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Old 16-09-2011, 10:04 PM   #1
Sam_Boss260
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Default New to cycling

So, on doctors orders I need to drop some kilos and exercise. Running is out due to my calves, so I am really keen on cycling.

Tonight I gt the old mountain bike out and went for a ride, and thought I was going to die. Man am I unfit.

My question is more around those cyclists out there, what difference does a bike make? There are guys at work who are right into it and spend thousands on their bikes but you can pick it up with two fingers. So does a decent road bike make the difference? I mean my bike is old and is like a hybrid mountain bike, but on track today, there were guys pedaling the same as I was but they were justing taking off.

So does a good bike really help?
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Old 16-09-2011, 10:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: New to cycling

I guess the best way to put it is a Ferrari really quicker than a F100?

A good bike makes a lot of difference, rotating mass (wheels, tyres etc) more than static mass (frame).

I have a carbon fibre Eddy Merckx and it is a dream to ride, could not imagine doing a long ride on a hybrid.



The important thing is how much do you want to get into it? That 1 question dictates how much money you poor into the hardware.
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Old 16-09-2011, 10:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: New to cycling

Sam, a different approach...

Losing kg's is about the effort you put into the miles, not the miles you cover. A better bike will help you work less than a heavy old clunker over a set time period.

Last edited by geckoGT; 16-09-2011 at 10:24 PM. Reason: wrong button, oops
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Old 16-09-2011, 10:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: New to cycling

I just replaced my $160 bike with a $700 bike,so much better to ride.
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Old 16-09-2011, 10:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: New to cycling

In theory, but not entirely true in practice.

The heavy clunker is less enjoyable to ride, so you ride less. Also the heavy bike increases the resistance, which causes more difficulty climbing hills or riding into head winds. That increased resistance can cause an increase in the utilisation of anaerobic energy sources instead of more efficient and health beneficial aerobic energy systems.
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Old 16-09-2011, 11:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: New to cycling

Quote:
Originally Posted by geckoGT
In theory, but not entirely true in practice.

The heavy clunker is less enjoyable to ride, so you ride less. Also the heavy bike increases the resistance, which causes more difficulty climbing hills or riding into head winds. That increased resistance can cause an increase in the utilisation of anaerobic energy sources instead of more efficient and health beneficial aerobic energy systems.
Yeah, it just feels like I am peddling my ass off and getting exhausted quickly, especially up slight hills. So this is where i wonder if a better bike makes a difference. I don't want to go faster, just be able to ride better and tackle hills etc.

That is what I mean.
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Old 16-09-2011, 11:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: New to cycling

Check to see if there are any cycling groups near by. They might be able to assist with keeping you motivated.
The train I catch in to work is going to shut down for 7 months, so I'm going to use this time to start riding in to work. I'll be doing it with other guys from work so that'll help me keep doing it.

As for the bike, yes a good one makes a difference. But some small things make a difference too. Make sure the tyres are pumped up to their maximum pressure to reduce rolling resistance. Perhaps think about getting your bike serviced first to see if it makes a difference.
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Old 16-09-2011, 11:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: New to cycling

Sam, I'm a bit of a weekend warrior. I just do it for a bit of a look outside, out in the fresh air, but I do try relatively hard. No Lycra or road bike shoes, but I do have a road bike and still have my Hybrid which I purchased before it.

In your case, I'd be getting a Hybrid aka Flat bar road bike. They're more comfortable than a road bike, a bit 'harder' and a good starter bike. Overall the type of bike, clothing, shoes etc all makes a huge difference. If you're out on the road and people are passing you, I wouldn't be too concerned. A mountain bike isn't going to be easy on the road. Even the width of the tyres makes a difference.

Climbing hills is hard. Head winds are hard. Sidewinds are even harder (IMO)! No doubt about it... and for everyone who isn't anything more than a weekend warrior. With cycling, you want to feel like you go through the gears much like a car and it's important to change gears at the right time. If you do it when you feel like you'll be on the verge of getting tired, go to an easier gear and vise versa.

