Key Post Buying a Bicycle - city centre cycling

foxi_fitzi

Registered User
Messages
31
Bus is doing my head in, so i'm throwing in the towel and opting for cycling instead, besides i'll get grrrrt excercise ;o)

I need to get to my workplace travelling from firhouse to city centre five days a week.

I have no clue when it comes to buying a road worthy, very good bike so if anyone could recommend a model and a very good dealer. Preferable in the city centre/southside area.

Thanks in advance everyone.

ff
 

Dowee

Frequent Poster
Messages
107
I do a cycle from the same area to town every day. I have a Ridgeback Day 01. It's essentially a road bike / racer hybrid and I find it perfect for the trip. I got it in Cyclogical on Bachelors Walk. I found them very helpful in there, they made numerous changes to the bike before I bought it, to customise it more to suit me.
 

dickvandyke

Registered User
Messages
27
yeah, whatever you do don't buy a mountain bike with fat tyres and suspensions all over the shop....they're for mountains!!!!!!

Get a racer and you'll fly in.

Good shop on Parnell St.
 

gnubbit

Frequent Poster
Messages
345
My other half reckons a hybrid is best - he commutes from city centre to south dublin. Apparently the roads are too bad for racers. He likes Commuting Solutions in Rathmines, bought his bike for about 300 quid there a couple of years ago. They're helpful and are open 7 days which is handy for repairs, servicing etc.

I find cycling in the city centre nerve-wracking and hate it. If you haven't done it in a while, might it be an idea to borrow a bike to do a test run before you cough up for a new bike?
 

hotlips

Frequent Poster
Messages
138
My other half reckons a hybrid is best - he commutes from city centre to south dublin. Apparently the roads are too bad for racers. He likes Commuting Solutions in Rathmines, bought his bike for about 300 quid there a couple of years ago. They're helpful and are open 7 days which is handy for repairs, servicing etc.

I find cycling in the city centre nerve-wracking and hate it. If you haven't done it in a while, might it be an idea to borrow a bike to do a test run before you cough up for a new bike?
I'd agree with the hybrid suggestion. I bought a Dawes Discovery 401 in Hollingsworth Cycles, Kilmacud Rd Lr, Stillorgan a couple of years ago. It was really comfortable and easy to cycle from day 1. It was about €400 at the time. I only cycle about 5 miles each way.

(I have no connection with that shop or Dawes.)
 

Dreamerb

Frequent Poster
Messages
784
Get a racer and you'll fly in.
Uh-uh - you may fly in, but get a patch of bad surfacing and you may fly over the handlebars (or damage the bike). Racers are fine for good consistent surfaces, but if you have bumpy or uneven stretches it's a nightmare. I'd echo the hybrid recommendation: you need something a bit sturdier.

Commuting Solutions is decent, as is Penny Farthing on Camden Street from which I bought my last bike.

If you're planning to start cycling not having done so for some time, bear in mind that it's got worse. I think gnubbit's right: you should do a few test runs before committing. Wear a helmet and hi-vis gear too - you don't want to give the motorised comunity any excuse to use you as target practice! [Doesn't actually stop them, does reduce your potential injury and increase your civil claim ;) ]
 

foxi_fitzi

Registered User
Messages
31
thanks so much for all your feedback.

yes i haven't cycled in a long time, i realise it will be hard but you know im keen and too stubborn to not let that put me off, along with the fact the bus service on my route is heart breaking!!

so what i had planned was to buy the bike (a bike you all have highly recommended), and every evening build up my confidence & fitness by cycling short journeys, and cycling my route on a sunday.

i have really no clue when it comes to bikes so i really appreciate all the advise you can give me.

thanks again,

ff
 

babydays

Frequent Poster
Messages
413
Again- just to add to the chorus - get a hybrid!

Have to keep your wits about you cycling in the city but what a buzz flying past the traffic and knowing how long it will take to get home!

Enjoy - just be careful!!!
 

Ruam

Frequent Poster
Messages
176
I know other have mentioned the importance of getting the right bike but it cannot be stressed enough. If you get the wrong bike for you, cycling will not be enjoyable so make sure you go to a shop that is prepared to spend time and talk to you about what you want and makes sure you get the right size bike. If a bike is too big or too small it will not be comfortable to ride.

