Noob wanting bike to commute and school recommendations (East)

Hello all,

I’ve been in London about 11 years, but had enough of tube, so made my mind up; going to sort bike license and get a decent commuter bike. I’m a total bike noob (though have cycled around London a bit). However my wife used to be a biker chick, she’s got full bike license from many years ago, she had a Honda VT250 grey import prior to us moving to London.

Got theory test booked for next week. Where would you recommended for CBT+DAS out East (Barking, Ilford, Dagenham, Romfod, Upminster etc)?

Bike wise, it’ll be mostly used for commuting to centre and odd bit of touring. Thinking something midrange, like a good old Honda CB500 or BMW F650GS. Needs to be good for beginners, reliable, cheap to run/insure/tax, comfortable. Ideally it would be good for my wife to take out too, but I’m 6’1" and she’s 5’2"…

Got a lot of kit to buy, which ain’t going to be cheap. Anywhere do second hand gear, which you can try on? Jackets, trousers etc. Obviously I’ll be getting a brand new lid though. Is it best to get gear to stick over top of work clothes or just change at the office? Any recommendations, totally overwhelmed with choice out there and no idea what’s necessary/worthwhile?

Well, I’ve booked a CBT at 1 Stop Instruction in Fairlop for Saturday, after a recommendation from a friend of a friend. Bit tenuous, but it’s better than nothing. Off to do theory test now. Wish me luck!

Been checking out second hand leathers at Essex Bike Centre, over in Braintree. Found a few positive posts about them around the net. Anyone here used them? Anyone else decent, more local?

For semi- disposable biker gear for the commute I use Rayven textile stuff as it cheap and works well enough for commuting .

Good luck!

I know AndyCR15 bought his leathers from the place in Essex and he’s very happy with them.

Make sure they let you do your CBT on a manual bike! I was forced onto auto and it shaped my biking a long time…


Passed theory - nah problem - 49 out of 50 and 60 out of 75 for hazard perception! :slight_smile:

Have specified manual for CBT. When I do DAS, and get my own bike, it’ll almost certainly be a manual.

Going to pop by Hein Gericke tonight and get a jacket, prob just a bog standard textile one. Thought I already had something OK-ish to wear tomorrow, but I can’t find it. Doh! Wasn’t get to spend big money on kit, until I was ready to do DAS, but hey-ho. Got some steel toe DM boots which should suffice and I believe the test centre can lend gloves.

Hein Gerick had some okay own brand summer gauntlets on sale last time I was in . I bought a pair . They be okay .

Quick update. Went for a Hein Gericke Sheltex textile jacket and pair of their gloves, and got a decent discount from their summer sale thing. Big thumbs up to the Gants Hill store, very helpful - went through showing and explaining pretty much every jacket in the store! :slight_smile:

CBT went well yesterday. Passed fine. Struggled a bit with clutch/gears at first, but got there in end. Was first time ever on a bike mind! Just need more practice to make it instinct and smooth it all out. 1 Stop Instruction were grand, thorough and patient, reckon I’ll be booking my DAS with them soon.