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Commuting suitable road bike suggestions please

stu20001stu20001 Posts: 48
edited April 2009 in Commuting chat
I know this has probably been asked a thousand times, but, hey, bike models change all the time so the answers may change.

I need to get back into commuting and I think a new bike is probably the encouragement I need. For the past few years I've been slogging away on a Ridgeback Cyclone hybrid which has been dependable but is heavy and it's a relatively hilly 14 miles each way.

I think a road bike may be the more enjoyable way to go but need some advice.
    Price range: No more than £500 ABSOLUTE max (would prefer around £400) Needs to be solid, reliable and suitable for London's sh*tty roads Not single-speed - I need gears
Something that I could stick mudguards on would be good but not vital.

Any suggestions gratefully received

Thank you very much.
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Posts

  • artaxerxesartaxerxes Posts: 612
    Sorry can't offer much help, but I'd be interested in the replies too as I'm looking for a drop bar bike in the £500 ish range.
    Been using a cheap heavyweight hybrid for the last couple of years and it now needs a whole new drivetrain. So I thought I might as well get a new faster bike.

    Was going to head down to DeVer cycles in streatham to see if they had any discounted 2008 models left. Also the Cycle warehouse in Greenwich (luvbikes.com) has had a sale on for ages.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    Fnnily enough I started with a Ridgeback hybrid, it had an equally hopeful name! I graduated to a Specialized Allez (still in service with a mate) dependable and solid enrty level roadie. Unfortuately just over budget though @ £566:

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/specialized/allez-27-2009-road-bike-ec016020

    Giant Defy @ £440:

    http://www.jejamescycles.co.uk/giant-defy-4-item127645.html

    Otherwise have a look at Dawes. Bike prices seem to have jumped in the last few months (thanks sterling).

    Personally I'd scrape together the extra and plump for the Allez, it's a stonking bike.
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  • artaxerxesartaxerxes Posts: 612
    Thanks, what kind of mudguards can you fit on the Specialized Allez? Full chromoplastic guards or just the clip on Raceblades?
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    Mudguards? Mudguards! No idea what you're talking about old chap. :shock:

    Probably just clip ons. But at least you can take them off easily! :lol:
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  • artaxerxesartaxerxes Posts: 612
    So no chance of fitting a pannier rack to the Allez?

    ...I'll get my coat.
  • Saracen Pylon 8, £300 (Rutland Cycles Ebay): Full muguards; hydraulic disc brakes; 8 gear Alfine hub... Job done!
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  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    Saracen Pylon 8, £300 (Rutland Cycles Ebay): Full muguards; hydraulic disc brakes; 8 gear Alfine hub... Job done!

    Isn't that a Hybrid? Not a road bike...

    Pylon 8

    prod_14316.jpg

    Road Bike:


    specialized-allez-27-2009-road-bike.jpg
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    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
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  • AguilaAguila Posts: 622
    I think an audax bike would be best for you. They have mudguards and all the rack bolts you will need if you want panniers. I ride a dawes audax supreme as my winter/workhorse commuter and its great. About £800 new but you consider a newish second hand or similar model.

    Or there is the cheaper sport model:

    http://www.fredbakercycles.co.uk/123/DA ... er=froogle

    Audax bikes have a slightly longer wheelbase and other frame geometry changes to make the riding position slightly less aggressive than a full on race bike. IMO this makes themideal for commuting.
  • Saracen Pylon 8, £300 (Rutland Cycles Ebay): Full muguards; hydraulic disc brakes; 8 gear Alfine hub... Job done!

    Isn't that a Hybrid? Not a road bike...

    That it may be, but that Alfine hub gear will long outlast the Tiagra and Sora components on the Allez (or the 2200 on the Defy), not to mention the gearing on the Alfine is well suited for hilly terrrain (5th gear is 1:1 ratio, 38:19 on the Pylon 8). With a set of Marathon Plus tyres and mudguards, its a "bomb-proof" commuter.
    ================
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    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • Eau RougeEau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    its a "bomb-proof" commuter.

    Doesn't stu20001 already have a "bomb-proof" commuter he wants to replace though?

    "commuting" is a very broad church. Do you need to carry anything, or can you leave some clothes there, for example?
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,147
    Eau Rouge wrote:
    its a "bomb-proof" commuter.

    Doesn't stu20001 already have a "bomb-proof" commuter he wants to replace though?

    "commuting" is a very broad church. Do you need to carry anything, or can you leave some clothes there, for example?

    indeed and when going up hills weight counts and roadies tend to have less, so much easier.
  • would recommend a 2nd hand kona jake the snake off ebay... v versatile cyclocross bike, v rugged, eyelets for guards/rack, great geometry, good looks... or a ribble winter trainer... £575 new
  • doog442doog442 Posts: 370
    agree with the above or a 2nd hand spesh tricross.....
  • SewinmanSewinman Posts: 2,131
    I have been very happy with the Trek 1.2. I paid about £400. Nothing has gone wrong in the last six months.
  • BassjunkieukBassjunkieuk Posts: 4,232
    I picked up a bargain with my SCR 3.0, got it for about £125 less then the RRP! I think this might have been due to it being the previous years model or just on the point of being replaced with the newer model.

