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Please recommend me a bike

Ollie222Ollie222 Posts: 12
edited July 2008 in MTB buying advice
Hi All,

My 10 year old mountain bike has lasted me well but finally everything on it is beginning to wear out and so I'm looking at replacing it.

I've had a look around but there is so much choice these days that I'm somewhat confused and was hoping for some advice on which bike I should replace in with.

Here are my criteria.

I'm 6'3" and weigh about 190lb.
It'll be used for fitness and fun purposes and not competition.
I'm a fair weather cyclist and at the moment I go out around 2-4 times a week and usually do between 8 and 14 miles each ride.
80% of my cycling is done on the local country roads which are in a fairly poor state of repair. The other 20% is on canal paths and gravel covered trails.
As a lot is done on the road it would be nice if there is a good selection of gears from low to high speed.
My current bike has no suspension but due to a problem with my wrists one of the primary reasons for changing is to get some front suspension to help take the load off them.
The highest intentional drops the bike will ever encounter is probably a high curb.
I'm afraid the budget isn't large and I suppose I'm looking around £400 - £500.
I wouldn't be completely adverse to looking at second hand or old model bikes if I need to for my budget.

I've read through the sticky posts on this forum as this question obviously comes up a lot and there are lots of names and prices in it but I suppose part of my quandry is should I be looking at mountain bikes or something more road orientated as that's where it spends most of it's life but I do enjoy doing some offroad work.

Someone has mentioned the Trek Hybrid bikes as a possible bike to look at, any thoughts on these types of bikes?

I'm hoping that with the above info you guys are just like a magic 8 ball and I can just shake it and an answer will pop out. :D

Cheers

Ollie

Posts

  • LarokLarok Posts: 577
    Is it a mountain bike you are after?
  • Ollie222Ollie222 Posts: 12
    Larok wrote:
    Is it a mountain bike you are after?

    Thanks for the reply.

    I think that is part of the problem. I'm looking for the best bike to fulfill the above usage (80% road, 20% trail)

    I would have said yes I am looking for a mountain bike however until I started looking into this recently I only really thought there were racing road bikes and mountain bikes but it seems there are lots of variations and combinations of the two.

    So I suppose part of my question is, is a mountain bike the best option for me or should I be in the road section?

    Will some road bikes take going on a trail? I always assumed, perhaps wrongly, that while a mountain bike can go on the road a road bike will not work on a trail.
  • BlackSpurBlackSpur Posts: 4,228
    I think that a mountain bike really would be overkill for thr riding you describe. I would not want to take a road bike on towpaths however. So something that falls in the middle - a hybrid bike - would be an obvious choice. There is still a huge amount of variation here, some have more of a mountain bike bias, some more road bike. I think going to a local shop and trying a few out would be the best solution. Look for something with a semi-slick tyre (i.e. no knobbles down the centre) to give a good balance between road and track use.
    "Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling." ~James E. Starrs
  • Ollie222Ollie222 Posts: 12
    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm planning to pop into a big big shop this week to have a better look and hopefully a have a chat with a knowledgeable person just thought I'd try and do a bit of research beforehand.

    I briefly called into a small local shop the other day and saw a few bikes that I think were hybrid ones including the aforementioned Trek one but I didn't get chance to speak to the assistant as he was tied up with another customer.

    The tyres on them didn't have any knobbles on them, just a bit of tread for water I think.

    Is it normal practice for the big stores to have demo bikes you can ride?
  • LarokLarok Posts: 577
    I'd get one of these bikes and ask them to put the below tyres on it for you.


    http://www.merlincycles.co.uk/?fn=produ ... egoryId=39

    00001616.jpg

    http://www.merlincycles.co.uk/?fn=produ ... goryId=133


    00001300.jpg
  • Ollie222Ollie222 Posts: 12
    Those tyres look worn out :D

    Also it looks like it's over my budget by quite a margin, although it does look nice and shiny :D
  • BlackSpurBlackSpur Posts: 4,228
    The spec on the Malt 4 is actually nothing like it is in the picture, actually it is much better! Buying the mountain bike you would probably have an issue with the gaering as you mentioned. A hybrid bike will tend to have slightly higher gearing.
    Here is an example of a hybrid with a mtb bias

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/bikes/urban/product/kaitai-31957

    Note the 48/38/28 chainrings as opposed to 44/32/22 on a mountain bike. In addition the wheels on the GF are larger then on a MTB, so the gearing will be further increased.

    This model has slightly higher spec, hence a higher price

    http://www.hardie-bikes.com/products.php?plid=m1b1s187p800&rs=gb
    "Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling." ~James E. Starrs
  • Ollie222Ollie222 Posts: 12
    Sorry for taking so long to reply but I've been away for a couple of days.

    I think the hybrid option is looking like the best one for me at the moment. The one you've listed above and the Trek 7300 and 7500 look like they should do what I want.

    The gearing has a greater lower and higher range compared to what I have at the moment so that should work well for both on and off road and as you say the wheels are bigger so it should be just what I'm looking for.

    Also the bike is 4lb lighter than my current bike so that's a step in the right direction.

    Are the disc brakes on the bike above any good? I've never used disc brakes so don't really know what they're like.

    A similar question goes for the suspension units, at this price point will they work well and last a while?

    I had a look at a Trek 7300 and it looked quite good so I think we're going along the right lines. One thing I did notice is the tyres looked very thin (I think they were 700x35c) but I assume that's because I'm used to 50mm ones.
  • Ollie222Ollie222 Posts: 12
    Thanks for that, that gives me some reading although it goes to show that there are a lot of brands out there.

    Some of those Focus bikes look good value for money and the Gary Fisher Utopia looks very similar in spec and price to a Trek 7500.

    I'll try and get to a decent shop soon and hopefully they'll stock some of these bikes so I can see them in the flesh or even try them.
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