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Best œ300ish commuter bike?

monoimonoi Posts: 8
edited December 1969 in Commuting chat
Hello all,

I've been commuting on my mountain bike on and off for about five years now. It's pretty much worn out, and I've started to commute more seriously, so I need a new bike.

My journey is about 5 miles each way, pretty flat except for a couple of fairly gentle hills. It's mostly on the road or on a "cycle path", with the latter involving bumping up and down a few kerbs.

The things that annoy me the most about my current bike are:-

- It's too heavy, and it's too slow, even with slick tyres on. The entire journey takes me 30 mins. I want it to take 20 mins.
- It hasn't got a rack or panniers, and carrying all my work shoes and clothes in a rucksack makes my back hot and tired.
- The rear cassette is censored , and the chain regularly drops off onto the axle, leaving me with oily hands.
- When I get into traffic on the straight, I can't pedal as fast as I want to (i.e. the pedals are just spinning).

I don't care what it looks like. I'm not bothered about suspension or anything like that. I would prefer low maintenance, but I suspect that hub gears are out of my price bracket, and setting up Derailleur gears isn't the end of the world. I have secure storage at home and work, so I'm not bothered about thieve-ability.

I want to spend about œ300, but I'd probably go a bit more for something that I'd appreciate.

What should I buy?



  • TariqTariq Posts: 55
    Hi Ben,

    I was in the same situation as you, had a basic but reliable mountain bike for four years but it was too much hard work and I wanted something easier and more fun to ride. Basically you will find that a ligher frame and thinner wheels is all that is needed to make a big difference. I bought a Scott SUB 30, a flat bar hybrid bike, it is lighweight has 700 x 32 tyres and is 24 speed so it is easy on hills and just perfect for commuting, I ride about 50 miles/week and it is a pleasure. They cost about œ300 but I got mine for œ175 brand new from ebay! An even better bike is Specialized Sirrus, also try Claude Butler Levante or Carerra Gryphon, all usually on ebay.

    Good luck
  • Mister PaulMister Paul Posts: 719

    Or if you can stretch to œ400 you get hub gears, and hub brakes, mudguards and rack mounts. That's about as low maintenance as you can get.

    Road Sweeping Expert
    What we need is a new, national White Bicycle Plan
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    How about a Revolution Courier. I have a Revolution Courier Race which has served me well as a commuter. you could get a rack fitted to it no problem. Having just a single chain ring and no derailleur at the front is a point towards your low maintenance requirement.
  • DavidTQDavidTQ Posts: 943
    Halfords Carrera virtuoso or valour if you can stretch to it, they might not be the lightest road bikes around but for the money they are as good as you will get and are lighter than most hybrids and mountain bikes, they come wit all the eyes etc you will need, They have plent tall enough gearing to get you going faster at the topend you will see an instant improvement due to skinny tyres and lower weight. I know halfords havent got the best name in the world, but theres been a lot of people on this forum talking up the carrera models if you look a few pages back in the beginners section.
  • Small FishSmall Fish Posts: 84
    I was in the exact same position as you and went for a Genesis Day 00 - a flat bar road bike. I've only had it a week so can't comment on long term durability but it feels a lot more solid than it looks and I'm loving every minute of my ride in. Much faster, much lighter, great riding position, I do now feel every bump in the road but in a good, feeling connected kind of way. It's just over œ300 at edinburgh cycles, œ350 everywhere else.
    (I'd definitely look at the Revolution courier too, I'd probably have got that but it wasn't available through my Cycle2work supplier)
  • benjusbenjus Posts: 27
    Small Fish - I'm in the same position and I've pretty much decided on the Genesis Day 00 too. Good to see you're happy with it. My employer doesn't do Cycle2work but they have organized a discount evening with the local branch of Evans.
  • AidocpAidocp Posts: 868
    Just another one to consider the Ridgeback Velocity, for œ299 (its down to œ270 in the lbs sale). I use mine for commuting (8-9 miles round trip). It could probably do with some narrower tyres though for speed and is not as fast as my dearer Spesh Sirrus. But for the money it does the job. The lbs has the basic Sirrus reduced to œ360, its matbe worth checking out.

    If I had a baby elephant, who would take it for walks?
  • meddymeddy Posts: 94
    Another vote for the Revolution courier race. Great bike for the money , most bikes are hopelessly overgeared for a journey like yours.
    My commute is just over the 5 mile mark on lanes , roads and a dirt track...I just get in around 20-22 mins...and have fun doing it.
  • GussioGussio Posts: 2,452
    What about keeping the frame from your mountain bike, stripping off the components and re-building with œ300 to spend on the items of your choice? Give you something to do on these long summer evenings.

