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Advice on Hybrid

Phil the BearPhil the Bear Posts: 5
edited May 2013 in Road buying advice
I am in a state of confusion as to which bike to buy and thought I would ask for assistance here.

I am 6ft2, not ridden a bike for 15 years and want to buy a bike to commute, go on family bike rides and build some fitness by going on some solo rides. I will be cycling 80% on roads and the rest on trails, country roads etc. There are some steep hills as well on my commute which is only about 3 miles.

I have been to every bike store in my local area and every single store tells me to get a different bike - although they all agree on a Hybrid. My budget is 5 to 6 hundred pounds.

Bike Shop 1
Recommends Specialised Crosstrail Sport Disc - £500

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/spe ... 5#features

Bike Shop 2
Recommends Trek 8.3 DS - £525

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/tre ... 2#features

Bike Shop 3
Recommends a Cube - £530

http://www.cube.eu/en/tour/cross/ltd-cls-pro/

Bike Shop 4
Recommends a Saracen - £530

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/sar ... 9#features

I have only been able to test drive the Trek for all of 10 mins and it seemed fine. Although it was only available in a pretty garish bright blue. The issue is that I have not ridden a bike for 15 yrs and I am pretty sure anything wld have felt fine.

The guys selling the Cube seemed to be pretty knowledgeable and said they wld get one in my frame size to try next wkend.

The guys selling the Saracen said they did some ergonomic measuring service that means it will be set up perfectly for me. But a test drive seemed out of the question.

I really like the Specialised but the people in the shop seem a bit rubbish and I have twice turned up to try it out and they have said "sorry it still is in the box" - despite them saying it wld be ready.

I would appreciate help. Also -- I will appreciate other suggestions, but I would particularly like to know which is best of these bikes - mainly because these are the 4 available to me locally. I would prefer to buy from a local shop so that if anything goes wrong I can use their servicing etc.

Posts

  • notnotnotnot Posts: 284
    For a 3m commute, you'll be fine on a whole range of bikes - assuming the hills aren't mountains :) Might take a while to build up fitness to deal with steep hills, but that will come in time. In terms of commuting - get something you like and feel comfortable on (you're more likely to use it!)

    Do you need suspension on the bike? You won't need it on the roads, and unless the trails you're riding are pretty rough than I wouldn't bother (though fair enough if you do prefer it). Suspension will make the bikes a bit heavier, adds cost, makes pedalling a bit less efficient (unless you lock it out) and is something else that can go wrong...

    You could also ask to try a bike with drop bars or bull bars. I find drop bars more comfortable, though fair enough if you prefer flat bars - lots of people do.

    Hope you find a bike you enjoy!
  • I think I prefer flat bars as that is all I have ever ridden and the suspension is just something I want out of being slightly scared of the fact this is something I have not done in years and fancied a little bit of extra cushioning.

    The main thing I am looking for in terms of help, is of the 4 bikes I have been told to get from the various bike stores is any one of them noticeably better in terms of Brand or Specification? The specs don't mean anything to me and I am interested in if one Brand is more reliable than another or better and if anyone of these specs is better or offers more value for money.
  • clelanjclelanj Posts: 68
    I have just purchased the Specialised Crosstrail Sport Disc which is a superb bike for the money. Very comfortable, brakes are great and rides well on both road and trails. The fact that you can lock down the suspension so that it is easier when riding on the road is a real plus!

    That said you may want to also take a look at the Specialized Sirrus as this, whist still a hybrid, leans more towards road than trail (since 80% of your ride is road) whereas the Specialised Crosstrail Sport Disc is rather more Mountain Bike based.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    I have the Cube LTD CLS. I got one for my wife also. Very good bike. Remote fork lockout and quite nimble for a bike of its weight. Not read the reviews of the other bikes, but make sure whichever you get has hydraulic discs and not mechanical. Mech discs are a bit poor.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    No need for suspension if your mainly riding on roads/ light trails, particularly as your budget means you'll get cheap, heavy forks that won't work very well. Less weight means you get up hills easier and won't suffer from energy-sapping bob. Mechanical discs are fine IME and are more reliable for casual users - hydros need more specialist know-how to maintain.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    My Cube has a carbon fork and off road is a big help. The whole idea of a fork lockout is for road use to stop the energy sapping bob. Day to day hydro need very little maintenance. Not needed to change fluid in mine once in 2 years use.
  • Useful to know that the specialised is a good ride. I think I am going to stick with the idea of a more mountain bike hybrid just because it feels like it will give me a little bit more flexibility if I do want to go on trails.

    Hopefully the bike shop who does this one will get their act together and I will get to give it a test ride.
  • I have the Cube LTD CLS. I got one for my wife also. Very good bike. Remote fork lockout and quite nimble for a bike of its weight. Not read the reviews of the other bikes, but make sure whichever you get has hydraulic discs and not mechanical. Mech discs are a bit poor.

    The Trek has mechanical and the other 3 have hydraulic so maybe that narrows it down a bit more for me.
  • notnotnotnot Posts: 284
    You've had some advice on the different models, then - hope you enjoy the one you choose! Whichever you go for, you might also ask LBS to stick mudguards on - much more comfortable not getting soaked when going through puddles etc., and also useful on muddy trails!

    If you'll be wanting to carry much when riding, you might also think about getting a rack put on - can be much more comfortable than carrying things on your back.
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