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    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
     
    So we've had cars now it's time to discuss bikes! We're considering buying a bike each (ladies and gents, if that makes a difference?) and cycling far more.

    We live in a rural location and can cycle into town without using main roads, but it's been years since I bought a bike, so was wondering what you would recommend and why
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
     
    Posted By: Triassicwas wondering what you would recommend


    well, my choice would be for a HELMET...

    Posted By: Triassic and why


    so that no boy-racer with his hat firmly on back-to-front in his old man's BM?, will ruin your week-end...

    :bigsmile:

    gg
    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016 edited
     
    As helmets are so cheap I'd expect to get one thrown in with each bike.

    A neighbour mentioned some sort of subsidised bike purchase scheme. Anyone got any links as the neighbour could not remember the details!
  1.  
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycle_to_Work_scheme

    Returning to cycling, I found my knees aren't what they were - start gently.

    A basket or panniers makes it more useful.

    Edit: avoid heavy energy-sucking knobbly tyres (unless you plan to cycle in deep mud, in which case get a second bike). Get a great lock and lights. Think how much you'll save on petrol and don't stint on spending some of it on a decent bike you enjoy riding. Independent bike shop will let you try before you buy.
    •  
      CommentAuthornigel
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
     
    Have a look at a hybrid, flat handles bars, front suspension and lots of gears. Ideal for general use.

    Buy a half decent one and you might even enjoy it but avoid the cheap rubbish like Appollo.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
     
    Get a couple of second hand ones, you may hate it (it rains a lot in the UK).

    Like Hi-Fi, there is a lot of nonsense spoken about bikes. Back in the 80's I did thousand of miles to go and see my sister who was working in West Africa. I did it on an old bike I found abandoned in a stream. It was a Sun. Put a 32/50 chain ring on it and a 14/28 block on the new 700c rim. Probably cost me all of 50 quid. I still have the wheels on my Crabtrees, 31 years on.
  2.  
    I'd second a hybrid. I have a Specialized Sirrus Elite which has been a real workhorse taking me to work and back nearly every day for eight years. Panniers are a good idea to carry the shipping.

    The cycle to work scheme is great to get a tax free bike, but your employer has to offer it, not something you can do for yourself.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2016
     
    Posted By: SteamyTeaBack in the 80's I did thousand of miles to go and see my sister who was working in West Africa. I did it on an old bike I found abandoned in a stream.
    :clap:
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2016
     
    There were times on that trip I wish I had left it there!
    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2016
     
    Posted By: richardelliotThe cycle to work scheme is great to get a tax free bike, but your employer has to offer it, not something you can do for yourself.
    Do they do a cycling for the retired scheme!
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2016 edited
     
    If the two of you have different riding abilities, get a tandem. Sociable and no pressure to ride fast if your the slower one or to ride slower if your the faster one.

    Whatever you do, get it secondhand and save your self £100's
    • CommentAuthorSimon Still
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2016 edited
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: gyrogear</cite><blockquote><cite>Posted By: Triassic</cite>was wondering what you would recommend</blockquote>

    well, my choice would be for a HELMET...

    gg</blockquote>

    Well, that would be a bad start. Why add un-neccessary and ineffective barriers to him cycling? There's a good summation of the evidence and arguments around helmets here and I won't repeat it all.
    http://beyondthekerb.org.uk/2014/01/06/the-brick-wall/
    and
    http://beyondthekerb.org.uk/tag/helmets/
    In summary though -
    - In the Netherlands, the country with the largest cycling share of journeys in the world, only 1 in 1000 wear a helmet
    - Cycling is not a fundamentally dangerous activity. No more so than walking and no-one suggests helmets for pedestrians. In fact the largest number of head injuries are vehicle occupants - driving helmets anyone? (Yes for motorsport which is why yes also for cyclesport, but not for going to the shops).
    - If you're going to get hit by a boy racer in a car a cycle helmet, designed for impacts up to 15mph, is as good as useless anyway.
    http://www.cycle-helmets.com/imgs/helmet-cartoon.jpg


    As to choice of bike, the Dutch have a lot to teach us on utility bikes. For practicality -

    - Mudguards - You actually get rained on far less often than you'd imagine but the roads are often damp or wet and it's much more pleasant if that's not spraying all over you.
    - Hub gears. Cleaner, less maintenance, less sensitive to knocks.
    - Built in dynamo lights. Battery LED lights are cheap and effective but you batteries do run out at the least convenient moment and you still need to remember to remove your lights when you park and have them with you for the time you didn't expect to be out after dark (or it clouds over/starts raining).
    - rack and panniers for carrying luggage.

