Bike Advice

Discussion in 'Sports, Adventure Training and Events' started by amazing__lobster, Jan 2, 2011.

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  1. Hi guys, I'm looking for some advice as I plan to buy a bike.

    Basically, after living in a stunning part of North Wales for several years, I've decided it's about time I bought a bike so I can explore the place a bit better (like Anglesey etc). I've had bikes before, but never a decentish one... So now I think it's about time I did. Only problem is - I know nothing about bikes.

    This is where you lot come in.

    I don't really want to spend above £400, hopefully this can get a reasonable bike. I want to be able to use it for covering long distances, and although I'll probably mainly use roads I don't want to limit myself so it should be able to go off road/non-metaled roads etc. I've had a quick look at Halfords Website, but something tells me I should probably steer clear.

    So any advice from you guys can give would be much appreciated!

  2. I went on AT last summer for the first time in ages in North Wales. On the Mountain biking day we did about 20Km on all kinds of terrain. We rented bikes from a local bloke-Giant was the name of the rental bikes. All the lads thought they were tops as a mid price range-go anywhere bike. They start at around £300.
    Hope this helps.
  3. Cheers BJD - that's great advice! I'm looking at their website now.
  4. Some places, possibly Llandegla (or however you spell it) sell ex hire mountain bikes, which are pretty good value for money. Worth a look there, and you can try the bike out on the trails before you buy.
  5. Do not go to Halfords: the prices are crap, the staff are clueless and in most stores the stock is very limited.
    If you know which are the good independent local bike shops, use one. The staff will know what they are doing, they will advise you properly, indicating the most suitable bike they stock for your budget - and making sure it fits and is set up correctly. Most will give some form of unofficial loyalty discount, and will get in the odd exotic part you would like. If you don't know which are the good LBSs, discover your nearest cyclists pubs (normally just outside of a town, with a beer garden, filled with bikes on a Sunday morning/lunchtime), and ask the local cyclists, they'll be happy to point you in the right direction.

    For your intended use (depending on your definition of long distances) and budget, you will probably be best sticking with one of the big manufacturers and some form of hybrid or tourer (£400 will probably be a little too low for an entry-level cyclo-cross bike*). At this time of year there should still be plenty of 2010 stock clearance bargains to be had, too.
    Specialized Sirrus and;
    Trek 7.1 FX; are but two to give you an idea.

    Remember that half-decent bikes do not come with pedals, so they, along with shoes, need to be budgeted for, as well as helmet, multi-tool, puncture kit, suitable attire and all the other odd accoutrements that make cycling more pleasurable. As you are new to the sport, make sure the bike is specced with a triple chainring, or book yourself in for knee-replacement surgery. And budget for trying out lots of saddles, until you find one that works (this is where a good LBS really comes into their own).

    *A second-hand entry-level cyclo-cross would probably be best and would be available for your budget, but if you know nothing about bikes you may want the input of someone that does to make sure that a) it's not a dud and b) it fits you (a really nice LBS may help you with the latter).
  6. Go for a hard tail* mountain bike.
    This will give you the option of mixing it up a bit offroad, but also be comfortable onroad.

    Go with a local independant bike shop, they tend to know a lot more than Halfords as generally anyone who works in the shop rides themselves. If you try/see a bike you like, you could try looking online for a cheaper price. Evans Cycles are a good benchmark, although their website is currently down as I type this.

    Personally I'd stick with the main manufacturers, Giant, Specialised, Kona, Trek, even Mongoose.

    *Hardtail means it has suspension on the forks of the front wheel, but none on the rear wheel. You won't be able to do serious downhilling, but you can climb and have a lot of fun going down gentler slopes, ideal for cross country riding. It's also easier to ride on tarmac.
  7. Thanks for the advice guys - especially the detailed replies from Otter & Miner. Also thanks Burgernipples - I had a look at those.

    I'm still going to do a bit more research, but another friend suggested (also an ARRSEr) suggested I look to getting a secondhand cyclo-cross (because I'd also like to do long distance camping type stuff) - although I'll check out the hardtails too.
  8. You'd be surprised at the deals you can get in some of the independent bike shops. I got a nice hard tail a few weeks before Christmas, cost me £600. It was on sale in the shop for £950, and at the start of 2010 had an RRP of £1200 :)
  9. if it helps try google for chainreaction and built your own one i did mine search for all parts and let them built the bike i was looking at was 1500 and i got away with just 700 pounds might be a look worthwhile