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Budget hybrid bike, ideally sub £300

dizzyduckdizzyduck Posts: 39
edited March 2011 in Road beginners
Hi there, first post here from a new user!

With the weather getting better by the day, I've started to have growing interest in buying a bicycle. I had one last year, a Carrera Crossfire 1 from Halfords, but it was stolen before Christmas. I'm thinking of buying a new hybrid and would love to hear some suggestions.

I am on a budget and I think £300 is my limit. I know that probably can't buy anything close to what many of you will own, but I'm just a "beginner" and looking for a reliable bike to do some town & trail rides with my girlfriend on the weekend, etc.

My initial thoughts were either the Carrera Crossfire 1 again, as I was quite happy with this, or maybe the Revolution Trailfinder? The latter is discounted to £212 at the moment and is appealing because it is described as a hybrid type of bike but one that can be adapted to do some off road riding if I choose to when I'm more experienced? Anyway, I haven't really done much research, and was hoping to get some suggestions from you experts.

Durability/reliability is probably most important after cost; I want something that I don't have to tune and repair every few weeks (I know next to nothing about fixing bikes so this would mean taking it to a shop each time).

Can't really think of what else to write. Please let me know if you require more info before giving your recommendations. Oh, and I live in Leeds, in case you have shops to direct me to. I am aware of the Edinburgh Bicycle shop and was planning on visiting them soon.

Sorry for this being long-winded, and sorry if this topic has been posted by many-a-newbie before me. Honestly, I have only now just spotted the Search button and will post this anyway because I've spent so long typing already.

Thanks in advance! :D


  • Berk BonebonceBerk Bonebonce Posts: 1,245
    I got myself a rigid, road-going mountain bike a while ago - Dawes Saratoga Rigid. 26" wheeled comfort bike that will stand up to a lot of abuse. Put a rear rack on, some better tyres, and full length mudguards. Poorly built - had to do some tweaking - but generally very pleased.

    Your girlfriend gets my approval as well. I had one a long time ago that said to me: "I wouldn't be seen dead on a bike".
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Dawes do some nice hybrids that come in a variety of budgets. I have the Discovery 301 which cost about £300 and it is great for whizzing around on cycle paths, gentle bumpy woodland trails and (more importantly) pub runs. I have done the odd 50 on it too but stick some road tyres and SPDs on for that kind of thing.

    I would recommend having a good think about what you will really use the bike for. I lasted about 6 weeks before I ended up buying a decent road bike because ultimately a hybrid is always a trade off. Also, think seriously about those suspended front forks. My Dawes came with an option to "upgrade" to suspended fork (and was supplied with the standard steel fork too). I swapped to the steel option after 6 months and could not believe the improvement in riding experience (I actually shaved over 1.5 Kg off the front). The steel forks are still ok for cycle paths, etc., but I guess they would struggle with true off road...but the point is I don't do true off road.

    Might be worth considering a cross bike? Stick some skinnies on that and you will be able to keep up with most clubs on a road run...stick on some tough 32s and you can do any cycle track and bridalway, etc., or even a muddy field if you fancy it! Just a thought.

    Boardman (in Halfords) do some nice hybrids too at some very reasonable prices.
  • EarlyGoEarlyGo Posts: 281

    If you must have a hybrid I can thoroughly recommend a Dawes Discovery 201. I've had mine for 2 years and its bomb proof! Nothing has gone wrong and the original tyres are still going strong. I think they are reduced at the moment to about £220. It's not up to extreme off-road stuff but farm tracks, gentle forest and roads are all easily manageable.

    As mentioned before, it would definitely be worth considering a cross bike too. However, make sure you go to Edinburgh Bikes before you buy anything as I've always found them to be honest, knowledgeable and unbiased. Tell them exactly what you want the bike to do and they'll match that to your budget. Hopefully you'll find them 100% more knowledgeable than Halfords!

    Regards, EarlyGo
  • d_kni004d_kni004 Posts: 10
    Lots of deals online for 2010 bikes, best hybrid I could find for the money was the Halcyon Monterey, was 400, now 225
    see link ... ts_id=9599
    Good luck,
  • dizzyduckdizzyduck Posts: 39
    Thanks for the replies. I am glad I asked, because the suggestions given were completely unknown to me, discounted and within my budget (except Boardman brand unfortunately).

    I want the bike for a mixture of riding along cycle paths, light trails and forests, some occasional roads and some occasional off road (but probably not very rough terrain or mountains). I may do more off-road riding as I get more experience, the idea sounds fun, so ideally a bike that will suit my current needs but also not too fragile that I'll have to buy a new one if that time comes.

    So the models I am comparing now are
    - Dawes Discovery 201
    - Dawes Discovery 301
    - Halcyon Monterey
    - Halcyon Yukon
    - Revolution Trailfinder '11

    I really have no idea how to pick between these... Do any of these seem better for me than the others? What features should I be looking for? What is difference between 201 and 301 - is it worth paying more for the 301?

    Thanks again.
  • ratsbeyfusratsbeyfus Posts: 2,841
    Kona Dew - Evans often discount them to less than £300. Lovely commuting bike, that got me back into road biking when I put some slicks on it and did a few sportives.

    I had one of them red bikes but I don't any more. Sad face.

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