My advice to newbies.

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by andyfromotley, 30 Jun 2008.

  1. Alan O

    Alan O Über Member

    I started cycling again last year after a similar break, and it's one of the best things I've done - I really wish I'd got back to it a lot sooner. Enjoy your new bikes, your return to cycling, and your time at this very friendly and helpful forum.

    capricapers likes this.
  2. Philhh

    Philhh Active Member

    You are so right-Getting the right fit is really important for men but especially for women-the girls my lady cycles with all have cross bar brakes for example -because shimano levers are too big for their hands (she has campaignolo which are thinner) she has a ladies saddle and a shorter stem and it took quite a bit of time getting her bike right but now it is right she loves it (them-a ribble 725 and genesis 30)This can make all the difference to your enjoyment look at Victoria Pendleton comments and british cyclings solutions regarding saddle positions for girls if you are fitting a bike up for a lady
  3. GuyBoden

    GuyBoden Fat, old bloke, on an old bike, pedalling slowly.

    Dark Sunglasses can at times make it difficult to see pot holes in the shady parts of the road, obviously this can be a dangerous combination.
    Last edited: 30 Mar 2017
    hepburn likes this.
  4. Bonacentral

    Bonacentral Guest

    If you are new or 20 years off search Google for articles and what type of bike you will need.

    MTBs were all the rage in my youth in the 90s. Everyone had them. The closest I ever got to a "mountain" was the heath an old BMX track and old railway lines. I guess we were all young, dumb and full of come and expended excessive energy that never really got us anywhere!!

    If the majority of your riding is going to be on roads or cyclepaths you really don't need suspension.

    For most people a double - 2 chainrings with 18 - 22 gears is more than enough.

    For most people a COMPACT double with chainrings 50 and 34 teeth is more than enough

    You are infinitely better off losing weight off your body before you start paying to lose it off your bike.

    Get a decent lock. Get decent lights - and use them and ensure they stay charged or you get batteries. Use a rear in the daytime.

    Remember to use the "lifesaver" - look over your right shoulder and basically have good vision and awareness. The amount of drivers who don't is dangerous.

    You don't need a bell. If you on a shared path and someone isn't aware of you slow down and say "excuse me"....

    Hopefully you get the gist haha!!
    hepburn and Pasydron like this.
  5. emilyisfun

    emilyisfun New Member

    Hey Thank you so much for this Andy, this post was SUPERRRRR helpfull!

    Agreeed, probrbly shoudl be, this can help allot of peolpe
  6. Ociessly

    Ociessly Member

    Hi, I'm a newbie, and thank you for advice. Actually i wanted to start the professional cycling era in my life, but not so long ago i started to have some health problems related with sleep disorder and i just stopped my goal, and started to treat my disorder, but I'm sure that soon I'm going to feel much better, and all the advises that you have shared here are going to be useful for me. Thank you !:rolleyes:
  7. I've had a bike for years but would still class myself as a newbie. Very good advice :-). My question is though - how do you know when you're ready to go from a MTB to road bike? I've found that my MTB with road orientated tyres is just too heavy for long rides, but still don't know if Hybrid or Road is the way forward.
  8. stoatsngroats

    stoatsngroats Veteran

    South East
    Matts, I would say it depends on what you'll be doing most, as road cycling is better than hybrid if all you cycle is along made roads. If venturing off tarmac, maybe a hybrid, but consider where you'll ride most?
    I'm just selling my road bike, as my partner prefers tracks and unmade roads due to limited confidence, but my road bike has been great for 13 mile e/w commutes. A hybrid would have been ok, but the racer is much better!
    We'll be getting emtb soon, and that will be the end of my road days!
  9. Wildsnoopster

    Wildsnoopster New Member

    Very helpful. This aligns to most that I have read. However I have a range of questions that stem from the first question you are asked as a new rider. What is the purpose.

