the right bike!

Here is the place to post the more serious issues surrounding commuting, bike and kit questions, and buying advice
montee
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 16:22 pm

the right bike!

Postby montee » Mon Nov 12, 2012 19:55 pm

hi
i've joined bikeradar cos i need help!

i'm 54, very overweight but i want to take up cycling, mainly just on the road, not bothered about going on towpaths etc ....the trouble is where i live its ALL hills very little flat!! I've been told i need a mountain bike cos theyve got better gears for going up hills but then ive been told i want a hybrid because theyre better for road riding...so now i'm confused! can someone pleeaase advise? thanks in advance

pdw
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 23:32 pm

Re: the right bike!

Postby pdw » Mon Nov 12, 2012 20:33 pm

You definitely don't need a mountain bike to ride up hills on the road.

If you're going to be staying on the roads, you should probably get a road bike. Road bikes typically come with three different types of gearing: standard double, compact double and triple. This refers to the number and size of the gears you get at the front. A standard double has two gears at the front, both of them fairly high (i.e. hard). A compact double also has two gears, both of them lower (i.e. easier) than a standard double. A triple gives you three gears at the front, the lowest of which will be very low, and should get you up just about any hill.

In your position, I'd be looking at either a compact double or a triple. A good bike shop should be able to advise you on this, and should let you try a few bikes so you can see the difference for yourself.

Personally, I wouldn't look at a hybrid, as they always strike me as a poor compromise - not as good as road bike on the road, and not much good off road. I know a few people who've started out with a hybrid and have wanted to switch to a road bike within a few months.

montee
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2012 16:22 pm

Re: the right bike!

Postby montee » Mon Nov 12, 2012 20:38 pm

thanks very much i appreciate it! any particular make or model in mind? i'm probably going to buy second hand; around the £200 mark; i'm guessing a new bike of the kind you are recommending would cost an awful lot more!

pdw
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 23:32 pm

Re: the right bike!

Postby pdw » Mon Nov 12, 2012 21:41 pm

The Btwin Triban 3 gets very good reviews, and can be had new for £299 from Decathlon. If you're looking to spend less than that then I'd definitely look at second hand. I'd be pretty wary of any bikes (road or otherwise) sold new for less than that, as quality typically drops off very sharply...

Headhuunter
Posts: 6334
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:16 am

Re: the right bike!

Postby Headhuunter » Tue Nov 13, 2012 08:57 am

A lot of people here will be quick to recommend you get a road bike and this might be the right advice but it's all very subjective. I wouldn't be so quick to write off a hybrid. The best thing to do would be to try a couple yourself and see how they feel. If you're unfit and overweight in a hilly area you'll probably want quite low gearing so you can spin up hills, so try to go for compact gearing like a compact triple (50/34/20 something) with a high ratio cassette like 12-27 or so.

A hybrid will give you a more upright riding position and some find that more reassuring and comfortable, however a road bike will give you more positions for your arms and hands (the tops, the drops etc). You could consider a tourer which would give you a slightly more relaxed road bike style with drop bars but with low gearing for the hills and the possibility to fit mudguards and/or racks.

Unless you plan to ride off road, I wouldn't bother with a mountain bike, especially not one with suspension.
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MichaelW
Posts: 2155
Joined: Thu May 15, 2003 11:09 am

Re: the right bike!

Postby MichaelW » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:40 am

montee wrote:hi
i've joined bikeradar cos i need help!

i'm 54, very overweight but i want to take up cycling, mainly just on the road, not bothered about going on towpaths etc ....the trouble is where i live its ALL hills very little flat!! I've been told i need a mountain bike cos theyve got better gears for going up hills but then ive been told i want a hybrid because theyre better for road riding...so now i'm confused! can someone pleeaase advise? thanks in advance


For hills you need a triple, the compact double is really for more sportier riders who aren't quite racing. They come in different sizes, the smaller the better for you. My touring bike has an MTB sized triple (26/36/46) and I can wind up the steepest off hills with ease. 28/38/48 is a reasonable size for everyday riding. You may spin out on big descents but you will have a decent low gear. At the rear, you can get 12-28 or 12-32. This kind of gearing is typically found on hybrid bikes and some tourers esp Audax style light touring road bikes.
I know there is little love for hybrids on here but they are not so bad. A modern one without suspension, like a Boardman disc hybrid is light-weight, efficient and practical for everyday use. If you ever get the touring bug, you can extend your handhold options with a trekking style bar but retain all the hybrid/MTB style controls.

You will want adaquate tyre clearance for your needs, some mudgaurd fittings and maybe a luggage rack. You may not want to fit rack and mudguards but having the option (by threaded eyelets on the frame and wheel clearance) extends the usefulness of your bike.

In the used market, you have to take what you can find and hybrids are far more common than Audax or touring bikes and usually lowere priced.

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Daddy0
Posts: 591
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 16:02 pm

Re: the right bike!

Postby Daddy0 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 21:26 pm

Hello!

for £200 you're at the mercy of what you can find.

I did the same thing in the summer, spent £150 on a 6 year old Scott Sportster. It seemed OK, but the tyres, inner tubes, chain, freewheel, cassette and pedals were knackered. So, it wasn't OK! So I ended up spending more money fixing it up. I also changed the suspension forks for rigid ones. All in all I ended up spending £270 on top of the original cost of the bike (i.e. £420). Thats not including and accessories such as lights, helmet, bags, clothes...

Basically, its a money trap. Same a old second hand cars.

Save up, buy a new bike from your local shop.

Get a road bike with a triple chain ring.


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