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Bike Needed for Commuting - £600ish

Robert B 2Robert B 2 Posts: 17
edited July 2009 in Commuting chat
Hi all,

I know I started a thread about getting a folding bike but I've been well and truly put off getting a folder; looks like they can have structural issues over longer periods of time if intensely used.

I will be travelling 7.5 miles each way, including some serious hills, for my commute to work.

I want something that is light and enables me to ride efficiently by road. I did a test run today on my 6 year old, £250 mountain bike (complete with chunky tyres and cheap front suspension.) I managed it fine and have always been pretty adept at getting stuck in on the bike, but I think I am going to need something lighter and more dynamic for day to day use.

But I also want racks for my pack lunch bag so I don't get a sweaty back, and want mud and chain guards. I think I'd prefer flat handle bar. I would also like a seat that doesn't dig into my censored .

I have to act quickly as I've just sold my car and am starting new job in 10 days!! Help would be much appreciated.

Many thanks.

Posts

  • AidyAidy Posts: 2,015
    As far as structural issues go, I'd suspect that's very much dependant on what type of folder you went for.

    But I digress, racks and mudguards can be easily added after (although, ideally, make sure you have frame mounts for them).

    Saddles are also personal preference, and easy to swap later - finding one on a bike that fits you right from the start would be hard work, and slightly crazy criteria for choosing a bike :)

    I almost hate to say it, but I'd give CX bikes serious thought, you'd be able to take them along the tow path mentioned in your previous thread, too.
  • Robert B 2Robert B 2 Posts: 17
    Thanks Aidy,

    Ha ha, yes, I wouldn't choose a bike purely on the seat. There are the brake handles to consider also! :)

    CX Bikes.. any model in particular? I just checked on google and they seem to be doing road bikes. I'm not keen on the real skinny road bikes I see people on. They seem to have incredibly small seats, which would leave me in agony, and I could do with a little more versaility. Maybe a hybrid would suit me.

    Somebody recommended this to me, which sort of looks like what I am after - something light and dynamic, but with the accesories I need. But I thought Raleigh had gone down hill in recent years...?

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/ral ... h%20royale
  • Robert B 2Robert B 2 Posts: 17
    Just had a quick look on the net. I think the "tourer" type is best for me. They look like a road bike but equipped with accessories like racks and mud guards and things. Any thoughts?
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    Here ya go, put some bar ends on this, a rear rack, panniers, lights, and away you go.

    BTW , I've got one , it's fast and comfy .

    http://www.trekbikes.com/uk/en/bikes/bike_path/fx/73fx/

    trek73fx.jpg



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    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    Robert B 2 wrote:
    Just had a quick look on the net. I think the "tourer" type is best for me. They look like a road bike but equipped with accessories like racks and mud guards and things. Any thoughts?

    Forget that then ............... :roll:


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    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • Robert B 2Robert B 2 Posts: 17
    Thanks Andy, I like the look of those two..

    But what about the Ridgeback Voyage Tourer?
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    Robert B 2 wrote:
    Thanks Andy, I like the look of those two..

    But what about the Ridgeback Voyage Tourer?

    You'll get loads of different opinions on this forum, the best way to choose a bike is first by research , any bike you're interested in, Google for reviews, then pick the one you like the most, then go for a test ride.

    We all like different things, I don't use mudguards, I hate rucksacks, you'll find that most bikes will be competent.

    Google 'Ridgeback Voyage Tourer' , if it comes up with very little, it won't be anything special.

    Google search is your friend :wink: , then come back on here when you have a few in mind and I'm sure people on here will make you change your opinion :lol:


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    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • Robert B 2Robert B 2 Posts: 17
    Right-o,

    Could you recommend any decent tourers for me to research. I'd prefer a tourer so I get a bit more toughness than a road bike, but much greater speed than a mtb.

    Cheers mate
  • Robert B 2Robert B 2 Posts: 17
    What would be the advantages of a tourer over a hybrid for commuting by road?
  • edhornbyedhornby Posts: 1,780
    ok, tourers, aka audax - try surosa, ribble, hewitts (may be out of your price range there) or your local bike shop

    or if you're brave, ebay will probably get you a lot of bike for your cash...

    depending on the hybrid, some are virtual road bikes with flat bars, some are mtb's with skinny tyres, but I'd recommend a tourer
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
  • Robert B 2Robert B 2 Posts: 17
    Hi Ed,

    I'm pretty much split between a tourer and a "hybrid".. I want something light and fast, but also with guards and rack. and lights.

    But I can't really get my head around what the advantage would be of using a tourer such as this Raleigh Pioneer (just an example):

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/catego...nture-gt-18898

    over a hybrid like the Schwinn World Street, which, to all intents and purposes, looks like the same thing but without the drop bars. Having drop bars doesn't matter that much to me, although I would like some good speed.

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/catego...et-us-08-30672

    What is the real difference between the two things I have shown above?

    Whichever type is best for my 7.5 mile hilly commute is what I will focus on.