I recommend getting a wind trainer ($100), sticking your bike (ideally a Hybrid for you but anything would be fine) and getting some k's into the legs to start. Do interval training just to build muscles which you wouldn't usually use in your legs. Do it in front of the telly even and perhaps cycling at a certain amount of k's during the show time and slowing down over the duration of the ads.

Also, it's important not to cycle like a bull at a gate. You don't want to burn yourself out too early.
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Old 16-09-2011, 11:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: New to cycling

Good point sgt doofey... I might enquire about getting the trusty bike serviced, before I buy anything.
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Old 16-09-2011, 11:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: New to cycling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam_Boss260
Good point sgt doofey... I might enquire about getting the trusty bike serviced, before I buy anything.
All well and good with this too. Servicing a bike is relatively cheap until parts come into it. Make sure you inquire about how much parts will cost because they generally are very expensive. A decent Hybrid can be purchased for around $400 or so...

Just something to consider.
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Old 17-09-2011, 12:21 AM   #11
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Default Re: New to cycling

Im still relatively new to cycling. did indoor spin classes every week for a year and a half to start with. lost about 8-10kg of body fat and added lean muscle to my legs. only in the past 3 months have i bought a flat bar road/hybrid bike and love being outdoors more. i spent about 800 for my kona dew plus which had good components which i was told was very important. found cycling for me is easier due to having a strong back ground already due to indoor cycling. it will take some time to get used to but over time your legs, and sit bones will get used to it. work through the pain and continue to push yourself overtime
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Old 17-09-2011, 01:12 AM   #12
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Default Re: New to cycling

I have been riding for years. First BMX and now mountain bikes.
My downhill bike weighs about a tonne and is terrible when you are not doing down hill.

Work bought us a few bikes to keep out at barracks, one of them is a pretty nice road bike. I could not believe how light and fast it was. It was so easy to pick up speed, which makes you want to ride more and ride fast.
So I'd say spend the money and get the better bike. It will be worth it because it will make you want to ride.
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Old 17-09-2011, 03:04 AM   #13
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Default Re: New to cycling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam_Boss260
So, on doctors orders I need to drop some kilos and exercise. Running is out due to my calves, so I am really keen on cycling.

Tonight I gt the old mountain bike out and went for a ride, and thought I was going to die. Man am I unfit.

My question is more around those cyclists out there, what difference does a bike make? There are guys at work who are right into it and spend thousands on their bikes but you can pick it up with two fingers. So does a decent road bike make the difference? I mean my bike is old and is like a hybrid mountain bike, but on track today, there were guys pedaling the same as I was but they were justing taking off.

So does a good bike really help?

In a word Sam YES
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Old 17-09-2011, 04:34 AM   #14
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Default Re: New to cycling

You don't need to spend a fortune though. I recently started riding to drop some weight and for something else to do with the wife/kids.

Bought myself a $500 Giant MTB. Does the job for me. I usually do a 20km ride (down to the lake, around it and back home). Not huge hills, but a couple of small inclines.

Usually takes me about 50mins to do the 20km circuit. During the cooler days, i jump on the exercise bike, and will usually cover 25kms in an hour. Sometimes closer to 27km, sometimes a little less. Depends on the level i set it at (usually a medium level).

A good diet is also very important. I was aiming to consume about 1200-1500 calories a day. Some of my rides were using about 800 calories! I basically ate normal food, but really watched my portion sizes. Still enjoyed a few beers, but was more conscious of the fact that each beer is about 150cal. Started drinking xxxx summer bright, it only has 98cal, so i could squeeze a few extra in!

As you can imagine, i dropped weight pretty quick. Lost 20kgs in no time (between 2-3 months), and during the winter i have just done weights, no riding. Still maintaining my weight, but getting more lean mass.

Started riding again now it's getting warmer. I have another 10kgs or so to lose in order to rip up a bit.

I find riding a great way to drop weight, and it's not strenuous on the body.

