Recreational cycling

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Recreational cycling

Post by Lumbering_Jack on Wed 17 Oct 2012, 6:12 pm

Any riders (of the cycling variety) among us?

Recently started a new job with no parking spaces so have been doing to 5 mile commute on my bike. Got to say, I really enjoy it, so much so I am thinking of joining a club. Had to recently give up boxing due to not being allowed black eyes at work (apparently it gives a bad impression to the clients I have to meet once in a blue moon), looking for something new to compete in. Anybody do anything similar, either power riding or endurance (I assume they are the right terms).

I'm also after a new bike, any recomendations. Must be from Halfords, 750-1000 range... Fancy a racing type...

Lumbering_Jack

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Re: Recreational cycling

Post by Lumbering_Jack on Thu 25 Oct 2012, 8:32 am

Obviously just a forum of fatties.

Riding the bike in your cases obviously means 2 minutes on top of your lass...

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Re: Recreational cycling

Post by dummy_half on Thu 25 Oct 2012, 11:36 am

Sorry LJ, hadn't seen your post before.

Pretty sure most of the contributors to this board ride at least reasonably frequenly, although I'm not sure we have anyone who races competetively (had a couple of very serious riders on the old 606, but they didn't migrate here).

As for what bike to buy, for the budget you state, I'd steer clear of Halfords (they don't have much choice on road bikes in that range - basically a Boardman or nothing). If you want to use a chain, Evans Cycles is much better set up for selling mid-range road bikes. Alternatively, Wiggle.co.uk usually has very competetive prices but you obviously have the problem that you would have difficulty sorting out a test ride.

I'm sure though Newcastle has at least a couple of good independent bike shops, and they would certainly be able to show you a range of bikes in your budget. What you choose will obviously be at least in part based on personal preference and will depend on your size and shape (I take it being a boxer you're in reasonable shape but have more upper body muscle mass than most cyclists - I went from playing rugby, so am somewhat similar).

One bit of generic advice though - if it comes down to a choice between a couple, go for the bike with the better frame and wheels and lower spec components - it's cheaper and easier to improve what you have if the most important fundamentals are sound.

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Re: Recreational cycling

Post by Lumbering_Jack on Thu 25 Oct 2012, 12:05 pm

Thanks dummy, much appreciated. I'm looking to potentially shop at halfords as they are the only place which my work do the cycle to work scheme through. I agree though, they don't have a lot and I get the impression that the bikes are built by muppets.

Had a look on ebay last night, they have some real terrific offers, although obviosuly used.

Any particular make you would suggest for someone of my size, build. 5'10, 13st, basically as you've described, without turning this into a mince fest, reasonable upper body but also big legs from my weight lifting days, speaking of which I'm going to have to get back into, cyclists are too skinny!!


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Re: Recreational cycling

Post by dummy_half on Thu 25 Oct 2012, 12:43 pm

LJ
I wouldn't know enough about what's out there to suggest any particular bike / manufacturer, but at your size you'll need something with a particularly stiff frame - again, probably the good local bike shops will be best placed to help.

If your work only does the 'cycle to work' scheme for purchases from Halfords then it's a crap version of the scheme. Most companies will help with purchases from any authorised store, whether a national chain or a local specialist. I'd double-check that if I was you.

As for buying second hand, it can be a good option to stretch a limited budget (I picked up a bike for half it's retail price through Loot while a student - it had been ridden once, and still even had the hairs on the tyres). You do have to be careful though to be sure you only buy something that has been hardly used - anything that has been dropped or crashed must be avoided because you can't tell if there is a crack in the frame (particularly an issue with carbon frames). For your budget and level of riding experience, I'm not convinced you'd notice the difference in quality and performance between what you can afford new and 2nd hand (and of course 2nd hand definitely won't be covered by 'cycle to work').

Anyway, hope some of this is helpful.

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Re: Recreational cycling

Post by Big on Thu 25 Oct 2012, 2:00 pm

Hello there.

Lack of response is probably more to do with the fact that there aren't too many races on at the minute and therefore not many posters checking the board.

Another bike rider as well as fan here. Personally I do a slightly longer commute by bike (Durham to Newcastle) which keeps me reasonably fit, and I do race albeit in triathlons and duathlons rather than bike races. For what it's worth I'm very much of the view that you don't need to spend a vast amount on a bike for it to serve you well. My main bike is an old Raleigh that I got for about £160 (would have been about £500) as a faulty product from their factory shop (there's probably a smudge in the paint somewhere, but I'm yet to find it). In terms of the bikes at Halfords, I know a couple of fairly serious cyclists that have bought Boardman bikes and both say they are pretty decent. So they're probably worth a try. Have a spin on a few though if they'll let you and see what feels most comfortable.

What's more important is learning how to look after and maintain your bike. You'll get a better ride and more longevity from a £500-£600 bike that is well looked after than a bike worth £2000 that isn't - I know, 'Ive had both. I've been looking after bikes for the best part of 20 years, so it's pretty much second nature by now and it was all learnt from other cyclists back then. However, if you want to learn now there are probably plenty of service and repair tutorials on Youtube and Haynes might even do a manual for bikes.

Good luck with it!

Big

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