    So my purpose is initially to provide a rest for my legs when running. So I run 4 times a week and want one of those to be a cycle to reduce impact injuries. I am not cycle fit but have run marathons in the past so am not generally unfit.

    However my plan is that this bike will also be used for a commute into London once or twice a week once I have developed some cycle fitness and then there is also a desire to try out a triathlon at some point.

    Will a roadbike with the appropriate eyelets for mudguards be OK for this. The commute would be c30k each way.

    Also I wanted to ask what are the essentials to get other than the bike? I have cycle vest, padded shorts, shoes, lights and waterproofs down but there is so much to choose from and I'm a bit sceptical of what is needed and what is just cycle shops trying to make a profit.
  10. stoatsngroats

    stoatsngroats Veteran

    South East
    [QUOTE="Wildsnoopster, post: 4925626, member: 52725]
    Will a roadbike with the appropriate eyelets for mudguards be OK for this. The commute would be c30k each way.

    Also I wanted to ask what are the essentials to get other than the bike? I have cycle vest, padded shorts, shoes, lights and waterproofs down but there is so much to choose from....[/QUOTE]

    I use one of those removable mudguards, cannot remember which, and it's been fine.
    I would have a spare tube, multi tool, scabs, etc, and a pump and co2 cylinder, all in the seat bag.
    Oh, and a banana too!
    Wildsnoopster likes this.
  11. 50K

    50K New Member

    (Sorry, this post is in reply to page 1 where fellow users are saying you should go to your local rather than other options, here's my take on it)

    I went to my LBS in the interest of keeping my money locally and trying to stop my high street from shutting down completely (there's quite a few close downs in the last couple of years,still empty).
    Unfortunately for them, I did my time in a small bike / sports shop nearer to central London (as an assistant mechanic) so saw how some people exaggerate damage in order to up the repair bill, the minute he said ''oh noooo, your bottom bracket needs replacing, it's almost gone!'' I knew he was TTP and that was why I will have a hard time ever trusing a Family / Home bike shop because it happens all too often. So basically, he wanted to do £250 repairs on a £320 hybrid that was a little over a year old - I am a commuter and do perhaps 240-250 kms per week so yes, it needed some real repairs and I fully understand that as a business, he will be charging me a markup on the parts, but to lie outright like that thinking I was just another clueless commuter. The dead giveaway was he didnt even spin the crank before claiming the bracket was almost gone. So people like these individuals, claiming 25 years in the business, who are willing to risk their reputation by mosdescribing the damage deserve bad credit and exposing in my opinion. A good bike shop will have both normal cyclists who dont do any DIY and cycle fanatics who love stripping their bikes both saying that the service is great.

    My only experience with Evans is purchasing and going in for the 6 weekly free service, as well as having something replaced under warranty which was a bad experience, they replaced a decent tyre with some glossy fong kong thing I could have bought on ebay for £8 and I was pretty much accused of overpumping the tyres which caused a blow out.

    I went into Cycle Surgery once and unfortunately they didn't sell the part I needed, but the general service and advice I received was excellent and I now wish I had one nearby.

    In conclusion, I am now a youtube / ebay DIY repairer which is good that I am learning new skills but sad for my local economy as I'm not too keen that some of my money goes to US big business ...

    PS: this is my first post, not intended to be a rant, cheers
  12. 50K

    50K New Member

    Order tyreliners online, one set should do fine, I initially ordered 2 sets but what happens is that they slide inside the tyre and end up slicing the sides of the innter tube, I also slice a line down the inside of an old inner tube and use this as a barrier between the tyre and the liner (which sits normally between the tube and tyre). This makes my tyres almost inpenetrable (I'm using low end kevlar guard tyres on a commuter hybrid), the only things which penetrate are serious shards of glass and sometimes pyracantha thorns / hawthorns. I get less than one puncure a month and I commute about the same as what you are planning.

