Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

Is it for me?

charliew87charliew87 Posts: 371
edited September 2011 in Road beginners
After years of watching 10 mins of the TdF each year, deciding it was silly and impossible to understand, I finally got my head round it this year and got really into it. I'm also lucky enough to have the Olympic Road Race coming nearly past my back door in Headley and loved watching the test event a couple of weeks ago.

All this has led me to a point where I'm thinking of getting myself a road bike and joining in.

I'm 23, reasonably fit and active - run 5/10k most weekends and go to the gym 2/3 times a week and imagine I'd only ever use the bike on Sundays once the cricket season is over.

Is there any reason I wouldn't like it?

I'll have a budget of £400-£500ish I guess, from what I've seen you can get some fairly decent stuff for that amount, albeit not the real top end kit.

Basically wanting to know why people take up cycling then give up, and what to look out for when investing for the first time.

Cheers.
Canyon AL Ultimate 9.0

Posts

  • Zoomer37Zoomer37 Posts: 725
    Best just go to Halfords and buy something and see how you get on. Ride it on a Sunday if your not playing cricket and just make sure the bike has good brakes and wear a helmet. People normally give up cycling when other things come into their life like bikram yoga or wrestling, but its a great sport once you get your head around the silly bits. Make sure you buy a pump and try not to get your jeans stuck in the chain.
  • I think the main reason is people expecting more when they first start out, thinking they can zap along at 20mph+ for mile on end (it takes time and work, then maybe..).

    Also there's the excuse of being too busy (see most 'gym users') and dropping out.

    As for bike, go to a few local shops (proper shops, not Halfords:roll:) and I wouldn't buy my first road bike online. And just see what they recommend + use your guy instinct.

    If you like your fitness and doing other stuff, I don't think you will regret buying a road bike, welcome to the club!
  • ascurrellascurrell Posts: 1,739
    Yes it is for you, basiclly you are a fit guy and cycling will just be another string to your fitness regime.
    You say just Sundays, I think you will find it addictive. Cycling is good for training and it's you're not stuck in a gym you can go a lot further than running hence see different scenery.
    That's a nice budget for a first time bike if you don't like it you can sell it on and not lose much. Personally have a look around local bike stores, good service but will pay for it.
    On ebay you can get some good buys the same as the listings on bikeradar.
    Exciting times ahead mate.
  • pauldavidpauldavid Posts: 440
    If you need to ask probably not, you already know from experience of other sports that there needs to be a certain amount of commitment for you to keep it up. I know it's only my opinion but if your asking a bunch of strangers on the net if something will suit you then your not fully sure of this yourself.

    Enjoying watching a race come past is completely different to wanting to go and ride your bike for miles and miles.

    Not wanting to put you off if it is right for you but before you spend any money surely your the only one who knows if it's right for you.
  • charliew87charliew87 Posts: 371
    Cheers for the thoughts.

    Just found out about the Cycle To Work scheme - and my company is signed up so can get another 40% off so seems silly not to at least give it a whirl!

    PaulDavid - thanks for your perspective. Whenever I have taken something up I usually stick with it so should be fine from that angle hopefully.
    Canyon AL Ultimate 9.0
  • hulla the hullahulla the hulla Posts: 338
    edited August 2011
    Be careful with the cycle to work scheme as the Government (God bless em and all who sail on their gravy train) changed the residual value %'s so when the loan period is up, you still owe your company money for what the bike is worth in a year or two's time so check this carefully so you don't get stung.

    The other consideration is that the C2W scheme is limiting in terms of getting good deals, either from LBS or online.

    On a more positive note, the C2W scheme got me back into road riding after many years of plodding along at the gym doing not a lot and over the past 18 months has helped me lose weight and has saved me a load of money on fuel so it's not all bad.

    If you really want it to stick, make it part of your routine.

    Hope it all works out for you :)

    ps - test ride came past my house too - lots of waiting around then over in a flash......
    A person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it

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  • charliew87 wrote:
    Just found out about the Cycle To Work scheme - and my company is signed up so can get another 40% off so seems silly not to at least give it a whirl!

    Sadly that's no longer the case, HMRC decided they want VAT paid on the repayments, and with the residual value increase as mentioned above there really is little incentive to take up the scheme. Also, the retailer has to give 10% of the sale to cycle scheme.

    You're better off getting as good-er deal you can on the bike and paying for it on a low apr credit card/ loan (better still, pay cash). Also with cycle scheme you're renting the bike (your employer owns it until you buy it off them after a year), so if you leave the company before then, they keep the bike.

    I would of been so much easier to just give a tax break on bikes...
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    Is it for you? Probably.

    Have a read of this thread from not so long ago. specifically posts #1, 2 & 4...

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12781183
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,304
    Sadly that's no longer the case, HMRC decided they want VAT paid on the repayments, and with the residual value increase as mentioned above there really is little incentive to take up the scheme. Also, the retailer has to give 10% of the sale to cycle scheme.

