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Buying Advice: Commuting/Light Touring

amsutcliffeamsutcliffe Posts: 2
edited June 2014 in Commuting general
I currently use an old mountain bike for a relatively short commute and lots of general utility cycling around town. I'll also go out for a ride (on roads or the occasional track) at the weekends, but probably never more than 30 - 40 miles (mostly nearer 15m), and not really bothering about speed.

I'm looking to buy a new bike - it'll need to cover the above plus some occasional light camping touring - probably not cycling everyday whilst we're away, but a sturdy enough rack and low enough gearing for me to be able to carry tent etc up some reasonable hills (albeit probably quite slowly!)

I'll use cycle to work scheme, happy to pay what I need to get the right bike, but obviously the cheaper the better. I've been to a few shops and suggestions have varied from a Dawes Galaxy to a Ridgeback Velocity via a Giant Escape 2 City and Trek 7.2. I've tried a couple and they all feel reasonable - I know that the fit to me is important, but they all feel better than the current bike and I've not found a huge difference between them.

What should I be considering to make my decision? How much difference will the different quality of shifters/cassettes make? It would be nice to get something that will last for years when treated well and gives a good ride, but I don't want to pay over thee odds for quality I don't need.

Many thanks.


  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    The shifters make all the difference to the feel of the shift. Derailers/cassettes barely make any difference. And cheaper cassettes can actually last longer as can be some heft in them!
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,481
    I suppose gear ratios are the main issue, and number of rear gears . Edinburgh Bike co-op have a good value range of tourers ... ring-bikes

    Generally you will get very low gears - the Ridgeback Voyage has 28 front 32 rear as the lowest. These are designed for carrying loads uphill. It's probably a faster gear than the lowest on your MTB though. Top gear is 48 front 11 rear, quite fast for commuting with less eqpt.

    Getting a bike with a big rear cassette makes it easier to change to a lower ratio (faster) cassette in the future as you know the derailleur will fit.

    Generally you pay more for a steel frame compared to aluminium, and that is a personal choice. They will all move you from A to B in one piece.
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