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Best Hybrid Bike For Around £300

mystic.bertiemystic.bertie Posts: 136
edited August 2012 in Commuting chat
Im looking for a fast hybrid bike, my budget is around £300. I have no car (its off the road) so i cant travel to Glasgow for the biggger shops, i have a halfords not far from me which has a limited choice. So out of the online stores is there any bikes that stand out amongst the rest at around £300 price range?? It does not have to be a 2012 model either.

Just now im using a 12 year old raleigh mountain bike with road tyres for my 25 mile daily commute. So i could do with something quicker and smoother and a bit lighter. Any suggestions guys??

Posts

  • dhopedhope Posts: 6,699
    For 25 miles a day you'd notice the difference more on a road bike. Would suggest going 2nd hand as you'll get more for your money that way, £300 isn't much new but it's plenty used.
    Rose Xeon CW Disc
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  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    If you can stretch to £325 then Halfords have a really good Carrera Gryphon - really light and well specced for the money.

    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... yId_165534

    The way to get it for this price is:

    Right now they have £20 off anything over £250 bringing price down to £350.

    Join British Cycling using code TforL at half price, use Direct Debit for 10% off membership and it costs £10.80 but gets you 10% off at Halfords, bringing the price down to £315.

    Add the cost of membership to the £315 making a total of £325.

    very in depth writeup here: http://road.cc/content/review/50149-carrera-gryphon

    Alternatively, if you have a Decathlon near you they do some great bikes - they have an excellent Road bike for £300
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    Welcome.

    If you are doing 25 miles a day, I would seriously recommend a road bike. You will really notice the difference between a road bike and a MTB (lighter, faster, easier, more efficient).
    Look at 2nd hand for better value for money.
    Try not to buy a stolen bike, bad kharma, ennit?!
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • SimonAHSimonAH Posts: 3,730
    Second hand is definitely what I'd suggest. You can get a lot of bike for 300 bills given that probably one in three bikes bought goes the way of the rowing machine or the stairmaster. A good tip is to place a wanted ad on supermarket for sale boards and let the wives badger the husbands into selling you the bike they don't ride.....
    FCN 5 belt driven fixie for city bits
    CAADX 105 beastie for bumpy bits
    Litespeed L3 for Strava bits

    Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.
  • dhope wrote:
    For 25 miles a day you'd notice the difference more on a road bike. Would suggest going 2nd hand as you'll get more for your money that way, £300 isn't much new but it's plenty used.

    where i live there is not a great selection of decent bikes to choose from second hand. I fancy a road bike but the roads are not very smooth round here, the country roads are more heavy gravel type roads than smooth tarmac also so many patches on the road and drain holes, im wondering if a road bike would be too uncomfortable. :(
  • apreading wrote:
    If you can stretch to £325 then Halfords have a really good Carrera Gryphon - really light and well specced for the money.

    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... yId_165534

    The way to get it for this price is:

    Right now they have £20 off anything over £250 bringing price down to £350.

    Join British Cycling using code TforL at half price, use Direct Debit for 10% off membership and it costs £10.80 but gets you 10% off at Halfords, bringing the price down to £315.

    Add the cost of membership to the £315 making a total of £325.

    very in depth writeup here: http://road.cc/content/review/50149-carrera-gryphon

    Alternatively, if you have a Decathlon near you they do some great bikes - they have an excellent Road bike for £300

    cheers for the reply, thanks for the links the review seems quite good, somthing to keep in mind but its well worth the british cycling to get the discount lol.
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    dhope wrote:
    For 25 miles a day you'd notice the difference more on a road bike. Would suggest going 2nd hand as you'll get more for your money that way, £300 isn't much new but it's plenty used.

    where i live there is not a great selection of decent bikes to choose from second hand. I fancy a road bike but the roads are not very smooth round here, the country roads are more heavy gravel type roads than smooth tarmac also so many patches on the road and drain holes, im wondering if a road bike would be too uncomfortable. :(

    Roadbikes are not as fragile as most people think they are, but if you are worried, how about a cyclo cross bike?
    To be honest, I don't think you will get many people on here recommending buying a hybrid.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • EKE_38BPM wrote:
    Welcome.

