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First Commuter Purchase

SlimbluesSlimblues Posts: 9
edited April 2016 in Commuting general
Hello, Only recently found the forums but have been thinking about purchasing a bike for commuting to work for a while now. Cant really decide on what to get, It was between a hybrid and a cyclocross but the entry level CX is a little too expensive for my liking. I dont really have any local bike shops apart from halfords so I was looking at the http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/hybrid-bikes/voodoo-marasa-hybrid-bike
I read in a few post I could always upgrade the wheels on this for more speed if needs be. My commute is roughly 10 miles each way, it changes as I Basically work the whole of The Hackney area, commuting Via the A13 then cutting off and going along canals by the looks of it
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/Dagenham,+Greater+London,+UK/Homerton,+London,+UK/@51.5512769,0.0153694,13z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x47d8a448d12a6dc7:0x83842afdfe024064!2m2!1d0.14743!2d51.53889!1m5!1m1!1s0x48761d0fce5f7265:0x2e17a38b0aaf9b9e!2m2!1d-0.0383239!2d51.548968!3e1.

I also literally have no gear but I was just looking into helmet and gloves for now.

Also is it worth assembling myself? Or should I just let Halfords Do it?

Cheers

Posts

  • imatfaalimatfaal Posts: 2,716
    Surely Swailey's is still on Becontree Avenue, and CycleKing was on Green Lane when I rode past a few months back.

    Main thing is to try out any bike that you are gonna thinking of buying.

    On the route - I was going to Queen's Romford every night for a month or so last autumn and I got quite fond of the Romford Road and Green Lane; it is busy but predictable. Although the bike path along Alfred looks good as long as it isnt too crowded and doesnt disappear when you need it most
  • Decent spec for that money. You may want to hunt around for a deal on some Schwalbe Marathons for replacement tyres if you're doing a lot of commuting though.
    Carrera Subway 2015
    Boardman Hybrid Team 2014
  • imatfaal wrote:
    Surely Swailey's is still on Becontree Avenue, and CycleKing was on Green Lane when I rode past a few months back.

    Main thing is to try out any bike that you are gonna thinking of buying.

    On the route - I was going to Queen's Romford every night for a month or so last autumn and I got quite fond of the Romford Road and Green Lane; it is busy but predictable. Although the bike path along Alfred looks good as long as it isnt too crowded and doesnt disappear when you need it most

    I had no idea they existed to be honest, how long should a test ride be? Ha such an amateur! I would guess 5-10 min. I have really no idea what im looking at when it comes to bikes.
  • imatfaalimatfaal Posts: 2,716
    Slimblues wrote:
    imatfaal wrote:
    Surely Swailey's is still on Becontree Avenue, and CycleKing was on Green Lane when I rode past a few months back.

    Main thing is to try out any bike that you are gonna thinking of buying.

    On the route - I was going to Queen's Romford every night for a month or so last autumn and I got quite fond of the Romford Road and Green Lane; it is busy but predictable. Although the bike path along Alfred looks good as long as it isnt too crowded and doesnt disappear when you need it most

    I had no idea they existed to be honest, how long should a test ride be? Ha such an amateur! I would guess 5-10 min. I have really no idea what im looking at when it comes to bikes.

    If you are like me then test rides don't need to be any length at all - I either like the bike or not. I would say as long as they will let you get away with. BTW the Voodoo Marasa - which I do not know myself - gets some pretty good reviews here from some long standing members
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    An other option are the Decathlon Triban series of bikes. There are various iterations (not all on the website, some older ones may be in store):

    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-520-f ... 22799.html

    Is a flat bar road bike, and at some 6-7 pounds lighter than the Voodoo (which is a great bike, by the way), could be worth considering. No discs though.
  • supersonic wrote:
    An other option are the Decathlon Triban series of bikes. There are various iterations (not all on the website, some older ones may be in store):

    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-520-f ... 22799.html

    Is a flat bar road bike, and at some 6-7 pounds lighter than the Voodoo (which is a great bike, by the way), could be worth considering. No discs though.

    How much weight could be saved buy purchasing new wheels? And im guessing that is disc brakes, there are many maniacs arounds this area so awesome breaks are a must!
  • Anyone use cyclocross bikes? I really like the look, the drop bars plus the ability to go of road, maybe I could up my budget a bit to say 600? what about this? http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/r ... -comp-bike
  • imatfaalimatfaal Posts: 2,716
    Slimblues wrote:
    Anyone use cyclocross bikes? I really like the look, the drop bars plus the ability to go of road, maybe I could up my budget a bit to say 600? what about this? http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/r ... -comp-bike

    I commute during the summer on a cyclocross bike (a bit pricey mind ... Felt F1X) - more fun than boring hybrid but I do recognize that I can get my head down a bit too much whereas the more upright hybrid tends to make me look around more. if you don't mind rim brakes rather than discs you can pick up some awesome second hand cross bikes on the Bay - lots of people are moving to discs and it is past the end of the cyclocross season
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Slimblues wrote:
    supersonic wrote:
    An other option are the Decathlon Triban series of bikes. There are various iterations (not all on the website, some older ones may be in store):

    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-520-f ... 22799.html

    Is a flat bar road bike, and at some 6-7 pounds lighter than the Voodoo (which is a great bike, by the way), could be worth considering. No discs though.

