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Which bike?

dan1wdan1w Posts: 7
edited June 2008 in Commuting chat
Hi,

I'm looking to buy a new bike under a ride2work scheme, which unfortunately is thoughtlessly being handled by a company based in Wales (I'm in Herts) operating through the internet. So, not wanting to waste the time of my LBS I'm having to buy the bike without a test ride.

At present, I occassionally ride to work on an aluminium framed Diamondback r10 (clicky) 'fitness bike' or flat bar road bike with 25mm tyres, my luggage is carried in a 'messenger' bag. I find the ride quite harsh and often get numb fingers and sore wrists, the gel saddle is also very uncomfortable and has been the main factor in me not riding in more often. My commute is a 34 mile round trip consisting of unclassified country roads (one of which is poorly surfaced,) an A road, about three long and steep hills and ending in suburban London with occassional heavy traffic.

So I'm looking for a bit of an all-rounder, ideally lighter and faster than my current bike, more comfortable and able to carry my luggage. I'm also looking to get rid of my SPD's which give me hot spots on the balls of my feet and upgrade to either SPD-SL's or Time's (is it possible to get shoes for these systems that you can walk on?). A firmer saddle would also fit the bill, though I don't think a Brooke's would be a good idea as a sore bum is most likely to have me heading to work in the car before it's worn in.

My budget is £1000 max to include pannier bags, new shoes, pedals and a saddle if the stock one is poor, though I'd rather spend less.

Top of my list at the moment is the Dawes Audax Sport, which is likely to be considerably lighter than my current bike and comes with 23mm tyres, however I don't know if the steel frame will compensate for the thinner tyres in terms of comfort. Also, the bike seems poorly specced for £670 with Sora gearing and Tektro brakes, the supreme version of the same bike has better compenents yet only weights .3 kilo less and costs £230 more. The bike also only has a double chainring which may not be good for the hilly section of my commute, how involved/expensive is it to change this to a triple?

I'm also considering a Dawes Galaxy, but would be choked after spending the extra money only to find out the combination of 32mm tyres and 13kg weight gets me to work slower than my current bike. I assume it could take 28mm tyres?

Not wanting to go on too long, I've also looked at the Specialized Tricross (would change to smaller, slick tyres) Kona Sutra (has discs brakes but the heaviest of the lot) or would consider any road bike that has mudguard and rack bosses, although it seems impossible to tell which do on most websites.

I'm limited to the range on www.wheelies.co.uk

Any info on any of the above, saddle choice, advantages of each pedal system, shoe recommendations etc as well as experience with any of the bikes or other bikes that may be suitable would be much appreciated!

Dan

Posts

  • garryacgarryac Posts: 32
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/ProductDetail.a ... ake%202008

    one of these...you wont regret it a cross bike is a great alrounder I have two, one set up with skinny tyres, and Durace kit, as a road bike, the other with a rack and mudguards, as a tourer, I run 30mm knobbly tyres on the Jake with no broblem and did use 35mm for a while untill ther wore out. Great for the unclassified, rough roads, an only a touch slower than a good road bike, plus your can do some serious trail riding
  • dan1wdan1w Posts: 7
    Thanks for the reply. I've looked at this bike already, which has a 7005 aluminium frame which is what I have at the moment. I find the ride very harsh although I suppose the thicker tyres would make up for it.

    Going to test ride a steel framed galaxy shortly so I will see if steel is all it's cracked up to be.
  • garryacgarryac Posts: 32
    Arrhhh...I didn't realise that..mine is an 06 model and it has Easton Superlite Taperwall tubing which is lighter and springier than 7005..
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