    If you are doing 25 miles a day, I would seriously recommend a road bike. You will really notice the difference between a road bike and a MTB (lighter, faster, easier, more efficient).
    Look at 2nd hand for better value for money.
    Try not to buy a stolen bike, bad kharma, ennit?!

    as above i would love a road bike but the roads a bit rought me thinks round here. Ill keep an eye on the second hand bikes for now see if anything crops up. :mrgreen:
  • EKE_38BPM wrote:

    Roadbikes are not as fragile as most people think they are, but if you are worried, how about a cyclo cross bike?
    To be honest, I don't think you will get many people on here recommending buying a hybrid.

    a quick look on Evans those cyclocross bikes are expensive for me. As i have not been on a road bike since i was a teenager, now 42, i curse the roads when using the mountain bike, so im assuming the road bike would be more uncomfortable, as i said im assuming.
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    EKE_38BPM wrote:

    Roadbikes are not as fragile as most people think they are, but if you are worried, how about a cyclo cross bike?
    To be honest, I don't think you will get many people on here recommending buying a hybrid.

    a quick look on Evans those cyclocross bikes are expensive for me. As i have not been on a road bike since i was a teenager, now 42, i curse the roads when using the mountain bike, so im assuming the road bike would be more uncomfortable, as i said im assuming.
    I find that people are far too quick to assume that they need suspension to ride a bike. Suspension on a bike is a relatively new invention, people rode on (I assume) worse roads for around 100 years before bike suspension became common place.
    How did they do it?
    (1)Comfortable frames (both in terms of geometry and materials), (2)fatter tyres (than you get on a modern road bike) and (3) more comfortable contact points (saddle, handlebars and pedals).

    1: Roadbikes are stiffer than they used to be, in an effort to make them faster, but just like you wouldn't want your car (that you said is now off the road) to have the suspension from Lewis Hamilton's F1 car, you don't want your commuting bike to be stiffer than Wiggo's TdF Pinarello.
    Aluminium frames are lighter than steel but also stiffer. They transmit the vibrations from the road up to the rider whereas a steel frame will damp out those vibrations, but will be heavier.
    Different geometry also affects (or effects, I always get that one wrong!) how the bike smooths the road.

    2: Modern road bikes generally have tyres ranging in width between 23 and 28 mm. Older bikes tyre width started at ~25mm. 30mm and up wasn't uncommon and all of that extra air goes a long way to soaking up those bumps.

    3: Back in the day it wasn't all about trying to shave grams from the weight of a bike and £s from the cost, so companies like Brooks made saddles from thick leather with copper rivets. This was expensive so cheaper alternatives were found for the 'value' end of the market (remember those horrible plastic saddles that road bikes came with in our youth, we're about the same age.) Now the trend seems to be for massive padded saddles which make you sore after a few miles.
    The same sort of thing applies to handlebar grips. Rubber and cork has been replaced with hard plastics.
    On pedals, the material of choice used to be either metal (good for grip, but if your foot ever slips off, say goodbye to the skin on your shins), or rubber, not so grippy but more comfortable.
    Nowadays, clipless pedals are the way forward and are recommended by all types of cyclist (apart from BMXers, but they don't use brakes, so you know you can't trust their judgement).

    Taking what I've said in this post into consideration and thinking about the distance you ride, I would think an old tourer would be right for you.
    It is a road bike, but not a 'racer'.
    Steel frame with clearance for mudguards and wider tyres. It will probably come with a saddle built more for comfort than speed (a Brooks would be ideal) and the pedals can be changed to the more modern SPD-type.
    These are just the sort of thing that people throw away/give away because they think that everyone wants and needs 200 gears and hydromatic suspension on their bikes but horses (or bikes) for courses. A steel framed 1980s Raleigh tourer would be perfect for your needs and would probably outlast you! The only problem (which you may not suffer from in Glasgow, is wannabe hipster types buying old frames to convert them to fixies and pushing up the price, but I doubt the prices go up to £300).

    Happy hunting.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • PBoPBo Posts: 2,493
    I've had one of those gryphons - well, 2, due to theft - over the last 4 years. I really liked it, it's quite sporty, 28 tyres, fittings for racks, and I liked the disc brakes. I used to zip around Sheffield on it, handled the hills and censored roads fine. But Sheffields not that big a city, so didn't do thousands of miles. Like you, I hadn't ridden a drop bar bike for nearly two decades, so chose a hybrid - all be it a racy one rather than a comfy one.

    However, I've been doing more miles recently, back in London, and it was quite fatiguing on longer journeys. Even changing the grips, and with padded mitts, lot of handlebar "buzz" - even with the 28s. Although I'm often traveling fairly heavily laden, I also did find that I just couldn't get it to go that fast either.

    Anyway, my 2nd version was also nicked in June. Insurance coughed up, with halfords vouchers, so had to go back there anyway. carrera virtuoso road bike (limited edition - with red white blue paint job) was on sale from 500 down to 350. I had extra money to buy lock/rack etc,coming to over 400 so reserved online and got 40 off.

    Was the decision to spend in effect 310 0n a Halfords road bike a good one?

    Well so far, a resounding yes!!! Comfy, good looking, basic but decent kit - took a little while to get used to STIs, but no problems now. Saddle reasonably comfy, smoother, easier, faster ride - geometry and fork must be doing a better job of soaking up buzz, even with only 23s.

