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New cyclist seeking bike and gear advice!

Boilerfan91Boilerfan91 Posts: 8
edited March 2016 in Road beginners
Hello all!

I have been planning to break into the world of road cycling for more than a year now. Funds are finally available to acquire a cycle and gear, so I'm looking to do so within the next month.

I am a 25 yo Army Veteran and full time Ecology\Forestry student located in Northwest Indiana. I have a bike trail local to me that is 30+ miles. I intend on riding both the trail and local roads in the area. The longer the trips the better. My main goal at this point is exercise and adventure. In the future I would like to possibly enter into the world of racing.

I am 6'0 220 lbs at the moment. I have gained some weight after leaving the military and would like to get back to my fighting weight of 180 lbs.

My total budget is maximum of $2,500. This is to include the cycle and all necessary gear. Only necessary summer gear for now. I do plan on riding whenever possible in the winter, but winter gear will be purchased when necessary.

What would you recommend for new or used cycles? What gear?

I am very excited to get started and look forward to your advice!

Thanks in advance!


  • 852Kompol852Kompol Posts: 67
    It really depends on how far the list goes then we can see....
    Pedals(Unless you get second hand ones, they are not often supplied with the bike)
    Helmet(You need this)
    2 change of jersey/bibs (you wash them after every ride)
    Shoes(You can leave this till a later date if you're worried)

    BIke wise its best to first looking around the LBS to have a chat to see what you can do, and what might be best for your local area. From what you said it looks like some sort of gravel-bike or Cyclocross you're looking into, a Norco Search, BMC GF02, Ridley Xbow....The list can get alot longer, but poke around the local bike shop and see what's up for the offer
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 2,120
    Ditto! Well, double your age and ex-military anyway. ;-)

    Good advice from 852Kompol, definitely get into your local bike stores and see what they have. You should be able to do a deal if you buy all the kit at the same time. Don't be afraid to shop around though as you should be able to get everything at lower than full retail price.

    Look online at the big shops such as Chain Reaction and Wiggle (they are UK based but will ship) and the US online retailers to get an idea on what you need and price. If you can still find them, 2015 (or older) model year bikes will be heavily discounted and are usually a better value for money buy. Sometimes they are actually a better buy all round as manufacturers sometimes downgrade the equipment on a bike, give it a new lick of paint and call it the new model at the same price as the previous year's model!

    With due respect, at 220lbs you are classified as a heavier rider when it comes to road bikes. I am sure you will appreciate that pro racers are significantly lighter so be careful in bike choice, especially wheels, as stock wheels aren't usually great at your price range and they seem to come with a lower spoke count (to look like what the pros ride!) so you may struggle to stop spokes breaking or the wheels flexing. I am 185lbs and I have gone for handbuilt wheels with a spoke count of at least 28 to prevent such flex and continued spoke breakages with cheaper stock wheels.

    The other thing to bear in mind is to buy the correct sized frame. You can change your position and adjust for reach buy fitting different length stems and handlebar reaches, but only within limits, so getting the right size frame is vitally important.

    Again, depending how good or bad your local bike stores are, they should be able to advise on this, but the bad ones will often try and sell you what they have in if it is 'close enough'. An independent bike fit could be a good investment if you don't know anyone who can help you with this. Bear in mind that different bike manufacturers have different sizing and there is no actual common standard....

    Bit of a nightmare if you have no idea, so again, seek out someone local who knows what they are doing who can help. Try a local cycling club maybe?

    All the best

  • lakesludditelakesluddite Posts: 1,337
    How about something like this that would be good for both on and off road (trail): ... e-EV245158

    We in the UK can only get Jamis from Evans Cycles (UK bike store chain), but they should be more readily available in the US as they are a US brand. I was looking at the Carbon version, but it wasn't available at the time I made my purchase. You may even be able to find a 2015 version of this for a decent price: ... e-EV245159
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