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Which model Carrera subway quandary. Solved

bigflangesmallsprocketbigflangesmallsprocket Posts: 2,443
edited January 2012 in Commuting general
I now this is a long post, but bear with me, as there are some marked differences between the two Subways I'm after info on, which is giving me a headache!

I'm seriously considering getting a Subway. But there are now several versions out. I'm stuck between the Subway 2, and Subway Ltd Edition:

Subway 2:

Subway Ltd Edition:

Ignore the £450 claim on the Ltd, it was in the mid £300's when it first came out if you look at the bottom of the page, the same original price as the Subway 2.

You'd expect the more expensive Subway 2 to be the better bike, with the slightly more expensive components and 24 gears as opposed to the Ltd's 21 gears, but....

The Ltd edition has a 6061 frameset, the 2 is 7005 T6 (not sure what the T6 is, that's a new one on me!). The 2 is labeled as butted tubing (doesn't state which tubes though...), whilst the Ltd states 'profiled'. I WOULD have assumed that 'profiled' doesn't actually have any real meaning, BUT...the Ltd is advertised as nearly a kilo lighter than the 2....

The differences: The website blurb does actually lead you toward the Ltd being faster on the road which also asks me more questions!:

Frame: is the 6061 frame actually lighter or just a novelty to increase sales? I seem to recall reading that 6061 is very slightly more compliant than 7005, so possibly more suitable for the more road inclined, whilst the heavier (possibly) Subway 2 (with the more expensive/stronger bits) is more for those likely to take offroad more often(though being a skinny sod, it mightn't make much difference to me)? That SEEMS to be the gist of the differences?

Wheels: I spent some time instore, to the bemusement of the young sales chaps, checking/comparing bike specs. The 2 has wheels that are on more expensive Carrera mtbs, suggesting these are stronger ( possibly heavier?), which MAY account for some overall weight differences (the blurb is very annoying, stating on both models that rims are 'double wall ali', though rims are different for each model). The Ltd has rims that appear to be on some lower end bikes (difficult to be sure when they are Carrera own brand). So you'd think that cheaper rims = heavier, EXCEPT that the better(?) rims are on bikes more likely to take big bumps! The rims on the 2 has reinforced eyelets, which I'm aware adds a little weight, but also strength. The 2 is stated as having Formula hubs, though I could find no branding on them; the Ltd if I recall correctly from visual checking, has Quando hubs.

Tyres: features different tyres, which I know can make a big weight difference, but a bit hard finding info to compare them.

Stem/bars: the 2 has wider 31.6 medm riser bars, the Ltd with smaller (26/25.4?) lower rise and slightly narrower bars, so PROBABLY lighter, and the lower position again suggests a more roadie bent.

Saddle: chunky quality looking saddle on the 2, flimsy road style saddle on the Ltd, so obviously some weight diff there, but how much? And again, no specific model, just given as 'Carrera' so hard to compare specs by googling.

Drivetrain: 8 spd sram sx5 gearing on the 2, 7spd lower end on the Ltd (all given in numbers, I hate that, but about equiv to Acera I think); Truvativ Isoflow chainset on 2, and Shimano again on Ltd. The chainset on both of these would go almost straight away, 175 is too long for me so I'd be putting in a 170 Deore I have. I did wonder whether the extra rear cog might account for extra weight, but not sure about that.

Brakes: both disc: Tektro io on the 2, Shimano BR-M416 on the Ltd, though the actual discs look different to the one on the site pics, the shop ones having a 'wavy' style outer edging.

Why am I so bothered about the weight? I'd like to keep this bike a long time, so looking at the frames to see which is more 'worthy' of keeping. I'm leaning toward the Ltd, both for weight and price (though I can see myself upgrading those wheels), and most riding would be on-road, with occasional off-road exploration. I like the idea of racing round on hardcore trails, but my old back/knees etc just aren't up to that. Another reason for changing those wheels is that flashy white rims may attract a tad too much attention for my liking.