    You're better off getting as good-er deal you can on the bike and paying for it on a low apr credit card/ loan (better still, pay cash). Also with cycle scheme you're renting the bike (your employer owns it until you buy it off them after a year), so if you leave the company before then, they keep the bike.
    The VAT change just puts everyone on the same footing, a lot of us whose employers are not VAT-registered never had that in the first place. And the 10% only applies to commercial providers like cyclescheme.co.uk - these are just middlemen who organise the purchase, contract arrangements etc. to save companies the hassle. Employers could actually (pretty much) go down to the LBS and buy a bike, draw up a contract for repayments and that's it. Also, if you go with one of the big retailers who do their own scheme they don't pay the 10%, but then you wouldn't stand any chance of talking a discount out of Halfords etc. like you might do at your LBS.

    But you're right that all in all the scheme is getting less attractive year by year. You can still get round the residual value thing by arranging for the employer to defer selling the bike for a nominal fee: again the commercial scehemes like to take their cut for this.

    You need to crunch the actual numbers to work out if it's going to work for you - as long as it costs you no more in total on the cycle scheme than it would otherwise, the interest free loan would still make it worthwhile.

    As for the OP's original question - of course it's for you. Yes some people give it up quickly, but then you either sell the bike - usually quite low depreciation - or after a while you get the urge again and off you go...
  • Mark BomMark Bom Posts: 184
    Do it, but be prepared to become slightly obsessed and short of cash!

    Also, I think the reason some give it up is that people can fall foul of the weather. They buy their bike in the summer and enjoy it for a while, but when autumn and winter arrive, they put the bike away and lose the bug.

    If you want to enjoy it all year round, consider buying some decent winter gear to ride out the colder months, then come next spring, you'll be enjoying warmer rides and watching the spring classics on Eurosport!
  • NuggsNuggs Posts: 1,804
    Zoomer37 wrote:
    People normally give up cycling when other things come into their life like bikram yoga or wrestling
    Yes, bikram yoga and wrestling are the reasons cycling is not more popular.

    Fact.
  • Rich HcpRich Hcp Posts: 1,355
    charliew87 wrote:
    Basically wanting to know why people take up cycling then give up, and what to look out for when investing for the first time.

    Cheers.

    I cycled as a kid, got a car, chased girls, drank to much (one leads to the other) so I gave up cycling.

    Then I realised I was getting fat and decided to take up swimming, and dust off the old bike to get fitter.

    To cut a long story short, swimming is boring and cycling isn't. Now I have a Roadie and MTB 8)

    The training you do now is different to cycling, so you may be disapointed until you are more "bike fit", stick with it and you could get hooked and give up the other.


    Yours is a sensible budget, because you don't know how much you'll do

    Good luck
    Richard

    Giving it Large
  • charliew87charliew87 Posts: 371
    Regarding all this stuff about changes to the govt cycle scheme....


    When I go on the website and it tells me that if I spend £800 I would save £341....does this mean I won't...?

    To be honest the fact that I can pay £10 a week as opposed to £600 lump sum makes it pretty attractive either way.
    Canyon AL Ultimate 9.0
  • ScotxrScotxr Posts: 172
    charliew87 wrote:
    Regarding all this stuff about changes to the govt cycle scheme....


    When I go on the website and it tells me that if I spend £800 I would save £341....does this mean I won't...?

    To be honest the fact that I can pay £10 a week as opposed to £600 lump sum makes it pretty attractive either way.

    I'm unsure what they're talking about too. I've just applied for my voucher - £1k that i'm using to buy a Ribble - will cost me about £57 a month from my wage - £300 saving for me.
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  • clarkey catclarkey cat Posts: 3,641
    if you have a pair of working legs how can cycling NOT be for you?
  • Wirral_paulWirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    Scotxr wrote:
    charliew87 wrote:
    Regarding all this stuff about changes to the govt cycle scheme....


    When I go on the website and it tells me that if I spend £800 I would save £341....does this mean I won't...?

    To be honest the fact that I can pay £10 a week as opposed to £600 lump sum makes it pretty attractive either way.

    I'm unsure what they're talking about too. I've just applied for my voucher - £1k that i'm using to buy a Ribble - will cost me about £57 a month from my wage - £300 saving for me.

    PLUS the residual value payment - that will be 25% of the original value at 12 months old - ie a final payment of £250 out of your £300 saving. £50 = pretty poor...........i'd expect to be able to negotiate better than this for cash!!

    This however can be reduced as per Bompington's post by deferring the sale of the bike to you for a fee. Not good really though and for me - I wouldnt bother again unless I needed what has almost been reduced to an interest free loan for 20% tax payers.

