Is it biting me?





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  1. #1
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    Default Is it biting me?

    Hi all, my wife got me in to spinning about 2 months ago ... in a garage, with 11 other "spinners", private house. After the first class where I almost lost my gentleman's sausage, I thought NO, NEVER, I already miss my tjommie.

    Seeing that we don't own cycles, this was for fitness and maybe shedding a kg or two. Now a bunch of classes on and a short with what seems to be cardboard in the vital areas, i'm actually starting to enjoy it.

    I'm actually considering buying a mountain bike. Never thought I would say it, as my general impression of cyclists weren't too great, as i'm always swerving to avoid them. (generalizing I know)

    So in short, what do I consider when buying a bike? Suggestions? I see there's different size wheels even for different applications? What is a decent budget? Keep in mind i don't think I will be doing it every weekend. Don't think so ....If you can state a couple of bullet points, I would appreciate the advice.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morne - Skip View Post
    Hi all, my wife got me in to spinning about 2 months ago ... in a garage, with 11 other "spinners", private house. After the first class where I almost lost my gentleman's sausage, I thought NO, NEVER, I already miss my tjommie.

    Seeing that we don't own cycles, this was for fitness and maybe shedding a kg or two. Now a bunch of classes on and a short with what seems to be cardboard in the vital areas, i'm actually starting to enjoy it.

    I'm actually considering buying a mountain bike. Never thought I would say it, as my general impression of cyclists weren't too great, as i'm always swerving to avoid them. (generalizing I know)

    So in short, what do I consider when buying a bike? Suggestions? I see there's different size wheels even for different applications? What is a decent budget? Keep in mind i don't think I will be doing it every weekend. Don't think so ....If you can state a couple of bullet points, I would appreciate the advice.
    Cycling is great! some thoughts:
    • Road cycling is fun, but South Africa does not have the ideal circumstances currently for road cycling (especially not for beginners) - I would buy a MTB and stay off tarred roads
    • Find a friend / club in the area who can show you around in terms of lekker tracks. There are hidden gems everywhere and you won't find them if someone does not show you
    • 26 / 27.5 / 29 inch wheels really don't make a massive difference, especially not if you are only getting started
    • If you have 10 thumbs on your hands, buy new bicycles and hear from your friend/club on where you can have them serviced. Otherwise, buy good condition (near new) second hand bikes and learn to do basic services yourself - it's relatively easy and will save you a lot of money
    • Hardtails are cheap, lightweight and uhm...hard. Soft tails are more expensive, more comfortable and heavier
    • Clipless pedals/cleats are great! Get them, learn to use them on your spinning bike and make peace with the fact that you will fall over at least once when you get started on the bicycle
    • NEVER ride without a helmet. It's just not worth it. A simple fall could cost your life. Also, gloves are a good idea - losing skin on your palms are over-rated.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    Quote Originally Posted by SuzukiPiet View Post
    Cycling is great! some thoughts:
    • Road cycling is fun, but South Africa does not have the ideal circumstances currently for road cycling (especially not for beginners) - I would buy a MTB and stay off tarred roads
    • Find a friend / club in the area who can show you around in terms of lekker tracks. There are hidden gems everywhere and you won't find them if someone does not show you
    • 26 / 27.5 / 29 inch wheels really don't make a massive difference, especially not if you are only getting started
    • If you have 10 thumbs on your hands, buy new bicycles and hear from your friend/club on where you can have them serviced. Otherwise, buy good condition (near new) second hand bikes and learn to do basic services yourself - it's relatively easy and will save you a lot of money
    • Hardtails are cheap, lightweight and uhm...hard. Soft tails are more expensive, more comfortable and heavier
    • Clipless pedals/cleats are great! Get them, learn to use them on your spinning bike and make peace with the fact that you will fall over at least once when you get started on the bicycle
    • NEVER ride without a helmet. It's just not worth it. A simple fall could cost your life. Also, gloves are a good idea - losing skin on your palms are over-rated.
    Thanks, what manufactures would you suggest for a newbie? Budget range? Anything to avoid?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morne - Skip View Post
    Thanks, what manufactures would you suggest for a newbie? Budget range? Anything to avoid?
    The best is to shop around. Remember that the brands only describe the frame, the components are still Shimano/SRAM, which is used by most frame manufacturers. Scott, Giant, Silverback, Cannondale, Trek all make good frames. I would steer away from Specialized - my experience has been that they tend to charge 10-15% more for the image.

    Google "online bicycle store south africa", familiarise yourself with the prices and keep an eye open for specials.

    Try to get tubeless conversion included in the deal. It really spoils a ride if you need to stop every 2km to fix a puncture. Tubeless is the way to go - my rear wheel has about 15 punctures, all automatically sealed with the sealant. The tire still holds pressure (I top up the pressure once in 2 weeks).

