Discussion in 'Beginners' started by James Mc, 17 Feb 2008.

  1. James Mc

    James Mc New Member

    Hi there everyone!

    I've decided to take the plunge and become a cyclist! I find gyms too restrictive and jogging just bores me! I always enjoyed cycling when I was a kid so figured it would be a good way to get some much needed excercise now.

    I'd appreciate any advice you guys can offer as to what sort of bike I should get. I'd imagine I'll be doing a mix between on and off road cycling. Am I better off with a 'hybrid' cycle or maybe a MTB with 'slick' tyres? My budget's up to £400 - any recommendations? Also is there any other essential kit I'll need?


  2. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    depends how off road is off road.
    If you mean full-on mtbing, then get a full-on mtb.
    If you mean basically trekking, i.e. canal towpaths, disused railway lines etc then a hybrid or a light, cross-country style mtb with something like 28-35mm tyres would be best.
    Planning on doing regular long distances? then get a road bike. If you plan on doing long distances but want to go on canal towpaths and the like aswell, then either find a way round them on the road or just get a road bike and a cheap second hand rigid mtb to use as a 'pub' bike for when you need to go off road. Only thing you want to watch out for, is a hybrid on long distances on road is going to be a bit of a ballache, 'cos it's fatter tyres make it less efficient.
  3. Gerry Attrick

    Gerry Attrick Lincolnshire Mountain Rescue Consultant

    Hi james and welcome to the forum. Bonj has summed it up nicely, before selecting a bike, you must decide where you want to ride. My guess is that in time, you will be like most others on here and own several bikes for different purposes.
  4. Hello James!

    The only essential other kit you will need is an iron will to stop buying a 'better bike'...:biggrin:

    Once you get the bug, it will be a case of "ooo I can't possibly ride across that gravelly bit with my best wheels on" or " I'm not going all that flippin' (or similar word) way with these fat knobbly tyres" or " I can't possibly ride this muddy bike with my nice new CycleChat jersey" - and so on.

    Oh! forget the iron will - just get some bikes...leave only enough money to get to the Café on here and have a cup of forum tea with LordoftheTeapot and others...:biggrin:
  5. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    Essential kit you NEED:
    spare tubes, pump and tyre levers (NOT just a puncture repair kit)
    lights, if going at night
    lock, if you plan on leaving it anywhere
    er.. that's it

    What you could ideally do with, but isn't absolutely essential:
    suitable clothes for comfort. Base layer (merino is best, for cold weather cycling), padded bib tights or padded underwear, and good warm waterproof jacket are the main ones i would say.

    What i recommend having:
    helmet (for protection, more important on road/hard surfaces, also good to carry a light or even camera on it)
    clipless pedals - efficiency and security. once you've tried them you'll never look back

    er... that's about it
  6. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    Hi James...welcome aboard.

    This is a GREAT place, stick around I am sure you'll get a lot out of it.

    Thesingle most important bit of kit I possess is a cheap Hi vis's saved my life many a time.
  7. OP
    James Mc

    James Mc New Member

    Thanks for your responces guys!

    I guess it's going to just be tow paths at the most at the moment. I'm on a budget and have a lack of storage space so one bike's all that's practical at the moment.

    The maximum distance I'll be doing at the moment it about 20 miles. Although I'll hopefully be building up to more as my fitness levels increase.

    Anyone in the Bedfordshire area know of any good routes?


  8. cyclebum

    cyclebum Senior Member

    Hi James, Welcome :angry:. I don't have the experience or knowledge to advise on a bike, you've already had that, though I would add that I have started with a mtb and invested in slicks so I can switch to which ever is more appropriate and this was a cheaper start for me.

    However I will add that if you need to know anything, this is definately the place to get it ;).
  9. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    I would invest in some lottery tickets as you will soon be needing extra space for clothes, Spares, bikes, wheels. this is the only way forward, either that or rob a bank.

    Good luck with the will power, you will need it in say.... about a year or so's time
  10. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    Welcome James! ;)

    I'm sure this will be of very useful/interesting reading for you:

    Learn a bit of basic bike maintenance (pun*tures, changing brake blocks etc), clean your bike regularly occasionally; and follow the advice the others here have mentioned above.
    Good luck, and don't worry about posting questions here; if you're lucky you might get some serious answers! :angry:
  11. cyclebum

    cyclebum Senior Member

    Tell me about it! I shudder to think what I've spent in the last year, but if that wasn't an incentive to keep it up.......;)
  12. Hi

    I would go for a good second hand bike rather than a new one. I got my road bike on ebay; it is a £500 Felt bike for £120. If it is uncomfortable or not right sell it by same method and it cost you nothing.

    Keep a log of your rides, then you will see improvemet which you do not notice day-to-day.

    Sign up for a bike ride. London to Brighton is good but gets over subscribed. Lots of other 50 mile ish rides around for you to work to and to keep you motivated once the initial spurt wears off.

    I am not a sporty person and have tried just about every form of exercise. Cycling is the only one I have stuck with.
  13. I like Raleigh's Pioneer Metro series.

    I think the Pioneer Metro LX, or GLX would fit the use you describe perfectly.
  14. punkypossum

    punkypossum Donut Devil

    Too many bad experiences with cheap Raleighs...pretty sure you could do better than that...
  15. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    you make that attitude sound silly
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