New to Cycling? Here are the Best Bikes to Get Started

two female road cyclists going around a corner

Cycling is one of the most popular pastimes in the world
with millions taking to their bikes every single day. If you’re just starting
to consider joining this fantastic activity of ours then welcome! You’re sure
to love it, trust us.

As someone new to cycling it is naturally daunting trying
to decide which style of cycling to start with, which bike to buy and what
clothes and equipment you need. Then it’s equally natural to start worrying
about how much it’s all going to cost you, especially if you don’t enjoy it as
much as you hoped you would. Well don’t worry, this is where we come in.

At Tweeks Cycles we’ve got decades worth of experience in
all forms of cycling and we’ve pulled together a list of bikes,
helmets, clothing, equipment and accessories to help get you started. In this
beginner’s guide to cycling (of sorts), we’re not going to tell you how to ride
a bike, but we will help you to fall in love with cycling from day one by
making an informed decision on what YOU need and what suits YOU.

It doesn’t matter if you’re getting into cycling because
you’ve finally got some spare time to give it your all or because you need to
do something to help get fitter and healthier; cycling unites all kinds of
people from all kinds of backgrounds. So whether you choose to go down the road bike
route or the off-road mountain
trails are more your kind of thing, we’ve got some great tips
and ideas to get you going.

How do I choose a bike?

Road cycling and mountain biking, as the names suggest,
are very different styles of cycling and it genuinely is all down to personal
preference as to which discipline does it for you. For some the lure of being
able to ride quickly over long distances and along flat roads is a real pull
factor; while others will prefer shorter rides over rough terrain that gets the
adrenaline pumping.

The most important thing to consider when choosing a
bike, ultimately, is the size. If you get this wrong then – while you can make
adjustments to the height of the bars and saddle – your bike will never quite
fit as well as it could do.

If you’re going to spend your hard-earned money on a road or mountain bike then make sure that you measure yourself and compare your height against our size guide, with the sizes varying according to whether you’re buying a road bike or a mountain bike:

Which bikes are best for beginners?

Once you’ve settled on the style of bike you’re looking
for, and you’ve worked out what size you need, you can start doing your
research and looking for your very first bike. Trust us, this is some of the
best research you’ll do as we all remember our first bikes fondly and it’s a
moment you might even be able to experience again when your kids come to choose
their first bikes!

If you’re thinking that a road bike is for you then we’ve
got two recommendations:

  • Cube
    . One of the biggest names in cycling, Cube manufacture a wide range
    of incredibly high quality bikes. The Cube
    range offers something for everybody from beginner’s right up
    to experienced road cyclists with a model to suit every height and budget, too.
    Offering excellent spec for the money, and a choice of either rim or disc
    brakes, the Attain is definitely a great starter bike.

  • Scott
    . Another of the biggest names in cycling, Scott specialise in
    both mountain and road bikes, with models suitable for every riding style,
    height and budget. The Scott
    is another excellent starter road bike with a lightweight
    but strong frame and some outstanding components for the price of the bike.

Alternatively, you might think that the high adrenaline
downhill rides and rough terrain of mountain biking is more up your street (or
should that be trail?) In this case, our starter mountain bikes would
definitely be:

  • Scott
    . We’ve already talked about Scott in terms of their road bike
    offering, but they’re best known for their range of mountain bikes. The Scott
    is undoubtedly one of the best in terms of starter bikes as
    it looks great, comes with excellent spec and offers real value for money as a
    first MTB.

  • Lapierre
    . If you want to go serious from day one then the Lapierre
    is a mountain bike with real character. Not only is it a great
    looking bike, it has a spec sheet to rival more expensive bikes in the MTB range
    and makes for a thrilling ride.

two women sitting next to mountain bikes and resting

How do I choose and fit a bike helmet?

A bike helmet
is possibly the best investment you can make. You see tons of people riding
without a helmet and you are quite literally putting your life in your hands as
despite the numerous safety initiatives and warnings, drivers still don’t see
cyclists and accidents still happen. Wearing a helmet can save your life, so
make sure that you wear one from day one and get into the habit from the first
time you take to the saddle.

To find the right size of helmet, wrap a flexible tape
measure around the largest part of your head, around two to three centimetres
above your eyebrows. Whatever the measurement is, that’s the ideal size of
helmet for you – you don’t want to have too much room that the helmet flops
around on your head; while too tight and it will be very uncomfortable.

