Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting chat

New bike advice - 7 mile commute in London <£1k

bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
edited July 2012 in Commuting chat
Not for me though, a mate has asked me to help him choose a bike.

7 mile commute, planning to do it year round, I'm sure he'll also use it for getting out for a bit of exercise. He's happy to max out the cyclescheme but can only use Evans. He likes the look of the Bianchis ('proper' bikes, not the hybrids). The choices in that price range are almost all alu frames, carbon forks and 9-10 speed Shimano or Campag.

SS/FG is not an option. So it's between Bianchi or other Italian road bike, or a CX. The only one Evans do that looks alright and is under budget is the Spesh Tricross disc Sport. It's got Sora and Acera gears, but they're fine (if a little heavy) and everything else looks comparable. For a beginner, what would you fine folk suggest? Racy, 23mm tyred Bianchi for summer and winter commuting, or a less glamorous CX that can take a rack, guards and comfy summer tyres/spiky winter tyres?

I'm tempted to say CX because of how happy I am with mine, I have said to him that he needs to like it, and he can bail out and use PT when the weather's truly grim if needs be.
MTB/CX

"As I said last time, it won't happen again."
«1

Posts

  • cyclingpropcyclingprop Posts: 2,426
    I would say, for a beginner... to avoid Evans.
    What do you mean you think 64cm is a big frame?
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    +1 Bails:

    Spesh Tricross disc Sport. It's got Sora and Acera gears

    I think you nailed it. Perfect for a noob.
  • chillingchilling Posts: 267
    ...and more helpfully as your mate is tied to Evans (not reading the post ftw)

    They seem to have limited stock on most 2012 models at the moment but there are some good deals on these. He'll have to go and see what they have available in his size, I've been looking at a few bikes but none in my size at the moment.

    I'm waiting for the 2013 ranges to trickle through now.

    If it's going to be a year round commuter I'd say mudguard mounts are a must unless he's happy to put crud roadracers on it. In which case he'll have to pay attention to the clearance. This shouldn't limit you to a CX bike. A lot of the road bikes will take mudguards. The new Aluminium Trek Madone will, and looks nice. I'm intrigued by the Domane again it'll take mudguards, but want to ride one to see if it fits / is nice. They've not landed in store yet though.

    His best bet is to firstly ride the Bianchi he likes to see if it fits him, no point making a choice on it being a nice colour before he know's if it's comfortable.
  • verminvermin Posts: 1,739
    Hard to avoid Evans if they are only outlet available under the employer's scheme. I maxed mine out on my Supersix (does he know that you can add cash over and above the £1000 voucher limit?)

    Best advice is to tell him to go to his local large Evans store one weekend and ride as many bikes as they will let him. He will know when one feels right. I spent two Saturdays in Evans, riding everything they had in the £600 - £3000 price range and found only 3 bikes that felt right (confident handling, reactive and comfortable) - a Colnago, a Wilier and the Supersix.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,787 Lives Here
    Thought you were moving to civilsation for a moment there. I'd go CX, I'm more than happy with mine and I think you can get lighter. Just stick some 25mm tyres on and try to get one with discs. Don't Evans now do a Pinnacle CX with discs? Haven't looked yet, should be doing some work.
    Pesky customers, just had to go and help someone. How many posts will there have been since I started this, no replies when I started.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    vermin wrote:
    Hard to avoid Evans if they are only outlet available under the employer's scheme. I maxed mine out on my Supersix (does he know that you can add cash over and above the £1000 voucher limit?)
    Well now, we all know you can't do that because it would be in breach of the terms of the scheme...... 8) ahem... :wink:

    Yep, he likes the look of the Bianchis, but as said above, if he doesn't like how it fits/rides it won't be any good (not sure he'd know what to look for tbh, any bike is going to feel different to the cheap MTB he last rode 5 years ago....)

    Domane could be a good call, I'll investigate those, and will go with my original idea of suggesting he looks at the Tricross too.

