Key Post Buying a Bicycle - city centre cycling


Registered User
Thanks Gordanus,

I have asked the bikeshop to change my saddle, describing the Selle Italia San Marco Dachshund recommended, i'm not getting that one but t's a guide for him to know the style/shape of ladies saddle i'm after.

I also asked him to put a wire basket (€15) on the front because like mf1, I want to see my backpack is there and not checking my back carrier on like a big paranoid android ;o)

?? I have seen a number of cyclists with a black mask or something around their face, is this to protect from the cold / fumes, is it a good idea??

?? And would clear glasses be a good idea for when it's raining - just thinking when it downpours/hail showers, would it help visability??

thanks and g'morning,



Frequent Poster
Re: Buying A Bike

About to sign up for Bike2Work and, having not been on a bike since my schooldays some twenty years ago, am seeking some advice, please:

1. What type of bike to buy. Don't want anything too fancy. Work is approx 25 mins cycle on mainish roads, Might use it a bit elsewhere but nothing too intrepid. Should I just go for the bog standard bike or would one of the others (mountain, racing, hybrid etc) be better?
2. Should I get cleated shoes? Or gloves? What about raingear? Have some from golf - would that do?
3. Helmets seem cheaper than I thought - is a €50 approx model okay?
4. Some bikes have no mudguards - why?
5. Any bright ideas for bringing the suit into work - don't want to end up looking like Reggie Perrin the other night.

Thanks in advance.
Here's my tuppance worth as someone who uses a bicycle daily.

1 Mountain bikes are generally very heavy with big thick tyres which makes them hard to cycle on the road so are not really suitable for commuting. Personally I'd go for a racing bike but a hybrid bike would be good as well. It all depends on how much you want to pay for a bike but the more you pay the better more comfortable the bike will be and therefore the more pleasurable your cycling experience. I'd advise you to go to a good bike shop where you can get good advise on the type of bike which will be suitable for your budget. Keep in mind that you will not get good advise in all bike shops.

2 I have been cycling continuously since I was seven or so and am now 43 so feel very comfortable and confident on a bicycle but around an urban area I wouldn't use cleated shoes. On open country roads cleated shoes are great. Bear in mind that many people do not feel comfortable with their feet locked into the pedals. You can get pedals which are ordinary on one side and the other you can lock your feet into them so you have an option of using cycling shoes or ordinary shoes. Once you get used to cleated shoes you cycle much more efficiently.

Gloves are a must for the winter if you want to stop your fingers from falling off from the cold. I have a two different types, one pair for very cold weather and the other for not so cold weather. Bear in mind when buying gloves that the thinner they are the more comfortable for cycling.

Heavy raingear is uncomfortable cycling but it does keep you dry. You tend to sweat more in heavy gear.

3 I think you can get a good enough helmet for cycling for 50 euros.

4 I am a member of a cycling club and the bike I use for club spins and general training has no mudguards but my other bike for commuting etc. has mud guards. You will get very wet and dirty on a bike without mudguards.

5 Afraid I can't help you as regards the suit. I do not have to wear one for my work.

Best of luck with your return to cycling.



Frequent Poster
Re: Buying A Bike

Get a specialized sirrus if you're a boy or a specialized vita if you're a girl. Get the model of both second from the bottom. Both about €400. If you're in Dublin go to Hollingsworth in Templeogue.
Don't sweat the cleats, you can change your pedals after you buy the bike.
You must have rain gear!! and I second the gloves.
Consider getting kevlar tyres, very good at preventing punctures.


Frequent Poster
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....
Considering road bikes (racers) are designed to do hundreds of km on the road, in all weather. For days on end. They are not that fragile at all. You'll actually be lower on the bike and thus less likely to fly over the handle bars. Most people commuting would be very unlikely to go over the handle bars.

Hybrids are for people who don't like the low position on a road bike (racer), people with bad backs, or in a lot of traffic. But for anyone doing long distance, a road bike is the way to do. If you want a more comfortable upright position then get a hybrid.

Incidentally that link is a private company not the official cycle to work scheme. They are acting as a middle man for companies who don't want to do the admin themselves. Theres a few companies like that.


Considering road bikes (racers) are designed to do hundreds of km on the road, in all weather. For days on end. They are not that fragile at all. You'll actually be lower on the bike and thus less likely to fly over the handle bars. Most people commuting would be very unlikely to go over the handle bars.
The thing with road bikes is while they are designed for road use, the standard of roads in Dublin is not quite what the designers had in mind. The frequent pot-holes and badly fitted man hole covers mean you have to swerve out into the lane to avoid damaging wheels or getting pinch flats. That puts the cyclist in more danger.

I have both road and mountain bikes. Even with carbon forks on the road bike which will absorb some of the vibrations, my back still hurts after doing any distance on Dublin roads due to the poor surfaces, so I really only use that on longer stints outside Dublin. The mountain bike has no such problems and handles the pot holes, kerbs, etc. with ease. The wider bars on a mountain bike mean you're inheraetly more stable. Brakes are more effective as well.