General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Beginners help!

Old 05-26-17, 02:21 AM
  #1  
Thecalzor
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Beginners help!

Hey guys, I'm Very interested in buying a bike but I don't have the foggiest about where to start, what I'm buying it for is general cycling like maybe commuting to and from work, but I also want to be able to go to local trails when I get the experience and confidence!

I've been looking at the carrera vengeance and some other carrera models from Halfords does anyone have any experience with these?

and finally my price range is up to 300 maybe stretching a little more. Thanks
Thecalzor is offline  
Old 05-26-17, 03:30 AM
  #2  
dabac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7,947
Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 812 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Halfords haven't got the best reputation as a bike shop.
Vengeance is a MTB.
It's POSSIBLE to commute on a MTB, just like its possible to drive to work in a Land Rover Defender.
With the Landy, you end up paying extra in fuel costs. A MTB on road, you pay with your own effort.
And unless you have a fairly "interesting" commute, you don't need the sus fork.
For utility minded riding, get a utility minded bike. To me, that means fenders and a rack.
Doesn't take much of a puddle to get dirty on your commute.
And sweaty back from bags isn't much fun either.
IMO you really need to prioritize, good commuter/utility bike, or good fitness/recreational bike.
A CX - cyclocross - probably has the best chance of doing double duty. You can use a seat post mounted rack that snaps on/off easily.
Maybe get a 2nd wheelset to swap easily between road and offroad tires.
Then again, if your commute only is a few miles, road efficiency isn't a big deal.
dabac is offline  
Old 05-26-17, 05:16 AM
  #3  
Thecalzor
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dabac View Post
Halfords haven't got the best reputation as a bike shop.
Vengeance is a MTB.
It's POSSIBLE to commute on a MTB, just like its possible to drive to work in a Land Rover Defender.
With the Landy, you end up paying extra in fuel costs. A MTB on road, you pay with your own effort.
And unless you have a fairly "interesting" commute, you don't need the sus fork.
For utility minded riding, get a utility minded bike. To me, that means fenders and a rack.
Doesn't take much of a puddle to get dirty on your commute.
And sweaty back from bags isn't much fun either.
IMO you really need to prioritize, good commuter/utility bike, or good fitness/recreational bike.
A CX - cyclocross - probably has the best chance of doing double duty. You can use a seat post mounted rack that snaps on/off easily.
Maybe get a 2nd wheelset to swap easily between road and offroad tires.
Then again, if your commute only is a few miles, road efficiency isn't a big deal.
Thanks for the in-depth reply! My commute is not long at all I manage to drive there in about 5 minutes so I'm gonna say around 2 miles downhill then uphill home.The main goal here is that I want a budget bike that is intended for off-road, but I can use for my commute without too much hassle
Thecalzor is offline  
Old 05-26-17, 06:16 AM
  #4  
supton
Cries on hills
 
supton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Central NH
Posts: 1,091

Bikes: 2007 Trek Pilot 1.2, 1969 Raleigh Sprite 5

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 83 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
2 miles, you could just do a MTB then. Maybe change the tires as necessary, but for just 2 miles I don't think it'd be worth the effort of having two sets of tires.

Fenders and lights will likely be a must, as will be having a small toolkit, spare tube and frame mounted bike pump. A larger set of tools and larger tire pump would be good to have at home also. At some point you'll want to read up on chain lube and cleaning, preferably before racking "many" miles. Do a bit of reading on bike fit, for 2 miles it isn't critical so I wouldn't sweat it--but if you read a bit you might feel comfortable to play with settings as time goes on. Read up on saddles. "Most" don't care for ones with lots of padding on them; but it's your bottom.

People go every which way on cycling clothing. Some would prefer to don out in full cycling kit for your two mile ride, others would bike 100 miles in jeans. And every combination between. Personally I prefer cycling shorts or at least athletic shorts for biking; I sweat profusely thus I prefer to wear some sort of athletic wear for any sort of ride. 2 miles though... I might not bother, once I have fenders and something over the chain to keep gunk off me (or at something around my pants leg). Depending upon your needs you could always bring a change of clothes with you (I hated wearing a backpack on the bike but it's an option if you don't want a rack).

I know when I commuted on bike I did so on a regular old MTB. I tossed on a bike rack and a box to carry stuff as needed. And would hit trails when I wanted to. Looking back I found that I had sized my MTB larger than most would; but in reality that made it better for the road. You might want to do likewise, not size it uncomfortably large but on the larger size if you aren't doing hardcore MTB trail work.

Lastly, I've yet to hear good stuff about cheap suspension. I haven't had an MTB since the days they were all rigid, but I suspect I'd rather stay rigid, even on mild trails. Just a preference, for myself.

