help! Need to buy a road/ hybrid bike in melbs - a newbie

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help! Need to buy a road/ hybrid bike in melbs - a newbie

Postby newbikermelbs » Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:59 pm

Hi all!

This is my first post and I am a total newbie. I would like to buy a road/ hybrid bike. I plan to ride on roads mostly and the purpose is to get fit. I am willing to spend about $1000 for the bike and $150-200 on the must have accessories.
- I was adviced that a hybrid with little suspensions would be more comfortable. Could someone validate that?
- What are the good brands I should be looking at for this budget please? I am only aware of Gaint (Liv) and the bike that fits the bill is Thrive 1. However - its out of stock in all the stores in Melbourne. It being out of stock - does this mean its time for newer models to be launched in which case - should I wait ? I would like to start riding early March.
- What are the features / specs I should be conscious of please?
- I am about 5ft 3, and the guy in the store adviced me to go for an extra small frame. I tried sitting on the bike and found it was ok. is this enough check or should I test ride it?
- What are the basic accessories I should be buying as I have nothing from before.

Please don't laugh! I have ridden gearless bikes a lot in the past (during my childhood) and should get used to the gears. Is it a big deal or do you feel I can get a hang of it ocne I start riding. I am watching videos and reading articles to understand the gear basics.

My humble apologies for this might be a repeat question. I could not find anything suiting upon searching, so posted it.

Appreciate your help!!

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Re: help! Need to buy a road/ hybrid bike in melbs - a newbi

Postby Lizzy » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:13 am

Hello & welcome :) (& if anyone laughs at you they're a butthead!)

My 2c on a few of your points, I wouldn't imagine you need suspension forks for the type of riding you're planning on doing, & it would even just be extra weight you can do without. Brands & spec I'll leave for others to guide you on as I'm not a guru but I am sure you'll have no problem finding something great for that money.

Yes, you absolutely should test ride any bike you're interested in, just sitting on it is not enough. If a bike shop doesn't encourage you to test ride then go elsewhere. Ride a bunch of bikes to see how different ones feel to ride (my first bike shopping trip as an adult, I test-rode about 6 or something and ended up with the cheapest one 'cos it felt the nicest, 8 years later I still have it, still dig it. Salesdude came out on the test rides with me and talked me through a lot of stuff to watch out for, if you pick your shop well and go at a quiet time hopefully you'll get the same level of care & attention I did. If you know people who ride a lot they will have some local recommendations for you).

Also, you are by no means limited to women's specific bikes - nothing wrong with the concept and both my bikes happen to be women-specific design; but it isn't the law and looking at all kinds will give you more options.

Basic accessories you need to start off with are helmet, a good lock, a pump, gloves, a spare tube or two and a repair kit (YouTube TAFE can show you how to use those). A good set of lights if you will be riding in traffic, or at dusk/dawn/night or in cloudy weather. Personally I highly recommend a rear-view mirror especially if you will be riding on the road. You might also want a small saddle-bag to keep bits and pieces in. Drink bottle cage too, if one's not already fitted. And a bottle too, obvs .. yeah you won't have a problem getting through the extras budget ..

Then after a while as you come to understand that the bike is a superior mode of transport and you find yourself riding to work, shops, rain hail & shine etc etc, you may find you want to add things like a rear rack for a basket or pannier bags, and mudguards for wet days (they are a revelation and a godsend) so consider checking that the frame you choose is set up to have those things fitted down the track (many if not most are). All in good time though :)

And don't worry about gears, they are not a big deal at all, just a new skill like any other. Again, a good bike shop can put you in the picture when you go for test rides.

Good luck and let us know how you go :)
“Lexa”: 2012 Trek Lexa S; RIP “Bluey”: 2006 Trek 7.0FX - 2006-2018

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Re: help! Need to buy a road/ hybrid bike in melbs - a newbi

Postby newbikermelbs » Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:55 am

Thanks heaps for being so supportive Lizzy!!!! That's such an informative response! Noted the accessories! Yes- will get a road bike and not mix up hybrid for the first one.

Yea, the shop I initially went to was not very supportive and he was pushing me to buy it immediately as he had just one piece left blah blah.. Good I decided to research more.

I am allowing a week more for research and will let you know how I go.. :D

Super excited to be riding soon!!! :D

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Re: help! Need to buy a road/ hybrid bike in melbs - a newbi

Postby zebee » Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:35 am

For a beginner I definitely recommend something with a more upright riding position. So a hybrid or flat bar road bike. You want to be able to see around you easily and the more forward positions take a fair bit of getting used to.

Check bike weight. If there are two bikes you like, go for the lighter one as it does make a difference up hills.

You will be fine with flat pedals to start with, as time goes on you may find that pedals that your cycling specific shoes attach to make riding at more speed easier, but you don't need them now.

In Sydney there's a thing called "Gear Up Girl" aimed at women who are new to cycling. It teaches bicycle maintenance and discusses buying bikes, and does riding courses. Check if Bicycling Victoria has something similar.

When I first started riding I was walking up even tiny hills but I ride up most without issue now. The first few months will be hard work but you will get better surprisingly quickly.

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Re: help! Need to buy a road/ hybrid bike in melbs - a newbi

Postby SuperSix » Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:38 pm

A couple of shops in Melbourne have stock of the Thrive 0 which you should be able to get for close to your budget as nobody pays full retail for Giant bikes. Try Giant South Yarra and Lawrencia Cycles in Hawthorn.
The 0 is a bit better as it has 11 speed 105 gears which are fantastic and better than the 10 speed Tiagra gears on the Thrive 1.
Forget suspension. If you are riding roads and bike paths it's unnecessary and only adds weight.
When you are shopping for a bike try and avoid the weekend as most shops are very busy and it may be hard to find someone to spend the time needed to find the right bike for you.
I have also had great service at Ivanhoe cycles in Heidelberg and The Freedom Machine on Chapel street. Ivanhoe Cycles has a large range of woman's bikes and also has plenty of woman staff members. I don't recall any ladies working at The Freedom machine.
Avoid Total Rush in Richmond. When my wife asked for help with some clothing all the staff ran away and hid.

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Re: help! Need to buy a road/ hybrid bike in melbs - a newbi

Postby newbikermelbs » Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:59 pm

Thank you both so much!! Thrive 0 is out of stock in Australia is the response I received. Also looking at Merida Speeder 300 Juliet as an option. ... -3528.html
Please let me know your feedback. Checked out 2 similar bikes and test rode today at Carnigie showroom.
Thanks for the name of the stores. Will definitely check out during the week!!

Zebee, after you mentioned about the group checked out online and have signed up for a private lesson with 'ladies back on your bike' for the coming weekend. They do group and one-one classes and bicycle maintenance lessons etc similar to 'Gear up Girl'. Thanks for the idea!
All your feedback has been really helpful! Thanks :) :)

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