    Any suggestions for a reliable Evans store in London, or any to particularly avoid? If I lived closer I'd go with him to help, but it's a bit of a long way to go to watch someone else buy a bike :wink:
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • verminvermin Posts: 1,739
    I've had good service at the Waterloo Cut branch. I've been abused at St Pauls.
  • dhopedhope Posts: 6,699
    vermin wrote:
    I've had good service at the Waterloo Cut branch. I've been abused at St Pauls.
    Had good service at St Pauls, Waterloo were grumpy :lol:
    Rose Xeon CW Disc
    CAAD12 Disc
    Condor Tempo
  • verminvermin Posts: 1,739
    dhope wrote:
    vermin wrote:
    I've had good service at the Waterloo Cut branch. I've been abused at St Pauls.
    Had good service at St Pauls, Waterloo were grumpy :lol:

    Ha!
  • samsbikesamsbike Posts: 942
    I know its not an Evans brand, but the boardman CX would be a good choice.

    Personally I would also budget anything from £100 to £200 for the following (in no particular order) - helmet, gloves, waterproof top and bottoms, mudguards, maybe panniers and rack, lights.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    samsbike wrote:
    I know its not an Evans brand, but the boardman CX would be a good choice.

    Personally I would also budget anything from £100 to £200 for the following (in no particular order) - helmet, gloves, waterproof top and bottoms, mudguards, maybe panniers and rack, lights.
    Yep, believe me, I know how expensive all the 'add ons' can cost. And I've got a Boardman CX, but it has to be Evans unfortunately.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    When did the SuperSix become a realistic option as a commuting bike? Each to their own.

    Can't Evans order makes that they don't advertise in store? Or am I think of Halfords?

    In any case: You'd be hard pressed to find a truly bad entry level bike

    Spec Allez
    Felt Z (something)
    Canondale CAAD 10 (why has this not been suggested yet?)
    BMC Streetracer
    Scott Speedster
    Eddie Merckx
    Trek 1 series

    Are all sold through Evans and are all pretty decent, even the Jamis bikes pop up in Cycling Plus/Weekly with the odd good review.

    My first thought is that if I'm spending £999 I'm not settling for anything less than full Tiagra or equivalent. Though I'd be trying to get 105. But the best advice is to go to a very large Evans and try a shed load of bikes until you friend finds the right one.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    Thanks DDD. Basically, there are a million and one bikes at any price point, the specs (at a given price level, when sold by Evans) are generally much of a muchness. So it comes down to picking a type of bike, and then picking one he likes the look of. That was how he started off looking at the Bianchis, he likes the look of them and there's nothing wrong with the spec (no Athena :wink: ). A CX suits my rural commute, but I didn't know if there was some reason why London would be different and he'd need a TT machine to keep up with this Embankment Peloton I've heard so much about. :lol:

    I will suggest test rides on some of the bikes mentioned above.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • Gizmo_Gizmo_ Posts: 558
    vermin wrote:
    dhope wrote:
    vermin wrote:
    I've had good service at the Waterloo Cut branch. I've been abused at St Pauls.
    Had good service at St Pauls, Waterloo were grumpy :lol:

    Ha!
    I was essentially ignored at Fenchurch St, London Bridge is very small, the "West End" one at Mortimer Street was friendly but I got mine from Spitalfields because they were competent and convenient. Although; don't go in there at 6pm on a weekday, there's a big rush :)

    Cannondale do a CX, the "CAADX" - seemed pretty good but I wanted a full roadie. Will come in at £950.

    Not sure I'd bother going the full £1k for a 7 mile commute, some days I feel like my CAAD8 is overkiull for my 12-miler. But it's very nice :D
    Scott Sportster P45 2008 | Cannondale CAAD8 Tiagra 2012
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    The CAADX (or at least the <£1k one) doesn't have discs, which is one of the biggest benefits of a CX over a road bike. That's why I'd picked out the Specialized despite hearing good things about the CAAD frames.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • verminvermin Posts: 1,739
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    When did the SuperSix become a realistic option as a commuting bike?

    It's worked well for a year. Exemplary handling and reactive frame keeps me mostly out of trouble. Very comfortable ride too. Crud Road Racers on in the worst of weather. Small saddle bag for essentials. Messenger bag for stuff. What's the problem?

