Completely new to cycling. Any tips or advice?

MrBistr
MrBistr Posts: 3
edited January 2019 in Road beginners
Hi.

So, to cut things short, I want to get into cycling. I’ve enquired about road bikes in my local store but I’m completely new to it all.

What are your tips for first timers? What do you recommend I get to start myself off?

I’ve been looking for good padded shorts but haven’t really seen some that everyone recommends. I know that it’s usually all down to preference but any guidance would be perfect!

I’m really looking forward to getting into cycling, I even have a few long distance charity cycles I’ve been looking into for the future as something to train towards! I know that it’s very early to say things like that but still.

Just wanted to say hi to everyone too. I’ve been enjoying reading everyone’s posts.

Thanks!

Sam :D
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Comments

  • Welcome aboard!

    Bikes depend on budget, the Decathlon range offer some good quality bikes and kit, also the DHB clothing range on Wiggle is worth a look, to get you started.
    Paracyclist
    @Bigmitch_racing
    2010 Specialized Tricross (commuter)
    2014 Whyte T129-S
    2016 Specialized Tarmac Ultegra Di2
    Big Mitch - YouTube
  • CitizenLee
    CitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    Hey Sam,

    Welcome the madness that is BikeRadar! :D

    In addition to padded shorts (I use the Endura ones that came with my Humvee 3/4 length shorts) I highly recommend the following:

    -The best helmet you can afford (too many to recommend, try some on)
    -The best lock you can afford (This is a cracking deal)
    -Decent pump (eg Lezyne Pressure Drive V2 Mini or Topeak Race Rocket)
    -Decent multi-tool (eg Park or Topeak)
    -Puncture kit (any will do, Halfords etc)
    -Spare tubes (again, any will do but the Halfords self-sealing ones are good for commuting... if a little heavy)
    -Decent tyre levers (eg Lezyne Power Levers or Topeak Shuttle 1.2)
    -A good set of lights (eg Knog Blinder, Lezyne Zecto)
    -A back up set of lights (eg Lezyne Femto or Cateye Nima 2)
    -A decent backpack to hold it all in (a lot of people like Decathlon for cheap packs, but Dakine, Osprey and Camelbak are all highly recommended too)

    Not essential but I would also highly recommend a merino wool base layer. They keep you cool when it's warm and warm when it's cool, and dry in no time if you get a bit sweaty. A lightweigt waterproof shell you can stash in you backpack is another good thing to have too.

    Also be sure sure to check out your local Aldi as they often have cheap cycling gear ;)

    All the best,

    Lee
    Current:
    NukeProof Mega FR 2012
    Cube NuRoad 2018
    Previous:
    2015 Genesis CdF 10, 2014 Cube Hyde Race, 2012 NS Traffic, 2007 Specialized SX Trail, 2005 Specialized Demo 8
  • cooldad
    cooldad Posts: 32,599
    Pah! When I was a lad we just fished one out of the canal, turned our flat caps backwards (to all da kidz out there, we did it first.) and headed off.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • CitizenLee
    CitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    cooldad wrote:
    Pah! When I was a lad we just fished one out of the canal, turned our flat caps backwards (to all da kidz out there, we did it first.) and headed off.

    à la...

    bike-pipe1.jpg

    :P
    Current:
    NukeProof Mega FR 2012
    Cube NuRoad 2018
    Previous:
    2015 Genesis CdF 10, 2014 Cube Hyde Race, 2012 NS Traffic, 2007 Specialized SX Trail, 2005 Specialized Demo 8
  • navrig2
    navrig2 Posts: 1,851
    Beg or borrow (but don't steal) a bike which is the right size and try it out. Otherwise you run the risk of doing what most of us has done:

    Buy a budget bike and basic clothing
    Get hooked
    Buy better, warmer, more comfy, drier clothing
    Convince ourselves that the budget bike is holding us back or is worn out (in 6 months)
    Buy a more expensive bike
    and so it goes on.

    Find others who cycle and join them.
  • lesfirth
    lesfirth Posts: 1,382
    Sam,I can not believe you have enjoyed reading "everyone's" posts. On this forum you have to ignore the nonsense contributed by people bored at work. Then decide what is sound advise and what is rubbish. Those who know what they are talking about are a source of great information.Unfortunately they are a minority.

    Welcome to Bike Radar. :D
  • cooldad
    cooldad Posts: 32,599
    We are a minority, but someone has to be useful.

    I did start to yawn reading your post though. The word boring sprang to mind.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • haydenm
    haydenm Posts: 2,997
    BigMitch41 wrote:
    Welcome aboard!