    (and a possibility - belt drive - clean and doesn't need oiling - but still fairly rare and expensive).

    I'm not sure how many hills you have to tackle but that will influence how much gearing you need.

    The IKEA bike looks interesting -
    http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/ikea-s-bike-range-the-details/019447

    Something like this -
    http://www.velorution.com/bikes/mens/electra-loft-mens-7i-brushed-aluminium.html

    This German manufactuer makes very well thought out machines:
    http://www.bikefix.co.uk/fahrradmanufaktur sells in the UK
    but wider range on their website - https://www.fahrradmanufaktur.de

    This looks exceptionally well thought out apart from the lack of a proper pannier rack (I've seen it and the one fitted is not up to heavy loads like shopping) but ticks all the other boxes - mudguards, hub gears, lights, belt drive.
    https://www.canyon.com/en-gb/urban/commuter/commuter-4-0.html
    • CommentAuthorSimon Still
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2016 edited
     
    If you are somewhere hilly, or want to think about longer distances and are worried about fitness, electric bikes are a real option. For many people they're a serious option to get about without a car. I don't have a need for one now but can see myself having one in the future.

    WRT cheap or second hand bikes they can be a bargain but you'd not enjoy owning a car which you couldn't sit in comfortably or where only some of the gears worked. A bike isn't any different. In the same way as cars not everything depreciates at the same rate - good stuff holds its value, cheap stuff is worthless immediately it leaves the showroom.
  3.  
    I agree with Simon that electric bikes could be huge. I cycle for the exercise but if it was about needing to get somewhere or I had further to go I'd definitely look at one.
    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2016
     
    I like the idea of the IKEA bikes, but will two gears be practical as we do have the odd hill here in Cumbria!

    The Canyon computer bike range look good.

    My wife likes the idea of an electric bike to help on the hills. Luckily we have a local bike shop that hires out electric bikes, plus a good selection of MBT and other bikes, so I think we'll take a selection for a spin before we commit to buying something. Mind you, my last bike, bought 25 years ago was an ex hire bike and it's been a great investment.
  4.  
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: Triassic</cite>I like the idea of the IKEA bikes, but will two gears be practical as we do have the odd hill here in Cumbria!
    </blockquote>

    Indeed you do - which is exactly why I'll be up there in July with my mountain bike.....

    I've only ever looked at mountain bikes in the shops there so don't know what they stock in the way of utility bikes but I'm sure the lovely Amos at Keswick bikes would give good advice
    • CommentAuthorGotanewlife
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2016 edited
     
    Weeeeell, when I'm doing 30+ mph with 3 or 4 mates on our roads I can tell you I feel vulnerable - a mistake by a mate, a sudden flat, that unexpected big hole, a load of rain gravel over the road on a corner, the outcome from a scare from an animal/pedestrian/car, carbon fibre fork failure (not catastrophic and at low speed thank God) are all reasons to leave me a right mess, covered in blood and in hospital - all fixable though unless I hit my head. So if your cycling like a pedestrian by all means forgo the helmet - but for anything else put it on. Apart from that I couldn't agree with you more Simon.

    Actually on second thoughts I would go for a spring loaded saddle stem not suspension - for most hybrid type applications anyway. Wife and I have used both types on our bikes together and separately.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2016
     
    MBT? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_battle_tank ? Well, they have two tracks… Is it just an anagram of MounTain Bike or something more specific?
    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2016 edited
     
    A mountain bike or mountain bicycle (abbreviated MTB; or ATB, for all-terrain bicycle) is a bicycle created for off-road cycling.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_bike
    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2016 edited
     
    Posted By: Simon Still which is exactly why I'll be up there in July with my mountain bike.....


