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Getting Back Into Biking

Discussion in 'Pedal Powered' started by AndyCr15, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. AndyCr15

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 28, 2011

    Posts: 10,675

    Location: Barnet, London

    I'm a rather large guy that is generally more suited to lifting large weights in the gym, but I've just put on too much weight over the last few years, I need to get back in shape. (I touched 21st 8 two weeks ago.)

    I have a Carrera Subway at the moment, I think I paid about £300 for it 5 or 6 years back when I was last cycling a reasonable amount. I've been using that again over the last 2 weeks that I've been getting back into it. (Lost 9lbs so far :) )

    I find the brakes aren't great and the left gears (large cogs round the pedal crank, no idea what you calls these bits :) ) doesn't always change reliably, so today I'm wondering about getting a better bike.

    At the moment I'm looking at the Boardman HYB 8.9. I do prefer the idea of a hybrid, there is one route I go that gets a little muddy at times. I like the idea that this bike only has one set of gears, 1 to 11 I believe. Thoughts on this idea?

    Also, at the moment I use my phone on a bracket on the handle bars to record my cycling on Strava, but I'm tempted to try the Wahoo ELEMNT bike computer. I like the idea it can sync in my Strava routes and I'm not worried about my phone flying off as I go over some bumps. Thoughts on this too please :)

    To clarify, I'm not a serious cyclist, I tend to (at present) only ride 3-6 miles at a time, but I hope to improve this as I get fitter/better.

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. AndyCr15

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 28, 2011

    Posts: 10,675

    Location: Barnet, London

    No opinions from anyone? :(
     
  3. TallPaul_S

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 24, 2011

    Posts: 5,779

    Location: Kent

    Where exactly are you going to be riding? That hybrid would be fine, but it won't be very comfy if you venture over bumpier stuff, and it'll cover ground quickly and efficiently but that may not be what you're after.

    1x (pronounced 1 by (also, 2 by, 3 by for double and triple chainsets) is the way forward, front mechs are horrible things and unless you need the slightly increased range or closer gaps between gears, a 1x is more than good enough.

    Instead, look at the Voodoo Bizango, also from Halfords - fatter tyres + a basic air suspension fork equals more comfort so you'll be able to ride for longer and over more terrain, and it'll be harder work for the same distance, which if you're looking to get fit, is a good thing ;) :D With a basic MTB you can also venture into the woods onto gravel fire roads, but it'll still be fine on the road and won't break your back/arse over potholes/kerbs etc.

    The Vitus Nucleus and Sentier range from chain reaction are also good, but online only.

    As for the Wahoo - yes they can be excellent for not only tracking rides and improvements in fitness with a HRM, and it will be vastly better/more accurate/more reliable than a phone for strava. But, get the bike first and if you feel like you want to do some better tracking then by all means look for a Wahoo Bolt.

    I use mine to track every ride and it's good to be able to see PR's on regular segments I do on each ride, it's a good sense of progression.
     
  4. XE11

    Gangster

    Joined: Sep 26, 2013

    Posts: 326

    Location: London

    saw this in my local branch:

    https://www.cyclesurgery.com/p/whyt...284.html?colour=6210&_sm_byp=iVVDP1rV272Zt16r
    colour scheme looks really good in the flesh.

    or go even cheaper:

    https://www.cyclesurgery.com/p/whyt...288.html?colour=2122&_sm_byp=iVVDP1rV272Zt16r
    less gears but still good quality parts. spend the saving on other stuff like different tyres, wahoo/sensors, clothing/gloves/helmet/lock.

    in my opinion, the higher end the bikes, the more maintenance it needs. For general fitness/purposes, i would stick with 600-800 mark. or if you want to try drop handle bar (typically seen on road bike), decathalon has some good choices:

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/rc-520-gravel-adventure-bike-105-id_8554425.html

    or previous season model:

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-rc-520-disc-road-bike-navy-105-id_8554421.html
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
  5. Megahurtz400

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 5, 2007

    Posts: 7,861

    Location: Colchester

    As TallPaul said id look at a mountain bike rather than a hybrid.

