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£550-800ish budget, best Hybrid?

Ibb1982Ibb1982 Posts: 30
edited April 2012 in MTB buying advice
Hey guys!
So glad I came across the Bike Radar forum, looks like a great community here. Lots of great info on the website too which has helped greatly both in bettering my knowledge but also confusion on what to get!!! haha :D

Ok my story cut short, I'm 5'9", 70kg (10 stone?), looking at 18" bikes, I used to be really into the MTBing/trials/jumping/urban riding scene a few years ago until my Orange Ms Isle (aka Miii?) got stolen, this was one of my saddest days of my life (saved up over 2 years to buy it) :( Since then I haven't ridden a bike because I was a student at the time (no money!).

But now I have a job with the NHS and I'm looking to get back into biking and thinking about getting one on our CycleScheme.

So I have been looking a lot at Hybrids, mainly because I would be using it to get to work (20mile round trip with some steep hills) etc, BUT I've been looking at the other MTB/Urban jump style bikes, and am getting the feeling back for getting back into having lots of fun on 2 wheels again. BUT I'm trying to be sensible and thinking about it being suitable for the daily commute, so thinking a 18" bike whether it be a hybrid or MTB (with road tyres).

I was hoping you guys could help me with recommendations, in terms of Hybrids I've got the following in mind and will be testing them out at local bike shops in Bristol over the next few days:

1) Whyte Portabello 2011 £554.99
2) Whyte Cambridge 2011 £750
3) Giant Seek 1 2011 £634.99
4) Boardman Performance Hybrid Team 2011/2012 £749.99

HOWEVER.......I'm worried I might get tempted to hop around like I used and buckle the wheels on the bikes above etc, I know its a wierd worrd, but for some reason I just feel like these bikes will be weak, though I'm sure they won't.

Could you guys, please help with point me towards MTBs that have been known to convert into fast commuters?

The Boardman Urban MTB Team looks like a good alternative at £599 ?

Any advice and/or alternatives to the above would be soo appreciated!
Thank you in advance
Whyte Stirling 2012 - mine since 6/4/12!


  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Size wise you need to try them, as they vary so much.

    But if if fits, the Boardman Urban Team represents great value for money and would top my list.
  • Ibb1982Ibb1982 Posts: 30
    supersonic wrote:
    Size wise you need to try them, as they vary so much.

    But if if fits, the Boardman Urban Team represents great value for money and would top my list.

    Thanks Supersonic for your response, so I checked out the bikes above apart from the Giant , was able to test ride the White Portable and Stirling. The Stirling felt great!
    I also tried out the Cannondale Bad Boy R SLX, was really nice too.

    I want to try the Boardman and Giant, but at the moment the Whyte is top of my list closely followed by the Cannondale. Was told about the Marin Fairfax, anyone have experience with this bike?
    Whyte Stirling 2012 - mine since 6/4/12!
  • Ibb1982Ibb1982 Posts: 30
    I've been eyeing the Cannondale Bad Boy Fatty R4, what do you guys reckon, this or the R SLX 2011 version?

    R4 2012 £899.99 - ... e-ec032136
    R SLX 2011 £799.99 (down from £999.99) - ... e-ec025252

    Are these better than the Whyte Stirling £999.99 (or should I get the Portobello)? - ... gn=froogle

    Any help would be greatly appreciated guys :)
    Whyte Stirling 2012 - mine since 6/4/12!
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I still think the Boardman is the best spec, I'd give it a try!
  • Ibb1982Ibb1982 Posts: 30
    supersonic wrote:
    I still think the Boardman is the best spec, I'd give it a try!

    I tried it earlier this evening, what a nice bike, but the bad news is I can't get the bike on Cyclescheme as Halfords do their on ride to work scheme! This sucks big time!

    I'll have to reconsider now, otherwise the Boardman would've been the ideal bike :(
    Whyte Stirling 2012 - mine since 6/4/12!
  • Ibb1982Ibb1982 Posts: 30
    I'm really stuck now guys, part of me wants to save the cash and go for a Whyte Portabello 2011 for £550, however cos its via an online order I'll most likely have to pay at my local bike shop for services? One local shop quoted £25 a service, and should be done 3-4 times a year with my mileage. I could get a Portabello from them for £699.99 and have free servicing for the life of the bike (not bad right?).

    I also like the Whyte Stirling, but its soo expensive, but feels soo great to ride :P Is it really worth paying the extra, can get this from the same place with unlimited servicing.

    I also really like the Cannondale R SLX 2011 for £799.99, and seems like I am getting alot for my money compared to the above. However the above 2 ride really nice, but so does this bike!

    I'm sooo stuck :( any suggestions?
    Whyte Stirling 2012 - mine since 6/4/12!
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Free servicing probably means they do some minor adjustments for nothing, and charge you an extortionate price for loads of parts.
    I'd learn to DIY - pretty easy to do routine maintenance, and things work bettter if you do them as and when needed.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • Ibb1982Ibb1982 Posts: 30
    Yeah I guess I can do it all myself, and to be honest I do know alot of it already, just don't have the kit for it.
    Obviously things like wheel tensioning and alignment I can't do but I think I can keep an eye on most of what is on this list

    Still stuck on what to get! haha
    Whyte Stirling 2012 - mine since 6/4/12!
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    I cant see them doing much of a service 3-4 times a year, for free? Is this normal? I know you get a checkup after the first few months normally, but thats just a basic check rather than a proper service, isnt it?

    I would check this - and ask whether it includes stuff like wheel tensioning & alignment - because I doubt it. (I could be wrong though, and usually am!).
  • tarbot18tarbot18 Posts: 531
    Id get a hardtail mtb and change the tyres for commuting then youve got the option to go off road too.
    The family that rides together stays together !

    Boardman Comp 29er 2013

    Whyte T129s 2014 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12965414&p=18823801&hilit=whyte+t129s#p18823801

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