2nd hand 2nd bike

APB Posts: 13
edited December 2009 in Road beginners
Hi all - I've somehow managed to take up road cycling this year, bought a Boardman Team and have really been enjoying riding it every weekend since.

However, what with work I find it difficult to get time to get out in the evenings so have decided my new year's resolution will be to ditch the train a couple of days a week and cycle to work. Unfortunately the roads on my commute are just too dangerous (in my opinion), and the alternative road routes bump up the mileage considerably

I do have a great canal towpath that runs from outside my house to outside my work though (15 miles) BUT therein lies the problem - what bike do I use? I don't want to use my Boardman Team as limited funds have rendered this my good bike and there is a bit of slightly rough stuff along the towpath route that would not clearly not be suitable for a road racer... but in general its a pretty decent surface for the majority of the 15 miles, the worst of it is probably the equivalent to cycling over a cobbled surface for around half a mile.

I don't have a fortune to commit to this 2nd bike as whilst my intentions of commuting are good, I may end up not sticking it out and my girlfriend will never forgive me for an expensive unused bike residing in her kitchen.

So to cut a long rambling story short I'm looking for rough, tough 2nd hand bike suggestions (around the £300 - £400 mark)... I realise this is an open ended question but I'm not even sure what sort of bike it is to get... is it an old cyclocross bike? Is it a cheap hybrid? A sturdy tourer that can handle a bit of rougher stuff? Surely its not a mountain bike? Is my budget unrealistic for my needs? All I know is my requirements are that it takes proper mudguards, preferably drop handle bars (as I've really taken to them this year) - and is a tried and tested, reliable work horse, could be 2 years old, could be 15 years old??

I'm also not bothered about it looking pretty....

Sorry if this is posted in the wrong section but I don't know what sort of bike it is yet!

Let me hear your thoughts...


  • ForumNewbie
    ForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    For a 15 mile commute along a canal towpath I think I would get a hybrid. You could get a Giant CRS 3 for about £325 new, so why buy 2nd hand.
    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-gb/bik ... 863/39001/
    Straight bars I know, but I think that would be better for a canal tow path as I think it would be safer than speeding along head down on drop bars.
  • I agree, the Giant looks a great bike for the price and it fits your needs perfectly.
    If you go second hand, with that budget, you could get a great bike!
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Get a cyclo-cross bike - you should be able to pick up an older model for about £300 - the great thing about cross bikes is that if fitted with skinny road tyres, they're just as good on the road. The problem with many hybrids is that they are designed for occassional cyclists and being a compromise between a road bike and a mountain bike they're not very good at either - slow on the road and not really robust enough for serious off-road.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • APB
    APB Posts: 13
    Thanks for the suggestions guys - the Giant does look like a great option. I also have a Giant dealer 200 metres from my door so that would be a good place to start! I can see a hybrid would be suitable as whilst it is a compromise not being an out and out road bike or an out and out mountain bike - that compromise would seem to me to lend it very well to a towpath as I'd rarely use it on the road, and never on serious off-road.

    I have to admit I was hoping someone would suggest a cyclocross bike though, I'll have to do a bit of research into these too but I take your point about drops not being ideal for a towpath.
  • I think given your needs and budget, your might want to look at the Carrera Subway from Halfords (if you can look past the service).

    They're generally well reviewed. I have one as a second bike for leisure rides round the park and have no complaints. I also did the London triathlon on it before I got my road bike.

    Also, it's yours new for about 180 quid. Less in the sales.