Sometimes i have to tow the kids in the bike trailer, and the extra resistance that creates is massive... Gives me a great work out!
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Old 17-09-2011, 10:41 AM   #15
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Default Re: New to cycling

If you're riding up hill, you're going the wrong way.

Get a downhill bike, and get on some mountains! Not only will your fitness improve, but coordination, strength, etc
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Old 17-09-2011, 11:07 AM   #16
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Default Re: New to cycling

been cycling for 6 months myself . getting fit . its a great idea . in my case its helping me now , as i've had a setback , the fitness i thank god for .
cycling is great , i was overweight , and had a sore knee for no reason, and was told i was getting old and just get used to it . ?? wtf that was by doctors and physios after an MRI SCAN !!!!!
I BOUGHT AN $800 MERRIDA T1 FLATBAR ROAD BIKE , from a bike shop . ( buying from a bike shop is a must ) . in my case i did get suckered into a flatbar , as they say beginners in thier forty's its better for your back , i have to say F that. BUY A ROAD RACER IF YOU MEDIUM BUILT AND OK , IF YOUR VERY OBESE AND UNFIT , start on a new mountain bike , and if your stiff and very unfit with joint problems perhaps a flat bar road . in my case i wish i bought the road racer striaght up , but in my defence i bought what is called a fitness bike , so that means a little more effort on the road , but still a road bike none the less .
its a great move , but beware , when i get into things i get into them 100% , as i did you can over push it , within 1 month i was doing 60km rides , and riding sprints every 2nd day . i ended up with a bout of pnuemonia , docs said it may have been random but i may have went too hard too quick and run down my immunity . so get into it , and talk to expert bike riders and doctors , a club would be good to avoid this .
my advice is this , start slow , ride 10kms 3 times a week . then increase to 20km 3 times a week for a few months , and gradually up the pace , i managed to get up to 50km rides averaging 27.5kms an hour on my bike . i was told with a better bike my speed would've been around 29.5 average . it does get on your mind thinking after 40kms on another bike you'd be 3kms further up the road . so theres your answer there . good luck .
for me . i'm off the bike for a while and getting back into RC FLYING.
I'LL BE BACK ON THE BIKE WHEN I CAN . i hightly recommend cycling for the mind and body fittness . my legs strengthened up to no knee pain at all , hard thighs and lost 6 kgs in 3 months , you get hooked on it , so buy a bike for around $1500 to 3k 1st up if you can including computer and all accessories . you only live once mate . good luck .
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Old 17-09-2011, 01:16 PM   #17
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Default Re: New to cycling

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueoval
Im still relatively new to cycling.
Shav, if you're interested, a couple of good rides coming up soon. Amy's Ride which allows you to ride the length of the Southern Expressway and then in to McLaren Vale is pretty good. Shortest ride is 30kms, then 60kms, then 100kms. You pick which one you want. I've done it the last two years.

Also, the Bupa Community Challenge for the Tour Down Under is another great ride to do. The distances there are this year are 33kms, 79kms, 102kms or 138kms. Done this three times now.

I'm going to be doing the 79km ride in the TDU. Haven't signed up for Amy's Ride yet, but will most likely do the 60km one.
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Old 17-09-2011, 02:36 PM   #18
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Default Re: New to cycling

Assuming you have knobbys on the bike still, if so replace them with mtb slicks when you get the bike serviced, it will allow the bike to roll easier on hard surfaces and feel smoother, also keep the tyre pressure high to help eliminate some rolling resistance, you may need to purchase a floor pump to do this though.
Keep your cadence (leg rpm) high, most beginners use to low a cadence and that's bad for knees and takes the strength from your muscles quickly.
Have the bike set up for you, correct fit is important to comfort and strength, there are plenty of websites that will give good info about bike fit, there are professional people out there that can fit you up, but it may cost more than a cheap bike with some of them, but people swear by them.
Find people in your area to ride with to keep you motivated.
A bike computer can help you perform better as you can track your ride info and challenge it to do better.