    Plus, it means I don't *need* a +1 for the weekends.
  • Gizmo_Gizmo_ Posts: 558
    bails87 wrote:
    The CAADX (or at least the <£1k one) doesn't have discs, which is one of the biggest benefits of a CX over a road bike. That's why I'd picked out the Specialized despite hearing good things about the CAAD frames.
    No discs, but it does have more space for racks/guards etc. And I don't find rim brakes to be a problem on-road; my hybrid has discs for all the very valid reasons about keeping mud away from braking surfaces.

    (For the record, even my CAAD8 has rack mounts, but using them would make it less pretty, so it ain't happening).
    Scott Sportster P45 2008 | Cannondale CAAD8 Tiagra 2012
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    vermin wrote:
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    When did the SuperSix become a realistic option as a commuting bike?

    It's worked well for a year. Exemplary handling and reactive frame keeps me mostly out of trouble. Very comfortable ride too. Crud Road Racers on in the worst of weather. Small saddle bag for essentials. Messenger bag for stuff. What's the problem?

    Plus, it means I don't *need* a +1 for the weekends.
    No problem. Which is why I followed the bit you quoted with each to their own.

    I've been known to commute on my Kharma when I need to nice bike to cheer me up and that goes for around £2499 these days (oh inflation).

    I guess, my initial remarks were down to this. It seems that there are three types of commuters:

    Type 1: People who believe that they should have two bikes. One bike for everyday use. One bike for special occassions. However they justify the first bike. The bottom line is that the first bike is there so that the second bike, which is normally more than double the price, always feels special.

    Type 2: People who believe that you should ride the best bike all the time because its the journey that should feel special, not the bike.

    Type 3: The Gregs. Exactly the same bike, costing nearly the same usually because of some freakish OCD rationale.

    :wink:
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • cyclingpropcyclingprop Posts: 2,426
    chilling wrote:
    ...and more helpfully as your mate is tied to Evans (not reading the post ftw)

    Actually the post listed cyclescheme which is different to being tied to Evans. S
    chilling wrote:
    They seem to have limited stock on most 2012 models at the moment but there are some good deals on these. He'll have to go and see what they have available in his size, I've been looking at a few bikes but none in my size at the moment.

    Shock horror, they won't be getting any more 2012 machines in given that most manufacturers release in the early Autumn period hence they're about to have sales OMG!
    What do you mean you think 64cm is a big frame?
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    chilling wrote:
    ...and more helpfully as your mate is tied to Evans (not reading the post ftw)

    Actually the post listed cyclescheme which is different to being tied to Evans. S
    Actually the post said
    bails87 wrote:
    [He] can only use Evans
    .

    It's a cycle to work scheme, I assume it's Evans' own one, if there is one. Whatever. He can only use Evans.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • cyclingpropcyclingprop Posts: 2,426
    edited July 2012
    Edit:Double post FTW.
    What do you mean you think 64cm is a big frame?
  • cyclingpropcyclingprop Posts: 2,426
    edited July 2012
    bails87 wrote:
    chilling wrote:
    ...and more helpfully as your mate is tied to Evans (not reading the post ftw)

    Actually the post listed cyclescheme which is different to being tied to Evans. S
    Actually the post said
    bails87 wrote:
    [He] can only use Evans
    .

    It's a cycle to work scheme, I assume it's Evans' own one, if there is one. Whatever. He can only use Evans.

    Right, thanks for the clarification. Read a mixed message and presumed location limited him to Evans given that you said
    bails87 wrote:
    "He's happy to max out the cyclescheme but can only use Evans."

    He is still best off going to a small-ish reputable chain and seeing what they can do between the manufacturer and the store to secure your friend's business. 20% discount is possible.
    What do you mean you think 64cm is a big frame?
  • greg66_tri_v2.0greg66_tri_v2.0 Posts: 7,172
    DonDaddyD wrote:

    Type 3: The Gregs. Exactly the same bike, costing nearly the same usually because of some freakish OCD rationale.

    :wink:

    They're not exactly the same. Ok, so the components are and so is the colour scheme (never underestimate the importance of the colour scheme). The geometries are identical. The tyres and inners are the same. The wheels are very slightly different though, and the tubing on each frame is different.

    So, all in all, completely different. Completely and utterly not the same.

    Change is bad. Don't like change. Or variety. Make it the same. The same is best.
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

    Bike 1
    Bike 2-A
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    what about getting evans to order a Bianchi D2 Zurigo, Bianchi CX offering.
    EDIT Evans actually stock them - he might well want to get them to price match it to epic cycles.
    kills 2 birds with one stone, you can't go wrong with a Bianchi.
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
  • cookeeemonstercookeeemonster Posts: 1,960
    I didnt have a great experience of the spitalfields branch (http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=40042&t=12868750) but you can get some good discounts if you do your research and get them to price match everything.

    I got the bianchi via nirone sora - very happy so far (actually only basing this on a 7 mile test ride, but I loved it) but they have next to no stock left on the bianchis under a grand, and the new lot wont come in until late august I believe.

    Also I had a lot of trouble getting other bikes in my size - as other people have pointed out, the 2012 bikes are being phased out and the 2013 bikes are trickling in...but if they got his size in a bike he likes, then go for it. I was also tied to evans for the ride to work scheme...nearly ripped it up at one point ;)

    The bikes I rejected in favour of the bianchi were the specialized allez sport and the trek 2.1 - but everyone is different and he may love those (the trek was great but slower moving off in my opinion)
  • Gizmo_Gizmo_ Posts: 558
    I was also tied to evans for the ride to work scheme...nearly ripped it up at one point ;)
    For the record... once you've sign up, there's no going back. Your employer will take the money off you anyway. So you might as well buy a bike.
    Scott Sportster P45 2008 | Cannondale CAAD8 Tiagra 2012
  • BikequinBikequin Posts: 402
    DonDaddyD wrote:

    I guess, my initial remarks were down to this. It seems that there are three types of commuters:

    Type 1: People who believe that they should have two bikes. One bike for everyday use. One bike for special occassions. However they justify the first bike. The bottom line is that the first bike is there so that the second bike, which is normally more than double the price, always feels special.

    Type 2: People who believe that you should ride the best bike all the time because its the journey that should feel special, not the bike.

    Type 3: The Gregs. Exactly the same bike, costing nearly the same usually because of some freakish OCD rationale.

    :wink:

    Type 4: N+1
    You'll not see nothing like the mighty Quin.
  • cookeeemonstercookeeemonster Posts: 1,960
    Gizmo_ wrote:
    I was also tied to evans for the ride to work scheme...nearly ripped it up at one point ;)
    For the record... once you've sign up, there's no going back. Your employer will take the money off you anyway. So you might as well buy a bike.

    good job I restrained myself then!! :)

    I just assumed I could cancel it as long as the first payment hadn't gone through
  • chillingchilling Posts: 267
    bails87 wrote:
    vermin wrote:
    Hard to avoid Evans if they are only outlet available under the employer's scheme. I maxed mine out on my Supersix (does he know that you can add cash over and above the £1000 voucher limit?)
    Well now, we all know you can't do that because it would be in breach of the terms of the scheme...... 8) ahem... :wink:

    I'm not sure how Evans work it but they are totally up front about 'topping up' your voucher. It's all above board, with no ahem. The bloke who came to present the scheme to us made sure that we knew that £1000 wasn't a limit if we were that way inclined. I think it must be specific to their scheme. It seems to work differently to 'cyclescheme' who I previously used to get a bike.

    There's no final payment either through Evans if you sign the extended agreement with them. It's a 6 year extension, but if you're not planning on selling the bike I can't see that being a problem.

    It's not as if they are going to come round to your house in 5 years time to check you still have the bike.
  • chillingchilling Posts: 267
    Oh, re stores. I've been to the Mortimer Street branch a few times recently looking at bikes (was in there at lunchtime). Nice friendly staff from my experience. They seem to know what they are talking about and have a good selection of bikes in the showroom to drool over.

    That being said, lots of bikes to look at although a bit frustrating when they don't have your size in stock for many of the bikes and they are now discontinued.

    Roll on the new stock hitting the shop floor.
Sign In or Register to comment.