Even when replacing/upgrading parts, I'm still talking about relative lower end specs. I'm not sure how much advantage I'd be getting from 8 spd rather than 7 spd.

Overall, the kit on the 2 is obviously superior, though the saddle and wheel/tyre combo may add considerable weight. No matter which I buy, I'll probably end up changing some do, don't you. If you could give me the weight of the Ltd, with the quality of the kit on the 2, THEN I'd be happy :roll:

So anyone with experience of BOTH of these bikes? I know, its a big ask!

Or, I'd be grateful if anyone can review their own bikes strengths weaknesses, so I can compare the two?

Jam butties, officially endorsed by the Diddymen Olympic Squad


  • HALFORDS is rubbish by a specialised sirus £399 just my 2p then add any bits you like to decent frame , i ride on average 40 miles a day at a fast cadence so it works for me
    We are an online travel agency.

    Specialized Sirrus (converting to road bars) - Honda Fireblade.
  • bigflangesmallsprocketbigflangesmallsprocket Posts: 2,443
    edited August 2010
    Youre right, Halfords IS rubbish, but it's generally agreed that their bikes aren't. VFM they're not bad. You get what you pay for anywhere, but their 'offer' bikes can often get you more for your money. At sub £300 I'm still pushing my budget, so a £400 bike that I'd still probably spend extra on to get just so, in reality that's getting on for £500. For that kind of money, I'd be looking at picking up an Inbred, Kaffenback or similar and ebaying New Old Stock bits. That's exactly what I'm trying to avoid!

    Jam butties, officially endorsed by the Diddymen Olympic Squad
  • Right, my first post was possibly :wink: a tad overcomplimicatitateded, so lets make things simpler:

    Do you own a Subway (model/year?)? Would you mind giving a review, focusing on strengths/weaknesses so that I could compare frame/components/wheels between the different models?

    Ta very much like :D

    Jam butties, officially endorsed by the Diddymen Olympic Squad
  • cyberknightcyberknight Posts: 1,238
    I own a subway 1

    For the money you get a lot of bike,sure the set up can be iffy dependent on the staff at your local branch but if you can get past the halfords snobbery you get a very good bike for your money.
    Mine is fairly bombproof and makes a great winter ride, even bike radar gave it a good review.The only thing i changed were the tyres for slicks and some spd pedals.
    Apart from sticking a rack and mudgaurds on it the only repairs i had to make was standard for all bikes, chain ,cassette and brakes ! that wear out on all bikes.
    FCN 3/5/9
  • Nice to see a happy customer, though it's one of the disc models I'm looking at. You sound as if your useage is much the same as mine will be. I'd probably keep the tyres as specced till they wear out, and add the gaurds and rack. Googling, one thing I've noticed is that the Subway seems to be constantly evolving, so hard to compare to older models, though the 'ethos' of the bike still remains. I'm not too keen on the new flashy colours though. I dont know about older models, but the 09 one apparantly shares the same frame as at least one of their 'proper' mtb's, so it's going to be tough!

    Jam butties, officially endorsed by the Diddymen Olympic Squad
  • cyberknightcyberknight Posts: 1,238
    This is mine

    Uploaded with
    FCN 3/5/9
  • I'm guessing that's the 08 model? They're still selling the 09 as we get to autumn 10, so God knows what's going to happen for the '11' range. You have straight forks like the 09 (which I like, Kona-esque), but the 09 doesn't feature the bouncy seatpost, adjustable stem, nor the gripshift that yours seem to have. I prefer your colours to the current models, which are likely to draw too much attention for my liking.

    Jam butties, officially endorsed by the Diddymen Olympic Squad
  • Why not just by a frame and go from there, i think your looking for the impossible...
    We are an online travel agency.

