Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Recreational & Family
Reload this Page >

How to buy a bike and learn to ride....as an adult?

Notices
Recreational & Family Ride just to ride? Have a family and want to get them into cycling? Drop in here to discuss recreational and family cycling issues.

How to buy a bike and learn to ride....as an adult?

Old 06-26-12, 02:41 PM
  #1  
Waridi
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
How to buy a bike and learn to ride....as an adult?

I am a female student on a *very* limited budget. I know NOTHING about bikes.
I need tips on selecting my very first one! I mainly want to use it to learn to ride. If I am successful in learning, then for the rest of the summer/fall I plan on just riding for fun in the park or neighbourhood, fairly smooth surfaces. I never learned to ride as a child so this is not a case of you-will-remember-when-you-get-on-it!

I have seen many cautions against buying those from Walmart/Target in favour of going to a bike shop. But I simply don't have the money to spend on something better at the moment and I'm also leery of buying something used that might break and need fixing or frequent maintenance. I have also seen some threads on here of bike shop personnel misleading people. What to do?!

If I buy from a big box store what should I look for in terms of features? I'm about 5'6,about 150 lbs.

I also need some sort of bike rack for the car--a 2001 Accord, where can I get a decent one, like say those that I see people put on the trunk of their cars? Any other tips to help me on this new adventure are welcome!
Waridi is offline  
Old 06-26-12, 03:09 PM
  #2  
delcrossv 
Senior Member
 
delcrossv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Scalarville
Posts: 1,457
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I'd suggest looking at craigslist/local ads and finding a used bike. A womens/mixte frame has a lower step over height and might be easier to manage than a "road" bike.
__________________
Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard
delcrossv is offline  
Old 06-26-12, 03:10 PM
  #3  
delcrossv 
Senior Member
 
delcrossv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Scalarville
Posts: 1,457
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I'd suggest looking at craigslist/local ads and finding a used bike. A womens/mixte frame has a lower step over height and might be easier to manage than a "road" bike. Craigslist also has racks at a discount
__________________
Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard
delcrossv is offline  
Old 06-26-12, 06:56 PM
  #4  
joel52
joel52
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 90

Bikes: 2012 Raliegh Misceo

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Agree with above. It would be good if you could identify a friend or associate who rides a bike regularly to either check out ads you find, or better yet accompany you to see used bikes you're interested in (since you don't ride yet, they could test ride, which should identify most issues a used bike would have). For the cost of a 6-pack this would be bargain. Just make sure they actually ride a bike, not just own a bike.

A bike with a cross bar that slopes down (mixte or step-through/ladies frame) should make you more comfortable learning and easier getting on off. Hopefully someone else can chime in with actual experience learning to ride as an adult. However, with a trunk rack the lack of a straight top tube may mean you would need an add on (search 'top tube adapter') to make it work. Keep that in mind if your tight on the budget.

You should be able to get a trunk rack used for decently cheap off craigslist or wherever with a bit of patience. More expensive counts if you need to load multiple bikes or want to 85 on the interstate with it, but for around town you don't need fancy.

I'll add though that I used to have an 01' accord 4dr, and most bikes that would fit your stated dimensions would fit longways on the floor in the back standing up behind the seats, after the front wheel comes off. Most bikes will have a 'quick release' front wheel that will come off and on easily, so rack may not be needed.

You don't state your budget, but consider that you might also want/need a helmet, lock, and maybe a pump, so remember to take those costs of the top of what you have to spend.

With some patience and a little bit of know how you should be able to do a lot better used for $150-200? than new for the same amount (plus no tax). Some people are actually decent, so just tell them you don't have a lot of know-how re:bikes, and that you're looking for something ready to ride. Alternately, a lot of people are clueless about bikes so may inadvertently lie to you.

Last, regarding buying from big box stores, much of what I've read here suggests that proper assembly should be your biggest concern. Fix for that would be to disassemble, regrease, and reassemble, but sounds like your not up for that (yet). Upside to even the cheapest bike shop bike (probably low $300s, Raleigh makes a few) is that it should be properly assembled and adjusted. And the shop should tune it up after a break in period.

