New to commuting and need a bike

robstar25 Posts: 2
edited February 2009 in Commuting chat
Hi All,

Apologies for posting a general question but I'm new to the world of cycling other than buying bikes from Halfords. I'm posting because I would appreciate any advice you may have on buying a bike for commuting. My journey is about 14 miles daily, including return, and I'm looking to this 4 days a week. The journey is mainly on roads and not paths. I'd like something that's light and easy to maintain and that I can attach panniers to. I looked at Hybrids and they seem a bit single purpose (not sure if thats true) and only for road use, I might want to go on the odd path or track in the future. On a recent visit to cycle shop they recommended a Giant Escape M2 'Urban bike', bike radar review is quite good but I have nothing to compare it to or even know how reliable Giant are as a manufacturer. My budget for the bike is no more than £380. Are they're any others good models out there to compare with?

Any help or advise would be most appreciated



  • biondino
    biondino Posts: 5,990
    I think you need to figure out whether you do want to go off road or not. But from the above you might want to consider a cyclocross bike, which is good both on and off road. The hybrid is bad both on and off road, in comparison.
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689

    I have a Giant M2 great bike within its classification. It has the Giant XTC (mountain bike frame) so it is agile, slick tyres at 80psi tyres mean it'll roll and go quick and stripped down (no panniers or bags) over a short blast in traffic 7 - 10miles its great fun.

    However, I found the 26inch wheel version wanting in the sustained speed department and anything further than 10miles was just gruelling. - But then I'm comparing it to my road bike I have now.

    The brakes are great though, cannot complain about those whatsoever. Stop the Earth from spinning levels of stoppage on that bike.

    Off road the brakes are wonderful, the frame does seem to amplify vibration and the fork vibrates so much your wrists will grind to a small paste. - But then I'm comparing it to a front suspension bike I had prior.
    You'll love the M2 but you'll want something better easier for your commute and something more robust for off road. That's the trouble with Hybrid's, they do nothing brilliantly but everything OK.

    I would both say yes get a Giant M2 and don't get an M2 based on what you've listed your requirements as.
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  • Jay dubbleU
    Jay dubbleU Posts: 3,159
    I have a Giant M2 and its excellent both on and off road - my commute includes road, cycle track, old railway line (not surfaced) and I have had no problems - only changes I have made are to add mudguards a rear rack and change the tyres from the standard Maxxis Detonators to Schwalb Marathons - two reasons - we get a lot of glass on cycle tracks around here and I intent to use the bike as a light tourer as well as a commuter.DDD will disagree as he thinks they slow the bike down but I haven't noticed - he is young and has much to learn :)
    I bought mine from Halfords (Bike Shop) and they did an excellent job of setting it up for me
  • It's a shame you've chosen now to buy a new bike as you may have missed out on some good deals with last year's stock, but it may be worth searching out some 2008 or even 2007 bikes at a reduced price - see what you can find. You may prefer the simplicity of a Nexus hub-geared bike. The Edinburgh Cycle Co-op are doing '08 Revolution Pathfinders for £270 which is £100 off last year's price which has to be a real bargain! 26" wheels for sure, but that shouldn't be all that much of a problem. i think it ticks more of your boxes than most bikes will.
    Start Weight: 128 kilos (20.2 st) (April 17th 2009)
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  • How about a 2008 Boardman Urban Hybrid "comp" (reduced to £349) or the "team" (reduced to £399)? ... ice%7C%7C0

    Local to me in Southampton, the site claimed there was a large version of the "team" in the Fareham store at the weekend, but you may get lucky with a "comp" in your area!
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  • 14 miles a day four days a week, might I suggest if you live within the M25 an Oyster card or if you live outside the M25 buy a nice cheap Ford Fiesta or similar. £380 will get you perfectly reasonable vehicle that will keep you dry, warm and a whole lot safer.
    It also has the added benefit of producing extra carbon emissions that apparently will warm up the country sufficiently to allow me avoid all the hassle of having to jet off to sunnier parts four times a year for my holidays.