C2W - Halfords

Kyrotek Posts: 48
edited June 2008 in Commuting chat
Hi to all. I know this sort os question keeps being asked therefore I apologise before we start.

So it all began when my missus wanted a bike and trailer for her and the kids then petrol started to be an issue. In looking I found out my company ran the Cycle2work scheme so I jumped on it the day before it ran out. Now I am waiting for the 'letter' to arrive and I am trying to make the decision on which bike to get. Working to a budget which has to include helmet, lock and lights I have whittled it down to a few bikes but I have to go to Halfords *sigh*. So many people are down on Halfords that I am worried about my choices in more ways than one.

I am planning on commuting 6-7 miles each way with road and track travel with perhaps some cross-country(just for the giggles) and would like to fit a rack for panniers and mudguards. Hopefully with confidence growing it will be a weekend fun machine too. Choices, choices. I know I can always change tyres and wheels etc. even some mech parts to suit but with accessories to buy my range is small at £300-ish.

Carrera Vulcan Disc
GT Aggressor XC3 (Avalanche?)
Carrera Subway 2
Carrera Crossfire 2

Then of course I could ask for special choices like a Mongoose Tyax... Cape Wrath D24... Sorry, dreamig again!

I am a bit over weight and suffer with asthma hoping to commute short range in a hilly area so speed is not an issue, more a relaxed affair with fresh air.

Thank you.
Don't get too close as a broken tail light often offends...


  • maijustu
    maijustu Posts: 5
    You can get any bike you want! Just tell halfords which one and they order it in for you. I have just recieved my voucher and waiting for my Ridgeback Element to arrive in store.
    Hope this helps
  • meanwhile
    meanwhile Posts: 392
    Cycling is great for asthma - really builds up lung strength.

    Get whichever of the above is a "hard tail" mountain bike or hybrd. Rear suspension uses up money, adds weight, steals pedaling energy, and makes trailers problematic.

    A suspension fork is less harmful, at least if it has a "lock out" for the road, but still rigid is better.

    Squiddling around online reviews, I notice some of the (all?) the cheap Carreras have a lever for 3 front gears, but only 2 fitted, with some alarming reports of users losing their chains in motion when they shift on to a gear that isn't there. So I'd go for the GT, unless say the Vulcan doesn't have this problem *and* can take the rack you need - disc brake bikes often have a problem here.

    Make sure you have "slicks" put on and not trail or offroad tyres. Slicks are much better on the road, *especially* in the rain.
  • I've got the Subway2 which I commute 15 miles a day on (mostly on the road). It's perfect for the job. The only change I've made is changing the tyres to a semi slick type which allows me to use it at the weekends when we go down muddy(ish) paths with the kids. I would highly recommend the machine for the cost of it.

    I've got rear panniers fitted onto it. Most standard panniers are a struggle to fit because of the disc brake mechanism. However, my LBS had in stock a wider pannier tailor made for the job which is fitted with spacers to get around the brakes. PM me if you want any more details on this.

  • Kyrotek
    Kyrotek Posts: 48
    Cheers chaps!

    I had noticed on the Carrera Subway it seemed to be missing a chainring at the front. An odd choice by Halfords to have a bike specced in that fashion but perhaps it has to do with cost. I am thinking that, perhaps with 4 stores in my area, I might be able to pick up a bargain somewhere. Failing that I think I may be defaulting to an MTB and changing tyres as you suggest Meanwhile, much safer for commute.

    So Maijustu, if you ordered a specific ride, can you still visit the store and get extra goodies with the leftover monies or do you have to spend your entire voucher on the bike?

    Also does anyone know if you can scam teh £50 accessories voucher for spending more than £250 on a bike or if you can ask for the 50% off a cycle helmet when you by a new machine? Could save money which might increase the value of the voucher and get a better bike...
    Don't get too close as a broken tail light often offends...
  • My experience of the voucher is that you can spend the total value (including the additional 10%) on whatever you like in store. The shop staff aren't bothered as long as the voucher goes into the till!
  • vanquished
    vanquished Posts: 66
    Also does anyone know if you can scam teh £50 accessories voucher for spending more than £250 on a bike

    Yes, you qualify for that voucher if you spend more than £250... Or, indeed, any of the other offers that they may run. As far as I could tell, Halfords treat the Letter of Collection as though it were cash - they're getting the money, they really don't seem too bothered as to its origin.
    2008 carrera vanquish - FCN: 8
    2009 giant bowery 72 - FCN: 5
  • Kyrotek
    Kyrotek Posts: 48
    Thanks again chaps.

    Now I have to add the '08 Giant Yukon to my list of chices, thanks to MBUK.

    I really want something I can upgrade when the cycle 2 work scheme runs out and they let me buy the machine.
    Don't get too close as a broken tail light often offends...
  • sc999cs
    sc999cs Posts: 596
    Carrera Vulcan Disc
    GT Aggressor XC3 (Avalanche?)
    Carrera Subway 2
    Carrera Crossfire 2

    My wife has the Vulcan Disc. It's not too bad and does have all three chain rings at the front. Possibly more of interest for you is do you want a bike with a rear derailleur or one with hub gears (Subway 2?). If you go for a mountain bike you can change the tyres for commuting and take it off road where as the Subway 2 and similar are more limited.

    The Carreras are nice bikes and do offer good value for money (but there is a lot of anti Halfords snobbery around) so it may be worth while actually looking at them.

    Steve C
    Steve C