I haven’t cycled for years, but feel like perhaps I should get a bike and do some cycling again, as I live right next to a big forest with lots of trails in it. I would mostly be looking for something for trails and forest s that’s easy to ride and can be used to go to the shops too.
Would some cycling compliment my running training for next years ultras too?
so, should I buy a bike and if so what would you recommend? Preferably not super expensive.
Short answer is "yes ". Longer answer is that it will depend exactly on what the terrain is like and a more accurate idea of budget.
Flat bar hybrid, no suspension, aluminium frame should be good for on roads and tracks.
Are trails forestry tracks or mountain bike routes?
Yes, do it. I find cycling doesn't get me as fit as running, but it's more interesting. Especially if you have trails and forest to ride in.
I think second hand bike prices are still crazy, so if it turns out you don't like it you can sell your bike without losing much.
I bought a Trek Dual Sport 3 last year for my mixture of roads and bridleway. I love it and I'd definitely recommend it. It cost me £660.
Second hand bikes will start to appear more and more, wfh declines, winter weather, living cost rises...
I'd buy a bog standard hardtail mtb, it just broadens your options if you wish to ride off the gravel tracks into the forest more.
Sounds like you need a flat bar, short travel suspension hybrid - something like the Specialized CrossTrail, Trek DualSport or similar.
Otherwise, get a hard-tail 29er MTB with knobblies for the trails and buy a cheap spare set of wheels with slick tyres on for nipping to the shops.
The problem I found when looking at hardtail MTBs is that none of the decent ones had gearing that went high enough for road riding. They are all 1x chainring with limited range. The cheap ones with triple chainrings would do, but then they're not very good bikes.
I looked into getting a spare set of wheels to switch between road and trail, but by the time I'd factored in discs and cassette etc. I was looking at £250. So I just change the tyres. I can do it 10 minutes now
There's a lot to be said for an 'old school' 3x9 hardtail on 27.5 tyres, they tick all boxes.
Yes. If the OP can find a nice old MTB I think that would be a good choice. The trouble is finding one. I don't know if things have improved now, but when I was looking last year I couldn't find anything decent second hand that wasn't silly money.
So far you've had suggestions for mountain bikes and hybrid bikes with and without suspension, so just to add to the mix, I'd suggest a gravel bike, depending on exactly what kind of trails you want to ride on. Work on and off road and can go fast when they need to, you can get proper cross training for running that way. They can be pricey though.
Do you think a gravel bike would be suitable for someone who hasn't ridden for years to tackle forest trails on? Fine for an experienced rider, but I wouldn't fancy it myself.
> Do you think a gravel bike would be suitable for someone who hasn't ridden for years to tackle forest trails on?
Fine, just use the brakes or walk when necessary.
If I was out for a bike ride and had to get off and walk because I couldn't manage the terrain on that bike, then I would consider myself to have failed in my choice of bike.
> If I was out for a bike ride and had to get off and walk because I couldn't manage the terrain on that bike, then I would consider myself to have failed in my choice of bike.
So if I run out of steam on one of my steep local hills I should sell my carbon road bike and get an electric bike? No, I’ll have to Rule 5 and train harder.
Thanks for all the replies! I’m probably looking at around £5-600 price or less, could go higher if it’s really worth it for something.
I was looking at the Trek Marlin 4/5/6, any thoughts on these?
last time I rode was on a rental bike in 2016 on a long trail route in NZ, nothing technically challenging just gravel trails. I’m really looking for something for alternative exercise, a bit of basic commuting (shops, climbing wall etc) and the odd longer ride in the summer.
The Marlin 5 looks like a great bike for around £500. My Trek is a similar price range and I'm happy with it.
I wouldn't bother paying extra for the Marlin 6. I would say the top gear is too low for a bike you are going to use on the road.
Definitely "yes" you should get a bike - TBH don't let the ££ stop you. Even if you buy a shite bike you will not regret having a bike (but you will buy a better bike later). There is a special joy in riding a bike that all the rubbish things about it (read: commuting traffic) cannot diminish.
My number 1 top tip is (a) don't wait - it doesn't matter what you get the difference between "any bike" and "no bike" makes "any bike" a good choice (b) go and try lots of bikes, the one that just feels good is the one to buy.
Personally I suggest a hardtail mountain bike because you can go pretty much anywhere. If you're not sure just get a second from the bottom level chainstore bike until you feel more confident with choosing a new one. In the meantime you'll have many fun hours.
Would biking compliment your training? yes - much of your training is about building aerobic endurance without incurring injury and any bike is good for that. You'll have more fun doing it with a posh bike but you'll also have more fun doing it with a cheap bike than no bike at all. Choose your bike to suit your ultra-style. The main danger is you lose interesting in running because bikes are more fun.
As ever, this is always worth looking at for hardtails in the sub-£500 and Sub-£1000 brackets:
So whereabouts roughly are you in UK (assuming UK!)- to get a feel of the terrain etc in these forests.
That is a totally bizarre thing to say. Big mountain bike rides in actual mountains frequently involve a hike-a-bike, even for a very fit, very experienced cyclist (like me). Also, there is nothing wrong with someone pushing up a particularly steep hill - it doesn't mean they're on the wrong bike .
Something like this: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/294366078852855/?ref=search&referral_code=marketplace_search&referral_story_type=post&tracking=browse_serp%3A0eee7515-fa50-482b-a4a5-dab277ae148e
Cotic Soul, Rockshox, under £600
> I’m really looking for something for alternative exercise, a bit of basic commuting (shops, climbing wall etc)
I don't drive, so i get about by bike. I stopped cycling to shops or anywhere i would have to leave my bike in public, many years ago. Too many bikes stolen, no matter what lock I used.
For your use, I'd suggest a hardtail MTB, but I do note the current fashion for small, single speed front. It's not a fashion I'm keen on.
Knobblies are slower on tarmac, but if you're using it to get fit, that shouldn't really be a consideration.
"Whoosh..." Implies it went over your head. 🙂
It means you didn't understand my post.
My own story. Bought a cheap decathlon mountain bike for about 100 quid about 15 years ago and just got pootling. Nothing technical, nothing too demanding. I just enjoyed the freedom to do the distance and go further and further afield. I liked the scenery and the solitude and living within spitting distance of the peak district, goyy valley I gradually pushed out so that a 60 miler was a good day out for me. A staggering achievement and improvement for me (but I know it will sound like a piffling walk in the park to some of the hard core bikers).
I started planning multi day rides with mates and we've done the hadrians cycleway coast to coast, Chepstow to Holy head, Glasgow to Inverness, Salford to Blackpool, the Cheshire loop and I've loved it. Best thing I've ever bought. Upgraded or a few times obviously and the price has increased graduslly over time, but 600 is the most ive ever paid.
I know nothing about the mechanics of bikes. The most technical I've ever gotten is to swap the knobbly tyres for more slick Road tyres)
I had the same issue. I lent my bike to my brother while I went to Canada and he (being an arse) left it outside a shop and it got nicked. He lives in Bristol FFS, lock the thing up!!! Rant over.
Having come back, no money and planning a family I coudn't justify the spend and bought the RockRider from Decathalon, put some decent tyres on it with DH inner tubes. Its taken a decent beating on the trails by us, and I've ridden it pretty hard.
Spend £150 see if you get back into it, then commit t a bigger spend later. Theres nothing worse than spending a cool £1K and having it sit in the garage while everything seizes up (the bike and you!)
> Also, there is nothing wrong with someone pushing up a particularly steep hill.
Indeed. It's the only good bit about a bike ride.
Well that's what I thought it meant, I just don't understand it in relation to your post. Are you saying that your comment was tongue in cheek? If so...don't give up the day job.
To be fair you're not the only one who missed my point, but judging by the likes it seems that most people got it.
The thing is that I said "If I was out for a bike ride". It's about my attitude. I didn't suggest that no one should walk their bike. I just said that if I go on a bike ride I want to ride my bike, and if I end up walking then I feel I've messed up somewhere. If other people want to haul their bikes around on foot then they should go ahead, I'm not criticising their choices. I thought that my take on the subject might be appropriate because my impression is that the OP is looking at cycling with a similar attitude to me, ie. getting a £500-£600 bike for fun, fitness and shopping.
In the wider context of the thread, my post was in response to the suggestion that the OP should get a gravel bike. When I suggested that it might not be appropriate for the OP's intended use, given their lack of experience, it was suggested that they could get off and walk. Which to be frank is a pretty crap suggestion - rather than buy a bike that's suitable for their use, they should buy something unsuitable and walk around pushing it!
Thank you for your explanation. And as it happens, I agree with you, a gravel bike is fun for me off-road because I find it as sketchy as hell compared to my full-sus, even on moderately technical terrain, and I find the occasional reminder of the old days entertaining. For a novice though, it's a rubbish idea.
If the trails in forest are mountain bike trails then IMO a hardtail 29er would work best.
If they are just cruisy forest tracks with the odd root and rock sticking up that sounds like ideal gravel territory. Got to ask yourself if the weight, relative speed reduction and increased maintenance faff of having suspension is warranted by the majority of the riding you do. Personally if I was pushing the bike for 5 mins out of 100 hours I wouldn’t consider that a bad bike choice. I reckon getting a gravel bike would be better training for ultras if you want to keep your speed and HR up.
I guess the problem in the above argument is there aren’t many gravel bikes in the 500-600 price range.
If you work I would check out if you can get a cycle to work scheme.
I like Planet X bikes, might be a touch over budget but they are good value and they were doing 10% off your first order.
Should you buy a bike? Not necessarily. Shank's pony makes a good alternative and has the big advantage that you can use all those footpaths legally.