    Try hit the canals if you can for your commute to get away from the loonies!! trust me, this is essential if you can. DONT CYCLE THE CANAL IF YOU REFUSE TO USE YOUR BELL! <friendly warning :smile:

    A proper lock! even if you think its alright you can store your bike somewhere at work etc. remember they WILL NOT let you on with a non folding bike on the tube or any other rail inside peak hours no matter what your physical condition is (TFL / LU are now a careless corporation that has zero compassion, it's rare to be able to find a human being who will give you a break at 4:01 pm to let you on with your bike). So may end up needing to lock your bike at a station if you end up with a serious bike issue etc. We used to see a few people come in, spend loads on the bike and accessories then buy a £5 lock (the shop I used to work in bought locks from 99p stores and resold them for £5!) only to come in a week later asking what is the cheapest bike we sold ... you can guess where the other one went.

    Gloves, knee protection and kidney protection if you are going to cycle in the colder months.

    Cycling with waterproofs is horrible, I only do it because I work outdoors and have nowhere to change / store other clothing. get good mudguards and waterproof shoes.

    Decent pannier rack and bag/s (I got all mine online) because you get back pains / neck strain with backpacks over long distances like that.

    Loud bell (people these days cycle / walk / jog with damn earphones in on full blast) not to mention they are zombified by their ''smart'' phones and can hardly walk straight nevermind properly navigate around a city ...

    Pump with gauge, spare tubes, triangle allen key, adjustable spanner, philipps screwdriver etc.

    I think that's it.
  13. Alan O

    Alan O Über Member

    There are rip-off merchants in any trade, but I do think a good LBS is worth a lot (if you can find a good one). At the moment I have a bike in with my local one (Quinns in Liverpool) for a tricky headset fitting, and they've quoted approx £20 - which seems perfectly reasonable to me.
    50K likes this.
  14. Randombiker9

    Randombiker9 Well-Known Member

    Tips to new cyclists. It's only been a few months since I started cycling to college.
    The things I've learnt is always have a working bike make sure you do a quick check before you go out e.g air brakes chain quick release
    Also when out on the road remember these 5 things
    Be confident- if your confident you'll be fine with your bike handing
    Be visible and heard- have lights at dawn dusk and night which is the law. Also reflective chlothing and flurescont is a good idea. If you don't have any of these and just cycle when it's light outside wear bright chlothing and if possible if you wear a helmet try to also get a bright colour
    Be aware
    Be alert
    Be assertive
    Be predictable (always signal and make eye contact when needed)
    Locking tip- if you only have one lock. Put the lock through rear wheel, frame and stand. I see so many people making this mistake just putting there lock through stand and top tube. (If u do this anyone could easily steal your wheels especially if it has quick releases). Also avoid CABLE Locks.
    If drivers or other cyclists are stupid just ignore them. Some cyclists don't know to Not cycle in gutter or away from parked cars.
    Don't cycle in gutter as there's lots of potholes, drains and debris there. Stay away from the door zone of cars. This is to avoid getting hit by driver and passenger doors suddenly open.
    Also if roads are narrow or have too many parked cars don't be afraid to take up the lane as this is allowed.
    Follow road laws. Laws are there for every road users safety
    Also some people might not agree on this last tip but because I live in an area where there loads of buses. That I prefer not to overtake them as if there about to pull out or turning you don't want to get clipped by a bus (same applies to HGV'S) as remember these veichles have more blind spots than other veichles. Plus isn't it just better to wait a minuite and be safer
    Last edited: 26 Sep 2017
  15. Shut Up Legs

    Shut Up Legs Down Under Member

    I hope you don't mind if I make a few comments on what you posted.

    Never ignore motorists. Yes, it's generally a good idea not to let them provoke you, but never ignore them, because if they do something unpredictable and/or stupid, you need to be prepared for it.
    I agree with this. I generally do the same if I think a bus driver is about to leave his stop. I'll stop behind the bus, but not so close I get the full impact of the bus' filthy exhaust fumes, and I'll always stop in primary position, in case some motorist tries to squeeze past me.
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