Newbie Question

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Jim77, 1 Apr 2008.

  1. Jim77

    Jim77 New Member

    I don't know which sort of bike will suit my needs.

    I want to take up cycling again for excercise and will be riding on cyclepaths and bridalways mostly. want something light but robust so can easily carr/transport on roof of car. It is also quite hilly where I live if that makes a difference.
  2. Mortiroloboy

    Mortiroloboy New Member

    Jim77, my advice...Get down to your LBS Local Bike Shop, and have a chat with them, sounds like you need a hybrid bike, i.e. not a full on ATB/MTB nor a town bike, but something in between.

    What's your budget, if you don't mind me asking?

    Alternatively pop into your local Halfords bike hut, take a look at their Carrera Subway range, they are pretty good Value for Money, and might be just what you are looking for.
  3. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    A cheapish hybrid is the way forward for you at this stage. Once you decide that road cycling is best for you you will have to buy a decent road bike so save quite a lot of cash for that day.
  4. OP

    Jim77 New Member

    Budget around £650. I was hoping to avoid Halfords, probably just blind prejudice though!
  5. ianrauk

    ianrauk Tattooed Beat Messiah

    Atop a Ti
    I fully agree, bought a Subway 1 18 Months ago. Very well built, sturdy bike. Great handling too. Done over 2000 miles on it no problems. Well worth the money.
    So that's a 3rd recommendation.
  6. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    support your LBS if you can, and it appears you can, they'll do you a nicer bike with that budget, save some for bits and accessories and clothes
  7. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Hi Jim77
    Your budget will buy a nice bike.

    My thoughts...
    A hybrid bike seems to be the way to go. For your needs forget MTB's and heavy suspension forks (there is an exception to this, but more later).

    Hybrids come in many guises, some are designed for city commutes, others have fattish tyres but are not quite MTB's and others are like racing bikes with flat handlebars. It really depends on where you want to ride most, how rough and the kind of speeds and distances you want.
    Also think about will you need mudguards (they don't fit all bikes), might you want a rack to carry bits and bobs, again they don't all cater for this.

    Flat bar road bikes are like the Giant FCR, Trek pilot, Ridgeback ands then there is a the almost all encompasing Specialized Sirrus range wich might lead you too something like
    For your budget you should get at least Shimano Tiagra 9 speed, carbon fork and low weight. A fast nippy/sporty flat bar bike for road and reasonably smooth towpath/bridalway work.

    At the other end of the spectrum you have something like this...
    Not a big knobbly-tyred heavy mtb, but narrower tyres than an MTB but a bit fatter than the lighter end of the Hybrid scale, lighter weight suspension to smooth rough tracks. Full mudguards may not be an option.

    In the middle, there is something like this Marin which a few of my pals have earlier versions for general riding;
    Lightish, narrower tyres, lightweight suspension, take guards and a rack and my mega hefty pal does 100 milers on his with comfort.
    One tip if you go the suspension route, make sure that you can lock them out for road riding, it makes a difference.

    The thing with hybrids is there is such a wide spectrum. A half decent touring bike will also handle pretty rough surfaces too and are tougher than most imagine.

    Finally, to really go fast on roughish surfaces and be sprightly on the roadf, there's cyclocross bikes...of which, this is the Daddy at the price and close to your budget. It would be my choice.
    This is a bike you could do virtually anything and go anywhere, fun on the bridalpaths, touring, speedy road riding.

    Hope that helps for ideas...there's a lot of choice!
  8. OP

    Jim77 New Member

    Thats great thanks FabFoodie. I will get searching those pages and let you know what I end up with. Off to the bike shop tomorrow.
  9. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    As others have stated, a good local bike shop is worth it's weight in gold. But go around a few and seek their advice, not all bike shops are created equal!
    Good luck!
  10. CopperBrompton

    CopperBrompton Bicycle: a means of transport between cake-stops

    Oooh, that really is a thing of beauty.

    Ben (easily swayed by cute looks in bikes and women)
  11. Alcdrew

    Alcdrew Senior Member


    really?? looks to me like someone has riden it into the back of a parked car.
  12. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Not sure I like the curvyness, the previous versions had straight tubes.

    On the whole I think Marin bikes are underated.
  13. CopperBrompton

    CopperBrompton Bicycle: a means of transport between cake-stops

    Curves work for me ...
  14. punkypossum

    punkypossum Donut Devil

    I like the look of the Marin, the curves are nice :smile:...fork looks a bit poo though...;)
  15. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    Yep, avoid halfords like the plague. They will tell you lies, set up your bike wrong, and possibly fail to deliver it as specced.
    Also avoid hybrids. They are neither use nor ornament.
    Your three best options are:
    1) If you are doing long distances purely on road, then get a road bike. Either a flat bar one if you don't like drops, or a drop handlebar one if you want to try them out for the benefits to comfort given by the variety of different hand positions.
    2) If you are doing lots of canal towpath stuff where you have to deal with debris, weave around peds, railings etc, go on dodgy surfaces, etc etc, or even doing mild off-road, then go for a cross counry style bike. Light frame, short travel forks, and normally about 1 - 2 inch tyres but you can customise them to suit really - e.g. mate of mine has got one that's 2.5 inches but completely smooth - he says it's great for road use! Good examples, Giant XTC, Specialized Rockhopper - there are many others.
    A hybrid has absolutely no advantages over this type of bike whatsoever - it is just slightly cheaper but has vastly inferior parts. Hybrids are basically aimed at non-cyclists and their main selling point is to be accessible and convenient-seeming as possible, hence they often have adjustable stems and suspension seat posts, but these parts aren't for anyone vaguely enthusiastic.
    3) If you're doing the real klarty stuff, get a proper MTB.
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