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New to Cycling, advice needed!

Sparkie419Sparkie419 Posts: 6
edited July 2014 in Commuting general
Good Morning Everyone,

I'm new to Bikeradar.com and new to cycling full stop, I used to have a mountain bike in my early teens but it's been some years since I've been on a bike and rode. I'm 22 and looking to get back into cycling as a hobbie to start with and even start communing the 8 mile journey to work to try and cut my weekly diesel expenditure.

I am wondering if anyone could provide any advice on what bike would best suit my needs, I dont feel that a road bike would be suited to my frame and build but a hybrid may be more suited. I have a budget of up to £300 for a bike itself and I'm wondering if anyone can reccomend any good bikes for the price?

After looking around I've seen the Carrera Subway on sale in Halfords for £229 which seems a reasonable price for the bike and components on offer?

Also the other thing I was a little confused about which frame size would suit me better, I am 6ft 3 and of muscular build? After reading around online some sites are saying 20" and some 22" frame size.

Any advice and pointers would be very much appreciated

Many thanks,
Mark

Posts

  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Hybrid would be fine - they're not all that much different to road bikes - just straight bars and capability for wider tyres.

    Get on them and try.

    Also get on one that is over your budget - just so you know what a more expensive one feels like.

    Buy the one that brings a smile to your face...
  • JuddlinskiJuddlinski Posts: 54
    Sparkie419 wrote:
    Good Morning Everyone,

    I'm new to Bikeradar.com and new to cycling full stop, I used to have a mountain bike in my early teens but it's been some years since I've been on a bike and rode. I'm 22 and looking to get back into cycling as a hobbie to start with and even start communing the 8 mile journey to work to try and cut my weekly diesel expenditure.

    I am wondering if anyone could provide any advice on what bike would best suit my needs, I dont feel that a road bike would be suited to my frame and build but a hybrid may be more suited. I have a budget of up to £300 for a bike itself and I'm wondering if anyone can reccomend any good bikes for the price?

    After looking around I've seen the Carrera Subway on sale in Halfords for £229 which seems a reasonable price for the bike and components on offer?

    Also the other thing I was a little confused about which frame size would suit me better, I am 6ft 3 and of muscular build? After reading around online some sites are saying 20" and some 22" frame size.

    Any advice and pointers would be very much appreciated

    Many thanks,
    Mark

    I got into cycling 2 or 3 years ago. I signed up to a charity bike ride (while drunk) and got a Carrera Subway ltd edition (worked out under £200 with various vouchers and discounts), because it was cheap and I didnt know if I was going to like cycling.

    I loved it as soon as I started riding it. It's not light, but the low gearing meant I could get up most hills without much difficulty - and I'm pretty damn overweight. The ride seems nice and smooth. And Ive still never had a puncture on it.

    On the day of the charity cycle ride I lined up with my Carrera Subway alongside many superior road bikes... and ended up managing to do the 60 miles with no problems. It rode like a dream.

    I recently upgraded to an £800 Specialized Sirrus Comp (which I no longer have). It was better than the Subway Carrera, of course, but certainly not 4 times as much!
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    The subway seems a decent choice, I was looking at one for a lunchtime rider. 8 miles is doable with that bike but you will find it a chore after a while and will be wanting to upgrade to something better. Put your budget up to £500 and you'll get something good rather than passable.
  • Thanks for your advice guys, it's very much appreciated. I'll definitely try to pop down to my local Halfords and try it out.

    Unfortunately at the moment I can't push to the £500 mark due to recent expenditure on my car, I would love to believe me.

    Would the Subway be a good choice to start biking with? My thinking also was that if I enjoy it more and more I could look at upgrading somewhere down the line to a better quality ride.

    Any other brand/model recommendations for my budget range?

    Many thanks!
  • ravenvriderravenvrider Posts: 197
    I would not buy new, look at gumtree and ebay and pick up a much better second hand bike for the money.

    Size wise I would have thought you are certainly more 22"+ than 20" (I am 5ft 8" and ride a 54cm or 21.5" in old money).

    Don't skimp on wet weather gear if you are commuting all year round, including overshoes!
  • zx6manzx6man Posts: 1,092
    Sparkie419 wrote:
    Thanks for your advice guys, it's very much appreciated. I'll definitely try to pop down to my local Halfords and try it out.

    Unfortunately at the moment I can't push to the £500 mark due to recent expenditure on my car, I would love to believe me.

    Would the Subway be a good choice to start biking with? My thinking also was that if I enjoy it more and more I could look at upgrading somewhere down the line to a better quality ride.

    Any other brand/model recommendations for my budget range?

    Many thanks!

    It will do the job fine and will have the same spec as many 500 pound bikes :-)
  • That sounds perfect, I will pop down to my local halfords tonight and take a look at it.