Long, sorry, good luck.
joel52 is offline  
Old 06-27-12, 08:52 PM
  #5  
VegasTriker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sin City, Nevada
Posts: 2,405

Bikes: Catrike 700, Greenspeed GTO trike, , Linear LWB recumbent, Haluzak Horizon SWB recumbent, Balance 450 MTB, Cannondale SM800 Beast of the East

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 391 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 82 Times in 63 Posts
Ask for help

See if you can find a friend or acquaintance who is knowledgeable about bikes. Ask that person to help you find a decent used bike. There have been numerous arguments in the recreational and family section about big box store bikes versus a bike store bike. If you buy one of the former, you are still likely to have to be concerned about maintenance because the components often just don't work as well as on a quality bike and they are sometimes not assembled with any level of competence. Most of the big box store bikes are pretty spiffy looking but often very heavy. That fancy looking suspension on a big box store bike may do nothing more than add weight to the frame. You can also visit bike shops in your area and ask if they have any used bikes for sale. I was in a store this morning that has been around for about 25 years. You don't stay in business that long by scamming your customers or ignoring their real needs.
VegasTriker is offline  
Old 06-28-12, 01:10 PM
  #6  
Keith99
Senior Member
 
Keith99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,866
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Try to find a social bike club. But failing that even a racing club might do.

The club I rode with teh SFVBC had regular classes (each self contained) before their meetings and whoever taught any of those classes would be qualified and I think willing to help.

My shoot from the hip advice is get a non-suspended mountian bike. That is how I started and while I ended up a roadie I still think it is a good start as it is ridable in almost any situation and will give you the chance to find your path.

For maintainablilty in many ways used is better than low quality new.

For learning to ride the HUGE point is do not go too slow. A bike is far easier to baklance at a reasonable speed. If you are going at a walking pace you are at the least on the border of making it hard on yourself. Go at a brisk jogging pace.

Slightly lowering the seat is often reccomended. If you go the mountian bike route then finding a grassy field is ideal. You may fall but so what? Decent grass does not hurt (a more dirt than grass field does, but still better than pavement). Anything except a bike with a very narrow tire should also work on grass, but the less like a mountian bike the more I'd make sure the grass was even.

Oh and one that is not bike specific. Be willing to take a break or even quit for the day. Especially if you seem to be getting worse. It may be that you are just getting tired. (But make the commitment to yourself for when yuo will try again).
Keith99 is offline  
Old 06-28-12, 01:40 PM
  #7  
ebear
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: elgin illinois
Posts: 5

Bikes: raliegh venture 4.0

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
my wife had a simular experiance...She never rode a bike in her youth. at the time when she told me about this ( about 3 years ago ) i thought it was strange, I thought all kids rode bikes!!!lolol...But i was suprised to find allot of people did'nt know how to ride.I took her to my neighborhood bike shop and got her a used Giant Bike.We went down to the local highschool parking lot and in about 3 days she was ready for trails!!!!...Does'nt really matter how much u spend on a bike , hell i see them all the time at garage sales for about 25-50 bucks,after u ride for awhile, you'll know what you want in a bicycle.
ebear is offline  
Old 06-28-12, 02:13 PM
  #8  
LiamSkymom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Ridge Manor FL
Posts: 162

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale Street

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I am going to agree with the other posters here. If you have anyone that can help you, Craig's list is a good way to go. I just found a bike for my son for $40 that originally would have been near $300 - not an amount that I was willing (or even could) spend on my son's bike. I also agree with the idea of starting with your seat lower than you will eventually have it. In teaching my older son to ride without training wheels, I put him on my younger son's bike as I read in a Sheldon Brown article that it was a good way. Before that time, I had been trying for weeks to teach him. Switching him to the smaller bike, he figured it out by his third ride, and three days later we switched him to a larger bike (12 inch to 16 inch wheels , and just bought 20 inch wheel geared bike). If you can't do Craig's List or don't have a knowledgeable person around, look for a bike shop that may be liquidating another bike shop's inventory. I was able to get a brand new seven year old bike for a fraction of the cost it would have been seven years ago. That being said, plenty of people buy from Walmart/Kmart/Target and don't have any problems. I have an older bike like that (I use to pull my sons) and haven't really had any problems with it other than its weight. My DH had a horrible time though because it is hard to get them sized properly there and size matters. At your size, it probably wouldn't be the issue it was for him. Good luck.
LiamSkymom is offline  
Old 07-24-12, 11:26 PM
  #9  
conradpdx
Senior Member
 
conradpdx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Portland Oregon
Posts: 301