    If you do buy new, consider buying a 2006 model of whatever is you decide upon and get some money knocked off.
  • peejay78peejay78 Posts: 3,378
    why not get yourself to decathlon and get the sport 2? it's got campag xenon and is a very nice bicycle.

  • monoimonoi Posts: 8
    Wow -- thanks all! I know what I'm doing tonight...

    I'll let you know what I get [:)]

  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    Some of the Genesis Day models seem to have racing tyre clearance and lack mudguard eyelets. The Specialized Sirrus style of bike is probably best for everyday commuting on road and bike path.
  • DeejayP999DeejayP999 Posts: 14
    How about the Specialized Globe? I've been commuting 5 miles each way on mine since January and I can heartily recommend it.
  • monoimonoi Posts: 8
    OK, so I decided that I have something practical and I want something fast -- and ordered a Genesis Day 00 from Edinburgh Bicycle just before setting off for work this morning [:)].

    However, this evening I returned to an email stating that even though the bike showed in stock on the website, they only had display models in and would have to me order me one. So, do I wait, or get a local shop to order me one? Opinions please...
  • AidocpAidocp Posts: 868
    Its hard to remember, but when I ordered my Ridgeback from the Edinburgh CoOp I never had to wait long, I think it was a week or less.

    If I had a baby elephant, who would take it for walks?
  • Genesis bikes are very durable and all of them have mudguard clearance. I've got a Day 06 , love it. Though they don't make it any more :(

    Quote: "25mph is pretty fast when you aren't wearing a car..."
    Sweat saves blood.
    Erwin Rommel
  • A Scott Sub 30 is œ330, I have a Sub 20 and its a fantastic bike.
  • Mosschops2Mosschops2 Posts: 1,774
    Hows about asking for a discount for ex-display?? Cheaper, and faster!! Just a thought...

    Have you ever tried pressing Alt+F4 ??
    baby elephants? Any baby elephants here?? Helloo-ooo
  • A - WA - W Posts: 253
    Why not pop round your local bike shops and see what they have in and the deal they could for you?

    Tell them your buying today and your not wasting time.
    FCN 10
  • rdaviesbrdaviesb Posts: 566
    Bought a Revolution Courier Nexus at the weekend. Highly recommended. That hub gear is fantastic, and has at a stroke convinced me that it will be worth saving up for a full blow tourer with a Rohloff hub.
  • monoimonoi Posts: 8
    For the Googley Knowledge Machine, Edinburgh Bicycle delivered me a well-built Genesis Day 00, 8 days after I ordered it. It's great! [:D] Much faster than the old bike, and it does have braze-ons and bolt holes for rack, pump, etc. The only thing I don't like is the toe-clip pedals, which are useless at traffic lights -- think I'll be changing those soon...
  • TynancpTynancp Posts: 160
    'useless at traffic lights'


    until you get used to them surely?

    gone clipless now, superb, I regret not doing it sooner
  • Small FishSmall Fish Posts: 84
    Funny you should say that monoi - I'm not getting on with the toe clips on my Day 00 either.

    I had toe clips on my previous bike and my foot just went in naturally - but after a month with these I still struggle half the time and I'd have thought I should be used to them by now..

    Think I might try taking one the reflectors off because they seem to get in the way and my foot just slips over when I try and flick the pedal round with my toe in order to get my foot in.

    If that doesn't work, I'm definitely curious about going clipless...
  • monoimonoi Posts: 8
    Tried taking the reflectors off for a few days -- was a bit better, but then read that it was illegal, and I'm trying to be a responsible road user these days [^].

    Egg beaters beckon, I think..
  • A Claude Butler urban 100 for about œ180 would be another good choice.

  • Hairy JockHairy Jock Posts: 558
    quote:Originally posted by Small Fish

    If that doesn't work, I'm definitely curious about going clipless...

    Just go clipless, you won't regret it...

    A hirsute Scotsman.


    Best advice I ever got was "better get a bike then"
    Cycle commuting since 1994. Blog with cycle bits.
    Best advice I ever got was "better get a bike then"
    Cycle commuting since 1994. Blog with cycle bits.
    Also with the old C+ crowd at Cycle Chat.
  • quote:Originally posted by Small Fish

    Funny you should say that monoi - I'm not getting on with the toe clips on my Day 00 either. ...

    If that doesn't work, I'm definitely curious about going clipless...

    Clipless is much safer, especially if you get double-sided spd type pedals - no flipping ever required, and you can still pedal away successfully before fully engaged.
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