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Beginners Advice

ScotEuskadiScotEuskadi Posts: 2
edited May 2015 in Road beginners
Hi folks, first post on here. Joined up for a bit of advice, I think this topic has been posted in the correct place, apologies if not.

Basically having been inspired by some friends I've got the hunch for cycling again. I've not bought a bike in years, last bike I bought was a pretty cheap hybrid but it's long gone and I fancy getting a road bike this time.

I've been advised to go into my local bike shop to be properly fitted, is this sound advice? I remember doing something similar last time around but no idea what my measurements are.

On top of this I have some areas I'd appreciate advice on:

1) In terms of a bike itself, what should I be looking for apart from it fitting correctly? I.e. any brands to look out for (or avoid), any features more relevant than another?

2) Where to shop? e.g. mainstream or local shop .. also had it suggested to me to look on gumtree/ebay for a decent second hand bike, is this good advice?

3) How much should I realistically be looking to spend? I'm not so naive to expect to pay peanuts but obviously I'm at entry level again. I'm employed so is the cycle2work scheme something I should look into?

4) Any other advice you'd be inclined to give to someone in my position.

Thanks very much for reading and all advice is much appreciated.

Thanks
S

Posts

  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 3,947
    Check out your local bike shop and ask their advice.

    Yes you can buy cheaper off the net but building a relationship with your LBS is worthwhile and will pay dividends in the longterm and you'll access a wealth of knowledge and experience which is what you need as it will help provide you a basis for an informed choice.

    The rest of your enquiries are really shaped by your needs and budget? Age, fitness and general flexibility as there is a wide ranging choice in bike geometry, frame quality and sundry parts such as wheels, gears etc

    Get fitted for a bike and go for a test ride.

    Above everything enjoy the process!
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • taon24taon24 Posts: 185
    Set a budget, and remember that the budget has to include lots of 'additions'.
    £1000 should be more than ample for everything, £700 should buy a new bike and kit on a tighter budget. Second hand may save you another few hundred.

    Equipment such as Bibshorts, a jersey with pockets, helmet, Bottles and cages, tools, pump (track and mini) is fairly cheap but together can add up to a few hundred pounds, which is money better spent than a more expensive bike with no comfy shorts, no tools for when you breakdown on the road and no way of carrying drink bottles in mid-summer.

    In general increased spending on a bike gives diminishing returns. a £500 bike is typical for the bottom of most of the big brands, but you may find similar cheaper by shopping around. These bikes will usually be light enough, reliable and capable of any ride, without being a disastrous investment if you find you hate cycling for whatever reason.
    A £700 bike is normally a small upgrade (maybe a carbon fork, a step up the groupset ladder (normally from the good Shimano Claris to the slightly better Shimano Sora), a £1000 bike will usually get you further up the groupset ladder (Tiagra or even 105, or alternatives from Campagnolo or SRAM, which will be a bit more refined)
    I'm yet to be convinced that any one big brand of bike or groupset is significantly better than any other.
    Important issues:
    Fit - some brands will probably fit better than others, but most will probably be adjustable to fit. Try some bikes out, reputable shops often let you do a few miles if you leave an appropriate item (Driving licence, girlfriend etc)
    Repairs - Either you do them, or a bike shop. If I was going to go to a shop for repairs, I would buy from the shop, and this will often cut down brand choice.
    Availability - Some bikes have longer wait times, often due to demand.
    Groupset - Try Shimano, Campagnolo and SRAM. All do good kit, Shimano seems to have cornered the budget market though, some people have a preference for one way.

    If you enjoy cycling over a few years then considering a nice bike is fairly normal with higher spending. People will often keep the first bike for winter/commuting use, which often means wider tyres, mudguards, lights and pannier rack. Mounting points for mudguards and racks would therefore be high on my list of requirements for a first bike
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,225
    Have a look at Decathlons bikes and cycling gear well worth looking at to start with.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 12,697
    tbh i'd figure out what size frame you need and then look at secondhand - cycling weekly classifieds etc. (not gumtree, too much stolen stuff gets fenced there)

    then once you've had time to get used to it and got a feel for what else is out there you'll be in a much better position to decide on what you need/want for a new purchase

    a secondhand one will retain far more value than a new bike would, though of course you can always keep it and have two bikes :D
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    1) In terms of a bike itself, what should I be looking for apart from it fitting correctly? I.e. any brands to look out for (or avoid), any features more relevant than another?

    2) Where to shop? e.g. mainstream or local shop .. also had it suggested to me to look on gumtree/ebay for a decent second hand bike, is this good advice?

    3) How much should I realistically be looking to spend? I'm not so naive to expect to pay peanuts but obviously I'm at entry level again. I'm employed so is the cycle2work scheme something I should look into?

    4) Any other advice you'd be inclined to give to someone in my position.

    Thanks very much for reading and all advice is much appreciated.

    Thanks
    S
    I would suggest in answer to your questions:
    1) A sportive type bike would probably be a good start as more relaxed riding position than out and out racer. Aluminium frame and carbon fork would be a good start. I wouldn't fork out for a professional bike fitting - I have never done.
    2) A Local Bike Shop where you can try bikes for size etc., and buy locally as any problems or tweaks needed, you can go back to the shop for them to fix.
    3) Cycle to work scheme? Yes, if you are planning to use bike for commuting. If you are I would suggest getting a bike that you can fit mudguards and a rack to. You can spend up to £1,000 in cycle to work scheme so that should get you a decent starter bike and some gear.
    4) You will probably be advised to get clipless pedals (i.e. no toe-clips so you clip into the pedals with cleats on your shoes). I would suggest going for mountain bike type SPD pedals as they are double-sided, and very easy to get used to clipping in and out of. SPD-SLs are road pedals but are one-sided and more tricky to get used to, and I would say not so good for commuting in traffic. Also with mountain bike SPDs you will need shoes with recessed cleats that you can easily walk in as opposed to road shoes, which are difficult to walk in for any distance.
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