    I bought my Moda Stretto which was £2k so at least the savings are a little better at the higher value - and got the last one before a £300 price increase
  • Peddle Up!Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    You'll know if it's for you when your wife/girlfriend/lover/significant other (possibly all four of them :wink: ) looks at you in a slightly annoyed way and says, "You're thinking about that bike again, aren't you?" :D
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • Scotxr wrote:
    charliew87 wrote:
    Regarding all this stuff about changes to the govt cycle scheme....


    When I go on the website and it tells me that if I spend £800 I would save £341....does this mean I won't...?

    To be honest the fact that I can pay £10 a week as opposed to £600 lump sum makes it pretty attractive either way.

    I'm unsure what they're talking about too. I've just applied for my voucher - £1k that i'm using to buy a Ribble - will cost me about £57 a month from my wage - £300 saving for me.

    As Wirral Paul says, once you've paid that money out, the bike STILL BELONGS TO YOUR EMPLOYER. If you want to keep using it, you'll have to pay 25% of the original full price of the bike (£250) so you're up £50 on a limited selection of bikes. Not worth it, you'll probably be able to negotiate a better deal with Ribble without. And Evans and other places also do interest free credit for a year or more.

    C2W just isn't that great a deal any more, unless you don't want to own the bike at the end of it.
  • soslowsoslow Posts: 46
    20 stone in 2008,went on diet and got down to 14 sone by the end of 2008.Got out the old mountain bike to help with fitness,loved it so bought a Specialised Sirrus.Loved it even more but head winds were hard work so bought a Fuji.Much faster and did my first century in 2010.Wanted a bit more bling and got a deal on a Pinarello i could not refuse.
    Have done Bath 100 and Brecons 100 this year
    The other day i thought i did not 'need' any items relating to cycling,but after careful thought i now have a massive list.
    JUST A WARNING
  • Wirral_paulWirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    soslow wrote:
    20 stone in 2008,went on diet and got down to 14 sone by the end of 2008.Got out the old mountain bike to help with fitness,loved it so bought a Specialised Sirrus.Loved it even more but head winds were hard work so bought a Fuji.Much faster and did my first century in 2010.Wanted a bit more bling and got a deal on a Pinarello i could not refuse.
    Have done Bath 100 and Brecons 100 this year
    The other day i thought i did not 'need' any items relating to cycling,but after careful thought i now have a massive list.
    JUST A WARNING


    Well done to you Soslow - with such a turnaround in your life its fair to say that getting a bike by whatever method is a bargain really. I've lost a "mere" 2 stone or so but feel sooo much more healthy and have loads more energy in my everyday life. Cant wait for the new office to open as we're getting shower facilities and secure bike storage - expecing to be riding even more then!!

    Your dead right with the warning - i've got only the frame left of my bike that I bought in January! The rest of it is being built up into my winter bike now - other than the tyres and stem anyway which were rubbish / wrong size. Spent around £3k I think - expensive hobby for sure!!
  • TBH all ive done is moved on from bieng addicted to Stella and cake to bieng obsessed with cycling

    still addicted to cake tho
  • Zoomer37 wrote:
    Best just go to Halfords and buy something and see how you get on. Ride it on a Sunday if your not playing cricket and just make sure the bike has good brakes and wear a helmet. People normally give up cycling when other things come into their life like bikram yoga or wrestling, but its a great sport once you get your head around the silly bits. Make sure you buy a pump and try not to get your jeans stuck in the chain.
    You DON'T have to wear a helmet, there's no law that says you must. It's your choice whether you want to wear a helmet or not, don't let anyone force you one way or the other.
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    Zoomer37 wrote:
    Best just go to Halfords and buy something and see how you get on. Ride it on a Sunday if your not playing cricket and just make sure the bike has good brakes and wear a helmet. People normally give up cycling when other things come into their life like bikram yoga or wrestling, but its a great sport once you get your head around the silly bits. Make sure you buy a pump and try not to get your jeans stuck in the chain.
    You DON'T have to wear a helmet, there's no law that says you must. It's your choice whether you want to wear a helmet or not, don't let anyone force you one way or the other.
    Quite right too.

    Now - hand me the popcorn someone. <pulls up deckchair, awaits 30 pages of pointless arguing...>
  • CiB wrote:
    Zoomer37 wrote:
    Best just go to Halfords and buy something and see how you get on. Ride it on a Sunday if your not playing cricket and just make sure the bike has good brakes and wear a helmet. People normally give up cycling when other things come into their life like bikram yoga or wrestling, but its a great sport once you get your head around the silly bits. Make sure you buy a pump and try not to get your jeans stuck in the chain.
    You DON'T have to wear a helmet, there's no law that says you must. It's your choice whether you want to wear a helmet or not, don't let anyone force you one way or the other.
    Quite right too.

    Now - hand me the popcorn someone. <pulls up deckchair, awaits 30 pages of pointless arguing...>
    :lol:
  • I must say, cycling is fun, once you get into it you'll find yourself going out on it more then once a week. It's very addictive too :)
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