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Palace121
10-05-2017, 04:00 PM
I've just had an operation on my knee and have been told that by my consultant that I should be sticking to cycling and swimming as my exercise from now on. Neither are particularly my favourite pastimes but I think I have to accept my footballing days are over. This latest op makes it 8 in 8 years so I reckon it's time to listen. :(

Whilst I'm a rubbish swimmer, I can use the pool at my local gym so I'm not too concerned about that. The issue I have is that I don't own a bike, I never have and I have minimal knowledge as to the type of bike I should get, what is good and what is bad. That's where I'm hoping you guys will come in!

I've done a bit of research and have come to the conclusion that a hybrid or a hardtail would probably be the most suitable for me. The majority of my cycling will be road based but I'd like to have the option to go off-road as well.

Is there any recommendations on a particular bike that I should be looking at. My budget is relatively low at about 300 but I have health insurance with Vitality and one of their benefits is 50% off bikes at Evans Cycles so that should help me get something sufficient for a novice like me.

All advice is gratefully received.

Blind_Eagle
10-05-2017, 04:20 PM
Ask on the scummers thread, you'll get all the help you need. :)

adman50
10-05-2017, 04:22 PM
I got a Specialized Sirrus which is a hybrid bike both road and off road if you wish think it was about 350 IIRC got bike but the wheel rims were shite.

Mad Max
10-05-2017, 04:33 PM
Consider an electric bike so if your knee starts to hurt you can let the battery take the strain.:p

spunky
10-05-2017, 07:51 PM
What kind of cycling are you planning on doing, that's the biggest and most important question, there Re 3 main kinds of bike (and many many sub categories)

mountain bikes (for off road, up it won't limit you as to where it can be used)

Hybrids (for a mix of road and off road)

Road bikes (for road, duh)

Once you've narrowed down your choice to one or 2 of these the best thing to do is go a d hunt round some bike shops to see if there is anything that takes your fancy.

For around 300 if you can find something that's an old model you get much better value for money as it's getting to be a struggle to make something good to sell for 300

This might be a very good versatile option for you

http://www.wallingtoncycles.com/m12b0s23p2481/CLAUD-BUTLER-Alto-CX7

spunky
10-05-2017, 07:51 PM
Consider an electric bike so if your knee starts to hurt you can let the battery take the strain.:p

No chance for 300 unfortunately

Palace121
11-05-2017, 08:41 AM
What kind of cycling are you planning on doing, that's the biggest and most important question, there Re 3 main kinds of bike (and many many sub categories) mountain bikes (for off road, up it won't limit you as to where it can be used) Hybrids (for a mix of road and off road) Road bikes (for road, duh) Once you've narrowed down your choice to one or 2 of these the best thing to do is go a d hunt round some bike shops to see if there is anything that takes your fancy. For around 300 if you can find something that's an old model you get much better value for money as it's getting to be a struggle to make something good to sell for 300 This might be a very good versatile option for you http://www.wallingtoncycles.com/m12b0s23p2481/CLAUD-BUTLER-Alto-CX7

I don't really know what I'll be doing most of but I'd like to think I will ride to work on occasions so would imagine the majority of my cycling will be on road. However, getting a road bike would obviously limit me to just that. There's quite a few trails around my way and I have a couple of friends who are in to that so I'll probably join them every now and again.

I suppose the question is whether to go for a hybrid or a hardtail mountain bike. Hybrid's were obviously designed for comfort on and off-road where as mb's are primarily for the latter but I'm not really planning on doing any massively long rides. I generally prefer the look of a mountain bike over a hybrid but if I do end up using the bike mostly for my commute (which is 7 miles), would getting an MB be an error or are they ok for relatively short road rides?

Bear in mind that I can get a bike at Evans Cycles for 600 as with my discount, that's within my budget. I could potentially stretch slightly further really don't want to go much over.

Adlerhorst
11-05-2017, 08:47 AM
I have a barely used hardtail (like three times ever) which I purchased from spunky some years back, that I could probably be pursuaded to part with.

stevek
11-05-2017, 09:09 AM
A CX bike, like the one spunky suggested, would be a good option.

Palace121
11-05-2017, 09:12 AM
A CX bike, like the one spunky suggested, would be a good option.

What's a CX bike?

Bizarro
11-05-2017, 09:31 AM
A little more than your budget, I've got a specialized crosstrail hybrid bike with front suspension. Costs about 400 but is an excellent bike for the money.

El Aguila
11-05-2017, 09:44 AM
What's a CX bike?

It's like a road bike adapted to trails and off road, short for cyclocross.

Palace121
11-05-2017, 09:46 AM
https://www.evanscycles.com/specialized-crosstrail-2017-hybrid-bike-EV279747

Like this? Would cost me 210 (after I find an old crappy bike to trade it) so well within budget.

https://www.evanscycles.com/specialized-crosstrail-disc-2017-hybrid-bike-EV279746

I'm quite tempted by this. Decent reviews.

Palace121
11-05-2017, 09:48 AM
It's like a road bike adapted to trails and off road, short for cyclocross.

