Cycling in Sydney Australia
I want to start a new passion of exploring world on 2 wheels with some good company. Please suggest the best beginner's bike to buy/necessary gear. Thanks!
Hi Jigs, welcome to the wonderful world of cycling. What's your budget, what type of riding do you think you'll do (road biking? riding to the shops? riding around the park? riding around the world?).
There are more than 4,000 members on this site probably with more than 12,000 opinions about the ideal bike (let alone the perfect bike), many prople can never make up their minds so have many bikes, for diferent activities.
As Bob says, do the free courses/trial activities, go to many bike shops, try many bikes, many styles of bike, sit on them, have test rides, spend as much time as yon can, read a bit on this and other forums (but don't get too confused), talk to people who ride, come back here with questions.
You can get "cheap" bikes which are not really worth the little money and you can get inexpensive bikes that might be last years model etc which will be worth what you spend. You might though find your first bike needs replacing after a year or two as you learn more, become more experienced and skilled or as you learn that you enjoy a specific type of cycling more than other types. You will also need a bit of equipment, helmet, lights, rack/basket/carrier, you don't really need "special clothing, just something confortable, suitable for easy movement, a little activity.
It can be a lot of fun but like any skill takes a little time to gain confidence, experience and technical ability.
Take it easy at first and Good Luck
One of the real put off's for beginners is a badly fitted bike, and in particular, the saddle placement. I'd encourage you to buddy up with a really experienced cyclist - preferably female in your case - and ask them to join you in your bike hunt. Before you walk out of a bike shop with your lovely new toy, make sure that they fit the handlebars and saddle to suit your comfort, and don't be talked into a skiny men's saddle just because that's what they sell with the bike. Try a number of saddles before you walk out of the shop, and take the one that allows your sit bones to sit comfortably on the widest part of the saddle, and where your genitals are not under lots of pressure. If they want to stuff you around about the fitting just walk out of the shop and go somewhere else. You're the customer, and you want to be able to ride in comfort.
I second what Kim, Dabba, Bill and Bob have said.
The other reason to make sure you have a correctly fitted bike, is to avoid Injury, specifically a RSI.
The Knee's are the most common one to take a beating, the Pattela Tendon being one.
It's better to start off easy on the bike, and remember the mantra: 'Higher Cadence i.e. peddle strokes and lower gears', rather than the opposite 'High (hard) gears and low peddle cadence'
I don't want to put you off riding, but I thought it was important to let you know. Many of us, whom have suffered knee injuries, want to make sure it doesn't happen to others learning to ride.
the green living centre in newtown has a few bikes which you can hire on the cheap, might give you a bit of an idea about more... unique bikes.
Agreed with all and Bill on cycleways. CAMWEST (BUG) is not active on rides at the moment.
As you live in Westmead and I`d recommended that you practise in safe area to ride first to get the confidence on how do you ride before venturing on public roads. I don`t know what kind of bike do you want but I think it`s better to get the 21 speed bike first after that you can progress to bigger gears. Parramatta park is closer to your area for safe riding and to build up your confidence.
Which bike do you want do use? New or Second hand bikes.
See if you can afford the cheap new bikes at www.thebikebarn.com.au/home.php?cat=312 which they`ve got one year unlimited free services but apart from parts and ask them for more information.There are helpful staff to help you.
Or you can get the second hand bikes from www.westernsydneycyclingnetwork.com.au for free loan of bikes after paying one off $25 fee plus $25 for new helmet or bring your own helmet. Any problems with WSCN loan bikes are being serviced by WSCN bicycle mechanic volunteers in which I am part of the team who will happily fixes it for free only on loan bikes. It is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays in Fairfield showground at Prairiewood.
And they offer easy rides for beginners on Thursdays on Share Use Paths for free and it do first Sundays monthly easy rides too.
And there is off road cycling maps at the shed if you need it to explore so you will not get lost when you ride out to new areas for the first time.
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