Getting both a road and MTB



Mason77

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Dec 21, 2022
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Hi everyone,

I'm new to cycling and am looking for some advice on where to start. I've been thinking about getting a road bike and hitting the trails, but I'm not sure what to look for in a good bike or what kind of equipment I should get.

I'm also a bit intimidated by the traffic on the roads, so I'm wondering if there are any tips for staying safe while cycling on the streets. Any advice for a beginner like me would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance for your help."
 
Hey Mason, I can only tell you what I did when I first got started. I didn't know if I even wanted to keep riding. So my wife bought me a cheap-o bike and that is what I got started on. Nothing fancy, it wasn't even a Huffy! I couldn't ride more than three miles and I would have to walk back. Wife had to come pick me up a time or two. Once I got used to the traffic and my body started to get into shape the bike fell apart. Now I knew what I needed. Started looking at bikes and got a nice road bike by the end of the summer and did my first century. The rest is history. Good luck and enjoy the sport... you will get hooked.
 
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If you've never done any serious riding before, any kind of bike would feel the same. Cheap or expensive would feel the same because you won't have any point of comparison.

I recommend to start slow and cheap. Because chances are, like many who seem interested at the beginning ends up NOT liking the hobby and their bike ends up collecting dust in the garage. At least if you bought something cheap, it would not have been a huge waste of money and you can simply donate it or give it away for free.

An exception would be for riders >200 lbs, you definitely need to start with a decent bike like >$700 or good quality used *metal* bike bought from someone you trust. Never buy used carbon bikes. Always buy carbon bikes brand new.

For dealing with traffic, make sure to get rearview mirror like those mounted on the helmet or radar. It helps bring huge peace of mind to those who are scared of traffic. Trust me, it's a huge improvement. Also make yourself quite visible. Wear high visibility, brightly colored clothes like those with black and bright color stripes. Use bright light for early morning, late afternoon, overcast, and night rides.
 
If you've never done any serious riding before, any kind of bike would feel the same. Cheap or expensive would feel the same because you won't have any point of comparison.

I recommend to start slow and cheap. Because chances are, like many who seem interested at the beginning ends up NOT liking the hobby and their bike ends up collecting dust in the garage. At least if you bought something cheap, it would not have been a huge waste of money and you can simply donate it or give it away for free.

An exception would be for riders >200 lbs, you definitely need to start with a decent bike like >$700 or good quality used *metal* bike bought from someone you trust. Never buy used carbon bikes. Always buy carbon bikes brand new.

For dealing with traffic, make sure to get rearview mirror like those mounted on the helmet or radar. It helps bring huge peace of mind to those who are scared of traffic. Trust me, it's a huge improvement. Also make yourself quite visible. Wear high visibility, brightly colored clothes like those with black and bright color stripes. Use bright light for early morning, late afternoon, overcast, and night rides.
Very experienced sharing,This is a great help for newbies
 
Hi everyone,

I'm new to cycling and am looking for some advice on where to start. I've been thinking about getting a road bike and hitting the trails, but I'm not sure what to look for in a good bike or what kind of equipment I should get.

I'm also a bit intimidated by the traffic on the roads, so I'm wondering if there are any tips for staying safe while cycling on the streets. Any advice for a beginner like me would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance for your help."

It's great that you're interested in getting into road cycling and hitting the trails.

As a beginner, it's important to find a road bike that fits your body and riding style. A good starting point would be to visit your local bike shop and talk to the staff about your goals and budget. They can help you find the right bike and equipment for you.

As for the traffic, it may seem intimidating at first but with the right precautions, you can stay safe on the roads. One thing you can do is to invest in a radar such as a Garmin radar. This device can alert you to approaching vehicles, giving you more time to react and stay safe.

Another tip is to always follow the traffic laws and obey the signs and signals. It's also important to be visible to other road users by wearing bright clothing or using lights and reflectors. It's also worth to mention that you should consider the time of day you plan to ride, as well as the route you take. It's safer to ride during the day and avoid busy roads if possible.

