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First time bike - recreational & commute. Shortlist advice.

edited July 2015 in Commuting general
Firstly, a little background. I'm moving to rural Kent (Marden/Collier St) from SE London (Hither Green/Catford). I've never been much of a bike rider, nor owned a bike since boyhood (I'm 39) but with the greater freedom of country living, I'm now keen to embrace riding as a genuine recreation. I will also have a 2 mile cycle to the train station every day, which I guess is a semi-commute. The exertion shouldn't be an issue (I'm fit & athletic) but the scant knowledge inevitably will be!

I've long mulled over bike options & think that the best for my current circumstances is a flat-bar road bike/commuter bike. I suppose hybrid as well, although I doubt very much I'll be doing any off-road cycling. (In truth, the differences between flat-bar-commuters & hybrids, to the unschooled, does seem somewhat hazy - perhaps someone can enlighten me). I'll also be attaching mudguards & will have standard pedals (not clips). I hope, ultimately, that I'll be suitably enchanted to want to purchase a road bike for more serious riding, but am equally sanguine that this might simply turn into a recreation of convenience rather than passion. We shall see - baby steps.

I'd like a decent bike (I'm particular about quality) but nothing absurd & have set myself a budget of approx. £500. Traversing the various reviews/information available, I've shortlisted the following & would be hugely grateful if the more experienced & knowledgeable among you might advise me:

HOY Shizuoka .000 2015 Hybrid Bike ( £525

HOY Shizuoka .001 2015 Hybrid Bike ( £595

Specialized Sirrus Sport 2015 Hybrid Bike ( £500

Specialized Sirrus 2015 Hybrid Bike ( £400

Specialized Sirrus Elite 2014 Hybrid Bike ( £520

Trek 7.2 FX Disc 2015 Hybrid Bike ( £475

Trek 7.2 FX 2015 Hybrid Bike ( £425

Boardman Hybrid Comp Bike ( £499

I'm erring toward the Specialized Sirrus Elite 2014, as I think this might be a bit of a steal simply because it's last year but am also taken with the Hoy's. Equally, Treks I see everywhere, so they must be peddling a fairly superior product themselves.

Apologies if this seems like protracted drivel. Many MANY thanks for anyone who might offer-up their pearls of wisdom. It is a somewhat daunting market, especially if you're somewhat research obsessed like me.


  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,809
    The Hoy is poor value, the Sirrus Elite is pretty good value at that reduced price.

    A Hybrid is anything from an MTB with slick tyres (sometimes still with short travel suspension forks) right through to a road bike with flat bars.

    Almost anything will do a 2 mile commute, but remember that commuters bikes left at a train station every day, all day, are easy for thieves, so consider how much you want to spend and risk!

    Last years Marasa is blinding value, and with some narrower lighter road tyres makes a decent flat barred road ride!
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    If you think that you might be tempted to a drop bar bike then the Boardman CX Team is absolutely stonking value at £630 (this price for today only) and another 10% off if you are a member of British Cycling (or know one who will lend you their card).

    That Sirrus from last year is not bad, but generally Specialized have poor spec components for the money.

    The Boardman Hybrid is fantastic, as is the Voodoo Marasa if you dont want to spend so much, as are Decathlon bikes (these are about the best value anywhere).

    The Specialized Sirrus and Boardman Hybrid are totally different bikes though - one relaxed 'sit up and beg' cruiser and the other a fast thoroughbred with more aggressive position. If yo have a list with both on then I would say that you need to think about what type of bike you want and really ideally test ride a few to get a feel, rather than just ask on the internet which is best...
  • davisdavis Posts: 2,506
    2 miles could be done on any old bag of spanners frankly; in your position I'd be looking to minimize theft risk.

    A reasonable 2nd hand single-speed, probably with mudguards, with a massive Abus lock would probably be fine.

    Don't get me wrong; I'm all for you getting a great bike, but it's 8 minutes' riding, and it sounds like you'll have to leave the thing at the station. I'd go with cheap and simple, and then spend a bit on a "normal" bike for fun.
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    Yeah - I didnt read the bit about leaving it at the station. If you are doing this then buy the cheapest bag of spanners that will do the job, or buy something a little bit better and stick masking tape all over it and get some spray cans to do a graffiti job on it (not the tyres though!) to make it look as rubbish as possible.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,809
    I spotted a parked up MTB in London once, looked an absolute shed as it had been rubbed down with a coarse sandpaper all over, took me white some time to figure out it was actually quite a good quality bike, but the value of the bike and/or any component had been rendered a fat zero by the 'vandalism'.
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • Thanks SO much, everyone, for all your advice. Much appreciated! (Humble apologies that I've been so tardy with a response).

    I paid heed to your experience & bought, for my station bike, a great condition Giant Boulder AluLite mountain bike (circa late 90s), just fully serviced & cleaned up. It's actually fairly light (12kg) & a really decent ride. Very pleased.$_57.JPG

    (My partner went one step up & purchased a Scott Metrix in fantastic condition.$_57.JPG

    Whereas I'm looking to purchase a sightly better bike for myself, for recreation & longer rides, she will use the Scott for both station & fun. I hope I'm right in assuming it's a pretty decent hybrid for initial rides. If she gets hooked, we'll both probably look at trying out some road bikes in the next 12 months, etc, being the novices that we are).

    As mentioned, I'm considering a second bike for recreation without yet embracing the drop models. All the cycling will be on country roads, (vlittle traffic & long stretches) therefore I'm looking for something swift, light & well-specced - a decent flat bar apprenticeship as a precursor to anything more advanced. I'm buying used (my research over the past two months suggests this is definitely where I might find the best bargains whilst still experimenting). After much number-crunching, I've narrowed my choices to:

    - Giant FCR 1 flat bar 2008

    - Cannondale Quick 3 hybrid 2012

    - Cannondale Quick SL3 hybrid 2014

    - Giant Rapid 2 flat bar 2012*

    *maybe a similar specced Rapid 3 or 4, similar age

    - Scott Speedster S50 flat bar 2011

    I'm committed to spending £200-£330, approx. All the examples mentioned are fully serviced with some decent upgrades, well-kept (single owners, always stored indoors, regularly cleaned & looked after) & decent used options. So, I was wondering, given the experience of everyone out there - WHICH OPTION MOST TICKLES YOUR SECRET BITS & WHY?!?

    Many thanks, in advance, for any advice you might offer.
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