    From Wheelbase in Stavely, taking in Garburn, Kentmere, Longsleddle, over to Haweswater, back over Gatescarth Pass to Kentmere and Stavely. Finish with a meal in Wilfs Cafe.

    High Street or Helvellyn are both classics that should be done at least once in a lifetime, or If you're in Scotland the tour of Ben Nevis or the tour of the Cuillins.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2016
     
    Perhaps rent or borrow a bike for a few days first. Cycle the route you plan to take at the right time of day.
  5.  
    Posted By: TriassicSo we've had cars now it's time to discuss bikes! We're considering buying a bike each (ladies and gents, if that makes a difference?) and cycling far more.

    We live in a rural location and can cycle into town without using main roads, but it's been years since I bought a bike, so was wondering what you would recommend and why

    Why are you going to cycle? If its to get from A - B as fast as practicable with the least effort then buy a good bike and an expensive padlock, if its to get fit then any old bone shaker in reasonable nick would do because if it takes more effort to get along - well it doesn't matter because the aim is to get fit = exercise. If the second option then paint it in garish colours and a cheap padlock will do as no one is likely to steal it anyway!
    • CommentAuthorSimon Still
    • CommentTimeMay 21st 2016 edited
     
    Posted By: Triassic
    Posted By: Simon Stillwhich is exactly why I'll be up there in July with my mountain bike.....


    From Wheelbase in Stavely, taking in Garburn, Kentmere, Longsleddle, over to Haweswater, back over Gatescarth Pass to Kentmere and Stavely. Finish with a meal in Wilfs Cafe.

    High Street or Helvellyn are both classics that should be done at least once in a lifetime, or If you're in Scotland the tour of Ben Nevis or the tour of the Cuillins.


    We are goingt to I be based at hawkshead so will start there most days.

    Garburn/Gatesgarth/Nan Bield is on the cards - a few years since I've ridden that. A big climb/long day. . Borrowdale bash from Keswick another favourite. Just hoping not too much "trail improvement" since we last visited.

    Can't wait.
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2016
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: Simon Still</cite><blockquote><cite>Posted By: gyrogear</cite><blockquote><cite>Posted By: Triassic</cite>was wondering what you would recommend</blockquote>

    well, my choice would be for a HELMET...

    gg</blockquote>

    Well, that would be a bad start. Why add un-neccessary and ineffective barriers to him cycling? There's a good summation of the evidence and arguments around helmets here and I won't repeat it all.
    <a href="http://beyondthekerb.org.uk/2014/01/06/the-brick-wall/" rel="nofollow">http://beyondthekerb.org.uk/2014/01/06/the-brick-wall/</a>
    and
    <a href="http://beyondthekerb.org.uk/tag/helmets/" rel="nofollow">http://beyondthekerb.org.uk/tag/helmets/</a>
    In summary though -
    - In the Netherlands, the country with the largest cycling share of journeys in the world, only 1 in 1000 wear a helmet
    - Cycling is not a fundamentally dangerous activity. No more so than walking and no-one suggests helmets for pedestrians. In fact the largest number of head injuries are vehicle occupants - driving helmets anyone? (Yes for motorsport which is why yes also for cyclesport, but not for going to the shops).
    - If you're going to get hit by a boy racer in a car a cycle helmet, designed for impacts up to 15mph, is as good as useless anyway.
    <a href="http://www.cycle-helmets.com/imgs/helmet-cartoon.jpg" rel="nofollow">http://www.cycle-helmets.com/imgs/helmet-cartoon.jpg</a></blockquote>

    You must be joking suggesting not wearing a helmet?? Having split 2 helmets in off road tumbles over the last couple of decades, I certainly wouldnt want to be without one.

