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Bike on a budget?

I am completely new to all this. I am a big sportsman and love running so want to try my hand at triathlon, but I don't want to spend a load of cash on something I may not take to. The last time I got a bike was christmas on my 10th birthday so I am literally clueless.

I have been looking around and the bike that seems to pop up as a good budget bike time and time again is the Raleigh Airlite 100. It is just at the top of my price range at around £210. Does anyone have an opinion on this?

Also, are there any other budget bikes that will get the job done for a beginner? The cheaper the better!

On another topic, what size frame does a 5'10 guy need?




  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    Hello Steve

    First off welcome.

    This is a hot topic around here and bike price is often discussed. Some people would say that you get what you pay for and others that you need to spend £4000 on a bike.

    I have a Viking Torino which set me back £250 quid from amazon and am very happy with it but already I thinking about carbon forks and new group set.

    So basically I am saying that you only need to spend what you can and make sure you get what you want not just one that looks shiney and a nice colour.

    Weight is a big factor with cheaper bikes and you can get a big difference for an extra £20 sometimes.

    The Raleigh is OK much like most of the bikes at that price. When it comes to a bike size then you will need to visit the local bike shop (LBS) to get measured to make sure you get the best fit.

    I am 6 FT and have a 58 so if that helps! i do wish I had gone slightly bigger byt hay ho them the decissions we make!

    Good luck
  • Thanks for the advice!

    I just had a look for the Viking Torino and it is still on amazon at £250 actually.

    Would you go for than rather than the Raleigh? Would it give me a better base to upgrade from or how does it work?

    Thanks again,

  • FlavadaveFlavadave Posts: 749
    Firstly welcome to forum. I'm certainly no expert on bikes so I will skip the appraisal of the Raleigh. Just thought it might be worth mentioning the 'cycle to work scheme'.

    If you've not heard of it before then in a nutshell the scheme allows you to buy a bike out of your gross salary; the repayments are then taken out [font=helv][size=2]of your monthly wages, typically over a 12 month period. As you effectvely use your NI and tax contributions towards the purchase, you can save around 50% of the cost of the bike.

    As blinkybaz mentions at the budget end of the bike market, every penny counts so if you can effectively double your budget, you can get a lot more bike for your money.



    Might also be worth considering looking at the triathlon starter packs. There's a few out there but you can make substantial savings (www.triuk.com do a few good ones to suit lower and higher budgets).

  • LindsLinds Posts: 124
    Hi Steve

    i was in exactly the same situation as you a year ago, having no bike, not ridden one for 15 years and a £200 budget.

    I did quite a bit of internet and LBS hunting, sought all sorts of advice, and sat on a few bikes (all way over my price range).

    In the end I got a rough idea of what size frame i wanted and spent two weeks hunting on ebay - and ended up with an 18 month old Carrera Vanquish for £180.

    Now i'm not going to pretend that it's a world beater, but it's a bloody good bike for me and will last me a good few years, as it's still a better bike than i am a cyclist.

    Now I will accept that my bike setup is all wrong (I think I need to raise the seat) and I have idea if i'm in the right or wrong position with the handlebars - but it's my first road bike ever, I'm only doing sprints and - shock horror - triathlon is not my life, just something i started last year and I'm still enjoying.

    A more expensive/better bike WILL make you faster, but I genuinely beleive the greatest improvement in speed is down to fitness, and as mine still sucks - so there's no point in splashing the cash on a better bike.

    Although i will be popping down to a LBS to get them to give my position a once over

    Love what you ride - and ride what you can afford!
  • Jelly legsJelly legs Posts: 278

    Mate there is a bike on ebay


    That looks cheap, if you can get it at a good price go for that one

    Its a good bike and i dont know the seller other than i know its listed on here to somewhere.
  • LindsLinds Posts: 124
    Oh and don't forget you've then got to buy all the other essential bits of kit, my expenditure was:

    Evans £75

    helmet, lock, pump, puncture repair kit, water bottle + cage, saddle bag

    Lidl/Aldi £100 ish

    computer, gloves (x2), cycling tops (x2), jumpers (x2), leggings, jacket

    ebay £55

    Trisuit and sunglasses

    Which I think is pretty good for what i've got.

