Bought A Bicycle - Tips And Advice, Please...

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Psychedelic Casual, 7 Jul 2019.

  1. Psychedelic Casual

    Psychedelic Casual

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    I’ve not had a bicycle since I was a kid but I’ve just bought one so that I can ride to-and-from work (4miles away) and to-and-from my my Sister’s (7miles away). I actually used to be a spinning instructor but never had a bicycle as an adult.

    Will only be riding on dry days and the rides are only going to be leisurely rather than for fitness, that can be a side-positive. Mainly doing it to save money on petrol and to use my car less for green reasons (I’m getting more green conscious as I get older).

    I haven’t spent a fortune but didn’t want to buy some shite that wouldn’t last long or that was ugly looking. Saw some cracking models that were between £1-2k but went for the nicest looking one I could find for £500.

    Having not had a bicycle since I was a kid, I actually know very little about them. Are there certain things I should do or shouldn’t do?

    Should I get insurance (is that even a thing with bicycles?)?
    Should I do anything to the bicycle on a regular basis to keep it working well?
    Do I get it serviced regularly like a car?
    Where are the best places for repairs or new tyres when needed?

    Also, if cycling wear is advisable, is there cycling clothing available that isn’t the tight Lycra stuff (that look isn’t for me at all!)? And where’s the best place to get it from?
     
  2. yeseye

    yeseye

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    If you’re new to cycling i’d definitely recommend stabilisers .
     
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  3. Mazzarelli's Swiss Cheese

    Mazzarelli's Swiss Cheese

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    A well laid trap this. Should catch a fair few cycle haters.
     
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  4. Put some cowhorns on the bike or ape hangers
     
  5. yeseye

    yeseye

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    A bell would be handy and maybe a basket also for your french bread.
     
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  6. ganganvince

    ganganvince

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    Lolly sticks in the spokes are essential
     
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  7. Mëtal Bikër

    Mëtal Bikër

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    Yes, insurance is a thing. I pay £10 a month. (Wiggle does one for £2 a month)

    Keep the chain clean, if it has a deralieur, keep the sprockets clean as road gunk can cause it to seize, sending you flying.
    If you intend to clean it yourself, you can get it serviced every six months if you're a daily commuter, or every year if leisurly/casual. Ideally you want to keep on top of things yourself, save one hour a week just to give it a once over clean, nothing major. If not, have it serviced every 3 months. Usually costs £50 or £75 if parts need replacing. All depends on the type of bike you have.

    If your bike has brake blocks (like brake pads), these tend to last three months before needing replacing. Fairly cheap, around £5-10 for a front set.
    For tyre replacement, you're looking at one year before considering getting new ones. Punctures, you just buy a new inner tube (don't ride on flats or you'll need to replace the tyre.) Keep a few spare tubes handy at home.

    Ensure you have a bicycle pump, preferably with a gauge. Most cycle tyres work best at aroun 70-80 psi (I know, it sounds a lot) but bike tyres tend to have the psi requirement written on the sides.

    Law wise, if you're riding at night, you MUST have front and rear lights and reflectors. No arguments. Some use batteries and others can be charged via usb cable. A cycle helmet is not required by law, but common sense dictates to get one. It's not worth the risk.

    Hi-vis jackets are suitable but can act like a parachute in windy weather, but there are alternatives such as flourescent straps and anklets that are easy to remove and store. If you're looking for speed, then you wear lycra. If you want protection and comfort, wear denim. In fact, just wear denim, it's much better protection.

    Most importantly: If riding on the road, remember LIFESAVER checks. Look over your shoulder whenever appropriate for traffic overtaking. Learn hand signals, these are vital to communicate with other drivers what you intend to do. If you're not sure, take part in Bikeability or any other sort of cycle proficiency course. Stop at red lights; cannot express this enough. You're a vehicle on the road, obey the laws. Seriously you lose like 30 seconds of travel time, it's nothing and not worth the risk.

    Important note; cycle lanes are optional and most of the time will put you in danger of having to cut across roads to continue your journey. Ride in the gutter if you want punctures; it's where most glass and nails collect from street sweepers. Remember the car door rule (keep at least 1m distance from parked cars). They can open without warning and slamming into a car door at full speed is not fun, let me tell you.

    Safety is paramount, ignore the Bradley Wiggins wannabe's, go at your own pace to what you feel is comfortable. If you want to keep track of ypour progress, you can purchase cycle computers that display the time, your current speed, etc. They cost around £15-50 for the more decent ones.
     
  8. FantasyIreland

    FantasyIreland

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    Spokey Dokey's and stunt nuts
     
  9. Psychedelic Casual

    Psychedelic Casual

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    Cheers fella, I’ll take that all on board.

    I remember doing the Cycling Proficiency test when I was in Primary School so remember the hand signals.

    Think I’ll start watching some bike maintenance videos online.

    Never realised denim was good cycle clothing martial. Think I’ll be alright over the Summer months, but need to buy some suitable clothing and lights for the Winter though.

    What about a bell? When I went to Amsterdam everyone seemed to have a bell on their bike.
     

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