    How much weight could be saved buy purchasing new wheels? And im guessing that is disc brakes, there are many maniacs arounds this area so awesome breaks are a must!

    You might save 500g in weight for an outlay of £2-300. Disc brakes do add in weight compared to rim brakes, especially cheaper cable discs. I wouldn't say these cable discs are much better than a rim brake stopping power wise, but hydro upgrades are very cheap, £40 for a full set of Clarks M2.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    The Marasa wheels are not that heavy, I think you've read my comments before saying how heavy the tyres are, just tyres and tubes need changing to start with, a lot less money for a similar weight saving.
  • Ha yes I think I miss read your comment :)

    I bought her anyways! Loving it, just building myself up before I try to commute to work, the weather recently hasnt helped much but I have managed to get out every day. Still trying to get the fit just right, also still need more kit! All I have currently is a helmet, everything seems a bit pricey.. Was looking for a waterproof jacket thats half decent looking but I am struggling! And MTB shoes am I looking at £60 minimum for something decent? Do brands really matter?. The tyres you recommended were Schwalbe something I believe?
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Kit wise, don't spend too much!
    I commute using Aldi Socks, Aldi gloves, a sports base layer T-shirt and baggie shorts (Azore - can be found on Ebay quite cheap, the womens fit me fine and are sold even cheaper and look identical - total cost about £30. Similar quality and price can be found at decathlon who also do shoes from about £25.

    I usually recommend Schwalbe City Jet for MTB conversions as the go to Budget tyre, but for the Marasa and to shed some useful weight this is a good option http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/cont ... -prod18800 and what my Nephew uses on his (with the correct size inner tube obviously, don't forget to get three tubes, one for each wheel and one for your pack!).
  • Had the first proper commute Friday and I absolutely loved it! 24 mile round trip. Very scenic Coming past the olympic stadium, no traffic to speak off basically cycle paths for 80% of the trip not to bad! Was a bit weary on the roads. Unlike being on a motorcycle at least i could biip at people! Deffo investing in an airzound or something similar. I was contemplating mounting a 12v alarm battery on my pannier to have a proper horn :P

    Aye I have just got a few cheap bits for now, did spend a little bit on the shoes but style always wins haha :) I think im going to wait to get new tyres until these are worn out, not point just throwing money away, also I didnt realise they are 40c tyres! I was looking to either go down to 28 or 32 maybe? The paths I travel were quite clean and ill still be able to go over grass with that size comfortably i think?

    Also I came into a problem with by big gears/ring? I was at the traffic lights as as i went to pull away something went wrong. I managed to get to the side of the road and check it out, the gears were all messed up and the cable was loose, after a little tinkering i managed to sort it there and ride it home. I checked out a few videos on youtube and it sounded like the indexing was messed up so Ive corrected that hopefully that was the problem? Its not due its 6 week check for another 3 weeks! And I dont really trust halfords but I would considering taking it there for that as its free then maybe to somewhere else to make sure they did a proper job. Too many words sorry :) cheers
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    The cables can 'stretch' a little from new, as the outers bed into their sockets. This can throw the gearing off a little.
  • The Rookie wrote:
    Please don't get an airzound, it seems to have a negative effect on buyers!

    Excuse me and my "bell" dont seem to work!
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,963
    supersonic wrote:
    especially cheaper cable discs. I wouldn't say these cable discs are much better than a rim brake stopping power wise, but hydro upgrades are very cheap, £40 for a full set of Clarks M2.

    Nonsense, rim brakes vs BB7 is like night and day, although I found the BB7 squeaked a lot in the rain...now upgraded to XT full hydro and the difference is subtle, the amount of power available is similar but the modulation is much better
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I think you have misinterpreted my post - I meant the budget end of the cable disc brake range when I said cheaper. Many cable models such as from Tektro and Clarks that are often on budget bikes are pretty cheap and underpowered. The BB7 is much better (and the new Tektro Lyra has improved, which is on the Boardman CX bike above), but more expensive - but (flat bar at least) you can buy a set of the aforementioned Clarks M2 for half the price which in my opinion offer more power, if that is what you want, and a better lever feel (though the cable speed levers I use on my Zaskar LE alloy you to change this subtly with rim/cable discs).

    I think people need to be wary of some of these cable discs as they may not offer all the benefits that other models do offer yet are often a big selling point. Hopefully we will see more range of drop bar hydros soon, and at more affordable prices - but I do agree that the BB7 is worth looking out for due to its performance.
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,963
    OK, agreed the Clarks M2 look good value, especially if they're as powerful as you say.
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