Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    9
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Returning to cycling - need help spending my money correctly!

    Relocating so the commute to work is only going to be 3 miles (rather than the 50+ I drive at the moment!). As a result I'm ditching the car and its expense of running and moving to the joys of cycling with the intention of some longer cycling for fitness - 20 to 50 mile ride each weekend (more enjoyable than the running)

    Looking at getting a decent bike - have up to £400 GBP to spend including any accessories. My limited knowledge is making me think of something like this Raleigh Urban 2 EQ Mens. (bit of a Raleigh fan, very impressed with them in the past and found a friends new one very good too)

    Is this the sort of thing I should be looking at or am I looking at completely the wrong thing? Any recommendations / suggestions / advice? For information:

    The city/surrounding area where I will live is hilly.

    Will sometimes be carrying equipment around with me such as a camera / small folder or laptop - Could get away with a carrier and just use a backpack, nonetheless it would be useful for longer trips if one is pre fitted.

    Will also need to get lights for the winter (dynamo or battery powered?) and a helmet.

    Fully aware I should give the bike a test ride before I buy - seeking advice on what bikes I should go and look for! - Any help hugely appreciated!
    Last edited by lt8480; 07-21-10 at 06:34 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ratell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    329
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The big question is drop bars. Drop bars will add to the price of a bike noticeably and some people will respond that the only way you can ride 50 miles is with a drop bar bike (which isn't true). However, if you do hope to do longer fitness rides you should consider it. If you aren't looking at a drop bar bike that raleigh looks like a very nice commuter.

    Dynamo lights are cool, but given that battery lights tend to last 3-6 months it's harder to justify the expense.
    2010 Masi Speciale CX
    1993 Mt. Shasta Cappella

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    9
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ratell View Post
    The big question is drop bars. Drop bars will add to the price of a bike noticeably and some people will respond that the only way you can ride 50 miles is with a drop bar bike (which isn't true). However, if you do hope to do longer fitness rides you should consider it. If you aren't looking at a drop bar bike that raleigh looks like a very nice commuter.

    Dynamo lights are cool, but given that battery lights tend to last 3-6 months it's harder to justify the expense.
    Thanks, not sure about Drop bars... had a go on a bike with some and didn't find it particularly comfortable (but there are known back problems in my family so that might be the reason!) Am I just not giving them a long enough go?... are they something you have to get used to, and always uncomfortable at first?

    Bike lights/battery usage have presumably came on a bit in the last decade - several years ago in my teens they only seemed to last a week or so.

  4. #4
    tsl
    tsl is offline
    Plays in traffic tsl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    My Bikes
    1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
    Posts
    6,438
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There are three things to keep in mind.

    First, no matter how carefully you research and shop, it's very likely that with experience you'll realize you need something different or better than your initial purchase. This happens to nearly everyone. You can't know what will work for you, on your commute, in your conditions until after you try. We can only suggest what works for us, on our commutes and in our conditions, occasionally speculating from our experience to your descriptions.

    Second, every "wrong" purchase is a learning experience and tuition in the School of Hard Knocks. Somewhere along the line you will buy the wrong bike, accessory, or article of clothing. Happens to everyone. I'm working on my PhD.

    Third, personal preferences also play a big part. I love drop-bar bikes and won't even consider anything else. That's my personal preference, and I only discovered that after 4,000 miles commuting on a straight-bar bike. Some people will only commute on a fat-tire mountain bike and would never consider anything else.

    Keep these three things in mind as you filter through the seemingly conflicting advice you'll get here. This also explains why many folks will recommend buying a second-hand bike for your first bike. It gives you chance to figure out what works for you before dropping large coin on something new. I bought new the first time out, learned, then bought used for my first drop-bar road bike. After that, my favorite bike I bought new.

    That said, the bike in your link above is a perfectly fine choice for a starter bike. While everything on the bike could be improved, there's nothing at all that's bad on it. It's very similar to my first bike, and although I now ride bikes that are completely different than that, I got 4,000 good miles and learned an awful lot from my first bike.
    Last edited by tsl; 07-21-10 at 09:20 AM.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  5. #5
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Palisade, CO
    My Bikes
    Singular Gryphon fully rigid 29er multi-use. Nuvinci N360 IGH
    Posts
    4,236
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    tsl's post is definitely spot on.

    Your needs present many possibilities - most days, the riding will be on a short commute, and perhaps running errands about town. Many bicycles will do this more than adequately, and, given your possible back issue, a flat bar (upright riding position) bicycle would likely be a good choice. Sometyhing like the Raleigh you've linked or like this http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=46185 comes to mind. This http://www.raleigh.co.uk/b_details.a...8&id=252&pt=15 might push the budget, but looks to be a great bike in this category.