    At the end of the day it is the same as a vehicle purchase. You look at bikes in your price range and you get what you pay for. If you are buying new, I would advise you to spend R8k-R15k on a hard tail or R10k-R18k (R18k - R25k - sorry, I see my price range is a bit outdated...) on a soft tail. I promise you will have more fun than on a Makro-special!
    Last edited by SuzukiPiet; 2019/03/05 at 02:11 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    Unfortunately, cycling has become the new golf - many rich toppies have moved over to the sport and are willing to pay any prices.

    If you have a look at the bicycle graveyards in China, you cannot imagine how a simple component could cost so much! I honestly cannot see a reason why the top bicycles (simple frame, wheels, and a couple of components) can compete on price with the top motorcycles (220 kg of complex technology)...But that's just me.
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    Last edited by SuzukiPiet; 2019/03/05 at 02:24 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    Quote Originally Posted by SuzukiPiet View Post
    Unfortunately, cycling has become the new golf - many rich toppies have moved over to the sport and are willing to pay any prices.

    If you have a look at the bicycle graveyards in China, you cannot imagine how a simple component could cost so much! I honestly cannot see a reason why the top bicycles (simple frame, wheels, and a couple of components) can compete on price with the top motorcycles (220 kg of complex technology)...But that's just me.


    That is true, some of these bicycles prices are insane.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    Morne

    Tell us a bit more about yourself, age, weight, height, area you live etc. Will help with recommendations.

    Also, riding MTB is the answer, and then if you want to can enter some road races. I can't really recommend normal road riding to a novice.

    Cheers
    2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD Overland - GDE Eco Tune + 2" Lift on 265/70/17 BFG KO2's
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    Quote Originally Posted by SuzukiPiet View Post
    Unfortunately, cycling has become the new golf - many rich toppies have moved over to the sport and are willing to pay any prices.

    If you have a look at the bicycle graveyards in China, you cannot imagine how a simple component could cost so much! I honestly cannot see a reason why the top bicycles (simple frame, wheels, and a couple of components) can compete on price with the top motorcycles (220 kg of complex technology)...But that's just me.
    Fortunately, much like luxury 4x4's, that means we get to buy their second hand, lightly used stuff for a fraction of the price.

    Also, look out for end of season sales, normally around September. When the new models arrive and the old ones go at deep discounts.
    2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD Overland - GDE Eco Tune + 2" Lift on 265/70/17 BFG KO2's
    2017 Venter Savuti + Tentco Jnr, Dometic CF50 Fridge + Snomaster Battery Box
    --
    Ex - 2005 Cherokee CRD

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quiksilver View Post
    Morne

    Tell us a bit more about yourself, age, weight, height, area you live etc. Will help with recommendations.

    Also, riding MTB is the answer, and then if you want to can enter some road races. I can't really recommend normal road riding to a novice.

    Cheers
    Yes I definitely will go the MTB route.

    36, 1.8m, 89kg, Pretoria

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    Some good advice already. In my view, if you think spinning is fun, you'll love mountain biking. Honestly I can ride for hours outdoors but hate indoor training (except for Zwift, but that's something different).

    For a beginner, I'd suggest a hard tail (no rear suspension) as you won't be doing long distances or really technical downhill for some time.
    The brands you see around South Africa are generally well supported, Giant, Spesialized, Scott, Merida, you can't really go wrong. But rather stay away from the Makro R2000 jobbies - you'll be replacing them very soon.
    If you're looking second hand, take someone along who knows what to look for. Yes, mountain bike brake pads can cost as much as motorbike brake pads. A drive train replacement can set you back R3k easy. Find out when last the fork and bearings (head set, wheels, bottom bracket) was serviced. Take it for a quick spin and check that the brakes work and the gears shift easy.
    If you're looking new, 2018 models should go at a discount as everyone is stocking 2019 models.
    You don't need top of the range components. Almost anything Shimano/ Sram would be fine.
    Remember to budget for at least a helmet, shorts/bib and gloves. If you can get used to them, clipless shoes and pedals are great. If you're buying new, try to negotiate a discount at the bike shop.
    Get a bike set-up done. The bike shop should be able to assist.
    Get the tubeless set up done. Tubes are old tech.
    Don't be afraid to ask questions, here or the shop or anywhere. People are eager to help.
    Niel
    2012 BMW F800GS
    2010 Nissan Navara 2.5 dCi 4x4
    2015 Bush Lapa Miskruier (B503)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    Buy a 29er for say <R7k, see if you like it and if you don't it is not TOOO much wasted. (Except of course if you 100% know what you want)

    I have done many gravel rides and road races on my cheap MTB, no need to spend a load of money to have fun

    Brands - Siverback, Merida, Titan etc all good as entry. IMO stay away from Totem, Makro Raleigh, etc.

