Confused beginner help me!

Lolainsussex Posts: 3
edited March 2017 in Road beginners
Hi there hope someone can advise me, I've a budget of up to £400 for my first bike having not ridden since childhood now in early fifties :D been to my local bike shop found it a bit overwhelming they recommended a bike which was around £500 - I had gone in asking if they could order me a Dawes Duchess or Raleigh Cameo both around £360. I'm planning gentle rides around my local area maybe once or twice a week I am not that confident about gears but live in East Sussex and we have hills! Got the impression neither bike I like are 'good' and I need to be spending at least another £100. I'd love a Pashley but don't want to spend that much.
Any suggestions gratefully received.



  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,186
    The problem with that type of bike is they are usually very heavy. The Pashley's are no different in that respect and I'm not convinced they justify the premium price. What was the bike the shop recommended? My wife wanted a similar type of bike and I wound up buying a Ridgeback Tradition, it's a bit lighter than most of that ilk. But still heavy. She only uses it to ride about 4 miles to work.
    If you decide to spend a bit more get something a bit more modern (and lighter) it will help on the hills.
  • As Veronese says, they will be heavy and sacrifice performance for looks. My girlfriend has the Dawes Cambridge Mixte. For fun rides on cycle paths, down to the cafe, through the parks etc. it's a great bike and does everything she needs, but there's no way I'd recommend it to someone who was planning on doing anything more serious than a 4-6 mile commute.

    Sticking around your original budget of £360, limiting it to step-through frames and non-sale bikes so you know it'll be available in your size I'd be looking at something like Veronese said or this Claud Butler: ... e-EV294636

    You mainly want to be looking for something with an aluminium frame, rigid fork and, if possible, QR wheels.

    If you could give some kid of idea about what you want to do on the bike, if you need a step-through frame, height so we can look at sizes and, crucially, if you are buying from a particular shop or happy to buy online, then we could probably give better suggestions.
  • hsiaolc
    hsiaolc Posts: 492
    I suggest you get an old banger from ebay or gumetree. Ride it for a few times and then see if you really like or want cycling.

    If you still want to continue and know what suits you most then go for a £1K bike that should last you for a while without upgrades.
  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087
    The wife has a Pashley I tend to lift it out of the garage as a warm up before going on my climbing wall. I wouldn't want to ride it anywhere hilly.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Webboo wrote:
    The wife has a Pashley I tend to lift it out of the garage as a warm up before going on my climbing wall. I wouldn't want to ride it anywhere hilly.

    I was about to say something similar. You shouldn't have Pashley and hills in the same sentence. If you're planning to cycle on the roads around / over the South Downs the best thing for the job is a road bike.

    There are some decent bargains to be had at the moment as retailers clear last years models, eg: ... black.aspx

    The base models of Giant Defy are also a cheap way into cycling, as would be a second hand purchase. The important thing is to make sure you buy a bike that fits you properly and which you're comfortable riding.

    I too returned to road cycling at the ripe old age of 50 and following knee surgery. That was nearly 10 years ago and I'm fitter and lighter than I was then, and the bike I bought is still going strong.
  • Thank you everyone who has taken the trouble to reply. The Ridgeback Traditonal is what the shop suggested - only planning on riding basically for relaxation and bit of exercise instead of going for a walk would expect 5 miles cycle path or on the Cuckoo Trail etc. I am 5ft 7 and would prefer a step through bike. Happy to buy online provided I don't have to assemble it I have a Evans cycle in Brighton and a nearby
    Halfords. Bike will be stored in garage on a rack so weight is a factor in that respect.
  • hsiaolc
    hsiaolc Posts: 492
    Actually I think you should try out an e bike. I think you will love my suggestion once you tried it.
  • It's worth remembering that the step-through "ladies" frame only exists as a consequence of the kind of clothing worn by Victorian women when the Safety Bicycle (the forerunner of modern bikes) was developed in the late 19th century.

    Unless you're considering riding in enormous crinoline skirts and a bustle, I'd consider a conventional frame - you will find much more choice!
  • keef66 wrote:
    There are some decent bargains to be had at the moment as retailers clear last years models, eg: ... black.aspx

    That's a great shout. A lot of bike for £350. Just a matter of making sure it fits?

    No 51's left and I think a 54 might be a tad on the large side.

    As Keef also said, Giant Defy is a decent starter bike and those can be had reasonably cheaply, although on all Sale bikes you need to check that they have the correct size for you.
  • I went from riding a GT mountain bike into road biking last year and was in the dilema of what to buy as I didn't want to spends lots just incase I didn't get on with road cycling. After lots of searching, reviewing and googling I decided on the B'Twin Triban 500se which is a decision I havent regretted. It has won plenty of cycling awards, its light, carbon folks and good value for money. I regualrly ride over 50 miles and have finished two century sportives now too. It's worth a look at if you are within strike of a decathlon store to try them out. Hope this helps
  • Russ L
    Russ L Posts: 3
    Thanks keef66 for the link, I brought a caad8 Claris yesterday, bargain!!!
  • Tashman
    Tashman Posts: 3,388
    If the cockoo trail is your main run the buy what you feel comfortable on. i'm sure you know being local that it's not exactly mountainous and with all the walkers and doggies along there, speed is not a huge consideration. Get out and get moving and enjoy :)