    For £325 I really don't think I could have done much better. It's seen a few upgrades in the 14 months I've had it but has been a good runner :-)

    I think at that price point your really going to be looking at the lower end Giant, Trek and Specialized models. I remember I was also looking at the Allez Triple and Trek 1.2 when I was looking around but went with the Giant as I managed to find such a good deal, mainly thanks to Google and some patience - as I was in that awkward "rather popular" size, finding somewhere that had it in stock was a challenge, let alone a decent price.
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  • stu20001stu20001 Posts: 48
    Wow - plenty to go on then. Sorry for the delay in replying but been struggling with a broadband provider change and only just got online at home (but that's another story......)

    Anyway, the Allez is one I have wondered about but it is a little out the price range. If it's a decent bike though I could maybe stretch to it but that leaves me with no budget for accessories.
    Bike prices seem to have jumped in the last few months (thanks sterling).
    Not just me that thinks this then... It's been a while since i browsed but I was little surprised at how few bikes were in my price range

    A full blown Audax bike seems a little much as I'm not fussed about panniers. I sling everything in a rucksack and that does the job. I leave shoes at work which saves weight and bulk so just have to carry clothes.

    The Trek 1.2 and the SCR3.0 both look like good options although I like the look of a Jake the Snake - depends whether I could find one the right size and price

    Thanks everyone!
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  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    Saracen Pylon 8, £300 (Rutland Cycles Ebay): Full muguards; hydraulic disc brakes; 8 gear Alfine hub... Job done!

    Isn't that a Hybrid? Not a road bike...

    That it may be, but that Alfine hub gear will long outlast the Tiagra and Sora components on the Allez (or the 2200 on the Defy), not to mention the gearing on the Alfine is well suited for hilly terrrain (5th gear is 1:1 ratio, 38:19 on the Pylon 8). With a set of Marathon Plus tyres and mudguards, its a "bomb-proof" commuter.

    Eh! The Allez comes with a Triple, so far better suited for hills than that great lump:

    50 x 39 x 30t with 11x25 on the back. So 30:25 which will basically get you up anything.

    Well maintained/serviced Sora/Tiagra will last a good long time. It's also much easier to look after than hub gears.

    Besides which the OP has a hybrid already and is looking to upgrade to a road bike...
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    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
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  • AndyOgyAndyOgy Posts: 579
    If you can get the extra money from somewhere then I gotta agree with jash about the Allez. I got on last year for commuting 22 miles a day and it has been brilliant. I was getting anything up to a 10 minute improvement in journey time over comuting on a totally inappropriate (but great for it's intended purpose) Rockhopper.
    I was under that misconception about road bikes being super flimsy and fragile but this bike has ploughed through pot holes, cattle grids and poorly surfaced farm roads.

    110% recommended.
  • artaxerxesartaxerxes Posts: 612
    OK I have joined the drop bar world! Just picked up a Ridgeback Horizon 2008 ( http://www.ridgeback.co.uk/index.php?bikeID=86&seriesID=41&show_bike=TRUE) from OnYourBike in London Bridge for £499.99.

    Yes I know a Ridgeback will attract scorn from some of the snobs in here, but for me it ticked all the right boxes.

    1: Can accomodate full length mudguards and a rack (it actually comes fitted with mudguards already)
    2: Decent transmission (well a lot better than my old hybrid anyway)
    3: Reduced in price to £500 because it is a 2008 model so I think it was a bit of a bargain :D
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Nothing wrong with Ridgeback - should suit your needs very well!
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    Is it just me or does keeping the pump on the seat stay parallel and about an inch from the rear spokes seem, well, devil-may-care?

    (sorry, just looked again, that was the £1200 panorama that does that. Still, my point stands!)
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    I would agree with you - I would be nervous! I have a velcro strap around my pump because it has popped off occasionally, though it's fixed to the seat tube by the bottle cage.
  • artaxerxesartaxerxes Posts: 612
    Oops the link I posted shows a pic of the Panorama...
    Here's the bike I got
    rb_horizon.jpg
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Can't argue for 500! What's the ride like?
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  • artaxerxesartaxerxes Posts: 612
    Well this is my first road bike so I can only really compare it to my old hybrid. I really can't believe how much smoother and faster it is. All the gears work straight off (I could never get all the gears to work on my hybrid even after adjustments). The ride is comfortable as well, even on the potholed roads of London.
    I paid something like £250 for my first hybrid, and for extra £250 you seem to get a big leap in performance.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    :)

    I'm a fan of 32h spoke wheels for the London roads too. Seem to provide a more comfortable ride for me.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,690
    Yup you've bought yourself a nice bike there :D

    I have a Ridgeback and the quality is fantastic, enjoy!
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  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    linoue wrote:
    I paid something like £250 for my first hybrid, and for extra £250 you seem to get a big leap in performance.

    This should be in your signature. I almost feel bad suggesting that £250 isn't enough to start off a cycling lifestyle - it obviously is - but it seems to make such a difference if you can go up to £500. Of course, on C2W you get £500 worth for not much more than £250 so it seems crazy that more people don't snap up the opportunity.
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