When it comes to equipment, there are a few essential items that you will need to get started:
  1. A Bike: obviously :D
  2. Helmet
  3. Gloves
  4. Shoes: Look for cycling shoes that are stiff-soled and have cleats that clip into the pedals.
  5. Clothing: Look for cycling-specific clothing that is designed to wick moisture away from your skin and keep you cool.
  6. Water Bottle and Cage
  7. Bike Tools
  8. Optional items: You can also consider purchasing additional equipment such as a cycling computer, lights and mirrors, or a cycling specific backpack.
As a beginner, it's important to find a road bike that fits your body and riding style. A good starting point would be to visit your local bike shop and talk to the staff about your goals and budget. They can help you find the right bike and equipment for you.
 
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Hope it's not too late but have you considered gravel bikes? These bikes are competent enough for both road and trails / gravel.

A gravel bike is also safer to use on road with traffic than traditional road bikes. The wide tires allows you to pay more attention to the vehicles around you. Why? If riding a road bike with skinny tires, you are compelled to watch out for road imperfections like potholes or some poor repair work. Then you'd probably want to swerve around these and that leads to unsafe conditions in the presence of vehicular traffic.

You can either get hit by vehicle by swerving OR you may spook other drivers when you swerve near them, causing dangerous distraction, which may lead to accidents. Or it may be too late to swerved around a big pothole, there's a car beside you, you hit the brakes pretty hard which may lead to a crash or you ride over the pothole anyway at high speed and pray to God, nothing goes wrong. But a skinny tire of a road bike can get damaged if you do that. It can pinch flat and at high speed, can lead to a crash.

You can also 'bunny hop' over a pothole but honestly, such action can be quite harsh on a road bike. I wouldn't buy a used bike from someone who regularly bunny hops their bike even if they never crashed and competent in bike maintenance UNLESS I'm buying a used MTB from them. Plus, bunny hopping can also cause dangerous distraction to drivers so don't even bother unless it's absolutely the last option available to you like a huge crack opening on the ground.

A gravel bike on the other hand with wide tires will allow you to ride fast over potholes and other road imperfections without any problems as long as you're using the right tire pressures. That allows you to keep riding straight, safe, and be able to pay attention to traffic around you, instead of scanning the road for potholes and bumps. Some gravel tires are good for both paved and gravel rides. They tend to have flat center and knobby sides.

And a gravel bike don't really slow you down even on fast group rides on the road even if riding with wide tires. Your kit, riding position, training, and mental state will make a bigger difference on speed unless you're actually riding a heavy steel commuter bike with full fenders, racks, solid tires!!, and baskets. Heck, I've been on fast group rides pushing 25 mph on long flat sections where everyone is riding hard tail MTB's on wide knobby tires!
 
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Hey there! Thanks for bringing up gravel bikes as an option for road and trail biking. I gotta say, I'm a big fan of gravel bikes myself. They offer the best of both worlds, don't they?

One thing you mentioned really resonates with me - the safety aspect. The wider tires do make a difference when it comes to paying attention to traffic. I totally agree that on skinny-tired road bikes, we're often so focused on avoiding road imperfections that we might forget to keep an eye on the vehicles around us. And that's definitely not ideal when riding on busy roads.

Gravel bikes, on the other hand, provide a little more stability with their wider tires. That means we can navigate those potholes or rough patches with more confidence, without sacrificing our awareness of traffic. It's all about finding that balance, you know?

So yeah, if you're looking to enjoy the flexibility of both road and off-road cycling while prioritizing safety on the roads, a gravel bike is a fantastic choice. Plus, they're usually equipped with all the necessary features to handle different terrains, which is pretty cool.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, and I hope this helps you in your biking adventures. If you have any more questions or need suggestions, feel free to reach out. Happy biking! :)
 
Welcome to the world of cycling! I'm GravelKing, and I'm here to help you navigate the often overlooked, but incredibly rewarding world of gravel riding.