Bikes: 70"s Raleigh Superbe, 1959 Murray Vanguard Middle weigh cruiser

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I personally would skip Cl unless you got $100 to $200. There is alot of good looking garbage on CL in the under $100 range if you don't know what you're looking at. Instead I'd go to a local bike co op or non profit bike organization. They will have lots of bikes that will work for you at the same price as the box stores that have been gone over by a mechanic or at the least an enthusiastic bicyclist. They will also have classes that you can take to learn some of the basic mechanics you need to know for emergencies and upkeep.

As for learning, find a very slight down hill and take the pedals off the bike and coast down the hill. Once you balance while coasting down the hill say 30 yards or so, you're 90% there. Taught my kids this way and the longest it took for either of them was about 3 hours.

Last edited by conradpdx; 07-24-12 at 11:32 PM.
conradpdx is offline  
Old 07-27-12, 12:36 PM
  #10  
mcrow
Pedal Pusher/Pundit
 
mcrow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Hutchinson/Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 420

Bikes: Motobecane Jubilee

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you don't have much money to put toward a bike and it's your first bike you might be best served buying a fixed gear buy from a department store. I think for someone just learning to ride having just one gear is probably the best way to start. Fixed gear bikes are also going to be lower maintenance and last longer, so probably the best choice if you can't afford a bike shop bike.

It seems like the ground floor for bike shop bikes is about $300 these days. If you have that I would consider looking at a bike shop or maybe checking out the used inventory for the bike shop. Many bike shops have used bikes from ~$200+, some also have lower priced used bikes too that are good quality.
mcrow is offline  
Old 07-27-12, 06:53 PM
  #11  
atbman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Leeds UK
Posts: 2,084
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by conradpdx View Post
As for learning, find a very slight down hill and take the pedals off the bike and coast down the hill. Once you balance while coasting down the hill say 30 yards or so, you're 90% there. Taught my kids this way and the longest it took for either of them was about 3 hours.
+1. We use this method for all ages, with a slight variation: if you can find a slope which runs onto a level surface (ours runs onto a soccer pitch), you won't have to worry about beginning to go a bit too fast. Make sure the saddle is low enough so that you can get your feet comfortably on the ground (while learning - it can go up later). You should find that, after a few attempts, you'll be able to keep your feet off the ground for longer and longer. As soon as you can do this and steer in curves with some confidence and control, put the pedals back on and you will be away confidently pretty quickly.

If someone takes the pedals off for you, make sure they remember the pedal on the LH side is a Left hand thread, i.e., to turn it clockwise to undo it and vice versa.

One tip, try to avoid looking down at the pedalsor front wheel when you get them back on - always look a decent distance ahead, say 10 yards at least. This stops you from making too many unecessary micro steering adjustments
Ok, two tips - try to avoid the nervous white knuckle look - it means you're gripping the bars too tightly and this interferes with relaxed steering.

Good luck and congratulations on plucking up the nerve to do this - and to ask this on this forum - tho' we usually go easy on newbies
atbman is offline  
Old 07-28-12, 09:37 AM
  #12  
conradpdx
Senior Member
 
conradpdx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Portland Oregon
Posts: 301

Bikes: 70"s Raleigh Superbe, 1959 Murray Vanguard Middle weigh cruiser

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm actually surprised that there isn't a "learn to ride a bike" sticky on this forum- seems kinda like a no brainer. Perhaps two one for adults and one for kids. But I always get a little sad when I see kids with training wheels on their bikes, and I feel for people that use the coaster bikes too which seems like a complete waist of money since you could have used that $100.00 towards a better starter bike for you kid.
conradpdx is offline  
Old 07-29-12, 06:39 AM
  #13  
HillRiderEast
Senior Member
 
HillRiderEast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Foot Hills of the Berkshires
Posts: 100

