Mum getting back in to riding with the family!

Mumof2boys
Mumof2boys Posts: 6
Hi there. I haven't ridden a bike in over 10 years properly and am after an inexpensive bike to get me started. I don't want to spend too much in case it doesn't get used as much as I'd like. I imagine we will be mostly sticking to easy cycle paths with a 6 year old in tow. I need the bike to carry a rear child seat for my 2 year old also.
The first time I popped in to Halfords for a look I was advised a hybrid. After some looking around online I decided to buy the Carerra Parva. I went in yesterday to purchase and buy extras and they've now advised a mountain bike such as an Apollo Entice.
So I now feel that I'm back to square one!
Any advice appreciated.

Comments

  • bompington
    bompington Posts: 7,674
    Welcome to the forum - and to family cycling, which is quite simply one of the best things you can do for your kids (and yourself).

    It doesn't matter that much what bike you have. Carrera and Apollo are both Halfords budget brands and are decent bikes for the price. The hybrid will be a bit nicer to ride on smoother surfaces but will do OK on slightly rougher stuff; the MTB vice versa - more comfortable and better control on rougher stuff but heavier and more cumbersome on roads and cycle paths.
    Both will also take a child seat just fine: my preference would be the hybrid as the suspension fork on an MTB is just one more thing to wobble and absorb energy.

    Bear in mind that Halfords sell very decent value bikes but have a reputation for poor customer service, mainly because the sales staff are not that likely to have much greater experience and knowledge than you do.

    In short: buy a bike, any bike, then pack a picnic or plot a route to a nice cafe - and just ride. Be warned though, a cheap Halfords bike could be the gateway to a far more serious cycling addiction...
  • cooldad
    cooldad Posts: 32,599
    The Carrera will be better IMO. It's much lighter, and the terribly rubbish suspension forks on the Apollo will be pretty useless and just add weight.

    Carrera are generally decent bikes. Apollo are termed BSOs - bike shaped objects.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • Thank you for your replies. I don't mind spending out on a more expensive bike later on but at this stage I just want to see how we all get on. BSO made me laugh!
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    My wife has said she'd like a bike so we can do some leisurely bimbling and pub stops in retirement. We too had a quick look in Halfords a couple of weeks ago. I already knew there was no way I'd get her on a drop barred road bike, so we avoided them straight away. Initially she liked the look of the Pendleton bikes with the baskets on the front. Less keen when she found out how heavy they were :D Ditto the mountain bikes.

    So by a process of elimination we decided the best compromise was a decent lightweight hybrid. No point in suspension. The more you pay, the more alloy components you get instead of steel, so the bike will be lighter and nicer / easier to ride & manouvre.
  • figbat
    figbat Posts: 680
    Do you have a Decathlon nearby? The B'twin bikes generally attract good reviews for the money.

    One thing I found also was that buying cheap "because I don't know if I'll use it" can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, whereby you don't use it because it's cheap and doesn't give a good ride. A bit more money spent may make it a nicer, more compelling experience, plus the added psychological factor of using it more because you invested in it. And if you do decide to sell it on, you'll probably get more than just scrap value for it.
    Cube Reaction GTC Pro 29 for the lumpy stuff
    Cannondale Synapse alloy with 'guards for the winter roads
    Fuji Altamira 2.7 for the summer roads
    Trek 830 Mountain Track frame turned into a gravel bike - for anywhere & everywhere
  • thistle_
    thistle_ Posts: 7,217
    Mumof2boys wrote:
    I went in yesterday to purchase and buy extras and they've now advised a mountain bike such as an Apollo Entice. So I now feel that I'm back to square one!
    The Entice fits the bill of being cheap, but I wou;dn't expect much from a £70 mountain bike.
    If you can afford it, the Carrera looks like a better option. It seems to come in a men's and women's version both at the same price (different saddles, slightly different shapes, different forks) - you might want to try both in the shop to see which you prefer.
  • Mumof2boys wrote:
    I went in yesterday to purchase and buy extras and they've now advised a mountain bike such as an Apollo Entice. So I now feel that I'm back to square one!
    The Entice fits the bill of being cheap, but I wou;dn't expect much from a £70 mountain bike.
    If you can afford it, the Carrera looks like a better option. It seems to come in a men's and women's version both at the same price (different saddles, slightly different shapes, different forks) - you might want to try both in the shop to see which you prefer.
    The entice is currently £180 at Halfords I think you're referring to a previous model that is now discontinued. I would absolutely spend more than £70 On a bike for myself and little one to ride on :)
  • figbat wrote:
    Do you have a Decathlon nearby? The B'twin bikes generally attract good reviews for the money.

    One thing I found also was that buying cheap "because I don't know if I'll use it" can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, whereby you don't use it because it's cheap and doesn't give a good ride. A bit more money spent may make it a nicer, more compelling experience, plus the added psychological factor of using it more because you invested in it. And if you do decide to sell it on, you'll probably get more than just scrap value for it.
    Unfortunately not. Yes I understand your point but I can't justify spending much more just yet. Thank you though
  • Thank you for the replies. I think I will go ahead with the Carrera as this was my preferred choice in store originally. Wish me luck!
  • cooldad
    cooldad Posts: 32,599
    Good luck. You don't really need it though, just go cruise and have fun with the kids.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • wolfsbane2k
    wolfsbane2k Posts: 3,056
    Welcome back to the world of cycling, my OH's in exactly the same boat, but with slightly younger kids.
    If you've not bought a bike yet, it is worth having a look at the "Bike Recycle" places/charities near you, as you can regularly get a very good bike that's been skipped for being the wrong size or just replaced by a newer one for not a lot of money, but that always depends on what's been donated.
    However, out of the two bikes offered, I'd definitely be going with the carrerra.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...