    Comparing UK road cycling to the Netherlands isnt really comparing eggs with eggs. Theres a totally positive attitude towards cyclists in the netherlands whereas over here many people see cyclists as a nuisance to be run off the road at every oppourtunity.
  6.  
    Think I will stick with the tractor. Goes about the same speed as a bike but you can see over the hedges and people get out your way. Nice quiet dry cab with air con to keep you cool in summer.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2016 edited
     
    I have never bothered with a helmet, mainly due to never having bothered with one.
    Occasionally when doing some time trials, other clubs insisted that competitors wore them, so I borrowed 'a pound of sausages' as they were approved.

    Now gloves are a different matter. Possible less head and face scrapes (hate to all them injuries, as real cycles just get back on the bike and carry on) if people bothered with gloves and bothered to put their hands down on the tarmac at 35 MPH.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBtCaLYFKjo
    I was there, looked really painful. But he made it across the line, eventually.

    A helmet did not help Casartelli 4 years later. I was not at that stage.
    There is something especially sad about a domestique dying.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg2wGZq2Dm4
    • CommentAuthorSimon Still
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2016 edited
     
    Helmet on the mountain bike and the road bike. Rarely on the utility bike or folder (maybe if it's really cold -good for keeping head warm.).

    Gloves always.
  7.  
    I went back to cycling a couple of years ago, and cycle regularly now.

    My comments:

    1 - Avoid debates with helmet nerds, or anti-helmet nerds. These people are the Rhodes Must Fall of cycling. Do your thing whatever it is, and be happy. Helmets are likely to help you in low speed accidents (<15mph) or if your head lands badly (eg kerb), but not make much difference otherwise. If you buy one, get an easy to fit one (adjusted via skull ring not the strap) that is inexpensive not cheap - my advice is to find a £50 helmet at £30 or half-price in a sale.

    2 - Get a cheapish bike first so that you can work out whether you want to get serious (a good buke makes a hell of a difference). I'd suggest something like a Carrera (which is a £300-ish Halfords in house brand) hybrid. You want mounting points for mudguards and panniers front and back. It is worth paying for the extra bits - mudguards, lights, different tyres etc - at the start as they will only charge the difference and build it for you for free. Currently they have some reduced from £420 to £270.

    Also think carefully about disk-brakes, which are probably a better option than traditional rim-brakes. More hybrids are coming with them now.

    Check the gears carefully. In shop gears tend to be too high. If you are doing hills you will want something low for "twiddling" up hills and carrying shopping. In my book low means around 20-24 "gear inches". But you could change that later inexpensively.

    3 - Get decent, supple, largish, Kevlar-protected tyres for comfort. Would suggest a 35 or 37mm as a compromise. It may be £30-35 a tyre. Personally I swear by Schwalbe Marathon Supremes, but many others are also good.

    4 - You will want some cyclo-clothing. Starting with an Aldi special buy is as good a route as any. Watch the sizes. Cycle clothing tends to be the opposite of some fashionista women's clothing ranges, in that size XXXXXL in cyclo clothing is likely to be for someone of normal average size; there is a stick-insect chic. At Aldi, go in at 9am on the first day, and buy a full set of what you need (except that Aldi gloves are rubbish, but socks are good) in probably sizes, as you can take them all back, and they will vanish quickly.

    Yes get Hi Viz. You will get used to when and where you don't need it. On country lanes - yes. I use a cheap Hi Viz shower jacket, which when not wearing I strap to the pannier with a bungie as a big reflector.

    4 - Protect your arse somehow. Decent saddle or cyclo-shorts (Aldi is fine) with padding, under your clothes, is one way. Eventually you would become picky about saddles.

    5 - Discover the joys of sweat-wicking merino wool undergarments. Worth their weight in shivering sheep. Some people wear merino knickers rather than padded cyclo-shorts.

    6 - I am slightly concerned by your faith in what sound like minor roads. Really quiet roads are good, but fast for cars country lanes are some of the most dangerous. Take care.

    7 - MAKE SURE to avail yourself of the free cycling tuition offered by most Councils. Usually it is up to about 6-10 hours one-on-one or in small groups. Again, worth it's weight in gold for up to date technique and road conditions.