Bikes: Giant Cypress, Trek fx 7.4

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
my lbs does trade ins as people that buy first bike and love to ride often goes back and does a trade-up after a year or so. check out your lbs and see what they have.
HillRiderEast is offline  
Old 02-19-13, 10:01 PM
  #14  
Mijo
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I registered on this forum just to reply to this wonderful thread. I am 44 yo and I couldn't ride a bike. My father was over protective, and never let me learn as a child. Ironically, I was graduated as an army pilot, doing everything dangerous in life, from parachuting, to riding planes! My wife and kids can ride bikes, and usually she used to mock about this. On Valentine's day, my wife asked me generously, what do you want to have as a valentine present. My eyes rolled like a kid, and I said in a whispering voice, I want a bike!
She took me from the hands to the toys street (Khaled Ibn Alwalid's street) in Kuwait, where I live, and told me ... choose which bike you want. I went wondering between bikes, with my saliva dropping, and my mouth open to my shoulders, and chose one bike, size 26, red, looking to be like a race bike. We bought it for around 30 KD (100 USD). I then went to the repair shop nearby, and asked for training wheels. They looked to me and started laughing. I told them, honestly, I need training wheels as I cannot ride a bike. They said for my size , it is not available. I was frustrated a bit. My 14yo son rode the bike, and it seemed OK. We bought a car mounting kit, and I proudly hanged my new red bike on the car.
The next day, I tried riding it, and it was in vain. They tried to hold me and run beside me while I am peddling, but, no way.
I am recently diagnosed as diabetic. I measured my fasting glucose level the following day, and it was significantly low ! Wow, the little exercise I made yesterday helped a lot. This is a therapy in itself, although I can't ride!
The next day, I went to the repair shop and bought stabilizers, or what they call support wheels, size 20. Then I went to a welding shop, and modified it to the size of the bike. In the evening, I went excited to the park, preparing to ride my new treasure, however, the stabilizers kept going backwards, and I failed again.
The following day, I went to the welding workshop, and modified the design once more, making the stabilizers as a T shape, and welded it to the frame of the bicycle.
In the evening, I went again to the park, and tried to ride my sweet ride. After pedaling for few seconds, the stabilizers were bent upwards, and again, a failure. They kept me from falling, but were not putting me upright. When the stabilizer wheel toughed the ground, it was making horrible noise.
I kept on measuring my glucose levels, and it was improving. I have to learn biking.
I asked my wife and kids how do they stabilize themselves on a bike, what part of the body is used, they would stay the shoulders, or the hip. I tried everything... nothing worked. I was so frustrated, and almost gave up. I read on this forum couple of things that helped me a lot.
1- You use your hands to stabilize yourself by steering into the direction where you will fall.
2- Put the seat so low

My bicycle does not have an adjustable seat, as it is a street Chinese cheap bike, and it is a bit high for me. Another thing, the bike pedals were so high that when I am on the top of the pedaling cycle, I hit my elbow.
I went searching on the internet for the best bike for a beginner. Every other post pointed to mountain bike, as it is more stable, and have wider wheels.
I went to Another shop and bought a brand bike called “rock rider”. This time, I bought size 24 with medium frame for around 63 KD. The following day, I went to the park with a wrench to remove the pedals as most people advise. When I entered the park, I decided to give it a try first. I started pedaling, and found myself steering into the fall, and pedaling !
It was the bike then ! The improvised training wheels did nothing but disturb me, and the weird proportions of the bike to pedals to handles made it extremely difficult for me to steer or balance.
I took couple of circles, and found that I could steer curves.
Then, I picked up the phone, and called my father. I told him I bought a bike, and I can ride it now. I put him on speakerphone, and he started warning me about the dangers of riding a bike for the 1000 time !
I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this forum, and shared their success stories, as they inspired me, and helped a lot in making the learning experience less painful.
Mijo is offline  
Old 02-20-13, 08:14 AM
  #15  
Wooden Tiger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Kearneysville, WV
Posts: 739

Bikes: 2012 Cannondale Flash Alloy 2 (mountain bike), 2010 Schwinn Paramount Series 7 (road bike)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I would look for a "beach cruiser" type bike to learn on. They have very relaxed geometries, usually have lower stand-over heights, and wide tires. It would be very easy for you to be able to put your feet down quickly on these bikes if you feel you're going to fall. A lot of times, they also carry lower prices.