    Although such a bike is certainly capable of roding longer distances on the weekend, it will not offer the same efficiency as a slightly leaner bike such as a 700c touring-style bike with drop bars, etc. such as: http://www.raleigh.co.uk/b_details.a...=8&id=84&pt=18

    I'd recommend riding several different styles of bicycle to see what feels the most natural to you.
    As tsl hints, your preferences and needs may change as the months or years pass.

    Regardless, if your first purchase is a quality bicycle that you feel cofortable on, you've made a wise choice (for now).

  6. #6
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    MD/DC/VA
    Posts
    2,912
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I assume you are in the UK, which means lots of rain, which means disc brakes are worth serious consideration. I would looks at the Kona Dew or something along those lines for a commuter/weekend bike. Most people I know who commute have at least two bikes - one to haul you and your gear to work and the other for pure recreational riding, so I wouldn't worry too much about getting a bike that is great at both. Just get a solid commuter, and if your interest in riding grows, think about adding a road bike to your stable at a later date.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    9,884
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by lt8480 View Post
    Thanks, not sure about Drop bars... had a go on a bike with some and didn't find it particularly comfortable (but there are known back problems in my family so that might be the reason!) Am I just not giving them a long enough go?... are they something you have to get used to, and always uncomfortable at first?
    It took me several months to get used to drop bars. My mountain/hybrid bike was stolen last summer, and I found a cyclocross bike at a steep discount one day when I wasn't looking ... it fit me well, has disc brakes, and is really fast. So I got it, and only rode on the tops for a month or two, then started venturing out onto the brake hoods. It was a bit uncomfortable at first, but adjusting the seat and stem helped a bit. The drops and curves took a while to get used to, but feel very comfortable now. I think moving around is hugely important on a long ride, and I wouldn't do it on a flat-bar bike again, personally.

    On the other hand, I did a 100 km ride with two friends, both of whom rode flat-bar hybrids.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  8. #8
    Senior Member travelmama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Long Beach,CA
    My Bikes
    Kona Ute, Nishiki 4130, Trek 7000, K2 Mach 1.0, Novara Randonee, Schwinn Loop, K2 Zed 1.0, Schwinn Cream, Torker Boardwalk
    Posts
    1,411
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Give me your money and I will help you spend it correctly.
    Two Wheels One Love

  9. #9
    Senior Member ratell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    329
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am currently trying to get used to drop bars. When I bought my bike I decided I'd give drop bars three months.

    Another option to consider is swept back bars like you find on 3 speeds or dutch bikes. I find them to be the most comfortable. There's also trekking or mustache bars for more aggressive riding.

    As to getting used to drop bars I think for a lot of people it takes some time. I had to get used to leading with my head and the stretched out position. The plus side is that it is a more efficient position. I immediately had more power when I switched to drop bars. You also don't have as much wind resistance. I don't think it will ever get as comfortable as sitting upright with the swept back bars, but It's already getting more comfortable. I think I will probably end up keeping the drops on my commuter, but the jury is still out.
    2010 Masi Speciale CX
    1993 Mt. Shasta Cappella

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    242
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For a 3 mile commute you can get anything that is comfortable with a rack to hold your stuff. Some gearing would be nice to help with your hills.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    4,168
    Mentioned
    16 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ratell View Post
    The big question is drop bars. Drop bars will add to the price of a bike noticeably and some people will respond that the only way you can ride 50 miles is with a drop bar bike (which isn't true). However, if you do hope to do longer fitness rides you should consider it. If you aren't looking at a drop bar bike that raleigh looks like a very nice commuter.

    Dynamo lights are cool, but given that battery lights tend to last 3-6 months it's harder to justify the expense.
    Lights that provide a "so cars can see me" amount of light last 3-6 months (or so I'm told). The "so I can see the road" battery lights last a lot less, usually not more than 2-3 hours (recharge each ride).

    Modern LED dynamo lights can provide enough light to actually see the road on their own vs the old ones that were just the "to be seen by" variety. As much light as the less expensive, but still in the "to see the road by" lights, not as much as the brightest battery lights.

    It depends on your needs.

    It's pretty common to find bikes that come with standard rack mounts, though you should ask to be sure. They work with pretty much all racks, they're all fairly standard. It's pretty rare to find a bike that comes with a rack already attached (rare though not impossible). Usually easiest to just bike a rack and have it put on.

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    9
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks everyone... think I will give drop bars another go before I make the plunge (not for another month yet anyway), might even see If I can borrow a friends bike who is similar size to give them some "decent" time.

    Rain isn't too bad where I am in the UK, under 50cm a year. I also have the luxury of being a fair weather commuter if need be with flexible hours so disc brakes probably aren't a necessity, Ill just wait it out! - though I have no idea how much is a lot of rain by a cyclists standard? (but yes much of the UK gets 2m and some place even 3m a year.)

