Total noobie here

Discussion in 'Bikes and Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by Dbt, 1 Feb 2018.

  1. Dbt

    Dbt Active Member

    Tyne & Wear
    Just joined this forum, so hi everyone

    Last time I rode a bike was many decades ago and it had stabilisers! I’ve just started to cycle to work, but I’m totally hooked. I’m currently riding an ancient Halfords own make mountain bike. I paid what it’s worth second hand, and knew when I bought it, it’s not the best thing around but it was dirt cheap, and will do until I can afford something better and if my very poorly knees decide I won’t be able to cycle, I won’t have wasted a shed load of my hard earned dosh.

    I’ve been riding for just over two weeks and am loving it, I’ve just started an adults learn to ride course, first lesson was yesterday.

    At this point I know I shouldn’t but I haven’t been able to resist looking at decent bikes, I am for once in my life going to be sensible and not rush out and buy anything for at least 6 months so I’ve plenty of time to look around and decide what I want, which is where you lovely lot come in. I’m looking for suggestions I can look at.

    I’m mainly riding on cycle paths, most of the way is tarmac, but there are some gravel tracks as well. I don’t want an out and out road bike as I’m going to need to put thicker winter tyres on err in the winter! So I’m looking for something that I can put road slicks on, and winter tyres. With the possibility of drop bars as well as flat bars. So far I’ve only ridden with flat bars but am not against drop bars.

    In the not too distant future I’d like to join group rides and start to cover a lot more distance on the roads, once I’ve built up my confidence, so I’m going to need something that’ll be suitable for longer/faster group rides as well as being ok for riding gravel tracks and commuting.

    Anyone got any suggestions as to what I should be looking at? Budget is around the £700 mark, but I can put off buying for a bit longer to save up more for the right bike.

    Cheers guys and gals xx
    lane, Illaveago, Tin Pot and 6 others like this.
  2. Arjimlad

    Arjimlad Tights of Cydonia

    South Glos
    Sounds like you might want to look at a CX or gravel bike.

    Drop bars offer a wider variety of stances and allow you to tuck down into a headwind rather than sitting up like a giant sail all the time.
    Illaveago, pjd57, Jason and 1 other person like this.
  3. biggs682

    biggs682 Smile a mile bike provider

    morning and welcome

    £700 budget is an awful lot of money in my eyes

    If you are not sure what you want go and try a few various bikes and see what you think
    Illaveago likes this.
  4. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    Or perhaps a hybrid, but try drops. Some flat bars are lower slung

    Disc brakes would seem a sensible option

    If you have a £700 budget, see what’s out there. Don’t forget last year’s model, normally same as this except the colour!

    Why wait 6 months (if you have the money) with spring coming? :smile: After all, it’s a bike you’re buying not a house :smile: try a few out. Evans good for no obligation test rides as are plenty of local shops

    Second hand always an option too

    What’s wrong with your knees? It might be worth saving some budget to get a bike fit with a qualified Physio to ensure the set up is right for your knees. Once you have the right sized bike. Normally around £100 at least in London
    Last edited: 1 Feb 2018
    ADarkDraconis likes this.
  5. OP

    Dbt Active Member

    Tyne & Wear
    Cheers for the replies guys.

    I’m waiting for six months to see if my knees can cope with cycling.

    It’s an old running injury, I’m waiting for an appointment for an MRI scan, with possible referral to an orthopaedic surgeon (seriously hoping it doesn’t come to that).

    A problem I have with a bike fit, is that the bike I’m currently riding is too small, but it doesn’t hurt my knees, where as the bike I was riding for my lesson yesterday was set up for my height etc, but after an hours slow riding stopping to chat etc my knees were killing and quite swollen.

    Not having much in the way of storage space I need one bike that’ll do everything.
    Illaveago and Arjimlad like this.
  6. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    Cycling is good for knees. Depending what’s wrong of course. My knee specialist rolls his eyes at my 200+ miles a month but he says it’s the best exercise for them (I have arthritis in the left)

    A CX or a rigid fork hybrid the best do it all options really

    You might find clipless pedals better for the knees as less movement but cleats need to be set up right
    Jason and Dbt like this.
  7. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    Where in Tyne and Wear are you?