    Cheers
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    Robert, those links don't work, but irrespective of that , bikes have different gear ratios’ depending on what type/style of riding they are aimed at.

    A flat bar hybrid ( like the trek 7.3) is a compromise between a road bike and a mountain bike.

    I always recommend those new to cycling(commuting)that they buy a flat bar hybrid, they are far easier and more comfortable to ride than a drop bar road bike .... , in my opinion of course.

    I have a 6 mile commute, I have 4 bikes (all different disciplines) but I favour my hybrid over the other 3 (except during winter when I use my MTB ).

    You might find the link below interesting.

    http://www.jimlangley.net/crank/howtobuyabike1.html


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    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • Oddjob62Oddjob62 Posts: 1,056
    edited July 2009
    ...
    As yet unnamed (Dolan Seta)
    Joelle (Focus Expert SRAM)
  • Eau RougeEau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    <obligatory "get a road bike" post legally required of every "what bike" thread in this forum>

    You want a Giant Defy.
    You get full guards, and I know you can put panniers on them, as there is often one in the bike shed at work that has panniers on it, yet at the same time it's a lovely fast capable road bike.

    Tourers are great for...ahm...touring, when you need to carry half a campsite worth of stuff for miles and miles every day. They are overkill for a commute, you make the compromises to speed and agility yet gain nothing for it.
  • You could get a ribble audax with campag xenon or shimano sora groupset for less than £600. You get to pretty much customize the build when you buy a ribble, so concrete saddle shouldn't be an issue and you get a choice of 23, 25 or 28 wheels. Plus you get chromoplastic mudguards fitted free.

    http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/BikeBuilder.asp#
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,426
    You could get a ribble audax with campag xenon or shimano sora groupset for less than £600. You get to pretty much customize the build when you buy a ribble, so concrete saddle shouldn't be an issue and you get a choice of 23, 25 or 28 wheels. Plus you get chromoplastic mudguards fitted free.

    http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/BikeBuilder.asp#

    +1

    That's what I'd get, in fact it's what I want, but my wife wont let me have one booooo!
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • Robert B 2Robert B 2 Posts: 17
    I've decided to get a hybrid. I know I am being annoying and contradicting my earlier posts, but I just think a road bike or tourer would be overkill for what I need.

    I want something that enables me to go fast but which also has the strength to occasionally go off road. That rules a road bike out. But I think a tourer is just a bit much; I will only be using it for my 15 mile a day commmute, and don't need to carry lots of stuff over long distances. Moreover, I'd ultimately feel better going for a flat barred set up.

    So that leaves me in a situation of needing a hybrid that is fast and has mud guards and rack. I reckon if I spend £600, or a little more maybe, I could get a hybrid that is light and has slick tyres, and which would be a big improvement over my mtb.

    Any suggestions for a good quality, fast hybrid with all the accessories I need, and capable of doing well on hills, for my price bracket? I'm going to start exploring at LBS, but any pointers would be welcomed. I know it won't be as fast as a road bike, but what I'm aiming for with a hybrid is achieving as close to road/tourer as possible.

    Cheers
  • Eau RougeEau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    Robert B 2 wrote:
    I want something that enables me to go fast but which also has the strength to occasionally go off road. That rules a road bike out.

    It doesn't rule a CycloCross bike out though.

    You say only 15 miles. You know you'll start taking the long way home when it's nice and be doing 100 mile sportives next year :)
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    Robert B 2 wrote:
    Just had a quick look on the net. I think the "tourer" type is best for me. They look like a road bike but equipped with accessories like racks and mud guards and things. Any thoughts?
    I'd have a look at the Ridgeback Voyage which is a nice, reasonably priced tourer and has a lovely Reynolds 520 steel frame (smooth, silky ride quality).

    Otherwise, if you're after something a bit faster, a cyclocross bike, as recommended by others , is probably your best bet. Planet-X Uncle John is nice. Or perhaps something made up from a Kinesis Crosslight frame.

    Another option to look at is the Condor Fratello. Lovely steel. A genuinely classy ride.
  • Robert B 2Robert B 2 Posts: 17
    Right,

    The fast hybrids I have my eye on are the following:

    Boardman Hybrd Pro - this is my preferred option, based on what I know. Halfords have provided a detailed spec on the website, and it looks as though it is very light and used fast tyres.

    Specialized Sirrus

    Trek 7.3

    Carrera Gryphon

    The thing is, the latter 3 come in at between £360 and £480, but the Boardman would cost more like £7-800. It is hard to tell what the real differences are to justify the difference in cost as not all websites provide a very detailed spec including weight, etc.

    The Boardman has disk brakes, whereas two of the others don't; but what other differences are there. Are these four bikes really just much of a muchness, and would I be better not spending the extra money on the Boardman. Will the Boardman have much better spec, or are they just charging a lot for a name?

    Before anyone says, I know I need to go and try them all out - I will do. Just doing some initial research.

    Cheers
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