    The lights are for cars to see me, as I will only be a night rider in winter months when it gets dark before the commute - and all those routes will be street lit.

    Thanks people, some great advice and help here - fast too

  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    9
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    One more thing I can think of... bike locks:

    During the day it will be kept locked outside in a lit courtyard - most of the day this can be quite busy, even at quite times its maybe a person every 5 minutes. - Sadly no-where safer to keep it but I suppose that is what insurance is for.

    What are peoples general bike security tactics?

    Maybe I should push them to get a lockable robust bike shed installed.

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    9
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Absorbed your lots information and thought about my needs a bit more.

    As i'll only be commuting at most 30 miles a week (in 10 smaller journeys), but riding that same distance or more in one go at the weekend, maybe I should be looking at something more conformable for the longer duration, which will be fine for the commute - rather than something for the commute which I won't want to take out for the longer rides, as I wish I had a better bike! And i'll end up just using a backpack for commuting - unless I decide to later go on a long trip somewhere, etc.

    Think I'll stretch the budget now, and then get mudguards and lights when the winter comes in a couple of months too.

    All in all think if I can get on with drop bars: http://www.discovercycling.com/bikes...100-2010-.html and then fit mudguards for the winter when it comes.

    If drop bars don't suit, then maybe save the money get everything now: http://www.discovercycling.com/bikes...nts-2010-.html or push the budget and see what this is like with the different bars and gearset: http://www.discovercycling.com/bikes...nts-2010-.html

  15. #15
    tsl
    tsl is offline
    Plays in traffic tsl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    My Bikes
    1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
    Posts
    6,438
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by lt8480 View Post
    What are peoples general bike security tactics?
    As with everything, there are levels of security, and ultimately, all of them can be defeated.

    Generally, cable locks will keep honest people honest. They are easily defeated with the kind of snips used by every electrician on the planet. Those snips are easily concealed inside a coat or down a pantleg. On the plus side, you can lock to darned near anything with one.

    U-locks (I think they're called D-locks in Europe) are more robust. They can be defeated with hacksaws, angle grinders or mini bottle jacks. The easily concealed hacksaw is fairly time-consuming on a heavy-duty, hardened U-lock. Serious professionals use either a meter-long bolt cutter or grinder or jack method. None of these are easily concealed and if a thief is that determined and prepared to take your bike, there's not much you can do. In my area, I've never heard of this happening. On the down side, you can lock only to racks or posts, railings and poles of limited diameter.

    On a recent ride with people who use cable locks, I found them to be very fussy to use. The perma-coiled ones need to be uncoiled, the regular ones need to be untangled, then they have to be threaded through the rack, frame and wheels, remembering to leave enough slack to lock it again. The cable-lock people generally took a minute or two on each end. I was able to lock and unlock with my U-lock in seconds.

    Lockers are better still, and indoors even better than that.

    Most folks will recommend both a U-lock and a cable lock for locking outdoors for extended periods, since they require two different sets of tools to defeat, and with two locks, you can lock both wheels. Even so, I replace all quick-releases with bolt-on equivalents at minimum. I hate quick-releases.

    Even the best locks leave accessories and components exposed. Depending on where you lock, this may or may not be an issue. I have seen locked bikes stripped to the frame around here, but only ones left locked to parking meters overnight for a week or two before being targeted. Even so, on my commuting and errand bikes, I use Pitlocks to secure my wheels, saddle/seatpost and fork. They also give me more flexibility with my U-lock, since for a quick stop at the grocery store, I can get by with locking only the frame if nothing better is available.
    Last edited by tsl; 07-25-10 at 07:49 AM. Reason: slack, not slick.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  16. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    9
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Been looking around for the Raleigh Royal too but not stores seem to have it... only on-line sites.

    Thanks tsl, some really great information there! - Pitlock looks really interesting too. Will be definitely taking all that on board.

  17. #17
    Big Ol' Varmint nice_marmot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    The PNW
    My Bikes
    2009 Kona Dew ("Chunky Monkey"), 2007 Redline Conquest Pro ("Space Monkey")
    Posts
    98
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by lt8480 View Post
    What are peoples general bike security tactics?
    As with most things bike-related, Sheldon Brown has the answer.


    This is how I lock. It's almost always easier than finding the proper angle to get a U-lock around the pole, frame and front wheel. If I'm somewhere a bit sketchy and I think my (cheap commuter) front wheel might be in danger, I'll take it off and lock it as well.
    "Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." - H.G. Wells

    2007 Redline Conquest Pro (Space Monkey)
    2009 Kona Dew (Chunky Monkey)

  18. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    9
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    nice_marmot - thats great! ... took me a couple of minutes to figure out how that method secured the frame too!.... I'll probably use a cable lock too on the front wheel/frame on advice from here and looking around the web, so the frame is double secured.

