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Another looking for a commuter bike thread!

thegoatboythegoatboy Posts: 23
edited August 2017 in Commuting general

I'm new here, and I'm hoping someone can help.

I've decided that the train is not worth the hassle and have started to cycle to work. At the moment I'm on my old GT mountain bike, which is a beast and pretty slow going.

I want to use the cycle to work scheme to get something a bit faster.

I was initially thinking of a hybrid as I don't want a drop handle racer.

But having taken a "test" online it suggested a touring bike?

My local bike shop only seems to stock dawes and claude butler bikes (I'd like to support them as I like supporting small businesses).

looking in the brochure they had a claude butler Urban 500 (about £549) which looked pretty good.

i did eye up a few dawes, but I can't remember the models.

I've also looked on halfords and the boardman range seems pretty good.

What would people recommend in the £500-£600 range?

My commute is pretty much roads/cycle paths. Maybe a little bit of track sometimes, but not much.*EDIT * there is a bit of steep hill on the way there and back too *

There is a pretty safe lock up at work, so that's not an issue, and at the moment all my gear is in my rucksack


  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    How far do you ride ? Make sure the bike you choose has full guards and if you have the option - panniers are usually nicer than carrying weight on your back. They also make you look a bit wider which is probably a good thing.
  • The longer way is about 6 miles, the shorter way I went today is about 4 and a bit miles

    The shorter way is ok at this time of year, but in bleak winter it will be a wild.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Personally I'd not go for a triple chaining unless you really need it. Two chainrings and a decent cassette works better for on the road.
  • I'm going to pop into evans cycles at lunch to see what they have available.

    I haven't ridden a road bike since I was 18, which was a very very long time ago! so I can't remember what's its like not to have a mountain bike!
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    I can recommend the Boardman Team Hybrid for that money ..... based on nothing but that's what I have and its a good bike

    takes 32mm rubber, guards, pannier .... doesn't weigh that much

    my only two issues with it (1) the flat bars - which 99% of the times sucks .... but if towing a tagalong or you do your back in, then its perfect and (2) the hydraulic brakes .. for some reason, one of them ALWAYS howled,nothing I did fixed it, replaced it with an old Hayes nine MTB lever and caliper and its been fine since, think I might have had a leaking brake.
  • fat daddy wrote:

    my only two issues with it (1) the flat bars - which 99% of the times sucks ....

    what was wrong with the flat bars?
  • crakercraker Posts: 1,739
    The distance isn't massive, you might save ten minutes or so each way on a 'better' bike but you could spend some money improving the bike you've got, like

    - putting on narrow slicks, Schwalbe City Jets come in 1 1/4" and 1 1/2" for 26" wheels
    - lowering / lengthening the front end to give you a better riding position. Narrow, flat handlebars with bar ends for example.
    - Change the suspension fork for a rigid one. Bit more of a faff this one.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    thegoatboy wrote:
    what was wrong with the flat bars?

    When I started commuting (on the boardman) I got addicted to cycling and I soon built a proper road bike to go out on .. with in a month of using drop bars I started to hate flat bars. ... Drop bars are just better for me .. better in the wind, better for descending, better for climbing. So nothing wrong with the flats per say ... but I made me wish that I had bought the Team CX instead of the hybrid.

    That said, I much prefer towing the Kiddy on the hybrid because of the flats .. and the day I did my back in and couldn't get on a road bike the wide flat bars were a god send
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    thegoatboy wrote:
    fat daddy wrote:

    my only two issues with it (1) the flat bars - which 99% of the times sucks ....

    what was wrong with the flat bars?

    You don't have so many options to change your hand position - nor whether you're sitting up or getting more aero - ok, you can - but it's harder.

    I'd look at a hybrid - the Boardmans are great bikes.
    Best thing to do though is to get on one and try it - then try another. Try a dropbar bike if you like - my commute bikes are.

    4 or 6 miles isn't massive distance by anymeans - 4 miles is almost an "anything that has 2 or more wheels will do" and 6 is just about into the "it's just about worth getting changed for this" - depending on how you want to ride it.

    I'd echo on the mudguards front - if you're going to do this whatever the weather then mudguards make it marginally more pleasant ... rack & pannier really depends on what you need to take - I don't bother because I keep clothes at work and just carry phone, keys & lunch - sometimes I get all that into my pockets and don't bother with a pack.

    Gearing - steep hills = slow - granny gear tripple? You may not need it for the commute, but it might be handy if you're going off road or cycling with kids - I wouldn't rule a bike out because it's got 3 chainrings ...

    £5-600 - from my experience I'd look at the Specilized Sirrus range - that's quite good (Wife had one).
  • Hmm good shout on upgrading my bike

    I guess removing the suspension on the front is a winner.

    Its lockable and I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I've unlocked it.

    I suppose I can do that to start then upgrade the gears etc
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    Look at the pinnacle bikes in Evans cycles. Good value bikes. Trek do a nice hybrid bike for £550. IIRC it's called fx or fs 4 sport. It's a more road orientated version of the original fs/fx4 (hence the sport bit). Wheelbase had a few in several sizes last time I looked. It's a very good bike shop just north of Kendal (just don't admit to not wearing a helmet).

    There are other tyres than schwalbe city jets. My partner has them on her MTB and hates them. She says they feel slow. Although they are the size up from 1.5" which might make a difference.
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    One more advantage for upgrading MTB is if it looks older it's of less interest to thieves. Or so the theory goes.
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