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zydeco

Help with getting back into cycling

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I'm looking at getting back to cycling after the best part of a decade of being out of action caring for family. All I really want to do is get out for some recreational rides around Kings Park / Swan River here in Perth to reclaim some fitness and short rides to school / work / shops etc. I've got a hard-tail mountain bike but it's heavy and inefficient - and I'm very unlikely to do serious off-road - so I'm thinking of selling this bike and purchasing a gravel or commuter bike that better meets my needs (and provide a catalyst to getting back). Is this a decent plan? Is there an on-line forum / market (like SNA) for bikes? And any advice as to shops in Perth who can provide good advice? (Our local Bike Bug has been excellent for assistance with kids bikes but seems to be limited just to Cannondale for adult bikes).

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@zydeco

you can look at https://www.bikeexchange.com.au/s/bikes?sale-type-ids=1

but also go to your local bike shops and talk to them. Good bike shops will listen, have suggestions, may have traded bikes, ex-demos, old stock (new models begin in September/October), will know about riding groups including shop rides. 

One recommendation ; DO NOT purchase a 2nd hand bike if you don’t know what you want, don’t know how to assess condition/performance/bike fit/groupset or component levels. 

Too many ppl get sucked in buying the wrong bike or paying too much from non-cycling orientated sites because they think the sellers on a site are good at one interest they must be good at all interests. 

Also, go to your local library and read up their cycling magazines. 

Go to your local Giant bike centre, the Specialised centre, the Merida centre, the Norco guys, the Trek guys. 

Ask about upcoming Demo Days - a great way to try different models / styles in one place. 

IMO after investing some time, discussion and demos you will be in a position to make a decision on a bike, new or 2nd hand and have a good idea of pricing. 

There will be big discounts after Xmas (maybe even before) and New Year. 

 

DONT discount that ‘ol cluncker’ either!  Sure it’s heavy, but, for improving fitness it’s not an issue. Perth has some long, flat bike paths (and trails). Use it to get those muscles built up while you are doing research. 

Make the research fun......

Good Luck. 

 

 

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@zydeco ...... I found TBE (The Bicycle Entrepreneur) with stores around Perth quite helpful.

 

I came from Road cycling / racing background having had a 10 year layoff and wanted something for recreational riding only.

 

I ended up with a flat bar set up , with Shimano 105 road gearing on a carbon frame with wider tires, 27mm from memory..

 

Ticked all my boxes..... Hope this helps....:thumb:

 

Pic below....5a9e1c66b16b3_GiantBike.thumb.JPG.967239a796cfafc8f9285b094ff05b6c.JPG

Edited by Mendes
additional comment.

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As I was reading the OP, I was thinking gravel bike. I don’t know the WA mtb scene but a gravel bike that can take 650b wheels would allow you to get dirty too.

 

I find flat bar bikes uncomfortable (perhaps due to a road background) and constantly trying to get hands comfortable. On a drop bar bike you have 3 major hand positions to alleviate uncomfortable hands.

 

I’m also biased towards gravel bikes, as around 9 years ago, before they could be bought off the rack, I built up a Soma Double Cross with cable disc brakes up as a grave bike/super commuter/kiddie trailer tow bike. We can now ride up to 30km on the local bike paths with our kids (with a lunch stop) and I have a choice of road bike, mtb bike or my Soma. I always choose the Soma and I’ve just bought Vitoria “dry” gravel tyres with 40mm width. It’s like floating on air on the bike path.

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2 hours ago, zydeco said:

I'm looking at getting back to cycling after the best part of a decade of being out of action caring for family. All I really want to do is get out for some recreational rides around Kings Park / Swan River here in Perth to reclaim some fitness and short rides to school / work / shops etc. I've got a hard-tail mountain bike but it's heavy and inefficient - and I'm very unlikely to do serious off-road - so I'm thinking of selling this bike and purchasing a gravel or commuter bike that better meets my needs (and provide a catalyst to getting back). Is this a decent plan? Is there an on-line forum / market (like SNA) for bikes? And any advice as to shops in Perth who can provide good advice? (Our local Bike Bug has been excellent for assistance with kids bikes but seems to be limited just to Cannondale for adult bikes).

check out hybrid bikes these are great in being very versatile just for the kind of recreational riding you are thinking and can work for dirt paths to bike paths, short rides or longer ones and probably the best mix in not being a full on mountain bike or more purpose built road bike. they also sit in the mid range for weight. tyre and such.

 

https://www.trekbikes.com/au/en_AU/bikes/hybrid-bikes/dual-sport-bikes/c/B430/

 

I have one of the dualsports and have owned for a few years, has done quite a few kms when needed just for commute. but these days its more recreational, take where ever on back of the car for some trail rides or number of bike paths and tracks around out place :) 

 

ps you dont have to buy trek, I also owned a merida and they make nice hybrids too, as do giant as well. 

