View Full Version : Getting started bicycling

08-13-2012, 01:02 PM
If any of you guys cycle I need some advice on what kind of bike to get and all the rules of cycling on the road and stuff.

My real concerns are:
-How much money am I going to spend on a rad bike
-The drivers here are crazy and I will probably die
-Keeping the thing from getting stolen at school


08-13-2012, 01:37 PM
Are you really going to use it or you just think it would be cool to use it?

08-13-2012, 01:38 PM
I am going to use it to go to school which is about 4 miles away

08-13-2012, 01:41 PM
Are you fully committed to it?

08-13-2012, 02:18 PM
Wear a bike helmet.

08-13-2012, 04:09 PM
are you going to be riding on roads and sidewalks or like sort of offroad. also is there a lot of hills where u live

08-13-2012, 04:45 PM
I would suggest looking at the highway code, there is a section for cyclists that will tell you all you need to know, experience and commitment will teach you the rest.

And what type of terrain will you be cycling on? That will determine what type of bike to get.

08-13-2012, 04:50 PM
fuck da highway code, I'll tell u what u need 2 know

08-13-2012, 05:12 PM
Or you could do that I guess :P

08-13-2012, 05:13 PM
dont go through crosswalks on a bike

08-13-2012, 09:46 PM
Are you fully committed to it?

Yeah because the other alternative is running and that would suck

are you going to be riding on roads and sidewalks or like sort of offroad. also is there a lot of hills where u live


08-13-2012, 09:58 PM
then you don't need to get a mountain bike. You should look at road bikes and fixed gears I guess. Fixed gears are faster but more difficult if there's hills cuz its hard to pedal up hills if u dont have gears. They're simpler bikes though so they're easier to look after and maintain and shit. Road bikes have gears tho which is indispensable if there's hills and shit where you live. What's your budget for a bicycle?

08-13-2012, 10:02 PM
Idk about budget yet but I absolutely couldnt go above 400 bucks

08-13-2012, 10:33 PM
you're gonna want to look at used bikes then if you want to get a good one. Good bikes are pretty expensive.

08-13-2012, 10:56 PM
check craigslist for used road bikes, regardless you should be able to find a road bike for under 400. If you're in the city a road bike is definitely way better than a mountain bike. Also like others said WEAR A HELMET!!!! Do you live in a biggish city with crazy drivers?

08-13-2012, 11:41 PM
fuck helmets u dont need 1 it will mess up ur hair

08-14-2012, 01:06 AM
Better than messing up your head.

08-15-2012, 03:25 PM
Don't forget about retroreflectors. In dusk bicycles are hard to see from a car, and fog too is not something that never happens. I learned drivind some months ago, so I say this from experience. And it's best to have them on the wheels too.

08-16-2012, 01:54 AM
That is a very insightful and useful tip, thank you for bringing this to our attention

08-16-2012, 01:56 AM
I actually started getting into biking a few months ago... my suggestion is to get a road bike. Hybrids can be okay, but if you get a bike with small wheels and a low seat, you're going to be rolling a lot slower than a guy on a fixie. The issue with road bikes is that they're a little harder to get on and off of than a low-seated hybrid; I would recommend practicing getting on and off your bike in a less populated area before taking it down a city road. Also, if you get a fixie, make sure you're aware of what that entails. Most fixies have 'freewheel' modes available anyway, which is what I do.

The most important thing about your bike is going to be the sizing... you can get this done at a bike store, but it's kinda awkward if you don't plan to buy the bike there (they tend to cost a lot more). Google 'road bike sizing' and similar terms and do your research -- many people have this problem. Measure your inseam *very* carefully, and know the ideal top tube length. It's better to go low than to go high on frame size, but be wary of going too low also.

There's a bike on Amazon called the Takara Kabuto that, while not the best bike ever, is a pretty solid road bike. http://www.amazon.com/Takara-Kabuto-Single-Speed-Frame/dp/B004GWP6CK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345095688&sr=8-1&keywords=takara+kabuto

However, it only comes in two sizes, 54 cm and 57cm. I originally got the 54cm version, and it was okay, but a little too big for me. I had trouble balancing since the handlebars and front wheel were so far away. My 5'8-9" brother inherited it from me and it fits him perfectly.
The nice thing about the Kabuto is that it comes with a kickstand and a chain guard -- while hipsters will judge you heavily for these features, it's kinda nice getting started.

I ordered this bike to replace mine, in the 52cm size: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/sst_steel.htm . It fits better, though I probably could have gone lower.

Both of those are about $250 - so they're not exactly amazing quality. I haven't had any issues so far though; I'm at maybe 100 miles on the Dawes so it's not really been put to heavy use.

If you plan to do a lot more cycling, you might want to think about something like the Kilo TT, which is roughly $400: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/kilott_special_chrome.htm

This bike is kind of the standard when it comes to fixies (and single-speeds). The frame is generally regarded to be the best at its price level and the rest of the components are pretty solid too. My friend has this bike and it works great for him; he's probably put 500 miles on it at this point.

There's also the used route... not a fan, personally, but if you know someone who knows someone or are okay with Craigslist this is definitely a good option. Consider bringing a 'bikefriend' to make sure everything is working.

As far as accessories go, here's a quick list in order of importance... I can link you what I bought if you need suggestions.