Good luck
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Old 17-09-2011, 03:55 PM   #19
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Default Re: New to cycling

Quote:
Originally Posted by XR6_661
If you're riding up hill, you're going the wrong way.

Get a downhill bike, and get on some mountains! Not only will your fitness improve, but coordination, strength, etc

So true.

You hear ignorant people say " You wont get fit riding downhill, all you do is roll."

If only it was that easy.
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Old 17-09-2011, 05:03 PM   #20
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Default Re: New to cycling

Cheap, light, strong..............choose 2.

And yes, quite often you do get what you pay for.

Giant bikes have a good reputation in terms of value for money.
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Old 17-09-2011, 05:11 PM   #21
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Default Re: New to cycling

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtfpv
been cycling for 6 months myself . getting fit . its a great idea . in my case its helping me now , as i've had a setback , the fitness i thank god for .
cycling is great , i was overweight , and had a sore knee for no reason, and was told i was getting old and just get used to it . ?? wtf that was by doctors and physios after an MRI SCAN !!!!!
I BOUGHT AN $800 MERRIDA T1 FLATBAR ROAD BIKE , from a bike shop . ( buying from a bike shop is a must ) . in my case i did get suckered into a flatbar , as they say beginners in thier forty's its better for your back , i have to say F that. BUY A ROAD RACER IF YOU MEDIUM BUILT AND OK , IF YOUR VERY OBESE AND UNFIT , start on a new mountain bike , and if your stiff and very unfit with joint problems perhaps a flat bar road . in my case i wish i bought the road racer striaght up , but in my defence i bought what is called a fitness bike , so that means a little more effort on the road , but still a road bike none the less .
its a great move , but beware , when i get into things i get into them 100% , as i did you can over push it , within 1 month i was doing 60km rides , and riding sprints every 2nd day . i ended up with a bout of pnuemonia , docs said it may have been random but i may have went too hard too quick and run down my immunity . so get into it , and talk to expert bike riders and doctors , a club would be good to avoid this .
my advice is this , start slow , ride 10kms 3 times a week . then increase to 20km 3 times a week for a few months , and gradually up the pace , i managed to get up to 50km rides averaging 27.5kms an hour on my bike . i was told with a better bike my speed would've been around 29.5 average . it does get on your mind thinking after 40kms on another bike you'd be 3kms further up the road . so theres your answer there . good luck .
for me . i'm off the bike for a while and getting back into RC FLYING.
I'LL BE BACK ON THE BIKE WHEN I CAN . i hightly recommend cycling for the mind and body fittness . my legs strengthened up to no knee pain at all , hard thighs and lost 6 kgs in 3 months , you get hooked on it , so buy a bike for around $1500 to 3k 1st up if you can including computer and all accessories . you only live once mate . good luck .
I did just that 5yrs ago - spent just over $3k on a model runout with all I needed incl winter gear. I'm a football player as well at 51 and the riding over the summer keeps me well intuned for the next season - growing old is great buy more toys
Good points above depending on your current build.

kocho has a point with a hybrid - awesum models now and if your not into the full blown racer look perfect choice to still gain the desired results Sam260. My neighbour is a commuter on his hybrid - far out calves the size of water melons ! but he has done this for years and he still could do me when we did the Syd-Gong rides but I'm a weekend warrior, couldn't bear riding to work and back and he's copped a few hits nowadays.
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Old 17-09-2011, 07:14 PM   #22
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Default Re: New to cycling

One other thing i use is an app on my iphone called log your run. It's free, and it basically uses GPS to log where you have been. It's great for keeping motivated and trying to better a previous time or what not. It also uploads to the internet, so you can keep track of progress.

Also has useful features like current speed, average speed, calories burned, and a few other things.
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Old 17-09-2011, 07:35 PM   #23
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Default Re: New to cycling

I've been riding to and from the Train station for at least 18 months now and its a 2.3km ride each way.

Began with a Haro BMX which being 6 foot wasn't great. Then "upgraded" to a K-Mart Cyclops thing - dual suspension, front cable disc, however that died when the crank(?) bearing failed and everything went loose!