I think the last time I rode my MTB I had a slick on the back. Made for a much nicer ride on the road! It had some grip on dry surfaces too, which surprised me. These days I'll take my road bike on dirt roads without much fear, despite much more narrow tires with zero tread I've been been surprised at where it will go. Depending upon your balance of riding I wouldn't rule out less aggressive looking tires. And of course, it's not that hard to swap tires, once you know how and perhaps have a bike stand (not required but it can be nice to have, if you have space for it).
supton is offline  
Old 05-26-17, 06:43 AM
  #5  
Fluteman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 74
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Good advice already from up top. MTB should work fine, if the knobbytires are grabbin too much, put some slicks on. You can still go on trails just fine with slicks, unless you like to run in mud.
Fluteman is offline  
Old 05-26-17, 07:24 AM
  #6  
jefnvk
Senior Member
 
jefnvk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Metro Detroit/AA
Posts: 8,259

Bikes: 2016 Novara Mazama

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3588 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 10 Posts
You can commute on a MTB just fine. Did it for years in college, and even then I wasn't smart enough to know they made anything but knobby tires for it. Toss some slicks on, it can make a quite suitable city bike. Generally takes racks and fenders without issue. I wouldn't want a front shock, though.

What is your local online classified site, as I presume you are in the UK? In that budget, you can probably find something much nicer used than that bike.

EDIT: missed the part about local trails. Can you define what you mean by trails? Are you talking technical single track MTB, or gravel country paths?

Last edited by jefnvk; 05-26-17 at 07:55 AM.
jefnvk is offline  
Old 05-26-17, 07:42 AM
  #7  
AlexCyclistRoch
The Infractionator
 
AlexCyclistRoch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 2,208

Bikes: Classic road bikes: 1986 Cannondale, 1978 Trek

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 875 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
With 2 competing sets of equipment desired, you'll have to chose between having a trail-ready bike being a poor choice for pavement commuting, or a commuter bike being a poor choice for trail riding. Or just choose one, and find an alternative for the other. For 300 quid, I don't think you can have both and still buy new.
AlexCyclistRoch is offline  
Old 05-26-17, 08:13 AM
  #8  
55murray
Senior Member
 
55murray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
Posts: 299

Bikes: 1955 20" Murray modified cruiser, 2010 Nishiki Colorado MTB, 1980 Miyata 610, several other vintage coaster brake machines

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 147 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
As others have mentioned, a MTB with slick tires will fit the bill nicely. You might not be able to avoid front shocks, just crank the adjuster to make them as stiff as possible, and do not get a full suspension bike (so you want a hard-tail MTB).

Again, lose the knobbly tires, even for your short commute.
55murray is offline  
Old 05-26-17, 09:11 AM
  #9  
Thecalzor
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
You can commute on a MTB just fine. Did it for years in college, and even then I wasn't smart enough to know they made anything but knobby tires for it. Toss some slicks on, it can make a quite suitable city bike. Generally takes racks and fenders without issue. I wouldn't want a front shock, though.

What is your local online classified site, as I presume you are in the UK? In that budget, you can probably find something much nicer used than that bike.

EDIT: missed the part about local trails. Can you define what you mean by trails? Are you talking technical single track MTB, or gravel country paths?
By trails I meant like country paths yeah, there's a nice woodland area close to me with plenty of dirt paths and hills and such.

And thanks everyone for the great advice; I'm definitely leaning towards buying a MTB and just putting some slicks on it that seems like the best way to go about it so far.

Does anyone have any suggested bikes or sites to look at, I'm in the UK just for reference.
Thecalzor is offline  
Old 05-26-17, 09:17 AM
  #10  
luddite_68
Senior Member
 
luddite_68's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: South Florida
Posts: 155

Bikes: GT Zum & Fuji Gran Fondo

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My first bike was a "hybrid" mountain type with road tires. It has worked well for me. I've since decided I like riding on the road so I have a road bike on order. That being said, I wouldn't get enough money selling my hybrid to make it worth while so I'll keep it for the off times that I ride on bike paths and trails.
luddite_68 is offline  
Old 05-26-17, 09:24 AM
  #11  
jefnvk
Senior Member
 
jefnvk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Metro Detroit/AA
Posts: 8,259

Bikes: 2016 Novara Mazama

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3588 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by Thecalzor View Post
By trails I meant like country paths yeah, there's a nice woodland area close to me with plenty of dirt paths and hills and such.
In that case, one bike can suit both roles just fine. I regularly ride my old MTB both in a city environment, and on dirt paths, with the exact same tires. Tread isn't as important on bike tires as some people think, once you leave the realm of knobbies for a smoother tire.

For example, I bought a pair of these, which roll really well on pavement, but can still confidently handle most anything but deep sand. Did over 100km on road with them last weekend, and they handle firmly on the gravel/limestone bike paths I ride after work: Continental Travel Contact Trekking Tyre | Chain Reaction Cycles. I had two other styles of smooth tires before I bought those, all worked well for multiple surfaces.
jefnvk is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Gresp15C
Commuting
37
01-01-18 02:24 PM
Bakerb24
Road Cycling
6
01-13-14 10:41 PM
Sixty Fiver
General Cycling Discussion
5
09-22-09 05:11 PM
vjp
Classic & Vintage
13
04-26-09 10:05 PM
BSource-Wacker
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
78
08-02-07 12:30 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.