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What bike for charity bike ride.

bryansj76bryansj76 Posts: 2
edited January 2013 in Commuting general
Next year I want to complete an east - west England bike ride, this is about 175 miles in length. I hope to undertake this challenge next September and therefore will be doing many long training runs next year. Currently I only have a mountain bike and I am having some money for Christmas for a new bike - however I don`t really know much about bikes. I was thinking that a hybrid bike would best suit my needs as I live near to a canal path and would like to go off road now and again. I can also get a bike on my works cycle to work scheme so I am looking at bikes for £400-£600 as I will get 30+% of these prices. This is where I have my dilemma as I have visited a number of bikes shops in the area which all have different makes and models of bikes. I have seen a Diamondback Contra 2011 version for £450 which looks good and seems to have some upgraded components e.g. Gearset: Shimano Deore chainset, front and rear derailleurs and shifters, Brakeset: Shimano BL-M445 hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm rotors. I have also seen a Trek 7.2FX disc for £475 or a Specialized Sirrus Sport for £500 - both of these are obviously a better make but don't seem to have the better components like the Diamondback ? I am unsure what the best buy is, I can go for higher spec components on the Specilaized or Trek the prices rapidly rise. I was hoping someone can advise me on the best bike or maybe know of another bike / model that would better suit me needs? :) Thanks Simon


  • Welcome to the forum Simon! For a long distance ride like that id automatically assume a road bike would offer you the most in terms of performance, however that being said and reading further to you offroad sections id personally suggest either a cyclocross or a tourer - Many benefits from both and i have'nt personally completed a ride of that distance in one go - The cyclocross offers alot in terms of speed / comfort and options for example tire choices :) Hope this is of some use! Matt
    2013 - Whyte Saxon Cross,
    2009 Giant CRS 0,
    2009 - Specialized Rockhopper Comp,
  • n3dsdn3dsd Posts: 3
    Hi all..this is my first post too...I have been looking for a Hybrid as , like Bryan , just taken up cycling again after too many years and am looking at the same looks good value and a great improvement over my sons old mountain bike..but I have found it for much less money than that,,£290 delivered and it looks ideal for my cycling round north Derbyshire trails and hilly Sheffield..any comments before I take the plunge
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    The Contra appears good value, especially at £290 - but is rather heavy and saddled with a totally useless suspension fork.

    However upgrading the fork with the change will give you a very capable all rounder.
  • MoodymanMoodyman Posts: 158
    £400-£600 is a lot of money to pour into one charity ride. You ideally need to ask yourself what your plans are beyond this ride. What type of cycling will you do, if any, and buy a bike to suit. Too many folk buy expensive bikes for short tours and then never tour again and the bike sits unused or gets ebayed.
  • n3dsdn3dsd Posts: 3
    supersonic wrote:
    The Contra appears good value, especially at £290 - but is rather heavy and saddled with a totally useless suspension fork.

    However upgrading the fork with the change will give you a very capable all rounder.
    That makes it OK to be going on with...? I don't want to invest a shed-load of cash into something I don't continue with..I'm enjoying it at the moment and am doing about 35k trips on the MTB and this must be what fork would you replace it with ...?
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    For mainly road and path based riding, an Exotic carbon fork.
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Charity rides are basically light-touring endurance events, similar to "Audax" events so the type of bike used by Audax riders is worth checking out.
    An Audax bike is midway between a road racing bike and a loaded touring bike. It has low-medium gears for hills, clearance and fittings for mudguards and medium-with tyres, and fittings for a rear luggage rack. The riding position is less aggressive then a road race bike.
    This style of bike is also called "winter training: and the most popular models are by Kenises, Ribble and Tifosi.

    Another useful style, more suitable for rough tracks is the cyclo-cross or CX. Versions with disc brakes are especially useful i wet and muddy conditions because the brakes continue to work well.

    The problem with flat-bar bikes is the lack of alternate hand positions. This can be fixed by adding bar-ends, clip-on aerobars or trekking style butterfly bars. A non-suspension , high performance hybrid or flat-bar roadbike (such as Boardman) is easier to find and possibly better value than the niche Audax and CX styles.
    If you don't want to spend much at first you may be able to roadify your MTB but it depends what type and style you have.

    Many charity riders push themselves too far, too fast and find that cycling is a painful experience so they give it up. Do yourself a huge favour and prepare gradually. Maintaining a cycling lifestyle for the rest of your life will do far more good, all-round, than any money your raise for charity.
  • n3dsdn3dsd Posts: 3
    Thanks for the advice ...bought a Giant Seek 1 ...(at a good price s/h)
  • zx6manzx6man Posts: 1,092
    Any bike will get you 175 miles. I have done coast to coast on a road bike 140miles and the coast to coast transpennine trail on a mtb (210 miles) So as mentioned, depends on your usage afterwards really :-)
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    I did a charity ride the length of Ireland this year. Many of the riders were relative novices and some slightly more experienced. I did the ride (430 miles on road) on my pretty sophisticated endurance road bike (Volagi) and this may have influenced people because I was considerably faster than most. But many of the other riders said they'd get a road bike for the next time. As I say, it may have been my speed that influenced them though I'm actually reasonably fit (I've come to realise) but, for sure, a road bike would be the quickest. The next best thing is a CX bike. Certainly suspension forks should be avoided
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
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