In terms of options, there are plenty of stylish,
lightweight and excellent quality bike helmets to choose from.

If you’re going into road cycling then our recommendation
would be the Giro Isode.
This is an extremely comfortable and affordable road bike helmet available in
various colours and comes with an in-mould polycarbonate shell with EPS liner,
22 vents to help keep you cool on warm days and Giro’s Roc Loc Sport fit system
to ensure it fits perfectly.

For mountain biking we highly recommend the Giro
Fixture MTB helmet
. While it’s a small and lightweight helmet it is
one of the best performance value mountain bike helmets available; offering
exceptional protection, a comfortable fit and 18 vents to keep you cool and you
get a choice of different colours here, too.

What about other cycle clothing?

A helmet is undoubtedly the most important thing you can
buy after the bike itself so you don’t actually NEED to buy any additional
clothing.  With that being said there are
all kinds of different items of cycle clothing
available that will keep you warm and dry in the cold months, or cool in the
warm weather, including:

a selection of northwave cycling shoes

  • Cycle
    . Not only will these keep you cool in the summer, they also serve a
    dual purpose in giving you some padding – which you’ll soon discover is an
    added bonus! If you’re going on a long distance ride, or taking on rough
    terrain, then a pair of padded cycle shorts like these
    lined shorts from Madison will
    give you plenty of padding and support where you need it!

  • Waterproof
    . You never quite know when the weather will turn and you certainly
    don’t want to get caught unprepared. This high quality reflective and waterproof
    cycling jacket from Altura
    is a great example of a jacket that will
    not only keep your body as warm and dry as possible, it will also make you more
    visible to other road users as the light deteriorates.

  • Cycle
    Whichever style of cycling you choose it’s important to have good
    grip on the pedals and plenty of comfort for your feet, too. There are a lot of
    instances where cyclists will choose a pair of specialist cycling shoes without
    considering both factors, so don’t fall into that trap! Shimano produce an
    excellent range of cycling shoes with the stylish skate-style Shimano
    AM5 shoes
    great for clipless MTB pedals or the Shimano
    a brilliant option if you’re running flats; while clipless road
    bike riders will definitely benefit from the Velcro-secured Shimano
    RP1 road cycling shoes

Are there any other cycle accessories I need to buy?

After you’ve sorted out your bike, your helmet and your
gear, you might want to start considering a range of other accessories, too. In
the early days you probably just want to start riding and see how you go –
which is a very good approach to find out what works, and what doesn’t, for you
– but if you’re looking to upgrade some components or buy some new bike accessories
then here are some suggestions:

a close up of blackburn cycling bags

  • Pedals.
    Once you’re ready to start upgrading some parts of your bike the pedals are a
    good place to start. Offering excellent value for money, and a definite upgrade
    on some factory MTB pedals, the Shimano
    PD-ED500 pedals
    are a set of easy-release clipless pedals that are
    certainly worth a look. If you prefer the flat style of MTB pedals, however,
    the DMR V6 pedals
    are some of the best you can get as a relatively new rider with a comfortable
    shape and stylish design. As a road cyclist we highly recommend the Shimano
    R540 Light Action quick release road pedals
    which are great for
    riders wanting a more efficient pedal.

  • Bike lock.
    It goes without saying really, but a bike lock
    should be high up on your list of priorities when you start buying cycle
    accessories. We’ve got a great range here at Tweeks Cycles ranging from
    padlocks and chains to anchors meaning you can secure your bike anywhere you

  • Bike pump.
    Over time your tyres will start to deflate and you can either use tubeless
    sealants or a good old fashioned bike pump
    if you’re running tyres with inner tubes. An essential piece of equipment,
    especially if you put your bike into hibernation for any period of time, a pump
    will let you get going again within minutes.

  • Water
    bottle and cage
    . Whether you go for a long ride or a short, sharp one it’s
    important to stay hydrated. With this in mind a water
    bottle and cage
    are an essential investment and can be fixed to the
    frame of your bike for easy storage and access whenever you need a quick sip to
    set you up for the ride ahead.

  • Saddle
    . Great for storing…almost anything really, saddle
    offer a storage option for items like your phone, keys and
    cycling essentials like pumps and tools just in case you have any issues during
    your ride.

  • Puncture
    repair kit
    . So what else can you put in your saddle bag – a puncture
    repair kit
    , of course! Coming with everything you need to patch up
    your tyres whether you run a set of tubeless tyres or those with inner tubes,
    it’s a must-have kit to have on you just in case.