Need advice on what sort of bike to get

wibbler Posts: 4
edited August 2007 in Road beginners
This'll probably be a completely numpty question for you guys.

Have been thinking about getting a bike for ages now but for various reasons keep putting it off.

Have been doing a lot more bike work at the gym of late as I've not been able to do any weight-bearing cv work. Having done about 200k in the gym over the last 10 days I've decided that I'm going to go for it and get a bike. The idea would be that at some point I want to have a bash at a tri.

Now the fly in the ointment here is that I can't actually ride a bike. Had a bike when I was 7 but first time I fell off it I refused to get back on - duh how much do I regret that now?!

Just don't know what sort of bike to get. Road bike makes more sense for tris but I know it wouldn't be the best to learn to ride on whereas a mountain bike would be easier to learn on but wouldn't be good for a tri. Tri friends have suggested I get a hybrid but that's about as far as I've got - other than knowing I want quick release wheels so I can get the bike in the car.

I don't want to spend a fortune but I do want to get something decent.

Anyone got any ideas.



  • ajb
    ajb Posts: 27
    appreciate you want something decent but......
    why don't you buy the cheapest secondhand hybrid / mtb you can find to learn on and save your money for a road bike once you've got it cracked?
    a hybrid makes sense for getting your confidence and skills up but it would be a shame to throw good money at one, however decent, if it's served its purpose within a few weeks
  • Definitely get a bike and learn to ride it. There's nothing in the world quite like flowing along at 20 mph under human power!

    I wouldn't recommend getting a road bike to learn on because they're twitchy as hell. I had years of cycling experience when I got my first road bike and I was amazed how difficult it was to control compared to a mountain bike, especially at slow speeds. A mountain bike would probably be the best thing to learn on (as long as it doesn't have suspension). Hybrids are a bit less stable, I find. But not a big deal either way.

    I think I'd second ajb's suggestion to learn on a bike you know you're not going to keep for triathlons. But don't get the cheapest piece of second-hand rubbish you can find because the brakes and gears probably won't work very well, which will just put you off and make learning more difficult. Maybe spend £100 or so, practice until you can keep your balance confidently, and then resell it in a month or two? That way you could avoid scratching up a nice expensive bike! :wink:
  • baudman
    baudman Posts: 757
    I agree with AGB. Start cheap (but serviceable). You don't want a bike that's completely trashed. You want to learn on a reliable bike. Put slicks on it, 'clipless' pedals (obviously called 'clipless' as you clip into them :S ) and you have a decent commuter bike.

    If that all feels good, move up to an entry-level road bike, or perhaps an even-better one if you KNOW you're hooked (which you probably will be!)
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • wibbler
    wibbler Posts: 4
    Thanks guys, that was the third option I was thinking of. I'm going to have a look at bikes this weekend and see what I can find. The only drawback with going the secondhand/cheapie route is that it can be luck of the draw finding something that's the right size and has the quick release wheels so hopefully I'll be lucky.

    Want to get something before I put my sensible head back on (the one that says 'come on you're nearly 44 and far too old for all this malarkey'!!) and talk myself out if it again!! :lol:
  • Rykard
    Rykard Posts: 582
    How much do you want to spend?

    A Vision of a Champion is someone who is bent over, drenched with sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching.
  • Rich Hcp
    Rich Hcp Posts: 1,355
    You want to go down to your local bike shop. TODAY.

    Tell them your problem.

    They usually have a few trade ins hanging around, it'll be cheap and he should have at least serviced it.

    If he gives good service on your 2nd hand bike, then you'll go back for your new one and servicing etc. Everyone's a winner.

    Then when you've learned to ride get what you'd like best.

    Most bikes have quick release wheels, so that won't be a problem.

    Giving it Large
  • wibbler
    wibbler Posts: 4
    Ricadus - thanks for that. I did look recently for lessons but didn't find that website. Will get in touch with them. Having not long been back at work after six months off I've sort of timed this one a little bit wrong really!!! :?

    Re budget. I'm not sure really. If I were buying a new bike that I hoped to be able to do tris on then it'd be up to £250 (remembering that I'm starting from scracth so have to factor in the cost of gear too). If I'm buying a cheapie job to get me started then as cheap as possible!
  • Rykard
    Rykard Posts: 582
    Have you thought of the Subwys from Halfrauds? roaund about £200 or the Sport range from Decathlon?

    A Vision of a Champion is someone who is bent over, drenched with sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching.
  • Garry71
    Garry71 Posts: 96
    For learning to ride from scratch, I'd suggest a second hand folding/ F frame type bike so you can "step" off it easily when you lose your balance without banging your nuts.

    Cycling is too nice to waste it on getting to work.
  • dazzawazza
    dazzawazza Posts: 462
    Spend about £200-£400 on a ridgid MTB geared up for the road and with slicks 1.5" or less. Use that for a year or so then once you have the bug buy a road bike.
    A change of tyres and the MTB will become your offroad fun bike.
  • spasypaddy
    spasypaddy Posts: 5,180
    where are you based? I might be able to lend you my old mountain bike for a couple of months (until the weather really turns and i need to commute on it)