Personally for commuting I think a hybrid bike is the most suitable, the more you pay for the bike the better it will be. Test ride a number of bikes and see what feels comfortable.

I don't live in Dublin so don't really know the shops but best of luck and enjoy your cycling. It beats sitting on a bus.

Ruam
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
38,654
I would buy the bike somewhere close to work on your way in, so that you can leave it in for repairs and servicing and collect it again on the way home.



I got kevlar tires to reduce the incidence of punctures. However, I got a lot more punctures since I got them. But I would imagine that's a statistictal anomaly.

Brendan
 
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comanche

Frequent Poster
Messages
213
I got kevlar tires to reduce the incidence of punctures. However, I got a lot more punctures since I got them. But I would imagine that's a statistictal anomaly.

Brendan

Kevlar tires are a must - expect to spend 30e plus for a good set. When I was cycling (miss those days - get the train now) I would get a puncture every two weeks I'd say - switched to the kevlars and never looked back.

Would reccoment a hybrid myself - but watch for tyre width. I switched from a raleigh mountain bike (heavy pieces of junk) to a Giant FCR3 (http://www2.giant-bicycles.com/en-GB/bikes/road/125/15209/) made cycling an absolute joy.
 

Dachshund

Frequent Poster
Messages
143
RE: Being female and cycling.

Leave a make up bag and change of clothes in work. There's nothing like doing the Wonderwoman trick of disppearing into the loo looking like a soggy cyclist and coming out looking like a goddess.

Cycling shorts are not always a necessity, a good saddle takes a lot of the discomfort out of cycling, look for female specific saddles and don't assume that the one that looks like an upholstered armchair will be the most comfortable. I use a female racing saddle myself and it's brilliant.

Lightweight is the key to comfortable cycling. I can recommend Lowe Alpine waterproof trousers and Patagonia jackets as being the best fit if you're a girl. A decent pair of waterproofs will set you back as much as a head of highlights but willl last you two to three years (as opposed to six weeks!).

Bear in mind that most of the expense in cycling is when you are just starting out. If you look at the cost of a yearly bus ticket €750.00
you should be able to get everything for the bike for under that figure.

As a motivational tool get yourself a speedometer and try and improve on your average time.

Cycling around Dublin is great and remember that if you act like traffic and respect other road users they will respect you.
 

gearoid

Frequent Poster
Messages
383
I'd go for a hybrid as most agree here.

I have a Trek 730 for the last five years and it's just great.

Also I don't think anyone mentioned Ortlieb Panniers. They're excellent. I used to bring a large laptop to work. I could fit in my change of clothes in one pannier and the laptop in the other. You can get them in the big cycle shop in Parnell St. (name escapes me) for 100 euro. They're completely waterproof and clip on easily to the back carrier.

Also if you ever get a chance once you get fit you can go on a cycling holiday. They're fantastic for fun, fitness, sightseeing, sense of achievement etc. Cycled the west coast of Sardinia two years ago and it was great. Went through Irish Cycling Safaris/Dolce Vita Bike Tours.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
38,654
The panniers are important.

I bought a big heavy one and it was difficult to put on and off.

Then I bought a light, waterproof one and it was excellent.

A friend of mine has just bought a very similar one, but with a carry strap on it, and that would be so handy.

So...
Lightweight
waterproof
Easy on and off
a carry strap

Brendan
 

Persius

Frequent Poster
Messages
197
As most others have said - get a hybrid
Tyre thickness should be between that of a mountain bike and a racer. Look for extra thick tyres that are puncture resistant. If they don't come with the bike, you can fit them as extras.

And make sure it has mudguards. Plenty of crap on Dublin roads even when it isn't raining.

Also make sure it has a carrier, as implied by those who've recommended panniers.

I'll probably jinx myself by saying this, but I bought a Dawes hybrid about 6 years ago. It does loads of commuting as well as some touring in Ireland and abroad. I've never got a puncture. I've changed the tyres once due to wear. When I changed them I got ones with an extra thick lining to be puncture-resistant.