    Even with a normal chainset, not a compact like on the gryphon, I haven't really noticed any differences on hills (but bearing in mind london only has a few lumps, no real hills). The only downside was no rack fittings, but I got one of those that clamps to the seat post. you may not need a rack, you may use a bag/backpack, I don't know.

    the brakes aren't quite as good as the disc brakes, and i haven't really tested them in the wet yet - but no squeaky bum moments yet.

    Now, I realise that this is a little above your budget - but the TdF version they are selling for £300 is as far I can tell the same spec. (can't promise, but it may have rack fittings too).

    So I say, if you can live with the yellow colour, go for it!!
  • thanks for all the good informative replies guys, i have read with much interest i have deciced to go for a road bike. There is not a lot of second hand bikes available thru gumtree or ebay in my area so i have decided to go for the halfords Carrera Virtuoso, i have read reviews and i think this will be good enough for my needs for the foreseeable future.

    now a few questions they have a

    Carrera Virtuoso Road bike £380
    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... 65710#tab1

    Carrera Virtuoso Race Limited Edition £350
    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... 65710#tab2

    the first is a large 54cm and the other a large 51cm frame. Any size chart tells me i need a 58-60cm frame as i am 6ft. So will either of these frames be suitable. The yellow TDF has a 58cm frame though. This will be my first road bike so is there much difference between these 2 models in terms of components and gearing and comfort?

    i joining british cycling but you can only get the 10% off of an in store purchase with halfords, so you cant get the online discount and the 10% discount on top. Booooooooooooo

    i think i would rather buy the decathlon TRIBAN 3 but the nearest store is 40m away so its not practical as my car is off the road.
  • PBoPBo Posts: 2,493
    The ltd edition has an olympicy red white and blue paint job. The normal, more expensive one has compact rather than normal chainset and sora rear mech. Is it hilly? If so you may want the compact....I think you will want the larger sizes too.
  • PBo wrote:
    The ltd edition has an olympicy red white and blue paint job. The normal, more expensive one has compact rather than normal chainset and sora rear mech. Is it hilly? If so you may want the compact....I think you will want the larger sizes too.

    it is hilly around here, also my cycle to work is hilly, i can do it all using the big ring on my front cog, it means i go into 1st for the steeper hills tho. Out of the 2 bikes i prefer the normal one on a looks basis, however im baffled why they dont have a larger frame. :D
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    i joining british cycling but you can only get the 10% off of an in store purchase with halfords, so you cant get the online discount and the 10% discount on top. Booooooooooooo

    You can reserve online for in-store collection - that way you get to use both discounts. You will have to wait for your British Cycling membership card to come through, as in theory you need to show it in the shop as well as the voucher you get from the BC website - card comes through really quick though.
  • esspeebeeesspeebee Posts: 174
    the first is a large 54cm and the other a large 51cm frame. Any size chart tells me i need a 58-60cm frame as i am 6ft. So will either of these frames be suitable. The yellow TDF has a 58cm frame though. This will be my first road bike so is there much difference between these 2 models in terms of components and gearing and comfort?
    For what it's worth, I'm 6ft and ride 54cm and 55cm frames. However, bikes and people both come in all sorts of different shapes, so you just have to try riding one to see what size is right for you. The size that's quoted is the length of the seat tube, but top tube length is often more important for fitting and varies between different bikes.
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    For £300 I'd look at getting a second hand bike. Might be a bit more effort, but you're more likely to get something decent.
  • +1 on the old touring bike, I really enjoy using mine. Something like:
    this or this would probably suit you (and fit you).
  • apreading wrote:
    You can reserve online for in-store collection - that way you get to use both discounts. You will have to wait for your British Cycling membership card to come through, as in theory you need to show it in the shop as well as the voucher you get from the BC website - card comes through really quick though.

    cheers ill try that, the voucher you download says it cant be used along with any other offer, a bit on the british cycling website says you can phone up and they will email you a copy of your membership to use if you want to purchase something using the benefits. :roll:
  • esspeebee wrote:
    For what it's worth, I'm 6ft and ride 54cm and 55cm frames. However, bikes and people both come in all sorts of different shapes, so you just have to try riding one to see what size is right for you. The size that's quoted is the length of the seat tube, but top tube length is often more important for fitting and varies between different bikes.

    the thing is the 54cm frame size is the seat tube length as you say, however these bikes in halfords have angled cross bars so the top of the seat tube is lower, so if the cross bar had been level, the actual frame size would be higher, if you know what i mean. :D
  • +1 on the old touring bike, I really enjoy using mine. Something like:
    this or this would probably suit you (and fit you).

