First bike, low budget

ElCapitan
ElCapitan Posts: 11
edited May 2010 in MTB buying advice
Basically I am looking to buy my first bike, but as I am a student I only currently have a budget of around £200. I know that with bikes I'll get what I pay for and I intend on putting a bit more up for a better bike as soon as possible, but that might not be until around September.

I want it mainly to get outdoors more and lose some weight as I'm currently breaking the scales at nearly 17 stone, so I'll be using it on cycle paths etc, nothing too adventurous. Will I need to look for a particularly strong frame to support me or will a normal frame be fine as I'm not planning on thrashing it about?

I've looked around at bikes like the Giant Boulder, Saracen Tufftrax, Claud Butler Nevada etc but in all honesty if I choose myself, it may as well be a lucky dip.

If not for the fact I've recently moved into my own place for the first time, I'd gladly raise my budget, but at the moment it just isn't feasible.

I've tried looking around my local bike shop but they've moved and not updated their website and I'm new to the area so don't know where they've gone! Any help/links to suitable bikes is greatly appreciated as frankly, I'm lost.

Comments

  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    Have a look at Decathlon: they do a bike called the rockrider 5.2 which is superb for the money.
  • unixnerd
    unixnerd Posts: 2,864
    You don't say where you are. Quite a few university towns have charities or projects to help students get used bikes for next to nothing. I know Aberdeen and Edinburgh do.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • ElCapitan
    ElCapitan Posts: 11
    supersonic wrote:
    Have a look at Decathlon: they do a bike called the rockrider 5.2 which is superb for the money.

    You know, I read the Rockrider 5.2 review on here just yesterday and it seemed like it was just what I was after, then looked at all the links and none of them had any (all said "buy similar"). I just had a quick look and there is a store not terribly far from me offering it at £199.

    Unixnerd, I'm in sunny Worcester at the moment, attending uni here too, I never realised there were projects like that around so I'll have to ask about.

    Any other recommendations for bikes with similar specs around the same price? I figure I may as well get a short list compiled so I can go and try some out and see what takes my fancy most!
  • Gwaredd
    Gwaredd Posts: 251
    When I first started out, like you I had a very limited budget & tipped the scales at a similar weight. I bought a 2nd hand Claud Butler Stone River & cycled 3 - 4 times a week, slowly building up my mileage from 2 miles to 11. Then I joined my local bike gang & started going on longer rides, typically 18 - 24 miles.

    That was over 3500 miles ago & I still have the Stone River - except it's a bit like 'Triggers broom' & only the frame, seatpost & handlebars remain the same as when I first got it!

    Can't fault it. The frame is light & strong & the components were fine to start off with. I paid £110 for it 2nd hand 3 years ago, so for your budget now, you might even find a used Cb Cape Wrath. Same frame, better components.
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    Most towns now have a recycling centre (sic) where they also do up bikes handed in (many also come from large chains as trade ins or abandoned repairs, some come from the Police) you will often pick up something that will do what you want for now for around £35-60 depending on quality, my Daughter volunteers at our local one (Leamington Spa).

    Trick is get one with a decent frame and then you can also learn to fiddle/repair as you go!

    Also a great source of spares, I have found some treasures in the cast out box of bits.

    Simon
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • ElCapitan
    ElCapitan Posts: 11
    Gwaredd wrote:
    When I first started out, like you I had a very limited budget & tipped the scales at a similar weight. I bought a 2nd hand Claud Butler Stone River & cycled 3 - 4 times a week, slowly building up my mileage from 2 miles to 11. Then I joined my local bike gang & started going on longer rides, typically 18 - 24 miles.

    That was over 3500 miles ago & I still have the Stone River - except it's a bit like 'Triggers broom' & only the frame, seatpost & handlebars remain the same as when I first got it!

    Can't fault it. The frame is light & strong & the components were fine to start off with. I paid £110 for it 2nd hand 3 years ago, so for your budget now, you might even find a used Cb Cape Wrath. Same frame, better components.

    That's good to know a bike won't fall apart underneath me the first time I get on! Eating healthy is making a decent impact, I just wanted something more fun than jogging for cardio and I used to love riding my bike many years ago. I've checked eBay for some Cape Wraths, only 3 on there and none are close enough for me to collect unfortunately. There IS a Stone River on there that looks in decent condition, but that's £200 delivered.

    Would it be worth getting that or a new Rockrider 5.2 you reckon?

    The Beginner, I've had a quick look online to see if I can find out about the recycling scheme but I won't be able to pop in until Monday now. I've actually came across a fair amount of bike parts in the charity shops the GF drags me around although up until now I've obviously had no use for even taking notice of them.
  • ElCapitan
    ElCapitan Posts: 11
    Another quick couple of questions, what are the main differences between the Rockriders 5.1, 5.2 and 6.0?

    Also, my girlfriend is now interested on coming for bike rides, taking into account the most adventurous she'll be getting is cycling down canal paths, would the Decathalon Vitamin do her, or shall we pay the extra and go for the ladies Rockrider 5.0?
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    The 5.2 is a great Little bike - the 5.1 and 5.0 get hefty reductions in kit.

    The vitamin is very basic and heavy - if you have 200 I'd spend it as the 5.2 is as good as bikes twice the price.
  • ElCapitan
    ElCapitan Posts: 11
    supersonic wrote:
    The 5.2 is a great Little bike - the 5.1 and 5.0 get hefty reductions in kit.

    The vitamin is very basic and heavy - if you have 200 I'd spend it as the 5.2 is as good as bikes twice the price.

    Ah ok then, I'll most likely be ordering a 5.2 for myself tomorrow or Monday then. Would the ladies 5.0 suit my girlfriends very basic needs or are there other bikes around the 100 quid mark that will do for her? Like I say, she's going to be riding it on basic cycle paths, nothing more.
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    It will do, but expect to make a lot of adjustments to it.
  • ElCapitan
    ElCapitan Posts: 11
    Ooooh, I don't think I'll be telling her that until after we've got it, the more messing about she thinks she has to do the less interested she'll become. Any other alternatives for her? I'm pretty set on the 5.2 for myself assuming it fits well etc.
  • ElCapitan
    ElCapitan Posts: 11
    Any thoughts on the Claud Butler Pagan compared to the Rockrider 5.2?
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    Not as good. The Rockrider is the best 200 quid bike, full stop.
  • ElCapitan
    ElCapitan Posts: 11
    supersonic wrote:
    Not as good. The Rockrider is the best 200 quid bike, full stop.

    That's me sold, I'll be buying it tomorrow. Thanks for your help, I'll no doubt be back in a day or two telling you how I've fallen into a canal or something. :lol: