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Cycling on a Budget


JPienaar

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Was in this exact position July last year, except that I wanted a bike to ride trails with. I would focus on getting a setup that will ensure you're comfortable first and foremost, as being uncomfortable will make you focus on how sore your bum/hands/back will be and not how much fun you're having.

 

A fellow noob's fresh learnings:

 

1. Focus on getting the right size bike first and foremost. A quick google will give you the knowledge you need. Frames last, the other stuff doesn't, so you at least need it to fit you.

2. Add R1500 to your budget for a helmet, decent gloves and most importantly decent cycling shorts. The difference in comfort between a R250 pair of Mr Price shorts and a R500 pair of Capestorm shorts is life-changing. When my wife upgraded this her enjoyment of cycling doubled.

3. Rather focus on getting a bike with components that are still in good condition rather than the best out there. I rode a bike with a XT groupset the other day vs my Acera groupset and couldn't feel the difference. I'm sure this is down to my lack of experience. If you buy something second hand in good nick you can keep it running for a while and replacing parts won't be expensive should something break. Just look at the difference in price between a new 9 speed casette and an 11 speed casette...

4. If you're relatively comfortable with tools maintaining a bike is pretty cheap and easy. If you aren't, get ready to fork out R2k a year on servicing (rough estimate).

 

Lastly, welcome to the crazy world of cycling!

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Picked up my hardtail giant talon 2015 for 4k 3 years ago. Was worth 15k new so it was a steal. Used it ever since and did more than 1000km. Only did my first major service last month which set me back 2k. Expected more to be quite honest. Love this bike and hasn't skipped a beat. Considering getting a dual sus in the future and keep for my boy.

 

Check the classifieds. You bound to find a gem at a steal.Good luck!

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If you're really on a tight budget, the best bang for buck is a second hand 26er.

 

For some weird reason people think these bikes are useless, which means the demand is low and the price is nice

 

https://www.bikehub.co.za/classifieds/category/26-hardtail-bikes/?custom-17=1

 

Ps. A 26 inch MTB won the Cape epic, true story!

But how hard is it going to find 26er spares & parts vs 29er? And I think for road cycling the bigger wheels will be nicer.

 

That said, imo you cannot really go wrong with a first "budget" bike (as long as you stay away from the Makro specials). If you like cycling you are going to upgrade to a new bike within a year anyway. If not you can sell it for a small loss. So just buy what you like :-)

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I bought my first Silverback and a lot of kit, from Cycle House in Pta. Did a lot of riding, and ending-on-ground-for-some-reason incidents. I traded it in at  Cajees in Centurion for a Merida 29er, for a real steal of a deal. So, between Solomons and Cajees, I am sure you will get sorted on either a 2nd good 26, or even an  aceptable new bike.

Welcome to the world of fun and enjoyment!

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