I would recommend learning on a single-speed bicycle, which means you don't have to worry about shifting gears and all that mess.

Learn how to ride, enjoy the bike, and if you feel biking is something you want to dedicate yourself to, start saving your money.

Maybe try learning on something similar to this one here. If it's a single speed, there are far less parts to break.

https://www.performancebike.com/bikes...400307__400307
Wooden Tiger is offline  
Old 02-20-13, 09:32 AM
  #16  
cplager
The Recumbent Quant
 
cplager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Fairfield, CT
Posts: 3,080

Bikes: 2012 Cruzbike Sofrider, 2013 Cruzigami Mantis, 2016 Folding CruziTandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Wooden Tiger View Post
I would recommend learning on a single-speed bicycle, which means you don't have to worry about shifting gears and all that mess.
While I admit that gears can be somewhat complicated for a new rider, I'd still recommend getting a bike with gears and just leave it in a reasonable gear when starting off. This may matter less if you live in a truly flat place, but if you don't and you aren't going to want to buy another bicycle soon, then it is nice to have the gears. I also recommend a hand brake instead of foot (coaster brake).

Originally Posted by mcrow View Post
If you don't have much money to put toward a bike and it's your first bike you might be best served buying a fixed gear buy from a department store
Please note that a fixed gear bike and a single speed bike are not the same thing. A single speed bike is what you are thinking of and lets a person coast while the bike is moving. A fixed gear bike means that if the wheels are moving, so is the bike. This is probably not what I'd recommend to somebody learning how to ride a bike.

Department store bicycles are better than they used to be, but still aren't very good. I'd first start by going to local bike stores (LBSs) and seeing what they have in stock. Being a student suggests that there are other student around which means that (1) you probably can find somebody to help you and (2) you can find somebody else selling a bike used (bike stores in college towns often sell used bikes too).

I have two friends who learned to ride bicycles in the last couple years (one in her late 20s, the other early 30s). It's scary at first because it's new, but it's definitely worth it.

As for learning, find a very slight down hill and take the pedals off the bike and coast down the hill. Once you balance while coasting down the hill say 30 yards or so, you're 90% there. Taught my kids this way and the longest it took for either of them was about 3 hours.
This. Search YouTube and you can find videos of people doing this. The first thing to learn is just to balance with your feet off of the ground (but not on the pedals) and roll down the hill. Learn how to use the brakes here, too. After a few tries, you do the same thing, but this time put your feet on the pedals.
Eventually, you coast, put your feet on the pedals and turn the cranks. And keep going.

Last edited by cplager; 02-20-13 at 09:36 AM.
cplager is offline  
Old 02-22-13, 05:43 PM
  #17  
atbman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Leeds UK
Posts: 2,084
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Mijo View Post
I registered on this forum just to reply to this wonderful thread. I am 44 yo and I couldn't ride a bike. My father was over protective, and never let me learn as a child. Ironically, I was graduated as an army pilot, doing everything dangerous in life, from parachuting, to riding planes! My wife and kids can ride bikes, and usually she used to mock about this. On Valentine's day, my wife asked me generously, what do you want to have as a valentine present. My eyes rolled like a kid, and I said in a whispering voice, I want a bike!
She took me from the hands to the toys street (Khaled Ibn Alwalid's street) in Kuwait, where I live, and told me ... choose which bike you want. I went wondering between bikes, with my saliva dropping, and my mouth open to my shoulders, and chose one bike, size 26, red, looking to be like a race bike. We bought it for around 30 KD (100 USD). I then went to the repair shop nearby, and asked for training wheels. They looked to me and started laughing. I told them, honestly, I need training wheels as I cannot ride a bike. They said for my size , it is not available. I was frustrated a bit. My 14yo son rode the bike, and it seemed OK. We bought a car mounting kit, and I proudly hanged my new red bike on the car.
The next day, I tried riding it, and it was in vain. They tried to hold me and run beside me while I am peddling, but, no way.
I am recently diagnosed as diabetic. I measured my fasting glucose level the following day, and it was significantly low ! Wow, the little exercise I made yesterday helped a lot. This is a therapy in itself, although I can't ride!
The next day, I went to the repair shop and bought stabilizers, or what they call support wheels, size 20. Then I went to a welding shop, and modified it to the size of the bike. In the evening, I went excited to the park, preparing to ride my new treasure, however, the stabilizers kept going backwards, and I failed again.
The following day, I went to the welding workshop, and modified the design once more, making the stabilizers as a T shape, and welded it to the frame of the bicycle.
In the evening, I went again to the park, and tried to ride my sweet ride. After pedaling for few seconds, the stabilizers were bent upwards, and again, a failure. They kept me from falling, but were not putting me upright. When the stabilizer wheel toughed the ground, it was making horrible noise.
I kept on measuring my glucose levels, and it was improving. I have to learn biking.
I asked my wife and kids how do they stabilize themselves on a bike, what part of the body is used, they would stay the shoulders, or the hip. I tried everything... nothing worked. I was so frustrated, and almost gave up. I read on this forum couple of things that helped me a lot.
1- You use your hands to stabilize yourself by steering into the direction where you will fall.
2- Put the seat so low