    8 - Shop around. The idea that you have to throw lots of money (some money, yes) at cycling is a bit of a porky-pie, because if you wait pretty much everything will be reduced by 30-40% in a sale somewhere every few months. All the big chains price match each other, and also each-others' websites, and have online sales.

    A good trick is to click-and collect at the online sale price, then price-match them.

    Get on the SportPursuit mailing list. 60%-off branded flash sales continually.

    9 - Dynamos and hub-gears. Yes, but probably a decision for your second bike unless you get very lucky.

    10 - Electric bikes are excellent but heavy, and you would need to spend £1000.

    11 - You will fall off. Be ready.

    12 - Think about joining British Cycling or the CTC. £30 or so, 10% off at larger cycling shops / websites, and included Third Party Insurance and Legal Cover. I am in BC.

    13 - Develop a relationship with your local Bike Shop as you are able.

    I now ride a £750 hybrid with various parts swapped out (eg three chain rings, bar ends on the handlebars), which does everything I need up to semi-rough trails.

    Best of luck.

    Ferdinand
  8.  
    Posted By: ferdinand2000

    1 - Avoid debates with helmet nerds, or anti-helmet nerds.

    3 - Get decent, supple, largish, Kevlar-protected tyres for comfort. Personally I swear by Schwalbe Marathon Supremes,

    7 - MAKE SURE to avail yourself of the free cycling tuition offered by most Councils.

    12 - Think about joining British Cycling or the CTC. 10% off at larger cycling shops / websites,

    Ferdinand


    All good advice from Ferdinand there. Especially no1. Apologies for that but red rag to a bull when it's the first comment.

    3) Marathons are great. I found Specialized Nimbus to the the *most* puncture resistant tyres I've had, and longest lasting, but with a compromise on ride quality and grip (making the rubber harder has a downside).

    7) is by far the best safety advice you've been given. and it's completely free.

    12) I've never thought to look for/get a discount online, only instore - which retailers offer it online?
  9.  
    A little more elucidation.

    >3) Marathons are great. I found Specialized Nimbus to the the *most* puncture resistant tyres I've had, and longest lasting, but with a compromise on ride quality and grip (making the rubber harder has a downside).

    There are many (at least a dozen) types of Marathons, and if you go to the Schwalbe website you can see them rated for speed / puncture resistance / grip etc.

    My Marathon Supremes are the lightest, fastest, probably grippiest (except for muddy trails as the tread is low, but I can always lower the pressure if needed), and comfortable, and good for puncture resistance (kevlar band), but not the most puncture resistant.

    At the other end Marathon Touring Pluses will probably let you cycle over drawing pins without puncturing, and are quite fast but more rigid, and less grippy, and are known as "Tractor Tyres" to sceptics. They are the normal tyres for ebikes and e-trikes.

    If you go for Schwalbe's (and also for some other things) check out German online bike supermarkets, bike-discount.de and bike24.de, which might save you 30-40% over the UK retail price of perhaps £50 per tyre.

    You pays your money...

    >12) I've never thought to look for/get a discount online, only instore - which retailers offer it online?

    All the big Brit places - Wiggle, Halfords, Evans, Chain Reaction, and a few others, may offer discounts, and will price match - often to online prices too. Also I use JE James of Chesterfield, which is local to me and significantly cheap on some items. Online discounts are also common. Halfords do £20 off if you spend £200 etc several times a year. Read the detail as to what they actually offer.

    Click and collect is a good option, and often a printed age from a competitor website will get a price match, which (in my experience at least at Halfords) you can get another 10% off by whipping out a relevant card at the end.

    Some of these also do Topcashback or Quidco.

    On any purchase over a few pounds I reckon to get 25-35% off the usual price (including my last new bike - £750 to £560).

    Morrisons will give you 10% off Halfords Gift Tokens via their Petrolsaver offer etc.

    If it is via Sport Pursuit I expect more like 50-60% off, which brings eg German lights down to normal-ish prices.

    Cheers

    Ferdinand
   
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