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Newbie needs advice!

DanMorris90DanMorris90 Posts: 3
edited March 2012 in MTB buying advice
Hi people,

Ive just recovered from a ACL injurie pick up when playing football and want to start riding again. I literally live on the back of a heathland in Dorset and want to take full advantage of it but need some advice on equipment issues. As a student... I am skint! but I need some equipment... any advice on any of the following would be greatly appreciated:

Lights: I need lights for riding back from uni... ive looked on ebay but to me it doesnt make sense. Any info on wattage/brand/strength would be very helpful

Helmet: I need a helmet... dont need any more injuries! again brands/quality for money?

SPD pedals and shoes: I want to convert to SPD as its been recommended by my physio. Ive looked at shimano pedals and specialized mtb shoes (£70) but have seen cheaper e.g. shimano and northwave shoes? but dont know much about them.

Thank you!!!


  • If you go for SPD's get hold of the SH56 cleats, You'll be able to release your feet easier and prevent any unnecessary "TIIIMMBERRRR!!!" moments :oops: :wink:
  • SiPatonSiPaton Posts: 99

    XC lids can be expensive, a decent one will cost you £60-70 from the likes of Fox or 661:

    What I could recommed is a piss pot style lid, these range from around £25-£40 for a decent one. Will be slightly warmer (less vents than a xc lid) but as a student you will still be styling it out.. Offers good protecion as well.
    661, TSG, Bell, Bluegrass etc..

    Regards lights, make sure you don't run a flashing one on it's own. Always use a constant light (it's the law) then if budget allows add a flasher! Back lights are usually really cheap, a tenner wil suffice there. For the front send as much as possible, it may save your life!

    Hope that helps.

  • bartimaeusbartimaeus Posts: 1,812
    All helmets have to meet the EU CEN safety standards: very, very few helmets meet the much higher Snell standards. So 'a decent helmet' is pretty much any helmet that fits, is comfortable, and doesn't offend your sense of style (if you don't wear it it won't help you). So go to a shop and try some on... but you should be able to get something for £35 or less.

    Lights 'to be seen'... see the CTC for what is 'required'. In fact you just need only one white front and one red rear light, and these can be steady or flashing. You can get these very cheaply from Hong Kong but delivery is several weeks (e.g. my rear lights are these for >£2.50 ). Theoretically you need pedal reflectors... but I use these instead - get them when they are on offer. In fact I would say that reflective stuff is a must for riding at night.

    For lights 'to see' when it's dark... see 'what lights', and this 'set up'.
    Vitus Sentier VR+ (2018) GT Grade AL 105 (2016)
    Giant Anthem X4 (2010) GT Avalanche 1.0 (2010)
    Kingley Vale and QECP Trail Collective - QECP Trail Building
  • Dan, sorry slightly OT, but did your physio mention why he/she was recommending a switch to SPD?

    I have just returned to the bike after surgery to rebuild my ACL & LCL in Jan, and my physio hasn't mentioned it (yet). Not saying yours is wrong btw, just curious to the reasoning behind it.
  • Hi guys,

    I decided with specialized sport MTB shoe and shimano pedal with an extra surround so it can still be worn with a trainer if i want to pop to the shops.

    Thank you very much for the advice, ive been looking at lights but getting confused with the lux/lumen/candlelight ratings and as I ride across heath land I need a light that gives good ground coverage....

    SPDs were recommended as I suffer with runners knee aswell as ACL reconstruction... the spd will stop my foot from twisting on the pedal and will stop and awkward pushes with an unstraight knee!

  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Read this about lights first

    What Bartimaeus said about helmets. My head finds cheap (sub £20 on sale) Bells comfortable. Go to your LBS, try as many as you can.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    I see he's already linked to the lights threads.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

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