    If you want to do more 'open road' riding than trails, rather get a 2x or 3x, instead of a 1x (for top end speed)

    I have largely stopped riding trails since I 'discovered' gravel, so maybe get an idea of what you want to do, and decide accordingly. If you know what you buy, second hand can also be a good option.

    Get a proper bike carrier, otherwise you will most probably have to buy again, double expense.

    Also, www.bikehub.co.za has got a wealth of information.

    Most importantly, get your Strava going

    PS : Mushasi only see you post now, due to me having my edit window open for a long time
    Last edited by PieterOos; 2019/03/05 at 02:46 PM. Reason: Added PS

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morne - Skip View Post
    [/B]

    That is true, some of these bicycles prices are insane.
    The tyres on my wife's car cost less than my MTB's! And last much longer. It must be a supply and demand thing.
    Niel
    2012 BMW F800GS
    2010 Nissan Navara 2.5 dCi 4x4
    2015 Bush Lapa Miskruier (B503)

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morne - Skip View Post
    Yes I definitely will go the MTB route.

    36, 1.8m, 89kg, Pretoria
    I'd guess a large frame should be fine. I can't see a medium working for you.
    Niel
    2012 BMW F800GS
    2010 Nissan Navara 2.5 dCi 4x4
    2015 Bush Lapa Miskruier (B503)

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    ..some good second hand deals on the hub-i would definitely look for a 29er if i were you,@ 1.8, a Medium frame should be spot on!-
    Last edited by Herman Joubert; 2019/03/05 at 02:48 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Musashi View Post
    I'd guess a large frame should be fine. I can't see a medium working for you.
    I was going to say Medium, think Large will be too big.


    So to explain this 26, 27.5, 29 er thing. In the old says every mountain bike had 26 inch wheels. Then some bright spark decided the 29 was better (and i think it is) and then all the manufacturers started making 29ers. But then they realised such a big wheel for shorter riders and woman is perhaps not great, plus it can be slow for very twisty bits so they came out with a 27.5 or 650B size tyre.

    I'd recommend a 29er, but if you find a nice deal on 27,5 then its no real harm. And 26er can be found for nothing as they are now out of fashion but really there isnt all that much wrong with it.

    Any idea how much you would be willing to spend?
    Last edited by Quiksilver; 2019/03/05 at 02:52 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    Here's an idea if you can swing it. Find a local riding buddy, someone who knows a few trails and is happy to show you around. Then buy some kit: helmet, shorts/bib and gloves at least, and if you're happy to try it, clipless pedals and shoes. You'll need the kit anyway.

    Then start contacting bike shops, tell them you're looking for a new mountain bike, something entry level, and was wondering if they have something available for you to test for a few hours/ a day. If they do, go borrow it, go ride with your buddy and see how it goes. You'll quickly find out what type of riding you want to do and at the same time get a feel for the different bikes, narrowing your choice down. Hopefully your riding buddy can also help with some set-up adjustments and advice. Do this a second time if necessary, maybe even a third time. By then you'll have a good idea what to get and at the same time have also tested the service of a few dealers.

    Not many bike shops have demos available but it's worth asking.
    Niel
    2012 BMW F800GS
    2010 Nissan Navara 2.5 dCi 4x4
    2015 Bush Lapa Miskruier (B503)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    I'm 1.78m, right between M and L. My Scott is M, my Pyga large and I'm actually more comfortable on a large.
    Niel
    2012 BMW F800GS
    2010 Nissan Navara 2.5 dCi 4x4
    2015 Bush Lapa Miskruier (B503)

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quiksilver View Post
    I was going to say Medium, think Large will be too big.
    It depends on your inseam length as well. Both Large and Medium frames should work, but yes, you are probably closer to medium.

    I'm 1.79 m and I have a large frame, but only because it was a pass-on bicycle.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    Actually sorry you right, 180cm is 5 foot 11. So between a medium and a large depending on the frame style.

    I'm also 180 and my Giant Anthem is a medium and my road bike is a large.

    One comment from my side (others may disagree). If you are willing to spend a bit extra, go duel suspension right away. I guess it's like getting a 4x2 vs 4x4. If you start to enjoy it you will want the extra performance soon enough.
    Last edited by Quiksilver; 2019/03/05 at 03:13 PM.
    2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD Overland - GDE Eco Tune + 2" Lift on 265/70/17 BFG KO2's
    2017 Venter Savuti + Tentco Jnr, Dometic CF50 Fridge + Snomaster Battery Box
    --
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Is it biting me?

    Frame size will be dependent on brand, and also age of bike (if getting 2nd hand).
    A medium Pyga is not the same as a medium Scott, etc.
    There has also been a progressive increase in frame lengths, with a progressive decrease in stem sizes.

    Iíd suggest you go to a shop to get measured (even if you donít buy from them immediately). That will give you a better idea of size.

    Iím 180, and generally canít get comfy on a medium (brand dependent), but I do own a medium Focus that is perfect, but is exactly the same geometry as my large KTM.

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