Now though I've bought this off eBay

Its a Scott Aspect 45 (2009) - hard tail but dual hydraulic discs. Its incredible what a quality bike can do for you! I've got the receipts from the original bloke and he paid $1000 for it in August 2009 and I bought it 2 weeks ago for $175. It'd just an all round faster, smoother ride. There are bargains out there and I don't fully believe in needing to buy something brand new.

It's up to you as to what design you want - if you're primarily going to using it on the road then definitely go for a road bike but if you're like me and want a variety then I think something similar to what I have would be perfect. I ride to the station on the paths during the week (have to due to traffic) and then I like to smash a dirt trail on the weekends followed by a smooth road ride home.

As above as well - put a good high pressure in the tyres (I use 60PSI) and seat height is crucial! Go as high as you can!
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Old 17-09-2011, 07:48 PM   #24
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Default Re: New to cycling

I recommend thorn resistant tubes, but I think you can only get them for MTB. Good protection even if you don't go offroad
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Old 17-09-2011, 07:48 PM   #25
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Default Re: New to cycling

I started with a mountain bike a year ago and it was really hard - i could barely ride 15 kms and i was shagged. Im a smoker so that doesnt help.

I upgraded to slicks and i didnt look back. I found that slightly over inflating the tyres made it easier. i could instantly do more kms and slightly faster

I recently moved to a full carbon fibre road bike(Giant Composite 2) - it flies.
Im still averaging 50kms or so per ride but im doing it easier and faster than before.

If you want to do kms and go fast then get a Road bike

If you actually want to get fit bung on some slicks and get rid of the shock forks and the heavier bike is the way to go. IMHO

Should also mention that riding near a beach where the errrr "view" is good really helps
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Old 17-09-2011, 08:19 PM   #26
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Default Re: New to cycling

Cheers for the replies guys.

I've pumped up the tyres so that they are rock hard, they were a little flat and I didn't realise and I raised the seat up about 1.5 inches. So let's see if that makes a bit of a difference.

Spoke to a good mate of mine who is a cycling fanatic, and he has suggested getting it checked out and possibly serviced from his local bike club / shop and maybe upgrade a few components, just for the time being.

If I can keep it and upgrade a few bits, and it is ok to ride for 6 months, then I will upgrade then.

If not, will then I'll look at changing now.

But your comments and suggestions are awesome, keep them coming.
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Old 17-09-2011, 11:55 PM   #27
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Default Re: New to cycling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott
Sam, a different approach...

Losing kg's is about the effort you put into the miles, not the miles you cover. A better bike will help you work less than a heavy old clunker over a set time period.
totally agree, as long as your bike is mechanically sound and the seat, handlbars and frame suitable for your personal frame then you can cut a lean figure on any bike regardless of how much it weighs or how much resistance it offers, provided you apply the same effort on the pedals.

though there is the pyschology of going faster and feeling good about being an a slick newer model machine that may make a difference in how long you keep at it.
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Old 17-09-2011, 11:59 PM   #28
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Default Re: New to cycling

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Originally Posted by Ghiadude

Should also mention that riding near a beach where the errrr "view" is good really helps
Ahhh, you have to love a good "scenic" area to make the km's seem easier. The river ride on a weekend morning during summer in Brisbane is very good for that.
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Old 18-09-2011, 01:14 AM   #29
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Default Re: New to cycling

If you need parts, check out chainreactioncycles.com
Keep at it and you will get fitter, stronger and faster in no time.
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Old 19-09-2011, 11:32 AM   #30
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Default Re: New to cycling

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Originally Posted by gossy
If you need parts, check out chainreactioncycles.com
Keep at it and you will get fitter, stronger and faster in no time.
+1 for Chainreactioncycles...

I'm all for supporting local bike shops as I'm an avid rider...but geez, can't go past CRC bargains!

Also, look at second hand bikes...check out www.rotorburn.com/forums

some cheap as bikes on there...and usually all well looked after. my mate just picked up a 08 Giant Glory for $1000.
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