    Also, what would be the sort of essentials required on a ride? Like Maintenance kit and things?

    Sorry... a really amateur at all this!
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    My essentials are:

    saddle bag with:
    multi-tool (inc chain break)
    2 tubes
    quick patches
    chainlink

    On the frame:
    Good pump (one capable of delivering ~160psi with a hose attachment rather than direct)
    Rear light - even at this time of year, sometimes road conditions indicate it's best to have one on.

    On your face:
    A smile .. :D
  • zx6manzx6man Posts: 1,092
    slowbike wrote:
    My essentials are:

    saddle bag with:
    multi-tool (inc chain break)
    2 tubes
    quick patches
    chainlink

    On the frame:
    Good pump (one capable of delivering ~160psi with a hose attachment rather than direct)
    Rear light - even at this time of year, sometimes road conditions indicate it's best to have one on.

    On your face:
    A smile .. :D

    This, but found this morning my hose attachment kept unscrewing the valve in my spare... grrrr
  • Sounds spot on! Cheers slowbike! I'll start to look after work today!

    Been looking used and it seems there's some good deals to be had, what's the major things to watch out with buying a used bike?
  • ravenvriderravenvrider Posts: 197
    If you are getting something from gumtree ie local, so you can see it, then check bottom bracket, headset, chain, cassette and chainrings for wear and that wheels are true etc.

    You really want to find a bike that someone hardly used, i often see £500 odd bikes little used going for 200 ish. Ebay you have to trust a bit more, so i prefer adds that the person shall we say shows they are a genuine cyclist in their description and puts plenty of information about the bike.

    Its worth it though i have not bought a new bike for a very long time. eg my last bike was a Cannondale supersix apex £1800 new, the guy paid £1200 for it as it was a 2012 model he had it 3 months did about 1500 miles and i got it for £800...the money i saved i put towards seriously upgrading it.
  • mrkev83mrkev83 Posts: 184
    Plus one for the carrera subway. It got me back into cycling and commuting. Love it. Lead to me getting back on a road bike now
    http://www.strava.com/athletes/mrkev83

    Built for comfort... Not for speed
  • I really appreciate the advice from everyone! I'm away with work this weekend but will definitely start the ball rolling next week.

    Cheers guys!
  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    I currently ride a 50 mile round trip on my commute and this is what I suggest:

    Saddle bag - I recommend Topeak clip ons. Don't bother with Halfords own one:
    Big - http://www.wiggle.co.uk/topeak-aero-wedge-clip-on-large-saddle-bag/
    Small - http://www.wiggle.co.uk/topeak-propack-small-saddle-bag/
    I use small and I get 1 tube, 3 CO2 cannisters, valve, patches, multitool, 2 tyre levers and spare chain link in it.

    When it rains I might take another spare tube in my pocket.

    (good) Tyre levers £2.20
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/park-tools-tl1c-tyre-levers/

    Patches £2.49
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/park-tools-puncture-repair-kit-super-patch/

    CO2 valve £6.29
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/lifeline-co2-tyre-inflator/

    10 CO2 cartridges £7.49 (only put 2 or 3 in the bag)
    http://www.co2cartridges.co.uk/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=240&category=303

    Foam grip £0.36 (stops the cannister freezing to your hand)
    http://www.co2cartridges.co.uk/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=124&category=303

    Half decent multitool £3.99
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/lifeline-essential-10-in-1-folding-multi-tool/

    And of course a spare tube or two for whatever tyre your bike gets.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    The Subway is a good starter bike, they may not be the prettiest or the lightest but are built as if hewn from solid granite, they will do an 8 mile commute just fine, it's only on steeper hills does weight have any real effect anyway.

    If you get into it then a few choice changes will make the bike faster and more nimble without costing a lot anyway, I run MTB components on my Carrera Gryphon and that weighs in at 9.5Kg with the same frame weight as my Carrera mountain bike (although the latest frame is a bit heavier).

    I do a 6.7 mile commute and carry...
    Tyre levers, Pump, 1 spare tube, some self adhesive patches (I carry a tube as they can fail in such a way to not be repairable, and it's also faster just putting in a new tube if you only puncture the once), a multi tool and a set of powerlinks to enable me to fix a broken chain (I use two powerlinks on my chain so can remove one with the neighbouring inner link only shortening the chain a small amount if I need it). CO2 is only a time saver but as in 4 years/4000 miles commuting I've only punctured once I wouldn't (for myself) say it was worth the expense/weight.
  • mrkev83mrkev83 Posts: 184
    I've got a subway for sale in classifieds. Put it in road bike section
    http://www.strava.com/athletes/mrkev83

    Built for comfort... Not for speed
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