    The next big expenditure for me will be a wetsuit this year and possibly clipless pedals/shoes next year.
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    stevencollier wrote:

    Thanks for the advice!

    I just had a look for the Viking Torino and it is still on amazon at £250 actually.

    Would you go for than rather than the Raleigh? Would it give me a better base to upgrade from or how does it work?

    Thanks again,


    Thats a dam good question!

    I cant decide this in my mind! Would I buy the same bike again? Well i think its no! I would go and get the package from TriUK that Flavadave has hinted at. I was unsure weather I would get into TRI so I spent what I could afford at the time. I am no cyclist but I am sure the weight of the steel blades (forks) is slowing me down a touch.

    I still would say I love my bike and Linds is right Love what you ride -Ride what you can afford.

    Still look at the TRI package from TRI UK. They are in Yeovil Somerset.
  • Thanks for all the tips guys.

    I just had a look at the package on TriUK and the value for money is phenomenal!

    I suppose I now havethe same dilemma as Blinkybaz had in that I'm not sure I want to spend that much yet?!

    I also had a look at the Dawes Giro 300 - anybody know anything about that? But I suppose if I'm going to start spending that much I may as well get a package! Decisions!

    Any other tips would be much appreciated!
  • jacjac Posts: 452
    Another bike to consider at the top range of your budget would be the b'Twin Sport 2 - it's had really good reviews and is £299.

    Like the other guys have said, though, you might be best off considering a package and get a half-decent bike and everything else thrown in.

  • Hi Steven,

    Have you thought about trying to borrow a bike for your first one to see if you like it? If you did an event with a pool swim to start with then you haven't got the extra complication of a wetsuit and it should give you a great idea of whether you will like it (I'm sure you'll be hooked :o)). For my first try I borrowed a bike from a friend, the fit wasn't ideal, but it was ok. The only other expense I had was for a pair of tri shorts and some goggles for the swim (putting a T-shirt on after the swim was fun!). If you like it you can buy that package - what an amazing deal - wish I'd have seen that last year!

  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Welcome Steven!

    Another thing to consider is the servicing/set up that needs to take place. Firstly, your bike needs to be safe - if you are racing, then you are pretty committed, so, if something fails then it can be catastrophic. Secondly, the bike needs to be set up to suit your specific size/physique. If you don't have it right then not only will it be less efficient, but you will be prone to injury. Finally, keeping your machine clean and lubricated will also extend its life time.

    If you are quite comfortable with doing this your self, a good guide + some basic tools will also be required. The cheaper the bike is, the more likely it is to need adjustment!

    If you are not comfortable, or can't be bothered, or just don't have the space, then a good "local bike shop" (LBS) is required - you can explain your needs, tell them your budget, and they should be able to help you with the initial purchase and the aftercare - servicing etc.

    Once you get into it, tinkering with your bike can be quite enjoyable - but, along with all the training that 3 disciplines demand, you also need to factor in a hour or two a week on bike maintenance! Tri. will really take over your life! Gulp.

    Hope that doesn't put you off [:)]
  • husslerhussler Posts: 237
    I would possibly go with what Jac says with the B'twin Sport 2 which is £299. It has had some rave reviews and has been said to be far better than bikes twice its price:)
  • I just had another browse and the B'twin Sport 2 is around £260. The B'twin Sport 1 is a lot cheaper at £160, but has a steel frame. Is that a big no no?



  • combatdwarfcombatdwarf Posts: 258
    Like many on here I spent hours pouring over website/magazines etc, eventually ending up with a really nice Trek Equinox - but before that I had (and still have as my training bike) a Specialised Allez, a relatively good bike which I bought not after reading review after review but by going to my LBS - go and talk to them they are normally really helpful.

    The key thing to remember though is - it is the pink fleshy motor on top that really matters - when I did the Bath Tri last year I was overtaken frequently (swimming is my key event - really only learning on the bike!!) by people on Plasmas and Cervelos but then one guy went past me (and them!!) on a rusty steel frame bike with the pannier attachments and mudguards still on - caused me to think a bit (although I did go out and buy a much better bike later...)

  • Hey guys,

    What do you think about this one? Comes with a sat nav as well.

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