Oh ok. Thanks. So is that a better option than a hybrid?

El Aguila
11-05-2017, 10:24 AM
Depends what you're after really. My bike is pretty similar, but with flat bars, and I use it every day, and have also used it for touring holidays in northern Spain, up and down mountains, along paths, doing about 100 km a day carrying luggage. They're everything bikes, really. Though mine's a bit upmarket of that one on components.
You won't be doing high level mountain biking on one because the geometry doesn't really work for that, but you'll handle paths and trails beautifully.

El Aguila
11-05-2017, 10:25 AM
The guy you need to listen to on here is spunky.

Ridcully
11-05-2017, 10:26 AM
Hardtail MTB and Hybrids I think are probably your best shout for the cash. If you are predominantly roading then the stiffer the better as you will only add weight with shocks etc.

Its a lot about tyres for road so the hybrids would be a good bet here. At that sort of price range the Carreras from Halfords are a good shout. My eldest boy has a crossfire 3 which is a great starter bike, my better half has the Subway which is stiffer and very good value.

Go for as light as your budget allows you. Halfords also do 20% off sales regularly so its worth watching the website. I have a Boardman MX Comp which is basically the straight handlebar version of the CX but a bit out of your price range unless you go second hand.

You won't beat the service you can get from a local bike shop tho but for entry I would say the Halfords mid-range bikes are great.

Its pretty addictive tho....soon you'll want to splash a grand+ on a carbon road bike :)

Ridcully
11-05-2017, 10:28 AM
And agree, listen to Spunky. Although he is a bit anti-Halfords :)

Understandably of course.

Ridcully
11-05-2017, 10:32 AM
https://www.evanscycles.com/specialized-crosstrail-2017-hybrid-bike-EV279747

Like this? Would cost me 210 (after I find an old crappy bike to trade it) so well within budget.

https://www.evanscycles.com/specialized-crosstrail-disc-2017-hybrid-bike-EV279746

I'm quite tempted by this. Decent reviews.

Thats 550 tho. Looks a decentish spec.

Similar to my Boardman MX

Ridcully
11-05-2017, 10:33 AM
I'd thoroughly recommend hydraulic disks if you can stretch to them. Just got them on my new roadie too :)

Ridcully
11-05-2017, 10:36 AM
Oh and always, always, always use your local bike shop for advice and servicing. Only use Halfords in an absolute emergency!

cardiffeagle
11-05-2017, 10:45 AM
Whatever you do or choose, do take up the four hours free cycle training you get from your local council. If you're Croydon, that's found and applied for at cyclinginstructor.com

cardiffeagle
11-05-2017, 10:45 AM
Oh and always, always, always use your local bike shop for advice and servicing. Only use Halfords in an absolute emergency!

Not even then, the last thing you want is an emergency made worse.

Palace121
11-05-2017, 10:53 AM
Thats 550 tho. Looks a decentish spec. Similar to my Boardman MX

My health insurance will pay 50% off for bikes bought from Evans Cycles up to 1000 so I'll pay half the 550.

How many times!? ;)

Ridcully
11-05-2017, 11:55 AM
My health insurance will pay 50% off for bikes bought from Evans Cycles up to 1000 so I'll pay half the 550.

How many times!? ;)

You think people read every word? :)

I'd be on that specialized bike if I was you...best thing to do is get yourself down there and have a try out for yourself.

Ridcully
11-05-2017, 11:57 AM
Not even then, the last thing you want is an emergency made worse.

Harsh, the boardman guys are ok. Yep the oik won't help but if you get to the semi-proper mechanics they are ok. One thing I really hate about biking is the snobbishness of some of it.

Steve in Phoenix
11-05-2017, 11:59 AM
Oh and always, always, always use your local bike shop for advice and servicing. Only use Halfords in an absolute emergency!

Strangely enough my local bike shop gave totally shoddy service.

I left and went to Halfords where the guy couldnt have been more helpful.

Agree on favouring local specialist shops but it doesn't always work that way.

El Aguila
11-05-2017, 12:25 PM
I would say, find a good mechanic and hold on to him or her for dear life, but learn to do the basic things yourself.

Ridcully
11-05-2017, 12:30 PM
I would say, find a good mechanic and hold on to him or her for dear life, but learn to do the basic things yourself.

:lux:100%

mexicaneagle
11-05-2017, 12:34 PM
Decent cheap bikes for if you aren't sure you will go further with the past time can be found at decathlon. Their BTwin Triban brand is pretty good for entry level stuff.

hilairehair
11-05-2017, 12:40 PM
Have a look at a second hand trek 700 (or 720, 730) hybrid from ebay. Decent ones can still be picked up for about 100. As already mentioned, Decathlon do fairly good entry levels hybrids.

El Aguila
11-05-2017, 12:57 PM
Decent cheap bikes for if you aren't sure you will go further with the past time can be found at decathlon. Their BTwin Triban brand is pretty good for entry level stuff.

