Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting general

Thinging of buying a bike

dgp1957dgp1957 Posts: 3
edited August 2016 in Commuting general
Hi folks

I am thinking of taking advatage of an offer at my work to buy a bike for commuting.
I am 59, overweight and stay in Greenock scotland. The commute would involve at least 2 very steep hills for me to get up.
What are my choices in cycles to make the ascent easier?



  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Have you ridden a road bike lately ?

    Stay away from MTB's - heavy - suspension is unneccessary and their tyres too wide.

    How far is the ride and would you be taking luggage ?

    Something like this - plenty of clearance for big road tyres but you'd need to think about mudguards : ... Ak0_8P8HAQ

    Or this one - ... al-11-bike

    Lots of choice out there.
  • davisdavis Posts: 2,506
    What sort of distance will be riding, over what sort of surface?

    Do you have a budget in mind?

    Are you planning to ride year-round?

    You say "2 very steep hills" - what do you consider steep (i.e. what gradient are they, over how long?)
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,826
    I would start by trying to figure out what kind of bottom gear you're likely to need. Most road bikes come with a bottom gear of 34T chainring with 28T cassette. If you need lower than that, then perhaps a bike with a triple chainring or bigger cassette is needed.

    Some Cross (CX) bikes have lower gears, and might be suitable if you want to go off road a little or if the roads are not very good. Above, can you give us an indication of the gradient and length of these steep hills? A map reference perhaps?
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,811
    Don't rule out a decent road biased hybrid either, despite some of the anti-hybrid bias on here they make decent commuters, and with the same level of kit are lighter than road bikes. Often more comfy for older people as well.

    So Budget, distance and how steep is steep are the key questions!
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    Yeah, I think a decent disk-braked road hybrid with a triple is probably the way to go, unless you are interested in joining a road club for recreational weekend riding, in which case some kind of cyclocross bike is a better compromise.

    I think the main advantage of Hybrid's for new commuters is that it is much cheaper to get hydraulic disk brakes - you can get them on pretty entry level models, whereas on a road/cross bike with disks you pay a grand or more.

    Cable disk brakes work fine but they do require semi regular fettling that might be beyond newbies.

    Two things make getting up hills easier - low gears, and a lightweight bike. Take a test ride of whichever bike you are considering, make sure it isn't a struggle to lift it up, and make sure that in the lowest gear it feels so slow that you'll be overtaken by people who are walking - if it passes those tests, it'll probably do you fine.
  • A nice compromise would be something like a Boardman Hybrid Comp, which is about 11kg and has a 50/34 compact crankset coupled to a 11-34t cassette. You can currently get them for £399 in Halfords' sale.
    Carrera Subway 2015
    Boardman Hybrid Team 2014
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 830
    I would echo the above however I would say that don't worry about bike weight so much right now the key is to get out riding, If you are overweight the the bike will be a fraction of the total weight and whilst light wheels will spin up faster once rolling the inertia will keep you going even on heavier wheels.

    I would say consider as the above a hybrid or road bike (touring or Cyclocross), Look for comfort and reliability which for me means brake/frame clearance for 28c tyres and adjustable stem. Consider the Btwin range from Decathlon, For around £300 you get a nice road bike with 24 gears (3 up front and 8 out back), Clearance for 28c tyres or 25c with mudguards as well as pannier rack points etc, sturdy 32 spoke wheels are nice to have as well. They sell adjustable stems as well so you could get them to throw one on for free probably and this will allow you to tweak the height and reach of the handlebars whilst getting to grips with your best position.

    Failing that as others have said hybrid although if you think you will be getting into road cycling then skip the hybrid and go straight for the road bike as even a entry level road bike like the Btwin above can be upgraded at a later stage with faster wheels and tyres (as the weight comes off) whereas all the upgrades in the world on a hybrid ain't gonna change the fact that its a hybrid with a very sit up style.

    Also I don't agree that a hybrid is more comfy than a road bike - Its all down to how you set it up, A well setup road bike can be far more comfortable than a poorly fitted hybrid and vice versa - Ultimately it comes down to getting the right size and setup for your tastes. Wherever possible try and ride any potential bikes first and ideally not just up and down the car park of the shop. Most decent shops will let you put down a deposit or take a credit card imprint and lend you the potential bike for 24 hours.

    Let us know your budget and im sure we can put some links at different price points.
  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 830
    The bike I referenced above is this: ... 06187.html

    Carbon fork for that price too! Some people turn their nose up at Microshift but I have it on one of my bikes and it works flawlessly.
Sign In or Register to comment.