    As a big guy myself (120kg at the moment) I don’t know how much I’d trust a hybrid especially at that price point.

    Mountain bikes however are obviously designed to withstand a lot more punishment, that and as TallPaul said you can venture off into the woods and nothing beats being in the middle of a forest with no one around just nice and peaceful :)
     
  6. AndyCr15

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 28, 2011

    Posts: 10,675

    Location: Barnet, London

    Thanks guys.

    Tbf, the comment on cycling in mud was the first time I've cycled in mud... almost all of my cycling is on the road. A friend was trying to persuade me to get a road bike, but they generally don't look sturdy enough, hence I was thinking hybrid. In North London I don't have much access to the off road type tracks.

    I guess £1,000 is still considered cheap? I know you can spend thousands here...

    I'm open to suggestion if there's a much better bike up around £1,500 or £2,000. I don't know I would end up going that high, but if there's benefits, I might consider it.
     
  7. Megahurtz400

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 5, 2007

    Posts: 7,861

    Location: Colchester

    @AndyCr15 sorry mate I didn’t see your budget properly!

    Mountain bikes obviously have thicker, sturdier tubes but the discipline you choose is up to you really! As I said I prefer mountain biking, have tried the roadie life but being surrounded by cars trying to kill you and noise and people isn’t my thing :p

    I can’t recommend any road bike ideas, but I know my Norco Fluid (https://www.evanscycles.com/norco-fluid-2-ht-nx-eagle-2019-mountain-bike-EV337730) feels solid, 120mm travel for bigger hits, 27.5+ tyres for a bit more “suspension.”

    Only negative is the brakes aren’t that good, especially when they’re trying to stop my mass, but they can be easily upgraded :)
     
  8. AndyCr15

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 28, 2011

    Posts: 10,675

    Location: Barnet, London

    I test rode the Boardman 8.9 Hybrid this morning and have to say I really liked it. I was a little surprised how much of the road surface I could feel (mainly based on comments in reviews about how the graphite frame helped) but I guess I shouldn't be surprised as there is no suspension and the tyres are quite small too.

    I did like having... 1x(?) gears. Really nice just going up and down, nice and smooth and they seemed to cater for the different gradients I could find on my test ride. The brakes also felt very good and I understand might get even better once bedded in.

    Annoyingly, if I put in for my cycle 2 work vouchers now, they wont get processed until the first of the next month and the Halfords trade in offer ends on April the 3rd. I doubt I'd receive the vouchers in time. The guy did very kindly offer to sell it to me now with the trade in, then I come back and he refunds and sells to my voucher when I get them. Even when it's not me doing the naughty though, it makes me uncomfortable. I guess it's not a bad thing to wait, use vouchers at full price and keep my mountain bike for any occasions I do want to wander off road.
     
  9. UTmaniac

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 9, 2005

    Posts: 5,556

    Location: Southampton

    If you choose to buy a new bike, it might be worth checking the frame guarantee as regards weight limits, not all bikes will cover ~120Kg iirc.
     
  10. pumaz

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 7, 2003

    Posts: 5,653

    Location: Nottingham

    I’ve bought a Ribble CGR AL 105 Disc in blue with Mavic all road wheels and a pair of Hunt Mason X to use as a Gravel bike and winter road bike using the Hunt wheels. I could also use it for Bike Packing as it has the mounting points.

    The Bike, Hunt wheels, Rotors and tyres etc. cost under 2K, could this be an option?
     
  11. TallPaul_S

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 24, 2011

    Posts: 5,779

    Location: Kent

    It's an alloy frame and carbon forks on the boardman and with the skinny tyres you'll feel most bumps on the road, when you're starting out your sitbones will take a while to get used to it so any extra comfort is well worth it.

    If you get an mtb you never actually need to use it off road, if your goal isn't to get somewhere in the most efficient and fastest way then skinny tyres and rigid forks aren't needed. Obviously an mtb gives you the option of riding elsewhere too, depending where you are in North London you may closer to some forest trails than you think - I've not been there but epping forest is meant to have miles of forest trails to cycle along.
     
