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Thinking of buying a bicycle.

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Thinking of buying a bicycle.

After still being successfully off cigarettes for almost 2 months now I now have this strange urge to take up cycling again. Not sure if this is my body looking for more exercise, a new activity to pass time or maybe just scared that this is the year I turn 30.
I am confused by the massive range in bicycles. Do I really need to spend several hundred pounds or would a bicycle for less than £100 in a Halfords sale be ok?
The mountain bike I had as a teenager was certainly not expensive but withstood years of abuse in the countryside. No fancy disc brakes or suspension so do I really need those things?
36 REPLIES
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 25,755
Thanks: 1,120
Fixes: 47
Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: Thinking of buying a bicycle.

The advice of a good independent cycle shop should be sought as they will be able to match you with your ideal bike and extract from you as much of your cash as humanly possible.
Customer and Forum Moderator.
Product of the Tyrell Corporation
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Thinking of buying a bicycle.

Exactly why I am looking for advice from existing cyclists. No matter how good a shop is, thier sole job is to do exactly as you said.
I like to know exactly what I am buying before entering any shop so I am not left open to being sold an item that I may not need and a price I did not need to pay.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Thinking of buying a bicycle.

is there no local freegle round your way?  you could ask for one and get accustomed to it before committing yourself to lots of money.
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 17,246
Thanks: 903
Fixes: 102
Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Thinking of buying a bicycle.

Whatever you do please do not buy a full suspension bike, there really is no need same goes for front suspension too.
You've not really said what you want it for?
I would say if you're happy with the weight and size then go for it, make sure that it's built by the shop though - don't go for a flat pack one.
But remember you do get what you pay for..
Will Moderate For Thanks
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Re: Thinking of buying a bicycle.

Sean - this might be a bit controversial, but I advise that you go and lie down until the feeling wears off!  Wink
Years ago I had a very nice lightweight sporty type of bike with lots of gears (Raleigh), which I chose because I live in a hilly area.
It was all very nice when I got off the main roads but the problem was that I had to go on them to get off them and it was a bit of a nightmare.
Nowadays the traffic is much worse and you risk life and limb with some of the big lorries and reckless car drivers, not to mention the pollution from traffic fumes.
Of course it might be much quieter where you live.
Get a dog and have some nice long walks away from it all is my advice.
Addnan
Grafter
Posts: 415
Registered: 14-08-2009

Re: Thinking of buying a bicycle.

I got a bicycle from the Halford sale for £80 about 2 years ago now. It is still working perfectly, I ride it long distances without any problems. Halfords let you test the bycylce in their shop so just jump on and do a lap of the store.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,510
Thanks: 219
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Thinking of buying a bicycle.

Where do you work these days Sean?  My employer offer a salary sacrifice scheme which can get us upto 40% off new bikes at certain shops in the name of being green.
Phil
craigyoung
Grafter
Posts: 208
Registered: 06-09-2007

Re: Thinking of buying a bicycle.

We spent £150 on a bike for commuting to the station.  Also use it for the odd bit of training on the roads and it's been absolutely fine.  Think it's a Giant. So you sshouldn;t need to spend too much, partciaulry if you're starting off.
Alternatively, follow a paper boy and wait for him to leave his bike at a garden gate.
Lurker
Grafter
Posts: 1,867
Registered: 23-10-2008

Re: Thinking of buying a bicycle.

Quote from: pjmarsh
My employer offer a salary sacrifice scheme which can get us upto 40% off new bikes at certain shops in the name of being green.

Up to 50%... If you pay enough tax... (Have to earn over £150k in the tax year 2010/2011 to pay tax at the 50% rate.)
Smiley
johpal
Grafter
Posts: 550
Registered: 20-04-2008

Re: Thinking of buying a bicycle.

Sean,
Congratulations on having stopped smoking.
In my youth, I lived in Amsterdam and bought a bike (I still have it, 27 years later, in excellent condition), that was "made to measure" in one of the many cycle shops in the city. May I suggest taking a look at the following, to see if it can help you decide on what type of bike you want.
http://www.jimlangley.net/crank/howtobuyabike1.html
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,820
Thanks: 1,112
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Thinking of buying a bicycle.

Of course, you will ALWAYS get off the bike to negotiate obstacles.......................... won`t
http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/stunts/bike_crash_9/#15759
Grin Grin Grin Grin
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Thinking of buying a bicycle.

I'm no an expert on bicycles, but I had similar feelings last year and maybe I will do the same this year.
But I was advised to find a activity centre that offers bicycling holidays wher they hire you a bike and you ride it along paths / roads etc etc .
You get a chance to try out various bikes and you see if you really like it.
They offer lots of advice and no pressure to buy.
We have places around here in Scotland - but I'm sure you have them too in Ireland ?
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Thinking of buying a bicycle.

If you can afford it try Centre Parcs  http://www.centerparcs.co.uk/thingstodo/cycle_centre.jsp
Simon_M
Grafter
Posts: 684
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Thinking of buying a bicycle.

As adiewoo say, so much depends on what your objectives are.
Is it purely for exercise - an exercise bike where the scenery moves? Or is it also to be a means of transport - do you actually want to go somewhere, do something when you get there, then come home again (pub, maybe, so long as you're not a binge drinker). Do you want to go off-road?
If the objective is mainly exercise, there's not much point in paying a lot of money for the lightest, fastest, most efficient bike unless you want to enter races. You will get more exercise on something that's cheaper & less efficient. Avoid very high pressure, skinny tyres for the same reason.
Against that, you need something that is reliable & fun to ride, or the motivation will quickly fade. Get enough gears to cope with your local hills - it always looks a bit naff if you have to get off & push.  Embarrassed  I'm old & knackered & live on a hill, so mine has 21 gears & the lowest is pretty low for a road bike.  Smiley