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Can you get me started?

(9 Posts)
Nix32 Sat 10-Jun-17 13:45:33

My 9 year old is really into his biking. He's part of a club and gets coaching every week. I need to catch him up! For starters, I need a bike. As light as possible, budget around £200. Any recommendations?

Thinkingabouthowlifechanges Sat 10-Jun-17 20:40:10

what do you mean by "biking"? I.e road cycling or mountain biking?

lljkk Sat 10-Jun-17 21:12:17

£200 doesn't buy you a good bike brand new.
Advice from your son's club would be best.

BikeRunSki Sat 10-Jun-17 21:18:57

I agree that £200 will not get you much of any sort of bike new .You'd be better off asking around your son's club. And do they have a beginner's/ladies/social section? Otherwise, the Breeze Network run women's only rides around the county, of various difficulties.

No one on the internet will be abel to tell you which bike is right for you, you have to sit on them and try them out.

Decathlon sell decent bikes for the price though.

Nix32 Sat 10-Jun-17 23:25:07

Oops, sorry - it's a mountain bike I'm looking for. So a Wiggle or a Carrera aren't worth looking at then?

lljkk Sun 11-Jun-17 07:55:21

You can easily spend £200 on Wiggle... for a bike helmet. grin

Unless you go on really rough ground, you probably don't want heavy front suspension, so I suggest look at a hybrid or commuter bike, not a true MTB. Getting fit right can be so tricky, there's a lot to be said for going to a local bike shop to sit on the bike. Even a branch of Halford's to try them out.

The challenge is that for £200 you're likely to get a heavy bike that is difficult to get up any hill, with poor quality parts that don't run smoothly & wear out quickly.

BikeRunSki Sun 11-Jun-17 08:15:13

I absolutley agree with lljkk. A mountain bike that costs less than £200 will be a miserable ride and a false economy. I hate to say it, but you probably need to spend closer to £500.

Is there anywhere you could hire a bike? Many forestry centres / National Trust estates / country parks with bike trails have hire bikes. You can often pick up ex-hire bikes quite cheaply too.

If you are quite small, an organisation called The Bike Club do a monthly hire service of children's bikes. Their largest hybrid Frog 73 might fit you. They cost around £15/month. Frog bikes are stocked nationwide through local bike shops, so maybe you could go and try one out somewhere, then hire for a while?

BikeRunSki Sun 11-Jun-17 08:35:55

Having said that, I've just had a look at Wiggle and presume that this is the bike you mean. It doesn't really look to bad for the money and has some reasonable components on it. It's on the heavy side but gets good reviews. Like anything, use it for what it's designed for (forest trails, canal tow paths) and you should be OK.

The only real issue is whether it fits you well, and Wiggle don't have shops. There's more to it than frame size (although this is a good starting point). I have a long back and short legs, and ride a smaller road bike than my friend who is 4" shorter than me. Unisex bikes tend to be designed for men, who generally have longer arms for their height and a higher centre of gravity than women.

Carrera is cheap and nasty, avoid it!!

Nix32 Sun 11-Jun-17 10:40:40

My son's bike is a Frog, which I'm buying through the Bike Club. It's a fab bike and I had thought about getting one for myself but the thought of only 8 gears was putting me off. Having said that, I've got a lot to learn and using gears properly is top of the list, so maybe it's a good place to start.

The advice is really useful, thank you.

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