Where do i begin....(in all senses!)

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Joel Bailey, 28 Jul 2012.

  1. Joel Bailey

    Joel Bailey New Member

    Student looking to take up cycling but have no idea really as to where to start. Im a 19 year old student looking to take up cycling to a) get out b) get fit and c) just have a new hobby. As I'm a student my funds for a bike are limited and if not nil for the near future. Heres what i have, a full size suspension mountain bike from my younger teenage days where i use to cycle to friends out on the local common. At university down in bristol and hope to build by distances up to ideally 50 miles a day or so. As I'm not massively familiar with the area is there anywhere people can share good bike routes?

    Just any general introductions and pointers to cycling would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank
     
  2. MissTillyFlop

    MissTillyFlop Evil communist dictator, lover of gerbils & Pope.

    If you want to do long distances, I wouldconider selling the suspension bike, as it will get uncomfortable and get a cheapy second hand jobby off ebay, maybe?
     
  3. Pauluk

    Pauluk Senior Member

    Location:
    Leicester
    I do prefer my hybrid bike for mixed road and off road but about 10 years ago I rode a full suspension bike (a good quality one) along tow paths and road. I did 3 X 12 mile commutes and one 23 mile off road leisure ride a week and it was really fun. So it can be done.
    If the routes you thinking of are mainly road then eventually you may want to change the bike type when you can and if money is tight, I agree with MissTillyFlop, a secondhand (carefully selected) bike would be a good option as you can pick them up for a fraction of the new price.
     
  4. Nebulous

    Nebulous Veteran

    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Just start cycling and see how it goes. Plan some times, prioritise keeping them clear, and get out and do it. 50 miles is a lot on a full sus bike, but if you have built the cycling up a bit you will have a clearer idea of what you like to do and what you want to do it on before you change it. As a student on a limited budget cycling can be an expensive hobby, but on a more cheerful note, it can save you a lot of money on transport.
     
  5. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    Location:
    Bristol
    The council has some free cycling maps which are very useful to have just as a map (I've been known to give mine away to lost people), there are 4 covering Bristol, North Somerset, South Glos, and the BANES map. They are good for exploring.http://www.betterbybike.info/cycle-maps and they can also be viewed on-line.

    As for an idea for rides, if you start on this page there are lots listed: http://www.betterbybike.info/cycle-maps. Also if you notice there are some bikes marked on some routes and they have a coloured box underneath, and these are various different routes that are linked to the Bristol council map (took me a while to realise that).

    As for the bike, how bad is it ... you could possibly change the tyres to get rid of the MTB tyres, which may make a difference. Or if you are looking to get a different bike then a couple of the bike shops sell second hand bikes or a scheme I've heard of, but not used (other than to get rid of a child's bike to) is: http://www.lifecycleuk.org.uk/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=540
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Joel Bailey

    Joel Bailey New Member

    Thank you all! Didn't expect such a good reply that quickly. As to looking for a road bike i have just read the sticky on the beginners page where i think a user called 'Andy' refers to cars and bikes. Having looked at that, i think the most suitable type of bike for me would probably be a Hybrid. Before i start trawling the sites of the internet for a bargain. Is there anything i should be looking for in-particular? (bar 2 wheels and a set of handlebars!) I am 6 foot 4 and about 220lbs if that makes any difference?

    Thanks
     
  7. NotthatJasonKenny

    NotthatJasonKenny Faster on HFLC

    Location:
    Bolton
    The Bristol to bath cycle way is supposed to be great, flat too!
     
  8. MattHB

    MattHB Proud Daddy

    Try to find a cheap 2nd hand road bike if your not bothered about off road, or a hybrid with NO suspension.

    Mapmyride.com is great for route exploring
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Joel Bailey

    Joel Bailey New Member

    http://www.bikes2udirect.com/B0538.html

    That is my bike i saved up for about 4 years ago. Would that be sufficient for my needs of wanting to cycle off road and small roads for up to 50m? Identified Bristol/Bath path there and back (26 miles) as a challenge for September once I'm back at uni. As for any extras, just been doing some reading on here into accessories; clothes, saddles, helmets, padded shorts, iPhone apps that track your route. Anyone have any recommendations or advice when looking at these things? Sorry may sound like a noob but just excited to be taking something new up
     
  10. MissTillyFlop

    MissTillyFlop Evil communist dictator, lover of gerbils & Pope.

    Bikely, cycle-routes and bike route toaster are all good for routes
     
  11. Pauluk

    Pauluk Senior Member

    Location:
    Leicester
    Your current bike looks like an ok MTB so I would give it a go first before shelling out on an alternative. You may benefit from fitting more slicker tyres for road work, but then again why pay out more money on something you may not keep. As money is tight right now I would think your current bike is adequate to get you started while you keep your eyes open for a bargain/good second hand hybrid, its not like you don't have a bike already.

    You also don't need to go spending loads of money on cloths, normal every day leisure clothing will do. You can always add to that as and when you feel the need.

    A good cycle helmet would be a good idea (to can get snell rated ones for around £30 ish) and dare I say a bell to let peds know you are around.

    Some tools to fix a puncture and to do odd adjustments (learn how to use them if you are not already practiced, Youtube vids are great for showing how to do stuff).

    Also, you can get plenty of advice from this forum so stick around.

    Get going and good luck :thumbsup:
     
  12. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    Location:
    Bristol
    The first things you need are puncture repair kit, pump, allen keys, a set of bike lights, and a good D-lock (there are loads of students not using D-locks so hopefully a thief would target their bikes first).
     
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