My bicycle does not have an adjustable seat, as it is a street Chinese cheap bike, and it is a bit high for me. Another thing, the bike pedals were so high that when I am on the top of the pedaling cycle, I hit my elbow.
I went searching on the internet for the best bike for a beginner. Every other post pointed to mountain bike, as it is more stable, and have wider wheels.
I went to Another shop and bought a brand bike called “rock rider”. This time, I bought size 24 with medium frame for around 63 KD. The following day, I went to the park with a wrench to remove the pedals as most people advise. When I entered the park, I decided to give it a try first. I started pedaling, and found myself steering into the fall, and pedaling !
It was the bike then ! The improvised training wheels did nothing but disturb me, and the weird proportions of the bike to pedals to handles made it extremely difficult for me to steer or balance.
I took couple of circles, and found that I could steer curves.
Then, I picked up the phone, and called my father. I told him I bought a bike, and I can ride it now. I put him on speakerphone, and he started warning me about the dangers of riding a bike for the 1000 time !
I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this forum, and shared their success stories, as they inspired me, and helped a lot in making the learning experience less painful.
Great story and a triumph of determination and working things out. One question though: if your father is ok with you parachuting, persuade him that cycling is safe by jumping with your bike?
atbman is offline  
Old 04-09-13, 06:17 PM
  #18  
gyozadude
Senior Member
 
gyozadude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Sunnyvale, California
Posts: 1,180

Bikes: Bridgestone RB-1, 600, T700, MB-6 w/ Dirt Drops, MB-Zip, Bianchi Limited, Nashbar Hounder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
+1 to the suggestion about going to a co-op and buying a used bike. Craigslist can have good finds, but not for the inexperienced. To learn, I'd highly recommend getting helmet, gloves, and wearing long sleeves and long pants that get bunched up and secured at the ankles. Whichever bike you choose, make sure the brakes stop with good action. They feel crisp, they have good modulation (the hard you squeeze, the greater the braking force but it is somewhat gradual rather than all at once), and the levers are properly sized for your reach.

The downhill slope and balancing are also great tips. But while going downhill, brake and then release, and brake. Practice that first before anything else.

Remember some basics - on a bike, you balance by shifting your weight. You also turn by leaning. It's much less about steering. And lastly, the ones who prepare to abandon their bikes are the ones who are most likely to crash the most often. This means you need to control fear, because the moment you're moving over 5 mph, and think you;re losing control and want to bail and the feet come slightly off the pedals, is the moment your feet are most likely to slip, and you'll land hard on pavement and the bike will crash elsewhere and likely get damaged. Game over.

Feet are supposed to be balls over the center pedal axles. Not the arches. Practice putting feet on pedals quickly when pushing off. This is going to be a key skill to learn so you can push off and start riding when on flat ground or on an uphill where there is no downhill to help you. It must be instinctive. I can always tell the kids that were trained wrong. They do fine on flat and downhills. But get them to start on a hill and they biff more than 30% of the time and one foot must touch down again before gaining sufficient momentum to start the bike.

