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Re: Newbie after free advice

16 September, 2013 09:55AM
Hi PeteD,

With what you describe as your commuting ride, it sounds as if a hybrid bike would be a good place to start. These have medium width tyres (35 or 38 mm) so are quite reasonable on road and can cope with moderate off-road conditions.

Best place to buy from is a specialist cycle shop (not Halfords). Have a look around your area (home and/or work), preferably visit several such shops, explain what you want to do with a bike, see what advice you get from shop assistants, see which shop you feel comfortable with.

At the lower end of the market, you are looking at £250 to £350 for a new bike which will last you a few years. If leaving it all day at a station you probably need to get a high quality lock, with a cable to go round both wheels as well. For cycling in wet or even damp conditions you should have mudguards (may come as standard with the bike). If cycling in the dark you will need lights (LED lights are very good for long battery life, but don't provide that much illumination in unlit areas). At this end of the market, suspension is probably not worth having (extra weight and something else to go wrong).

Up to you as to whether or not you get a cycle helmet. On a personal level I would strongly recommend a helmet, but I would strongly argue against any attempt to make them compulsory since I don't think the evidence is particularly clear cut either way.

Personally I don't like carrying anything on my back while cycling, so you might like to consider a rack and panniers (there are some smart-looking panniers available nowadays).

Given your age and slightly dodgy knees, I would recommend that you get the gears changed at time of purchase to give you slightly lower gears - many bikes as supplied have gearing suitable for a strongish 25 year old. The simplest way of lowering the gearing is to make the chain rings smaller; the chain rings are the big sprockets attached to the pedals - most hybrids have three of these. The standard sizes for these three chain rings are often 28-38-48 (these numbers are the number of teeth on each chain ring). To lower all the gears get these three replaced by a set of size 22-32-42 (this may involve changing the front gear change mechanism as well = front deraileur). From my experience, cycling in Wales towing a trailer, you want lots of low gears for that area.

Good luck with your cycling.

- Murray
Subject Author Posted

Newbie after free advice

PeteD 15 September, 2013 02:41PM

Re: Newbie after free advice

Murray R Langton 16 September, 2013 09:55AM

Re: Newbie after free advice

PeteD 24 September, 2013 07:25PM

Re: Newbie after free advice

Murray R Langton 25 September, 2013 08:32AM


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