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bike help: are either of these any good for commuting?

chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
edited August 2010 in Commuting general

My girlfriends is looking for a bike (around the £500 mark) for commuting to work, nothing major just about 7 miles each way. Ive looked at these so far, what do you think?


or if you have any suggestions that'd be great!


Chris - a site for sore eyes


  • itsbruceitsbruce Posts: 221
    Insufficient data. Does she prefer to ride quickly or slow and steady? Is her commute entirely urban?

    One observation: both those bikes have knobbly tires. Unless her commute includes rough/muddy dirt tracks, or she plans to go trail riding at the weekends, that's just a waste (heavy and slow). Get something with slick tires. Same goes for the front forks with suspension - only useful if you do intend some MTB action, no use at all (and heavy, and slows you down) for a paved commute.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    ah, sorry!

    she wont be going flat out or anything, just getting to and from work really! we do go on a bit of trail riding outside of work, nothing too serious but enough to rule out slicks and make suspension worthwhile i think, especially as speed isnt really key for the commute and the amount of pot holes on the route to work too!! - a site for sore eyes
  • itsbruceitsbruce Posts: 221
    Chris Bass wrote:
    she wont be going flat out or anything, just getting to and from work really!

    If she's not concerned with being a speed demon, then either bike will be OK for a commute. I like taking scalps on the commute, but too many people on this forum forget that not everybody is a city racer. Given the dual use, the disc brakes on the Focus may be more appropriate (although they do mean heavier wheels).

    I do still think it would be worth considering swapping between slicks for the commute and knobblies for the weekends. It isn't the tyre surface that makes a difference to coping with potholes; width, pressure, spoke arrangement, all of those things but not the tread. If she is still generally happy with the bike after a month or so, she could try it out on paved roads with slightly thinner slicks (a friendly LBS should make this possible without having to invest first); I bet she'd find it a whole different experience.
  • gb155gb155 Posts: 2,048
    of the 2, i'd say the Focus
    On a Mission to lose 20 stone..Get My Life Back

    December 2007 - 39 Stone 05 Lbs

    July 2011 - 13 Stone 12 Lbs - Cycled 17851 Miles
    Now the hard work starts.
  • night_porternight_porter Posts: 888
    Either would be more than capable for the type of riding she will be doing and the only true test would be to ride them both.

    Because the Focus comes from Wiggle you will get at least a week to make your mind up so that is a good test ride. If it doesn't feel right just box it up and send it back. Wiggle will tell you it is because they are confident you will like the bike that they can offer this service so take them up on it. Just make sure that she tries the Giant during the week to get a fair comparison.

    Of the 2 the Focus does have the more expensive shimano components but that won't make any difference to her commute or how the bike rides. I have Deore XT and Alivio on different bikes and they both work very well and that is all you can ask of them.

    As far as the tyres are concerned "if it aint broke don't fix it" so leave the tyres as they are until she decides something needs to be improved for her commute. It will help to keep interests alive should they ever start to wane.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    Thanks for all the replys, I think wiggle have a 30 day return policy for focus bikes and there is a cycle surgery shop near us so think tesing the two is a good idea! I'm leaning towards the focus at the moment I think! - a site for sore eyes
  • you could save a packet and get a womens Carrera Subway 2 from halfords. They are suprisingly light, and the SRAM X5 is good too.

    I was tempted to buy one for myself, because they are 2kg lighter than the blokes, and the womans have more gears
  • I'm sure either would be fine, it might be worth looking into a spare set of wheels that you could put slicks on for the commute, and keep the knobblies for the weekend trail rides - knobblies really slow you down on the road.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    went for he focus in the end and about two weeks in its looking like the right choice :) - a site for sore eyes
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