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Bicycle Purchase Advice

katealexanderkatealexander Posts: 2
edited May 2013 in Commuting general
I haven't bought a bicycle since my parents bought one for my 11th birthday but my other half is into his mountain biking so if would be nice if we could go on gentle rides together and I now live close enough to work to comfortable cycle there and back so I'm going to take the plunge.

I'm looking at hybrid type bikes - the worst I'll be doing is cycling on off-road tracks so I don't think I need to go down the route of a mountain bikes but my budget is pretty small. I'm thinking £300 max though I could go a bit over if need be.

I've been admiring the Pendleton bikes on the Halfords website (I don't have bike stores I can visit locally who do bikes in my budget so the www it is) but they've not had the Dalby 18" in since at least October so I'd better discount that - would be interested in views on the Somerby and Brooke, they also have some Carrera ones but I've never heard of this brand so not sure what they're like. I'd appreciate any advice/suggestions.

Thanks :)

Posts

  • Big_PaulBig_Paul Posts: 277
    All those bikes you mention are quite frankly not worth the money, the one at £229 has a similar spec to the bargain basement MTB I bought my missus from Decathlon which cost £109, it's a typical trick to stick a famous name on an otherwise ordinary bike and sell it at ridiculous prices. Also, Halfords can be very hit or miss when it comes to building the bikes, so much so I wouldn't buy another from them unless I was prepared to build it myself.

    You say you'll be going down off road tracks, dry, hard, smooth tracks you'll be ok on a hybrid, more mucky stuff you'll need an MTB. Decathlon do nice (if rather odd) looking hybrids and some cheaper MTB's for well under the £300 you can spend, they can be a bit hit and miss about building the bikes too but they're generally cheap enough to make it worth your while to give it a once over yourself.
    Disc Trucker
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  • SalsaSalsa Posts: 753
    Your seriously suggesting you bought a £100 bike that had 24 speed with a cassette hub, alloy frame, metal brake levers etc? That's incorrect sorry, those £229 Pendleton Brookes are great value for money. As said has a 24 speed cassette, double wall rims, alloy frame and finishing kit, metal brake levers etc. It's fine for light smooth off road riding, sure you can't push it through mud or over lumpy stuff but smooth off road cycle tracks it can handle.
  • wandsworthwandsworth Posts: 354
    Big_Paul is right about Halfords' ability to set up the bikes, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't buy from them unless you can build or set up the bike yourself. Just make sure that when you get the bike, you take it to a trusted local bike shop to give it the once-over before riding it.
    Shut up, knees!

    Various Boardmans, a Focus, a Cannondale and an ancient Trek.
  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    I bought my wife last years one of these for Christmas. I paid about £300 (might've been as much as £350). She really likes it, its nice and light, sturdy and comfortable.

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/pinnacle/neon-2-2013-womens-hybrid-bike-ec044188

    Check out other Pinnacle bikes at Evans - there are some cheaper ladies mountain bikes which would probably be a better buy than the Halfords [email protected]
  • Big_PaulBig_Paul Posts: 277
    Salsa wrote:
    Your seriously suggesting you bought a £100 bike that had 24 speed with a cassette hub, alloy frame, metal brake levers etc? That's incorrect sorry, those £229 Pendleton Brookes are great value for money. As said has a 24 speed cassette, double wall rims, alloy frame and finishing kit, metal brake levers etc. It's fine for light smooth off road riding, sure you can't push it through mud or over lumpy stuff but smooth off road cycle tracks it can handle.

    Double wall rims? Check, Metal Brake levers? Check Bargain bin chainset, Revoshifters? Check, what's your point? An alloy frame would have been another £50

    Pendletons are just cheap bikes with a celeb name on them, I stand by my comment that you can do a lot better for the same money.
    Disc Trucker
    Kona Ute
    Rockrider 8.1
    Evil Resident
    Day 01 Disc
    Viking Derwent Tandem
    Planet X London Road
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Rarely have I seen a bike with that spec for £230 - do you have any in mind? Some of the better Decathlons yes, but not any below £200 that I have seen.

    The Brooke is £210 with the discount too.
  • SalsaSalsa Posts: 753
    How is that Pendleton bike censored ? It has an excellent spec for the money. Also Evans don't have a much better rep than Halfords for builds.

    As for all these comments that Halfords can't safely build bikes, that's just a generalization. I've previously worked at a Halfords as has Supersonic iirc, and have built 1000's of bikes working in bike shops for the last 7 years. There are a few highly regarded LBS near me with employees who were sacked for not being very good at their jobs from the Halfords I worked at.
    If you feel theres a problem with the bike take it back and explain the issue calmly and you will walk out happy in my experience.
    There is still this myth that all Halfords employees work on all departments and anyone is allowed to build bikes, this is not true (well it wasn't true at the big store I worked at).
    Only employees who had proven experience were bike builders, so that was only a couple of full timers.
    I won't lie and say we never had problems but the store I was at sold 50-150 built bikes per week, even so it was a very small percentage that had problems. Most of these boiled down to manufacturing defects on parts, people taking no care of their bikes and blaming us, buying a cheap £100 bike and expecting it to be a great bike for commuting 10 miles a day on, usual minor cable stretch issues, user error or the fact that sometimes people make mistakes. All of these problems we tended to sort out for free, even for things at LBS I've worked at we would tell the customer straight if it was their own fault.

    I'm not out to argue the toss with anyone, buy from Halfords, don't buy. I don't care much either way. But that bike is good value end of.
  • Big_Paul wrote:
    Salsa wrote:
    Pendletons are just cheap bikes with a celeb name on them, I stand by my comment that you can do a lot better for the same money.

    Perhaps you can give us all some examples of much better bikes for the same money then...
  • InitialisedInitialised Posts: 3,047
    I bought a £160 bike for my son a few years back, it seemed OK at first but I've replaced:
    Whhels
    Brakes
    Rear derailer
    Gear and brake cabling
    Cranks
    Pedals
    Bottom bracket

    The frame is fine and built up as it is now it weighs in at a respectable 13.6kg

    Mostly due to component failure.

    Forks are next on the list.

    My son doesn't ride it daily, maybe a 10 mile round trip a very few days. In retrospect I'd have been better spending double or more on something higher specced or going second hand as I did with my other son's bike which has been great apart from new tyres and chains as usual.

    Buy cheap, buy twice.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
  • InitialisedInitialised Posts: 3,047
    Raleigh Venture. Oh yeah, he broke the seat jumping a at Hamsterley, he was jumping speed bumps on the road not trail features in the woods. Now it has my old XTR Vs, half decent wheels and Alvio spec drive train it's no longer a bad bike. But it probably cost more than twice what I paid for it in the first place to get there.

    The other bike was a Carrera Blast Jr MTB 20" originally £165 but £35 used with worn out tyres. Absolute bargain in comparison. Hopefully he'll grow out of it before anything fails.

    So my general advice is if you can spend less than £250 to £300 on a bike buy secondhand.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    The venture is pretty lowly specced mind, the Brook is quite a bit better! With careful looking you can still get good bikes for around 200-250 (new). few and far between though.
  • InitialisedInitialised Posts: 3,047
    If I knew then what I know now...
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
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