    Bikes depend on budget, the Decathlon range offer some good quality bikes and kit, also the DHB clothing range on Wiggle is worth a look, to get you started.

    I started typing the same reply yesterday but had to pretend I was working for a bit and deleted it. Basically the standard (and good) advice is Decathlon and DHB, you'll hopefully get something good enough that you won't hate it and give up, but also not so bad that you immediately want to replace it once you are addicted.

    Enjoy!
  • cld531c
    cld531c Posts: 517
    Aldi cycling offers on 30 September might be worth a look when in store (assuming you are in the UK)
  • Buy the best bike you can afford, a decent bike shop should be able to help with this, and get what’s called a ‘bike fitting’ done, a lot of proper bike shops will have this facility. Take whichever bike you choose for a test ride. Only when you’re happy with your choice should you part with any cash. Look at getting yourself as comfortable as possible, regarding clothing, to start off with, this needn’t be ‘full on Lycra’ there’s plenty of comfy mountain bike / touring cycling clothing about, that may be more comfy to start with. Start off with short, low intensity rides. Build up your mileage and intensity gradually. If you need help finding suitable routes, joining a British Cycling ‘let’s ride’ ride, in your locale would be a good starting point.

    https://www.letsride.co.uk

    It’s fairly self explanatory. Don’t overdo it at the start, you don’t want to put yourself off.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    lesfirth wrote:
    On this forum you have to ignore the nonsense contributed by people bored at work. Then decide what is sound advise and what is rubbish. Those who know what they are talking about are a source of great information.Unfortunately they are a minority.

    Talking of which...
    Buy the best bike you can afford, a decent bike shop should be able to help with this, and get what’s called a ‘bike fitting’ done,

    It is absolutely not necessary for a beginner to get a bike fit, any more than it is necessary to get the 'best bike you can afford'. Arguably, getting a fit would be one of the worst things a beginner can do, given that their position on the bike is likely to evolve on its own as they become more adapted and more experienced. By all means get one further down the road, but some riders have managed to survive 20-30 years on a bike without ever getting one.. :roll:
  • Buy Campagnolo.
    The bike should be made of metal. Ideally Steel. None of this new-fangled carbon stuff.
    Gearing should be 53/39 and 11-27 at the back. . Tyres should be no wider than 23mm - ideally on 20mm.

    Start easy and cycle no more than 200km each morning before work. Cycle more than that if it is raining. Anything less than that and you're not a real cyclist.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Stuff I did / wish I'd done / known:

    Buy a road bike with drop bars. Don't muck about with hybrids / flat bars.

    Buy the first one from a bike shop that's happy to give advice, ensure you get the right size, and something within your budget.

    Buy a pair of bib shorts. Basic Decathlon or DHB (Wiggle) ones are fine, but bibs are so much comfier than shorts with a waistband.

    Buy a pump and a spare innertube, and the tools to change a flat tyre. Practice at home so you know how to do it before you need to do it at the roadside, in the rain, as the light is fading.

    Then just ride the bike as much as you can

    It does get easier...
  • cld531c
    cld531c Posts: 517
    green_mark wrote:
    Buy Campagnolo.
    The bike should be made of metal. Ideally Steel. None of this new-fangled carbon stuff.
    Gearing should be 53/39 and 11-25 at the back. . Tyres should be no wider than 23mm - ideally on 20mm.

    Start easy and cycle no more than 200km each morning before work. Cycle more than that if it is raining. Anything less than that and you're not a real cyclist.

    FTFY!
  • Imposter wrote:
    lesfirth wrote:
    On this forum you have to ignore the nonsense contributed by people bored at work. Then decide what is sound advise and what is rubbish. Those who know what they are talking about are a source of great information.Unfortunately they are a minority.

    Talking of which...
    Buy the best bike you can afford, a decent bike shop should be able to help with this, and get what’s called a ‘bike fitting’ done,

    It is absolutely not necessary for a beginner to get a bike fit, any more than it is necessary to get the 'best bike you can afford'. Arguably, getting a fit would be one of the worst things a beginner can do, given that their position on the bike is likely to evolve on its own as they become more adapted and more experienced. By all means get one further down the road, but some riders have managed to survive 20-30 years on a bike without ever getting one.. :roll:
    Time and time again, you post things which prove you have little or no experience of riding a bike, any significant distances. You’ve done so again. Why don’t you leave the advice giving to those of us with suitable experience? The irony of you quoting what you did, is just astonishing.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    Time and time again, you post things which prove you have little or no experience of riding a bike, any significant distances. You’ve done so again. Why don’t you leave the advice giving to those of us with suitable experience? The irony of you quoting what you did, is just astonishing.