 

 

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@zydeco If you look at a hybrid/fitness whatever they want to call it bike, get one with a rigid fork. Suspension is for mtb only... sorry @:) al . They make the bikes heavier and is something else to go wrong/need maintenance. For light off road/gravel duties and bike paths, a 35-40mm tyre will give you all the compliance you need. If I ever ride my dual suspension bike with the kids, (as we sometimes ride to the BMX track) I always lock out the fork (there and back) as it's just not required unless on real rough trails

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1 hour ago, blybo said:

@zydeco If you look at a hybrid/fitness whatever they want to call it bike, get one with a rigid fork. Suspension is for mtb only... sorry @:) al . They make the bikes heavier and is something else to go wrong/need maintenance. For light off road/gravel duties and bike paths, a 35-40mm tyre will give you all the compliance you need. If I ever ride my dual suspension bike with the kids, (as we sometimes ride to the BMX track) I always lock out the fork (there and back) as it's just not required unless on real rough trails

sorry to disagree... but i have owned hybrids for some 18 years. and bought 4 hybrids in that time (2 for myself, 2 for wife, and daughter more recently) across two brands merida and trek, all have come with front shocks and with good reason. none (shocks) have ever needed any maintenance or gone wrong. the front suspensions on hybrids are very handy in keeping the versatility of this style of bike meaning can take on a variety of paths including rough trails and such these are quite adept at and the front shocks are quite handy. you can certainly lock them out if you wish but I myself have never seen the need :)

 

if you decide to start eliminating hybrids with front shock you will have basically eliminated lot of the really good hybrid bikes from  trek with their dual sports, merida with their cross bikes and giant with their roam which would be a real shame in itself. but in anycase choice will be OPs.

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9 minutes ago, :) al said:

sorry to disagree... but i have owned hybrids for some 18 years. and bought 4 hybrids in that time (2 for myself, 2 for wife, and daughter more recently) across two brands merida and trek, all have come with front shocks and with good reason. none have ever needed any maintenance or gone wrong. the front suspensions on hybrids are very handy in keeping the versatility of this style of bike meaning can take on a variety of paths including rough trails and such these are quite adept at and the front shocks are quite handy. you can certainly lock them out if you wish but I myself have never seen the need :)

 

if you decide to start eliminating hybrids with front shock you will have basically eliminated lot of the really good hybrid bikes from  trek with their dual sports, merida with their cross bikes and giant with their roam which would be a real shame in itself.

We all have our opinions Al. Can you explain to me the reason you feel suspension is necessary (or at least beneficial) on bike paths, gravel trails that don't really have any real bumps? I'd recommend this bike for you when you are ready to replace your current one (or higher up the FX range)

 

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Ask anybody with significant cycling experience if suspension is beneficial for anything other than proper mtb'ing or proper off road touring/bikepacking, and they will say NO. The weight penalty is not worth the meagre benefit making them inefficient. Hybrid bike suspension is usually (but not always) REALLY cheap, heavy and nasty elastomer type that you also see on little kids mtb bikes. Go up the model range and they change to adjustable air suspension on mountain bikes, and no suspension at all for a road or gravel bikes, whether they have flat bars or drop bars.

 

A hybrid bike is comparable to the HT in a box system of the audio world. Does lots of things okay, but nothing particularly well. If you go to a mega store bike shop they will follow the path of least resistance and sell you want you want, and if you don't know any better, a hybrid seems a smart choice. Go to a specialist store, ask them what should I buy for this purpose? For @zydeco the answer will be a Gravel bike or something like @Mendes bike if drop bars scare you, as long as it  can take a wider "gravel" tyre.

 

@zydeco look here to see what is available. You haven't mentioned budget so I didn't tailor price into the search. They range from looking just like a road bike with fat tyres, to almost looking like a relaxed, drop bar hybrid, minus the suspension.

 

This is what I'll probably buy my wife for Christmas as her bike path/rail trail weapon of choice @ $2350. You need a level of experience to buy the right size though as they are an online only brand. She has been riding her old flat bar road bike with 30mm cyclocross tyres (all that will fit without rubbing on the front forks) but the wheels are too old and continually breaking spokes and the bike is not really fit for purpose any more as she wants to do more gravel.

a4752543648f93b98825db2847c88.jpg

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32 minutes ago, blybo said:

We all have our opinions Al. Can you explain to me the reason you feel suspension is necessary (or at least beneficial) on bike paths, gravel trails that don't really have any real bumps? I'd recommend this bike for you when you are ready to replace your current one (or higher up the FX range)

i have already explained it blybo and with about 18 years of experience with them. I know why I need them across a variety of conditions which is where hybrids come in their own and particularly since trails are typically not smooth. even the little trail to our local national park is not smooth. I am not talking smooth bike paths and trails. this is where hybrids come in they are particularly handy. heck the shocks have even come in handy with bike paths wiht transitions I come across and have come across some shockers ! needing shocks :D . they do work and I find them necessary

 

thank you for your suggestions and why you think I should upgrade. but it is not necessary thanks. I am quite happy wiht my dual sport hybrid as my wife with hers and my daughter as well taking us across paths and trails in two states. I have no need for FX "fitness bikes" from treks range or any of the others suggested. the hybrid Treks sells and we have already are perfectly good for our needs.

 

as to the op am sure they can decide there are plenty of options. however if you want to eliminate shocks basically you eliminate the entire top range of hybrids from 3 brands I know off. 

 

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35 minutes ago, :) al said:

thank you for your suggestions and why you think I should upgrade. but it is not necessary thanks.

 

I said "when" you upgrade, not should, all bikes wear out eventually. Please don't take it personally, and please don't close your mind to other possibilities. Maybe next time your local bike shop has a demo day, ask if you can ride a rigid hybrid or gravel bike and you might be surprised.

35 minutes ago, :) al said:

however if you want to eliminate shocks basically you eliminate the entire top range of hybrids from 3 brands I know off.

I know 😉

Edited by blybo

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