1) Helmet (roughly $30)
2) U-Lock ($20, if you're okay with a key version)
3) Lights (front and rear) if you plan to ride at night; reflectors otherwise but I'd suggest lights anyway. (up to, and over $100)
4) Bike Pump - get a floor pump ($35)
5) Some sort of bike toolkit; if you have a good compact set of allen wrenches and a screwdriver that should work too. ($20?)
6) Backpack - two straps, preferably w/ compression strap. Great for carrying the u-lock if you don't want to mount it or put it on your handlebar.

You'll probably want to replace the saddle (seat), but that can wait. There are also several options for pedals, including 'toe clips' (come standard on the Kabuto) and 'eggbeaters' (which need special shoes).

Let me know if you have any bikes you're considering, I have a few bikefriends I can query.

08-16-2012, 02:03 AM
u know a lot about bikes. So u have a fixed gear bike? I've wanted a fixie for a while but idk. I have a hybrid right now but it's rusted to shit and idk how much repairing it is gonna cost. I gotta replace the chain completely and idk about the gears. How expensive is a decent fixed gear, do you know?

Also with bike sizing for James, a good way to tell if your bike is the right size straight away is that you should be just able to touch the ground with your toes while you're on the seat

08-16-2012, 12:13 PM
Um I used a sizing guide but my inseam and height are in like 2 different categories. Without shoes I'm almost exactly 6 feet and my inseam is 28-30.

08-16-2012, 12:55 PM
Um I used a sizing guide but my inseam and height are in like 2 different categories. Without shoes I'm almost exactly 6 feet and my inseam is 28-30.

Ah, yeah, that's tough to size. If you google around you can generally find people with given heights/inseams talking about what worked for them - otherwise, calculate your top tube length and try and size off of that. What's really fun is that a lot of companies have their own sizing charts... shit's tricky.

@Hayashida: Freewheel, technically, but the difference comes down to a certain cog on the rear wheel. The Kilo TT that I linked before is considered one of the better fixies; it runs a bit under $400. Check out bikesdirect.com for some more options... there's also Amazon but most bike forums will hate on any bike Amazon actually sells.

08-16-2012, 01:19 PM
Wait nvm I measured my inseam wrong. According to this calculator I need a 57.

08-16-2012, 01:57 PM
Lights can be way cheaper than $100 dollars btw... you dont have to get top of the line lights

08-16-2012, 02:23 PM
$100 isn't top of the line if you count front/rear together... this (http://www.amazon.com/Cygolite-Centauri-1000-Double-System-Battery/dp/B004BHE4OQ/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1345141071&sr=8-10&keywords=ion+bike+light) is top of the line :P

That being said,I believe my current set cost me $70 as a single item, and I'm really satisfied with them.

@Jubeh: That sounds about right. The bigger size of the Kabuto would technically fit you then - within its reviews you can probably find someone who's 6" talking about the fit.

08-16-2012, 02:58 PM
@Hayashida: Freewheel, technically, but the difference comes down to a certain cog on the rear wheel. The Kilo TT that I linked before is considered one of the better fixies; it runs a bit under $400. Check out bikesdirect.com for some more options... there's also Amazon but most bike forums will hate on any bike Amazon actually sells.
cheers man. So wait is a freewheel where the rear tire can rotate without the pedals moving as well?

08-16-2012, 03:35 PM
Yeah, exactly that. With a fixed gear, if the wheels are moving, the pedals will move. The two big advantages of fixed gear are that a) it's better conditioning for 'real' riding (track cycling is done on fixed gears) and forces you to maintain a cadence and b) you have control over your speed besides just breaking.

The downside is that you can't coast....and coasting can be pretty nice at points :P

Anyway, most if not all fixed gear bikes have a freewheel mode, so you can always try both modes out.

08-16-2012, 06:13 PM
I definitely want a freewheel one since there's so many hills around here. Coasting is like half the fun of cycling imo

08-16-2012, 07:32 PM
LOL. I'm a dutch person let me tell you something, we are THE CYCLE COUNTRY. D:<

I would say get a used bike, a lot cheaper. Get a bike that fits you, or else you will have back-problems while riding. Go to stores that sell used bikes, usually the imployees can help you out, ask if you can sit on it and stuff to see if it really fits. BE SURE IT HAS A CHAIN-GUARD. or else you'll get dirty pants like me xD.V(check everything when buying a used bike, you never know what might be broken.. and see if the stores have a guarantee or something)

For a bike not to get stolen you need a good lock, do you also know if there is any surveillance with your college parking place for cycles?
Try to park at places where people can see it, usually people don't steal cycles in broad daylight with people watching.

Be sure to handle your own route, how much time do you need to cycle from A to B, and also put in a " tired " factor lawl, be sure to always bring a bottle of water when cycling... i get thirsty after even 10min cycling in this weather xD.

We don't need any protective gear here, since riders have their own roads and shit, but people who cycle fast and shit do wear one.
Is it dangerous while cycling wear a helmet. here's its like super safe so its all cool.

I'm looking for a new bike for college (just going to buy a used one...) The one i have now is all broken and stuff.
Be sure to keep your bike tidy as in, dont let it fall to the ground much use the stand because something might break, dont make it stand in the rain unless you HAVE to...

Don't forget to grab more lunch lawl... you get hungry from cycling..

ALSO BICYCLE LIGHTS? man we can buy those cheap LED ones for like 2 euro...