    i dont need a touring bike, i dont need panniers or to carry anything, i just want a fast comfortable road bike, im quite fit due to jogging so i want something i can go fast on. My choice second hand is rubbish where i love, classifieds and ebay, not much suitable at all.
  • ok i have done the deed, i have reserved the

    Carrera Virtuoso Road Bike - Large 54cm. £380
    Also
    Bell XLV Bike Helmet - Black 58-65cm/Halfords Puncture Repair Kit & Tools bundle £29.

    with the online reserve and collect discount of £40 the price is £369 to be paid instore, then ill get my 10% off for being a british cycling member, so ill be paying £332 for the bike/ helmet and repair kit.

    so a total discount of £77 meaning i got the bike for around £303, now thats a nice. I should get it tomorrow. I will need to phone up british cycling and ask for a copy of my membership to be emailed to me so i can take that with me to collect the bike.
  • SimonAHSimonAH Posts: 3,730
    Well done! Ignore the snobbery, the Carrera bikes are perfectly good weapons and excellent first road bikes. You're going to love the extra speed.
    FCN 5 belt driven fixie for city bits
    CAADX 105 beastie for bumpy bits
    Litespeed L3 for Strava bits

    Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.
  • Cool, enjoy the n+1 and I'll second the SimonAH's comment on ignoring Carrera-related snobbery. My second bike has a Carrera frame and it's a lot of fun.
    +1 on the old touring bike, I really enjoy using mine. Something like:
    this or this would probably suit you (and fit you).

    i dont need a touring bike, i dont need panniers or to carry anything, i just want a fast comfortable road bike, im quite fit due to jogging so i want something i can go fast on. My choice second hand is rubbish where i love, classifieds and ebay, not much suitable at all.

    You're not obliged to put panniers on a touring bike, with the rack and mudguards off it wouldn't look much different from any other road bike. I guess I'm just expressing a slight frustration that loads of people are sold racing bikes when very few of them actually want to race everywhere (don't believe everything you read in the SCR thread!) Other types of road bikes (tourers, audax bikes etc.) have gone out of fashion and we've lost sight of the fact that they're actually much better suited to what most people actually want to do on them. Your new bike will definitely be fast, but an alloy frame and straight-bladed steel forks on 23mm tyres could be a bit punishing on poor roads.

    Touring/audax bikes aren't slow either. My old Raleigh goes like a train, I'm currently in the top 5% of over 1000 people on my local dragstrip according to Strava. People raced for years on steel-framed bikes and Genesis will have a team racing on them next year. People are also coming round to the idea that comfy = fast because of reduced fatigue, and non-race bikes are generally able to soak up the bumps a bit better. Having said that, an old tourer would be a bit heavier (mine's 13Kg) so you'd feel it up the hills (like I said "like a train"). Neither is this just a retro fetish, modern steel-framed touring bikes like Thorn and the Dawes Galaxy are lovely, but they go from about £1000 upwards so you'd have to go second hand, but you can get a hell of a lot of second-hand bike for £300.
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 10,052
    SimonAH wrote:
    Well done! Ignore the snobbery, the Carrera bikes are perfectly good weapons and excellent first road bikes. You're going to love the extra speed.

    My Carrera Gryphon got me back to cycling so did a great job as far as I am concerned. I ran up against its limitation for my circumstances in a year of cycling regularly but it was a good choice to point me in the right direction.
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    And the Gryphon is really light for the money. I looked at one again when I was in Halfords for something car related this week and was impressed by it again. I got the Boardman Hybrid Team a year ago and wouldnt change that for the world, but the Gryphon gives alot of what I have got for alot less money.

    I think after a year, if you have reached the limitations and ridden the nuts off it so much that you feel you need something better then you will be able to justify the expense of getting something better at the time - and you will be better informed as to what you need - and you should still be able to get a few quid back on your used Gryphon - you cant lose a massive amount on a bike that costs so little.

    And if you havent used it much then you wont be bothered whether you could have got something better or different or whatever.
  • hey guys, i got my bike eventually, there was a problem with the british cycling discount voucher so i had to go back the next day, it was a nationwide problem so the discount was given manually, so no problems there, so my new bike cost me £303, what a result. Im really happy with it, its so light compared to what im used to and it handles good and looks great too. My only grumble is they put these silly cheap plastic toe clips on with flimsy straps which are a real danger, its impossible to get your feet into these whilst pedaling, so i have removed them, ill look for better pedals and toe clips soon.

    IMAG0206Small.jpg
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Nice bike for the money! That or the Gryphon was the way to go.

    As for comfort, it is the contact points and tyres that make the difference. A lot of people have said steel frames are more comfortable, it really does depend on the frame. Construction makes the difference, not really the material. A light weight, butted aluminium frame can flex more than a heavy, cheap steel frame.
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