    Well that rules you out then Nick, you utter walt :lol:

    Instead of more of your bullsh1t and bluster, why don't you instead explain why a bike fit is such a necessity for a total beginner? Also, please explain what might happen if he doesn't buy the 'best bike he can afford', while also explaining how he might identify such a bike? Looking forward to your answers... :roll:
  • CitizenLee
    CitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    Oh look, another BikeRadar thread descending into a pointless argument. Who'd have thunk it? :roll:
    Current:
    NukeProof Mega FR 2012
    Cube NuRoad 2018
    Previous:
    2015 Genesis CdF 10, 2014 Cube Hyde Race, 2012 NS Traffic, 2007 Specialized SX Trail, 2005 Specialized Demo 8
  • Imposter wrote:
    Time and time again, you post things which prove you have little or no experience of riding a bike, any significant distances. You’ve done so again. Why don’t you leave the advice giving to those of us with suitable experience? The irony of you quoting what you did, is just astonishing.

    Well that rules you out then Nick, you utter walt :lol:

    Instead of more of your bullsh1t and bluster, why don't you instead explain why a bike fit is such a necessity for a total beginner? Also, please explain what might happen if he doesn't buy the 'best bike he can afford', while also explaining how he might identify such a bike? Looking forward to your answers... :roll:

    Why don’t you post some evidence that you actually ride a bike, and are therefore qualified to give advice on a cycling forum, rather than try and insult those of us that can?
  • CitizenLee wrote:
    Oh look, another BikeRadar thread descending into a pointless argument. Who'd have thunk it? :roll:

    I know, you try and post helpful advice, based on real experience, and someone ( with no expertise/ experience ) tries to derail it.
  • cooldad
    cooldad Posts: 32,599
    Farty bricks isn't wrong.

    It's a well known fact that 98.398574678123654789% (actual verified statistic, you'll find it on the internet in a few seconds) of new bikes end up in the shed unused after the first week, so buy the best bike possible and sell it on a year later at a massive loss.

    I love cheap new second hand bikes.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    edited September 2018
    Why don’t you post some evidence that you actually ride a bike, and are therefore qualified to give advice on a cycling forum, rather than try and insult those of us that can?

    Nick - you're delusional. You've already been banned twice from these forums for trolling and giving out poor/inaccurate advice...which is ironic....

    I've already explained why I feel it is not necessary for a beginner to get a bike fit. Still waiting for your argument to the contrary.. :roll:
  • Why don’t you post some evidence that you actually ride a bike, and are therefore qualified to give advice on a cycling forum, rather than try and insult those of us that can?

    To be fair, you don't need to ride a bike to be able to give advice about them. And you do post some utter drivel a lot of the time, it's a bit rich coming from you as based on your posting history, you may well ride a lot but you know nothing about bikes despite offering advise.

    To the OP, just get a bike you like the look of that fits your budget. You won't get it right at first and there are a million little extras you will want if you do get the bug, don't worry about that for now. Just ride.
  • Thanks for the replies!

    I’m going to take a look at a Carrera Vanquish later on which is near me. Its a pre owned bike but that’s fine with me for my first one. :D
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    MrBistr wrote:
    Thanks for the replies!

    I’m going to take a look at a Carrera Vanquish later on which is near me. Its a pre owned bike but that’s fine with me for my first one. :D

    Sensible choice for a first timer as long as it's a good fit. Look on Halfords website and see what size they suggest for your height. Test ride it before committing.

    If a bike is a bit too small you can always fit a longer seatpost and longer stem, but a bike that's too big will never be comfortable.
  • skyd0g
    skyd0g Posts: 2,540
    keef66 wrote:
    Stuff I did / wish I'd done / known:

    Buy a road bike with drop bars. Don't muck about with hybrids / flat bars.

    Buy the first one from a bike shop that's happy to give advice, ensure you get the right size, and something within your budget.

    Buy a pair of bib shorts. Basic Decathlon or DHB (Wiggle) ones are fine, but bibs are so much comfier than shorts with a waistband.

    Buy a pump and a spare innertube, and the tools to change a flat tyre. Practice at home so you know how to do it before you need to do it at the roadside, in the rain, as the light is fading.