Last thing to notice is how comfortable your position is on the bike. Once you gain a modicum of balance on the bike and can coast. Try moving your backside and adjust position on the saddle. Why is this important? Because you want to push off, and land correctly and instinctively in the right location where you are comfortable. You want to get this down so you can move to the next step - sustainable pedalling. Kids get it sort of easy because we started out with these banana style seats. But newer kids bikes have a discreet saddle. And many kids aren't sized right, and they don't sit down comfortably. It forces them to waste time adjusting their position before applying power to the pedals. So they slow down, and have to catch their fall yet again and therefore the foot comes down and if not done right at the beginning, they can fall and drop the bike. And sometimes, this is where a beginner will call it a day. But if you recognize that you just need to practice there feet and backside need to go on this bike, then it becomes instinctive.

(You're probably noticing that I'm more focused on the parts after the balance/coast downhill step). Why am I focused on these steps? Because with good practice, you'll master these and be able to hit the local neighbourhood streets and follow traffic laws. Learn to mount/dismount and restart on any terrain and it will be much safer. Becaus
gyozadude is offline  
Old 04-30-13, 01:49 PM
  #19  
Nakedbabytoes
Senior Member
 
Nakedbabytoes's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 251

Bikes: 1974 KoKo Sport 3000, 1987 Lotus Elite 600, 2003 Qunitana Roo Kilo tri

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My son, who is autistic, just learned to ride a 2 wheeler last year(he was 12). Honestly first we started with a 2 wheel scooter to get him used to the idea of balancing on two wheels while coasting and not having far to fall if he did crash(his issue is fear of pain/getting hurt). Then I bought him a small motorized bike, a Razor Pocket rocket. I swear it was like maybe 12" tall! So slightly higher, with a seat but not needing to pedal yet. He mastered that, so then we moved up to a small single speed BMX bike so he could learn to pedal while he already had the confidence to balance and steer. Each step took about a month but he did it! And now he rides just like any other kid does!

He learns best by tackling one part of the puzzle at a time and mastering that before he moves on to the next step. Some people do fine with everything and just practice and repetition but some people(typical developing even) need it broken down into learning balance, then steering, then pedaling. So just be aware of how YOU learn and enjoy the work you put into it!
Nakedbabytoes is offline  
Old 05-01-13, 02:11 PM
  #20  
VegasTriker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sin City, Nevada
Posts: 2,405

Bikes: Catrike 700, Greenspeed GTO trike, , Linear LWB recumbent, Haluzak Horizon SWB recumbent, Balance 450 MTB, Cannondale SM800 Beast of the East

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 391 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 82 Times in 63 Posts
Ask for a mentor

If you are in the position of the person who started this post last year and know nothing about bikes, check to see if there is a local bike club. Contact them and ask if there is anyone in the club who would serve as a mentor to help you find a decent used bike. While some club members own $$$$ bikes, they probably know enough to find one that is reasonable.

This past Saturday morning I went for a short trike ride and passed a garage sale one block from home. They had 4 bikes on display and one looked old but fairly decent. The others were garbage. I asked how much the owner wanted and he replied $25. I ended up getting an 18 year old MTB that had an MSRP of $525, needed absolutely nothing replaced, and has already found a home with a 12 year old who needed a better bike than the much newer mass-merchandiser bike he had been using. Any knowledgeable rider could have picked this bike out from the rest with a quick glance.
VegasTriker is offline  
Old 05-05-13, 08:42 PM
  #21  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,308 Times in 821 Posts
For step through frames, the bike shop here has a bar that goes between the steeing stem and the seat post ,

to simplify carrying those bikes on th easy to mount racks.. ask at your local shop.
fietsbob is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
dmspara
General Cycling Discussion
28
03-03-17 09:00 AM
vinnyvincent
General Cycling Discussion
121
01-10-16 07:41 PM
coluk003
General Cycling Discussion
3
09-18-15 09:32 AM
JustRaina
General Cycling Discussion
51
05-14-13 09:35 PM
charlimae
General Cycling Discussion
5
11-01-12 02:31 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 - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.