

Adjustment - read some stuff on here, but basicaly you will need to tweak your position a bit over the first few rides anyway IMHO. Get a decent set of allen-keys or a nice multitool and change it little by little. Ask on here for advice if you need to :smile:

Storage - If you can, keep it inside. Less likely to get nicked, it will stay in better condition, and walking past it all the time might tempt you out on the road a bit more. If it has to go outside you need to cover the bike and lock it up well, with at least 2 locks, one of which should be a haevy duty D-lock. You can get cycle storage shed or fit bikes in normal garden sheds if either of those are an option. It would still need locking up though.
 

Supersuperleeds

Legendary Member
Location
Leicester
Hello all!

First let me apologise in advance if I'm asking stuff that's been covered 101 times before. I'm a member of other (unrelated) forums and I know it can be annoying - I'm gonna be that guy! If there are other threads in which this has been discussed feel free to link and I will read them!

So I'm very new to cycling (I haven't actually got a bike yet). My new life insurance provider gives me lots of incentives for weight loss and healthy living, and I'm trying to make positive changes. I'm losing weight, slowly (with Weight Watchers), and currently trying to go out for a walk for around an hour a day with the dog. It's going well!

Part of the incentive is 50% off a cycle through Evans Cycles. I loved my bike when I was a kid, and thought this might be a good time to try my hand at cycling, assuming I can remember how (I believe it's a bit like riding a bike... :okay:) I'm mostly happy to go with the advice of Evans on what to buy - I think it'll be a hybrid bike - but there are other questions and concerns that maybe this friendly forum can help with.

Fatness: I'm a big guy. 6ft tall and around 19.5stone (and falling, thankfully). Does this put any restrictions on what I should be buying or doing? Will it impact my cycling? Any other big guys on here cycling with any tips? There will be weight limits, Evans will be able to advise you. Be prepared for the odd broken spoke or two until the weight drops.

Transportation: I live in Falkirk in Central Scotland, and I have two options for Evans Cycles - Glasgow/Edinburgh city centre, or Braehead retail park. The city centre locations make me nervous because I'll need to get the bike to a train station, work out how to take a bike on a train and then cycle back along the canal path (which I'm not too worried about). City centre road cycling as my first experience since childhood does not sound like a good idea. Is there any shame in walking from the store to the station? If I go to Braehead I would need to bring the bike home in my car, a current-generation Kia Cee'd. I have a feeling it won't actually fit, and I don't know if there are any other difficulties transporting a cycle in the back of a car. No shame in walking at all, as others have said, take the front wheel off and you should get it in the car

Adjustments: I understand that Evans will fit the cycle to me when I buy it. Does anyone have any comments about this? Is this enough or do I need to learn how to do certain things when I get it home? They should get you set up from the off, as you get used to the bike you will pick up plenty of tips off here, from the start just making sure you keep the bike clean and the tyres pumped up should be enough

Storage: I do not have a garage or shed. My original thought was to store in the back garden, locked to the fence, with a cover on. The guy I had a brief chat to said this was basically a terrible idea - theft was inevitable, suspension will cease, chain will rust, etc. etc. He suggested storing it in the hall, which is an option (albeit an unpleasant one). What are your thoughts? Keep it in the house!

Hopefully I can share my journey with anyone who cares, if I can build up the courage to actually get off my ass and buy the thing! Any advice related to the above or my situation in general would be very much appreciated! Go get the bike now and get posting your progress on here, we all love seeing peoples progress
Comments in the quote above Oh and welcome
 

jim55

Veteran
Location
glasgow
If u go to Evans in Glasgow it's very near queen st station(a few hundred yards at most) and as this is the train station ul use from falkirk it makes walking to station with bike an easy option ( in fact ul b crossing a pedestrian precinct so it's easier to walk than to try and ride the bike)

I'd echo what's been said a mtb / hybrid style bike is prob best , however, avoid suspension at the level I think it Gona b spending, get something with / can take wider tyres, as these will give u a more cushioned ride
 
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