    Specialized Sirrus (converting to road bars) - Honda Fireblade.
  • cyberknightcyberknight Posts: 1,238
    Yes it an 08 model, the special edition that halfords have atm does look nice for the price, it has straight forks and disk brakes for £224.

    The Suspension seat post is fairly naff tbh ,i am tempted to swap it for a standard seat post and my saddle will be replaced with my cheap road bike saddle soon as i get round to putting my charge spoon on the roady.

    My ride is 10 miles each way come rain or shine, i use this bike for the nastier weather as it is older and more of a workhorse as i carry a lot of stuff that i consider essential for commuting,plus the tyres soak up the road a bit more than the conti gator skins i run on the roady. Average speed on the flat is maybe 18-19 mph.
    FCN 3/5/9
  • I bought a Subway as my work would only do the cycle scheme through them. I was a little apprehensive but needed a bike so bit the bullet.

    Comments about staff are right on. I went to pick it but and when I'd got there the accessories I'd ordered had not been put on. We arranged a new time and when I went back the second time the rack and lights were on but the frame was scratched :evil:

    I got £40 off and a free touch up stick as I thought it would only get scratched anyway but not a good start. (I was right - the bike racks at the station soon mean I have even more scratches down to the metal :( )

    The bike itself has been impressive considering my initial fears compared to my old Claud Butler. Luckily the setup was ok in the end, and the disk brakes have bedded in nicely.

    All in all, its great for my journey. If I had the choice I would still try and avoid Halfords, but the Subway has been great.
  • I've just purchased the Carrera Subway Ltd Edition 18inch bike.

    I'll give my thoughts on the bike (and Halfords customer service) when I've had a little more time to cosy up with it :)

    Jam butties, officially endorsed by the Diddymen Olympic Squad
  • I've just purchased the Carrera Subway Ltd Edition 18inch bike.

    I'll give my thoughts on the bike (and Halfords customer service) when I've had a little more time to cosy up with it :)

    Now you've jumped on, I hope you have the same result as me. I've been riding my Subway LTD for going on 10 months, and have done over 6500miles on it, commuting approx. 40 miles a day. Halfords staff put mudguards, rack, pannier racks, lights on etc., with no problems, and the bike has proved to be a fabulous workhorse for me. I do take on board all that's been said about Halfords shortcomings, and I've had very bad experiences with them in the past, but touch wood, things are going well at the moment.
    Cheers and good luck.
  • Sorry to bump such an old topic but I'm interested to know how you got on bigflangesmallsprocket, or if anyone else has any words about their Subway Ltd Edition in particular.

    I've had ROTTEN luck with bikes & repairs recently and seem to have been constantly buying and selling for the past year. I'm on a budget so while I appreciate all the comments on every BR thread from seasoned bikers with a fair wodge of expendable income I don't really have £400-800 to drop on a ride.

    So, I basically just picked up a Subway Ltd Ed (the black/green/white) one and I'm hoping it's the beginning of a more settled period for me with bike ownership. A heads up on the stuff that broke for you / that you found good value in replacing would be v useful!
  • *Dusty**Dusty* Posts: 35
    I bought one of the blue/grey/silver LTD models with v brakes this week as a gentle reintroduction into biking for me. Obviously, being Halfords it was assembled with a twisted chain which i didn't notice in my rush to collect and get back to work. Noticed the next night when i went out for a couple of miles and the chain came off 4 times though.

    Credit where it's due, I phoned my LOCAL Halfords in Craigavon (I collected from a different branch who actually had one left), and the guys fitted a new chain straight away and it's been good as gold. All I've fitted are a set of cheap mudguards, will probably not really bother with anything else. My original plan was to commute on it, i thought it was 13 miles, turns out to be a hair over ten when riding and not taking silly round the town routes or motorway jaunts in the car for convenience :) however i think commuting on the hybrid will be harder work than it needs to be. I'll probably buy a midrange road bike for the commute and keep the Subway for pootling round with the kids in tow........
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