    Then just ride the bike as much as you can

    It does get easier...

    mostly this, except it doesn't get easier, you just get better.
    I'd also say add a track-pump for home use before going out on a ride as a large proportion of punctures are a result of under-inflated tyres.
    Cycling weakly
  • lesfirth
    lesfirth Posts: 1,382
    I'd also say add a track-pump for home use before going out on a ride as a large proportion of punctures are a result of under-inflated tyres.[/quote]

    Mr Bistr, this is by far the best bit of advise you have been given. Don't buy a £5 pump from Asda get a good one. It will be money well spent .
  • I just startwd over the summer at the age of 43 so here's my two cents;
    A bike fitting isn't necessary BUT it's recommended or at least get a basic one. You don't want to end up with a bike too big or small. Either way and you'll end up in discomfort and pain.
    Maybe not the best bike you can afford but definitely try different ones. You'll notice or at least I did that there is a difference in shifting between Claris, Sora, Tiagra and so on.
    Expensive helmet doesn't mean safer... I just read an article where Virginia Tech did extensive testing on helmets and some of the cheaper ones came out ahead of the expensive ones.
    Saddle! Very important! This made a huge difference for me, so try different saddles as well. I ended up with a Specialized Romin Evo after trying four different ones. Worth the upgrade imo
  • crescent
    crescent Posts: 1,201
    Carrera Vanquish is a decent choice, nothing wrong with Carerra bikes and a good idea to buy second hand. If it is a few years old then there is a good chance it will have better kit on it than a brand new one as specs have generally gone downhill a bit as manufacturers trim their costs to produce a competitive package. Also, if you decide that cycling is not for you it can always be sold on again. Little and often is a good approach to your initial riding, I think. You don’t want to sicken yourself of it by trying to do do much too soon - always leave yourself wanting more and you’ll find your distances will soon increase naturally. It’s a great hobby, if it bites you then it can get expensive, but buying new stuff is part of the fun 8)
    Bianchi ImpulsoBMC Teammachine SLR02 01Trek Domane AL3“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    New eh? You won't have much idea so rather than rely on a bunch of strangers on here who can't even differentiate between advice and advise, here's my bit:

    Have an idea of budget, not what you think you'd feel comfortable spending but what you could reasonably afford even if it meant stretching yourself a bit. It's only money and out of a year's income a few hundred quid is irrelevant. Base this number not on what you think you can afford, but at what level of bike you'd realistically like to own. There's a choice of cheap crap aka BSO, or a bit better for two or three hundred, then mid range for £500+ then the world is your lobster choice once you're comfortably past a grand.

    Once you've sorted this, revise it to get started by including a couple of pairs of bib shorts, a couple of tops and some shoes. And pedals. And cleats, although they should be included with pedals and / or shoes. Helmet? You propbably should but I haven't bothered since a a stroppy ex g/f stomped her feet a bit in about 1989, so for a few weeks I just hid it in the hedge a hundred yards down the road and put it back on when I got back. I'm still alive, and every helmet debate since 1743 ends up with "it's your choice"; use that choice as you see fit.

    Whatever you buy you'll want something better in a year or so once you've sussed it, so budget for buying another one next year or the year after. You will, so just accept it. It's still only money, you'd only waste it on clothes, going out, stuff you didn't really want etc. As you'll only ride this one for a year or so you may as well buy the nicest looking bike in the shop, i.e the one that lights your candle. If you like it you'll probably ride it more often, and that's really all you're trying to do.

    In 5 years time you'll either be on a carbon beast with electric gears or blowing silly money on Naim audio equipment (the 272 + 250DR is particularly good, esp with a 555DR PS...). Either way you'll be enjoying yourself, and will know what to blow the next wodge of dosh on.

    Enjoy. It's a blast whichever way you go.
  • froze
    froze Posts: 207
    Personally I would go as cheap as possible and look at the used market for something around the 300 to 400 range because you will get more of a bike in the used market for that money then you would new. Why do I suggest that you scream? Because about 73% of all people that try a new sport will quit that sport in about 6 months! So why buy a 1,200 or so bike only to have it turn into expensive garage art? Oh you think you can sell it if that happens, your right, for about 300 to 400 range you could have bought it for used!! If you buy it used and in 6 months or so you don't like the sport you can sell it for darn near what you paid for it instead of losing 50 to 75% of what you paid for it. So I would buy a used bike that appears to been lightly used and ride it for a few years, when you think it's time to move on to a better bike because your abilities have improved and you think you deserve it then do it.

    This is why on the used market you'll find home gyms people bought and rarely used them, it's why fitness centers can oversell their numbers of people that can actually belong because 3 quarters of the members that sign up quit after 3 to 6 months, it's why I was able to buy in 2012 a 1984 Fuji Club that the owner bought new but only put 5 miles on it for just $40 in mint condition even the original tires! So when it comes to exercise equipment it's better and wiser to start out used. Sure when buying used you may have to take the bike down and have it tuned up, maybe slap on some new tires and tubes, the seat will wait till you can find out if you can adjust to it and if not a new seat may be the thing needed but this happens with new bikes as well; but a tune up and tires and tubes aren't all the expensive.

    Anyway just my thoughts.