Regards carrying about all the tools etc - don't bother. The only thing I'd consider carrying when commuting is a pump and wet gear (obviously carry more when touring). If you look after the bike reasonably well at home, the chances of something happening on the side of the road that need immediate repair are low. Worst comes to the worst, walk to the nearest bike shop, or lock the bike and hail a cab. Pick up bike later to get it fixed (or put it into boot of cab there and then). Less hassle in the long run IMHO.

But if you really want to carry tools, get three tyre levers and a "multi-tool" from a bike shop - small, compact and contains everything you need (even a chainbreaker).

Regarding shops, commuting solutions in Rathmines, or Cycleways on Wexford/Camden st, or the one in Parnell st previously mentioned. You'll pick up something decent enough for €350, though could easily spend more.

Sensible idea to build yourself up to it by cycling evenings first. Good luck with it - it's the best form of transport in rush-hour Dublin.
 

foxi_fitzi

Registered User
Messages
31
thanks to all of you, your great advise and words of wisdom - only for ye i was confident buying my bike (2nd hand, may i add, but in good condition).

i got a gents Trek because i needed a 20 inch frame and it's apparently hard to get 20 inch frames for ladies bikes 2nd hand.

yup it has mud guards, carrier on back (see i listened).

i also got a hi-gear 13 air vent helmet, better safe than sorry and good blinking lights for front and rear.

now i will have to get the rain gear and thanks for the tips Dachshund, appreciate those being a girl (goddess) and all ;o)

now my last question (unless something else comes up, of course!!)

? the guy in the bike shop said he would change the seat to a ladies seat on the gents trek, my question: is their much of a difference? am i better off keeping the gents seat or should i ask now to get it changed (collecting it wednesday).

im asking because you all stress the importance of a comfortable bike journey, and if ye do recommend me to ask him to change it, is their a specific type of ladies seat i should ask for to match the trek model?

again you lot are stars, thanks for coming back to me,

ff
 

Ruam

Frequent Poster
Messages
176
Womens saddles are wider and women generally find the wider saddle more comfortable.

Best of luck with your new bike and commuting. It's a great way of getting around.

Ruam
 

foxi_fitzi

Registered User
Messages
31
thanks for that guys,

for all those lady cyclists out there, in your opinion, could i live with the gents seat on my bike or am i better off changing it now to a ladies seat.

i just bought a gents 20 inch frame Trek and i'm collecting it tomorrow, so i thought i'd ask now so i can get the guy in the shop to change it for me.

and for anyone who knows, is there a specific type of ladies seat i should ask for, for a gents Trek.

i was also considering getting a basket for the front of my bike, but my friends here in work said that would be a flashing becon to vandals - do you think that's really true?

thanks again and good morning

ff
 

Dachshund

Frequent Poster
Messages
143
I have a Selle Italia San Marco saddle that's going strong after a few years. I don't like wider saddles as they rub against my thighs and restrict my movement on the bike. My saddle is quite narrow and just supports me under my "sit bones". i don't fell like I'm trying to cycle on a stuffed armchair!

Ladies saddles can have gel pockets and a cut away section to relieve the pressure on your lady bits. I have used a gent's saddle before but only over short distances (under 5 miles) as I found that I felt numb when I hopped off the bike afterwards.

Only you can tell what saddle is right for you, if the guy in the shop is any way decent he'll let you use the bike with the gent's saddle for a couple of days before you change the saddle.

It doesn't matter what bike you have, the saddle has to suit you not the bike.

Look at www.cycleways.com for a wide range of saddles.

RE Basket: some people swear by them but remember to take it with you when you leave the bike, in fact take everything that isn't lockable or easily removable from the bike i.e. lights, speedometer etc. as they are a temptation to thieves. Never leave the bike unlocked and make sure you have a good lock.

Enjoy the cycling, it's a great time of year to start as the evenings are getting longer.
 

mf1

Frequent Poster
Messages
4,240
Basket Case

I've always used a basket - but not the pretty woven ones- the wire Spencer type & left it on the bike all day. Suits me very well - I pack my daypack in there every morning - I prefer to see it in front of me rather than having to check that no-one is going to pinch it off the carrier at the back.

Happy cycling - I echo everything said - be safe, be seen, be defensive on the bike ( you're a lot more vulnerable than a motorist), always, always, lock the bike to something, never leave it in town on the street over night, and get proper wet gear.

mf
 
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