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Help! Bike for new to be cyclist

WhizWhiz Posts: 28
edited February 2014 in Commuting general
Hi all,
After some advice please as getting a bike through cycle2work scheme. 
32 year old male, buying first bike in about 17 years for 12 mile round trip commute on country lanes and then park / south downs riding at weekends with dog. 
Have to buy from here http://www.cyclesolutions.co.uk
Provisionally ordered the GT transeo 2.0 but now reading brakes are terrible and confused as to what to do. 
Also looking at Specialized Crosstrail Sports and Elite, Giant Roam 0 or 1 and also Kona Splice Deluxe. 

Never spent this amount on a bike, last one was a £100 apollo that I maybe rode twice because it was awful. 
Not particularly fit although I'm sure 60 miles a week will help improve that. 
Can you recommend either of the above or make another suggestion from that site? 
Think I want front suspension with lockout but other than that, I'm pretty clueless. 
Many thanks in advance.

Posts

  • InitialisedInitialised Posts: 3,047
    I can't make any sense of your link.

    12 mile round trip commute is fine on pretty much any bike.

    Suspension on the other hand doesn't get good (more useful than big tyres) until it's air suspension with 120mm of travel and even then that's overkill unless you are riding the kind of trails where you can really enjoy it, like Red Grade trails at MTB parks. The bikes you list have ~60mm travel, heavy coil based forks. Yes, if you are getting suspension get a lock out, it's useful for the climbs back to the trailhead.

    Of the bikes you listed I'd go for the Giant Roam 0 as it has hydraulic disc brakes.

    If you are looking for a good hybrid consider the expanding niche of endurance road bikes, they often come with disc brakes and clearance for off-road cyclocross tyres but without the weight penalty of low end suspension forks, often including carbon fibre front forks instead.

    Here's a few to consider in your price range:

    http://www.cyclesolutions.co.uk/p70172/ ... -road-bike
    http://www.cyclesolutions.co.uk/p67505/ ... -road-bike
    http://www.cyclesolutions.co.uk/p65835/ ... -road-bike

    Or if you don't want drop bars:

    http://www.cyclesolutions.co.uk/p55277/ ... -road-bike
    http://www.cyclesolutions.co.uk/p62942/ ... -road-bike
    http://www.cyclesolutions.co.uk/p66302/ ... -road-bike
    http://www.cyclesolutions.co.uk/p65843/ ... ybrid-bike
    http://www.cyclesolutions.co.uk/p65845/ ... ybrid-bike

    The GT Tachyon would be my pick from that lot, it looks a better buy than the Transeo 1.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • WhizWhiz Posts: 28
    Many thanks for your input. Especially taking the trouble of posting the links.
    I'm leaning towards cyclocross bikes now after chat in LBS as will be going off road a bit and id prefer a slightly more upright position than a full on road bike. 
    Hadn't heard of these before so it's even newer to me.
  • InitialisedInitialised Posts: 3,047
    A CX bike is between an MTB and a road bike, it's the thinking man's hybrid and can be thought of as a rigid MTB with drop bars. Endurance road is more toward the road end of the spectrum regarding speed and position but they are designed to be comfortable all day rather than race fast. They can usually take 28mm or bigger tyres, mud guards and racks. You can always fit CX tyres for off roading or get a CX bike and fit slicks when you're not riding off road. In my experience 28mm slicks are OK on most surfaces other than grass, mud and singletrack. With the expansion of this segment it's not surprising that a bike shop would want to shift CX stock as it diversifies into Gravel Bikes, Endurance Road and pure CX.

    For £800 look for Sora or higher gearing, mechanical discs (BB7 or better if you can, I didn't get on with BB5s and have upgraded to a hydraulic system), a carbon fork (and maybe other finishing kit like seatpost). To start with you should look at getting triple gearing.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • WhizWhiz Posts: 28
    Triple gearing ? Lol
    And the grass etc is exactly what the extra curricular riding would be, but maybe once or twice a month compared to 20 commutes on a wet and muddy B road. I do want disc brakes, not rim ones, which is another reason not to get a straight road bike.
    I actually liked the idea of the higher cyclo style drop bars, especially with the existing paunch :-P

    Ok, if I was to put you on the spot, £850 absolute tops, where would you put your money? :-)
  • InitialisedInitialised Posts: 3,047
    Well... I dropped a grand on a Specialized Secteur Disc last year so that may be a big hint. It soaks up wet and muddy b-roads and on light duty off road it handles like a hardtail. On bar height, I dropped the stem down for a more aggressive riding position, but it's still not enough so I'll probably go longer. You may be able to pick up a 2013 model for £800 else where so if your preferred vendor is prepared to price match that's what I'd get and spend the extra £50 upgrading the brakes because BB5s are better than any rim brakes when correctly adjusted but they need a lot of adjustment if you use them in anger. My rear BB5 seized and I've got a hydraulic conversion kit on order.

    For proper trails (all this ripe, wettest February ever, mud is too much to resist!) I have a hardtail and am still hurting from this morning's session's inevitable, stupid, misjudged fall and the off piste climbs that ended up on all fours instead of two wheels!

    For help with the paunch see Silly Commuter Weight Loss in Chat. Mine only gets in the way when I rest it on the saddle in my unconventional aero tuck on long road descents.

    BTW I was ~32, hadn't ridden for 8 years when I started commuting again, I'm much fitter and slimmer now. Whatever you end up getting you'll enjoy so long as you stick at it.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • WhizWhiz Posts: 28
    Just to close off this thread, I think I've had a result...
    CycleSolutions were able to price match a bike in sale on a different site so I've gone for the £1200 specialized tarmac 2013 for £880, to which I'll only pay about £600 on the c2w scheme!
    Well chuffed
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,496
    Not sure how your Tarmac is going to cope with Park/Southdowns riding ... but it's a heck of a bike for a commute ...
  • I highly recommend the Boardman Hybrids - especially the Team. Well made, handle well and the styling look good too.
    Wilier cento uno.
  • WhizWhiz Posts: 28
    slowbike wrote:
    Not sure how your Tarmac is going to cope with Park/Southdowns riding ... but it's a heck of a bike for a commute ...
    I decided to prioritise due to 99% of my riding being on the road as the Park riding may or may not happen.
    In the hope of me enjoying riding, at least if I have a nice bike, it'll encourage me to get out on it more and improve fitness too making the commute ride easier - just didn't want it to be a chore.
    Look out for a barely used bike in the for sale section in a few months if it doesn't go to plan! Haha
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    bluedoggy wrote:
    I highly recommend the Boardman Hybrids - especially the Team. Well made, handle well and the styling look good too.
    I highly recommend you read the thread first BEFORE replying, but hey ho!
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