  19. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    9
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Been looking around for the Raleigh Royal too but not stores seem to have it... only on-line sites.
    According to a few reports on-line the Royal was discontinued due to a design fault. So that's why no stores are stocking them.

    Had a go on a bike with drop bars for 10 miles today and must admit it was better than I remembered... maybe the Raleigh AIRLine 100 or similar is the way to go, and then fit mudguards for the winter.

  20. #20
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Westwood MA (just south of Boston)
    My Bikes
    2009 Trek Soho
    Posts
    2,184
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    There are three things to keep in mind.

    First, no matter how carefully you research and shop, it's very likely that with experience you'll realize you need something different or better than your initial purchase. This happens to nearly everyone. You can't know what will work for you, on your commute, in your conditions until after you try. We can only suggest what works for us, on our commutes and in our conditions, occasionally speculating from our experience to your descriptions.

    Second, every "wrong" purchase is a learning experience and tuition in the School of Hard Knocks. Somewhere along the line you will buy the wrong bike, accessory, or article of clothing. Happens to everyone. I'm working on my PhD.

    Third, personal preferences also play a big part. I love drop-bar bikes and won't even consider anything else. That's my personal preference, and I only discovered that after 4,000 miles commuting on a straight-bar bike. Some people will only commute on a fat-tire mountain bike and would never consider anything else.

    Keep these three things in mind as you filter through the seemingly conflicting advice you'll get here. This also explains why many folks will recommend buying a second-hand bike for your first bike. It gives you chance to figure out what works for you before dropping large coin on something new. I bought new the first time out, learned, then bought used for my first drop-bar road bike. After that, my favorite bike I bought new.

    That said, the bike in your link above is a perfectly fine choice for a starter bike. While everything on the bike could be improved, there's nothing at all that's bad on it. It's very similar to my first bike, and although I now ride bikes that are completely different than that, I got 4,000 good miles and learned an awful lot from my first bike.
    +3 this and most anything else tsl writes.

    for this reason, I'd suggest buying your first bike used/cheap on craigslist or so. I bought a new flat-bar commuter thinking it was the perfect bike, and it probably was for me at that moment. but just a few months later, I wish that I had drop bars, more gears, and disc brakes. basically, I should've bought a Trek Portland or a Specialized Sirrus. but I didn't know that six months ago
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  21. #21
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Queens, New York
    My Bikes
    Surly Disc trucker (DIY), Fuji Reveal 1.0 (DIY MTB), Specialized Roubaix
    Posts
    5,161
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The coiled cables are the worst to deal with. I use a thick cable from Home Depot, the kind of that is used on construction sites to lock equipment down. They don't get tangled up badly. They're thicker and cost like a quarter of bike specific cable. I use a cable since it's easier to lock. As tsl said, you can lock to almost anything with a cable. But this convenience is a trade-off for security as the U-Locks are much stronger. But I don't leave my bikes locked for more than 30 minutes perhaps, only when I go shopping or run errands. If I were locking for a day I would get a U-Lock and probably use a cable at the same too

    I also removed all quick-release mechanisms from my bike, everything is bolted down and I just got a bike alarm on it too

  22. #22
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Palisade, CO
    My Bikes
    Singular Gryphon fully rigid 29er multi-use. Nuvinci N360 IGH
    Posts
    4,236
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by nice_marmot View Post
    As with most things bike-related, Sheldon Brown has the answer.


    This is how I lock. It's almost always easier than finding the proper angle to get a U-lock around the pole, frame and front wheel. If I'm somewhere a bit sketchy and I think my (cheap commuter) front wheel might be in danger, I'll take it off and lock it as well.
    I've essentially adopted this for my U-lock, with the slight "tweak" of positioniong the crank along the chainstay, then rotating the lock about 30 degrees so one 'leg' goes beneath the chainstay, one above, and the lock barrel crosses the crank. All in all it is more of a visual fortification - the crank and the frame are inside the lock so hacksaws would be nearly im[opssible to use, plus there is the visual aspect of seeing the crankarm locked within the arrangement.

    This specific style evolved from the occasional need to lock the bike where no convenient posts or racks were available.

  23. #23
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    9
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Took the plunge, went to the store and had a test ride on the Raleight Airlite 200 (2010) http://www.thebikelist.co.uk/raleigh...200-2010/specs

    Got it for £420, so in the end a little more than my planned budget, but a better bike than I was originally looking at getting too!... already got a helmet, now the fun of kitting myself with bottles, clothing, etc.

    Here's towards future years of cycling! hurrah!... and thanks people for all the help / advice.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •