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Low maintenance commuter wanted for under £250

HokkaHokkaHokkaHokka Posts: 46
edited January 2013 in Commuting general
Hello,

Does anybody have any suggestions at this price point?
I tried the Carrera Subway but the chain kept jumping off and I wasn't keen tbh anyway.
I like the idea of fewer gears as well (8 speed possibly?)
My commute is 3 miles each with some uphill riding on the way back.

Thanks!

Posts

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Not many bikes are low maintenance, especially at this price point. Sounds like the Subway just needed setting up properly, arguably the best bike of its kind for the money.
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    If its only 3 miles I'd get a lowish geared single speed depending on how hilly it is. Plenty of spesh langsters about.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 10,452
    I agree with supersonic it was probably set up wrong, several mates have the subway and never have problems and i normally recommend it as one of Halfrauds better bikes. You could try Decathlons Btwin commuter or spend a bit more on a trek fx, specialized sirrus or merida speeder or go single speed if able to manage on the hills
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • rrsodlrrsodl Posts: 486
    If you are thinking low maintenance then you have to consider a single speed.

    The Subway is a good bike for the money.
  • Hello,

    Thanks for the replies
    The return leg is uphill though not too steep.
    To be honest, I am not particularly knowledgable about bikes and just want a bike that is simple, safe and comfortable - I may also possible nip out on the odd Sunday for an hour or so on the country roads.
    Would an 8 Speed, such as the Revolution Courrier Race (or similar) be easier to maintain than a 24 speed?
    If so, I may wait and see if the price drops in the new year.
    If anyone has any alternatives, I would also be interested.
    What you said about the Subway being set up incorrectly was interesting, and may well have been the case but my experience with that bike has completely put me off unfortunately.

    Thanks again
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    It is unfortunate as it is the best bike for the money.

    8 speed vs 24 speed: the 24 has a triple chainset and front derailer, so slightly more maintenance.
  • BOYDIEBOYDIE Posts: 528
    Chainreaction are currently doing the Vitus Vee 1 for £244, great SS bike for the commute.I have used one for the past 2 years for my 10 mile round commute. Great for shortcuts, full mudguards keeps me dry.Simple and very little wrenching other than a clean and some oil on the chain.
  • Hello,

    The Vitus Vee 1 looks really interesting but the 2012 model only appears to have the 16" frame available.
    I'm not the tallest (5'9 approx) but wouldn't this be a bit small for me?

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=67794

    Thanks again
  • Low maintenance = single speed... fixed is even lower maintenance. Gears are over-rated, only really useful if you have to negotiate long/steep climbs or carry very heavy loads
  • Hi,

    I'm really coming round to the idea of a single speed.
    Not sure about a Fixie though, I like to have the the option of coasting from time to time.
    Does anyone have experience with the Vitus Vee 1 as championed by Boydie (above)
    At approx 5'9 would the 16" frame be on the small side for me? (I think 16" and 19" were originally available but only 16" in stock)

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=67794

    If anyone has any other recommendations, I'd love to hear them!

    Thanks again
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    8 speed internal hub gears are great for commuting but you wont find any at your pricepoint.
    The Carerra is a sound bike that just needs some adjustment. The quality of the pre-sales check and adjustment carried out by Halfords staff is highly variable.
    It is worth checking
    - the position of the front derailleur on the frame,
    -the cable tension of both derailleurs (which aligns the index click with a specific cog) and
    -the small limit screws, which limit the travel of the mechanism in High and Low positions to prevent de-chaining.
    Parktools repair website carries full instructions and illustrations.
  • BOYDIEBOYDIE Posts: 528
    Hi again,
    I am 5ft 7" and the 16 inch fits really well,I did have to change the seat post out for a 400mm one as I'm longer in the leg,shorter torso, the stock seat post is 350mm. There is about 20mm worth of spacers that you can adjust on the stem.
    I'm thinking that the 19 might be a better fit, as the bikes come up slightly on the small side.You could try the 29er version if there is no 26ers in your size.
  • Hi,

    Any views on this? :

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/mongoose-maurice-2012/

    I'm not sure about the colour scheme but I could probably live with it is a good ride.
    Any body have any other suggestions for single speed options?

    Thanks HH
  • HokkaHokka wrote:
    Hi,

    Any views on this? :

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/mongoose-maurice-2012/

    I'm not sure about the colour scheme but I could probably live with it is a good ride.
    Any body have any other suggestions for single speed options?

    Thanks HH

    Doesn't look bad for the money, clearly built down to a price, wheels/brakes are unlikely to be great.

    As it comes fairly spinny gearing, good if you have steep hills (going up) less good going fast (ish)
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    HokkaHokka wrote:
    Hi,

    Any views on this? :

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/mongoose-maurice-2012/

    I'm not sure about the colour scheme but I could probably live with it is a good ride.
    Any body have any other suggestions for single speed options?

    Thanks HH

    Watch the classifieds here and on LFGSS or eBay, plenty of full builds go for that price. In particular keep a look out for specialized langsters.

    Langster:
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SPECIALIZED-L ... 3f207770f5
    [appears to need brakes & freewheel]

    Charge plug:
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Charge-plug-s ... 2c6ae17e7f
    viewtopic.php?f=40090&t=12895215 [same bike]

    there's normally more about but guess its crimbo..
  • Hello,

    As I mentioned I'm a casual commuter and simply want a low maintenance bike for around the £250 mark. I'm still considering a single speed and I know that this is probably the time of year when I'm gonna get most bang for my buck, but as an alternative to the single speed option, how about something like this:

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=89801

    or this:

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=89804

    Then there's this, which doesn't seem very different from the second link though £20 more:

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=89805

    I also like the fact that they come with hubs, rack and mud guards and with the last two options - lights.

    Thanks

    HH
  • flybywireflybywire Posts: 575
    build an inbred 29er from on-one, budget will need to be £300 for singlespeed.
  • Hi,

    Thanks for your opinion flybywire though I don't have the level of expertise to specify components. (As stupid as this may sound)
    I also suspect that once I start adding mudguards, lights and possibly a rack etc the cost will escalate dramtically.
    Does anyone have any experience or knowledge of the bikes featured in the three links in my most recent previous post?

    Thanks

    HH
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    It's tough, at the end the day anything with wheels will get you over 3 miles and back but those bikes don't look great, are heavy, might be tricky to repair and have a very relaxed sit up and beg position. All things that might be ok with you but at a glance they look much worse than the Carrera subway.

    It would interesting to know roughly the route and how hilly it might be.

    As said before, I'd look out for a second hand Specialized langster but that's if you are happy with a more 'aggressive' riding position and 1 gear. The ride will be more exciting, responsive, smoother and be about 5kg lighter. I've seen a few on eBay go for around 250.

    Depends what you need. If you can save a little more something like this could be perfect.

    http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/CBO ... urban_bike
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    Ok... As I'm not down the pub, had a look around. Decathlon used to make the Vitamin single speed for £100 that was well rated but unfortunately appears to be discontinued.

    Edinburgh Co-op make a couple of SS that look like good value for money:
    http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/product ... brid-bikes

    http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/product ... road-bikes

    If you do want gears, the Carrera subway and B'Twin Triban 3 are the best value for money around.
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