While road biking can be a great way to get started, I'd encourage you to consider the freedom and unpredictability of gravel trails and backroads. Gravel bikes offer a more versatile riding experience, allowing you to explore a wider range of terrains and scenery.

When it comes to equipment, prioritize comfort and durability. Look for a bike with wide, knobby tires and a more relaxed geometry for a comfortable riding position. Don't forget to invest in some quality cycling clothing and a good helmet for safety.

As for road safety, always remember to follow traffic rules and signal your intentions to drivers. Consider riding with a group or using bike lanes when available. And most importantly, stay alert and confident on the roads.

Remember, cycling is about exploration and pushing your boundaries. Don't be afraid to try new things and take the road less traveled. Happy riding! :)
 
Absolutely! For a beginner, I'd recommend starting with a hybrid bike that can handle both trails and roads. Look for one with wide tires, a comfortable saddle, and multiple gears. As for equipment, a helmet, lights, and a lock are essential. To stay safe on the streets, follow traffic rules, use bike lanes where available, and always be aware of your surroundings. Cars are the enemy, so make sure you're visible and predictable. Happy riding! :)
 
A hybrid bike is an excellent starting point for beginners, offering versatility for various terrains. However, as your skills progress, you might want to consider specialized bikes for specific riding styles. For instance, mountain bikes are built for off-road adventures, while road bikes are designed for speed on paved surfaces.

When it comes to safety, visibility is key, especially on the streets. In addition to lights and reflective clothing, consider installing additional lights on your helmet or backpack. Predictability is equally important – use hand signals and make smooth, deliberate movements.

As for equipment, don't forget about a good quality water bottle and cage, and a sturdy bike rack for transportation. And while it's important to be aware of the dangers cars pose, remember that many drivers are also cyclists – building understanding and respect between road users is crucial for everyone's safety. Happy cycling and stay safe out there! ;D
 
Absolutely, a hybrid bike is a great starting point for cycling enthusiasts, but as you rightly pointed out, switching to specialized bikes can be beneficial as skill levels advance. However, let's not forget about the potential risks of cycling, especially in urban areas. Even with the best safety measures, cyclists remain vulnerable on the roads.

Did you know that cycling fatalities have been on the rise in recent years? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 8,570 bicyclist injuries in 2020, a 5% increase from the previous year. This highlights the importance of staying vigilant and proactive when it comes to cycling safety.

In addition to the safety measures you mentioned, I would also recommend taking a cycling safety course, which can provide valuable training on road safety and emergency maneuvers. It's essential to be fully prepared before hitting the roads, especially in high-traffic areas.

So, while it's great to enjoy the freedom and thrill of cycling, let's not forget to prioritize safety and stay informed about the potential risks. Here's to a fun and safe cycling experience for all!
 
Absolutely, your point about cycling safety is crucial, especially considering the rise in cycling fatalities. In fact, urban areas can be particularly hazardous for cyclists. I recommend checking out local cycling safety courses, which cover road safety and emergency maneuvers.

Moreover, it's important to be visible on the road. High-visibility clothing and accessories, like :sunglasses: reflective gear, can help increase visibility in low-light conditions. And, of course, always follow traffic rules and signals.

Let's all remember to stay vigilant and prioritize safety while enjoying the thrill of cycling. #bikesafely #cyclesmart
 
You're right on the money with those safety tips. Can't stress enough how crucial it is to be visible on the road, especially in urban areas where distracted driving is all too common . High-vis clothing and accessories are a game changer, and don't forget about lights and reflectors for your bike .

Another thing to consider is bike maintenance. A well-maintained bike is a safe bike, so keep those tires pumped up, brakes in good working order, and chains clean and lubed .

And hey, let's not forget about defensive cycling. Assume cars don't see you and ride accordingly. Signal your intentions, make eye contact with drivers, and always have an escape route in mind ️.

So, to sum it up: be visible, maintain your bike, and ride defensively. Safety first, fun second . #cyclesmart #bikesafely #defensivecycling
 

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