  12. chaparral

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 27, 2005

    Posts: 20,774

  13. TallPaul_S

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 24, 2011

    Posts: 5,779

    Location: Kent

    Get one of these (don't be alarms by the MTB focused review, it'll be just fine for pootling around on road or on gravel roads)


    And then get off the stinky, poluted, busy London roads, and go here.
     
  14. AndyCr15

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 28, 2011

    Posts: 10,675

    Location: Barnet, London

    Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. I have already wondered about getting some different wheels for the Boardman if I fancied going off road. Are wheels expensive? The dual sport does look good, but I kind of need to buy through Halfords.

    The Voodoo Bizango does look good. I'm running a little short on time now though with the offer ending soon, but I found I would hopefully get the vouchers in time so I've put a request in for my Cycle2work voucher, which I don't believe I get any change from if I buy a cheaper bike :( Maybe I'll see if I can squeeze in a test ride on one though.
     
  15. TallPaul_S

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 24, 2011

    Posts: 5,779

    Location: Kent

    You can add accessories I believe, so a lock, lights, helmet, shoes, clothing etc. Might want to check the rules but I know you can buy lights etc outright with the scheme.
     
  16. AndyCr15

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 28, 2011

    Posts: 10,675

    Location: Barnet, London

    Yeah, I think I get 10% of the voucher in free accessories already though! And I don't really need much more at the moment, maybe a jacket... if I can find one that fits.
     
  17. OspreyO

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 12, 2006

    Posts: 3,239

    Have you got your current bike serviced? Might fix the issues you have with it.

    Tbh it's good enough to do what you are doing and that distance.

    I'm still using an MTB (no suspension) that's about 25 yrs old. I put slicks on it. My commute is about 8 miles each way. I haven't done it in a while though.

    Of course a new bike might give you motivation to get out more do longer distances .You'd have have to do mega distances to shift weight cycling. That's more about diet.

    I have my eye on that Boardman myself .Nice bike. But it's not suitable for of road riding. If that's something you wanted to do.
     
  18. sithlord

    Hitman

    Joined: Jun 1, 2007

    Posts: 713

    That boardman is nice.. Im thinking of going for the 8.8 myself, cant justify £200 for the 11 speed 8.9. It is 1x drive train too.

    I also like the fact you can get 20% off, just buy a cheap kids helmet for £5 and give it to them. You can get extra 10% using apple pay.. so those Boardmans HYBRIDs are a bargain.

    Im also in London and its hard to find trail and justify riding a mountain bike with nobblys. Having said that I owned the the Voodoo Bizango and had tons of fun with it..
    sadly I got burgled and they took all my bikes last month including the Bizango.

    I want something fast and that rides upright, not a fan of drop bars tbh.
     
  19. AndyCr15

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 28, 2011

    Posts: 10,675

    Location: Barnet, London

    Others have said similar. The gears are really annoying me at the moment, they don't always change when they should (I'm told a service and alignment would sort this) and tbh, when I change the left gear (front) and then have to adjust the right to get back to the right gear, it's quite a disturbance to my flow! 1x was much niver :)

    Do you have a link to where either of these is explained? I'm getting 20% off for trading in my bike anyway, I doubt the offers stack? Tbh, I've now ordered my £800 of cycle2work vouchers, if I don't use it, it's gone anyway, so getting more discount doesn't really help! I think I get 10% of the voucher price to spend on accessories though (safety accessories?) so I'd like to get a reflective jacket too, if they have one that fits!

    **EDIT** Oh wow, I see. I can actually trade in my helmet, keep my bike and still get 20% off?! That's actually pretty crazy. I just got a new helmet, so they can have my old one and I get £200 off my new bike?!

    I can then get my current/old bike serviced as advised :)
     
  20. sithlord

    Hitman

    Joined: Jun 1, 2007

    Posts: 713

    Heres the applypay and it stacks: https://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/10...-gift-card-into-apple-wallet-halfords-3198203

    Yeah just give them a Helmet, mix and match. Keep your bike.. I'm keeping my main helmet and buying a kids helmet for a couple of quid.