That's true, I got one of those when I first got back into cycling, a triban trail.

stevek
11-05-2017, 03:08 PM
I would say, find a good mechanic and hold on to him or her for dear life, but learn to do the basic things yourself.

Yep. And if you're in the area he's called Duncan and runs Wallington Cycles ;)

Palace121
11-05-2017, 03:38 PM
I'm based in Horsham so it's a bit of a trek for me. I might pop over to Evans Cycles in Crawley tonight and check out some of their bikes.

The problem I have is much like I have with cars, they could spout any old crap to me and I'd just have to take their word for it.

cardiffeagle
11-05-2017, 03:58 PM
Harsh, the boardman guys are ok. Yep the oik won't help but if you get to the semi-proper mechanics they are ok. One thing I really hate about biking is the snobbishness of some of it.

Where I am it is simply not a risk worth taking.

I have seen too many repairs simply not done or carried out properly, with children's bikes returned to paying customers in a dangerous condition, many fobbed off with the wrong part. It is dangerous. Dangerous. That's not snobbery.

It's professional experience.

Unroadworthy bikes in the hands of children after being given the all clear by a trusted brand is simply unacceptable.

Boardman's mechanics may well be trained, and do a better job. Fair comment, but I have seen the above far too often.

That said, I have had some pretty awful service from local shops that have thought they could take me for a ride (sorry). The shops I use are all in North London, but one I would highly recommend down south is de Vere.

cardiffeagle
11-05-2017, 04:02 PM
I'm based in Horsham so it's a bit of a trek for me. I might pop over to Evans Cycles in Crawley tonight and check out some of their bikes.

The problem I have is much like I have with cars, they could spout any old crap to me and I'd just have to take their word for it.

Ask to ride. It's all there is to it.

Any decent shop should be able to get your position right enough so that you are comfortable.

Experiment with different rides and see what feels right.

Bearing in mind you're recovering from a knee injury, they should be able to give you some solid advice on appropriate use of gearing as well.

cardiffeagle
11-05-2017, 04:08 PM
Decent cheap bikes for if you aren't sure you will go further with the past time can be found at decathlon. Their BTwin Triban brand is pretty good for entry level stuff.


Seconded. Really good value, quality components, well made frames. Btwin bikes are just a really solid option if you're buying new.

El Aguila
11-05-2017, 04:22 PM
Quite heavy, though - but if you find yourself doing enough cycling for that to bother you, you'll buy a new bike anyway.

OriginalNutter
11-05-2017, 04:37 PM
I just bought one of these and love it. Got it after reading a review in a bike magazine about entry level bikes.

http://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-500-se-road-bike-id_8306187.html?iv_=__iv_p_1_g_19259403656_c_67031 964536_w_aud-169776142136:dsa-267169365251_n_g_d_c_v__l__t__r_1t1x__y__f__o__z__ i__j__s__e__h_1006886_ii__vi__&gclid=CIemvoij6NMCFZWUGAodyXICkw

I'm becoming a fully fledged MAMIL.

swissroll
11-05-2017, 04:38 PM
My first bike in 30 years is an entry level Boardman, drilled disk brakes - my first car had drum brakes - things have changed...

Before you buy, think about suspension, even a bit of grit transmits straight up through the frame into me and with dodgy knees something more compliant would have been a better choice

cardiffeagle
11-05-2017, 06:33 PM
My first bike in 30 years is an entry level Boardman, drilled disk brakes - my first car had drum brakes - things have changed...

Before you buy, think about suspension, even a bit of grit transmits straight up through the frame into me and with dodgy knees something more compliant would have been a better choice

Think about suspension, or also, think about mateiri. Steel over aluminium for ride comfort every time.

stevek
11-05-2017, 08:07 PM
I'm a big fan of steel.

Palace121
12-05-2017, 10:52 AM
Ask to ride. It's all there is to it. Any decent shop should be able to get your position right enough so that you are comfortable. Experiment with different rides and see what feels right. Bearing in mind you're recovering from a knee injury, they should be able to give you some solid advice on appropriate use of gearing as well.

Where do you test it? Can you take it out?

Bit of a silly question but how do I get it home??

melteagle
12-05-2017, 11:09 AM
Dear adman50,

Just over a month ago I completed the N2 in Portugal(Chaves to Faro - approx 740kms) on a Specialized Sirrus and didn't have a problem - I've recently bought a Merida Ride Disc 5000(2017 model) which is excellent but the Ultegra gears are taking some getting used to after the 'rapid fire' on the Sirrus.

Can recommend the trip for those into long distance riding

spunky
12-05-2017, 11:30 AM
Where do you test it? Can you take it out?

Bit of a silly question but how do I get it home??

most bike shops will let you take a bike out of the shop for a short test ride, I ask customers to leave a form of ID and a credit / debit card as security, other shops approve a transaction for the value of the bike then cancel it when you get back, and im sure there are lots of other systems in place.

I tend to point customers to some of the less busy residential roads near the shop.

I also insist that the ground is dry before letting any stock bikes out on the road.

Best way of getting a new bike home is to ride it, or most bikes will fit comfortably inside most cars, you may need to take wheels off