    We still have a handful of decent local bike shops who will offer sensible advice and let you try a few bikes.
    Illaveago likes this.
  8. roadrash

    roadrash cycle chatterer

    make it easier on your knees and spin an easier gear rather than grind away in a harder one
    Illaveago, ADarkDraconis and Goggs like this.
  9. OP

    Dbt Active Member

    Tyne & Wear

    I’m in North Shields, I’ve had a quick look around a few shops, but confess I was totally overwhelmed by the choice! Also it’s a bit difficult to say what I want when I’ve no idea what it is I’m after, which is why I thought I’d ask on here and get a few ideas.
  10. OP

    Dbt Active Member

    Tyne & Wear
    Don’t know if I like doing that as I feel as if I’m not in control of the bike. Apparently that’s what I’ll be working on during Monday’s lesson
    Illaveago, ADarkDraconis and roadrash like this.
  11. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    I actually find my knee hurts more when trying to spin, I find around 70-80rpm with resistance works best...but were all different. I don't find myself spinning up hills much just too heavy :blush: they hurt my knee so I'm riding virtually on the flat currently

    Low gearing is certainly something to look for, preferably a triple if possible for the granny gears

    I'm hoping a recent steroid injection into the knee settles the pain and swelling down a bit
    Alan O and Dbt like this.
  12. OP

    Dbt Active Member

    Tyne & Wear
    Good luck with the steroid injection. First one worked great for me, but the second one not so much. That’s the way steroids work, the more you use them the less effective they are.
  13. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    It's the first one I've had into my knee (I've previously had into foot/ankle, elbow, shoulder, hand)...I'm on oral steroids too, just don;t help the OA in the knee
    My knee specialist doesn't like steroid injections as they can damage cartilage...however as mine is already trashed, he was happy to do :wacko: I've not seen much improvement in pain, only done on Saturday but it does feel less swollen :smile:

    I've had good relief with visco injections in the past, but the course about this time last year didn't last, so won;t spend any more ££ on those. Will bide my time until a replacement in hopefully no less than 10 years
  14. Thorn Sherpa

    Thorn Sherpa Senior Member

    Hi @Dbt welcome to the forum you won't go far wrong with advice from people on here. Glad your enjoying cycling I think most people who start end up hooked I know I am! I think your sensible in waiting before splashing out on a new bike. It took me years of getting cheap and cheerful 2nd hand bikes before I spent a fair bit of money on the bike I have now (also 2nd hand!)
    ADarkDraconis and Dbt like this.
  15. ADarkDraconis

    ADarkDraconis Cardinal Member

    Ohio, USA
    Hey there Dbt, and welcome! From what you described a gravel bike sounds like a good fit to me. If you want a specific model recommendation- my brother has a Trek Crossrip (I think it is a 3, there are also 1 and 2 models with step-downs) which has drop bars, disc brakes, and fittings for his racks and mudguards as he commutes and does not own a car. When he wants to go riding fast with the guys in the cycle club he takes off the commuting gear and puts slicks on; right now it has 35s that are pretty grippy and do ok in winter, and I believe it can go a bit wider for tires if you wish so it is versatile. He rides the trails and the roads and it does great on both. It is a good bike (if you like drop bars, which I am not as partial to) and wasn't super pricey if I recall compared to some but he may have gotten it on sale as a previous-year's-color pricing.

    If you don't mind flat bars, Trek's Verve 3 looks like a great hybrid bike (they also have a 1 and 2 that are each a bit more basic but still nice.) This was actually the bike that my brother suggested that I look at when I was shopping a couple of months ago (he works at our LBS.) I ended up getting a steal on a pre-owned-but-never-ridden older hybrid that I love, but the Verve 3 was a nice simple bike and comparable to what I ended up with. The hybrids are a bit less racy in comparison, but go well anywhere except hardcore mtb trails and can be quite versatile. I am getting some mudguards and a rear rack and will use mine to commute when we get thawed out here, and I imagine you could easily put some slicks on it if you choose.
    Last edited: 7 Feb 2018
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