Advice on (Cheap!) commuting bike

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by km991148, 16 Nov 2007.

  1. km991148

    km991148 Well-Known Member

    My beat up old MTB has finaly given up and its time I got round to replacing it; however I dont have the largest of budgets and am looking to find a reliable commuter for under (approx)£200.
    I am new enough to cycling, and am not sure what I'm looking for other than somehing with thin slick tyres for a bit of speed and prob decent alu frame.
    Someone recomended the carrera subway 1 (http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/...1_productId_240399_langId_-1_categoryId_60956) from halfords (although I aint a halfords fan theyre meant to be good at this time of year..) but just wondered if anyone could give alternatives (and advantages of) or any problems with the subway.

    Thanks in advance
    Kenny
     
  2. OP
    OP
    km991148

    km991148 Well-Known Member

    My beat up old MTB has finaly given up and its time I got round to replacing it; however I dont have the largest of budgets and am looking to find a reliable commuter for under (approx)£200.
    I am new enough to cycling, and am not sure what I'm looking for other than somehing with thin slick tyres for a bit of speed and prob decent alu frame.
    Someone recomended the carrera subway 1 (http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/...1_productId_240399_langId_-1_categoryId_60956) from halfords (although I aint a halfords fan theyre meant to be good at this time of year..) but just wondered if anyone could give alternatives (and advantages of) or any problems with the subway.

    Thanks in advance
    Kenny
     
  3. johnsienk

    johnsienk New Member

    Whem my road bike broke for good, I bought a temporary replacement from Halfords. The idea was to surivive a couple of months till I get the bonus and buy a new road bike. I've done well over 1000 miles now without any problems and posponed the 'proper' bike purchase till spring. I changed the tires though to skinny Marathon Pluses, as I kept on getting punctures with the original ones. The bike is surprisingly comfy, sturdy (steel frame was the cheapest!, obviously) and the gears are really good. Surprise, surprise...

    EDIT: I forgot the minor detail: the bike cost £99.99
     
  4. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    You could take the opportunity to try out a drop bar road bike - Decathlon have a couple that would let you dip a toe in the water for not much money.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    km991148

    km991148 Well-Known Member

    ok spent the day looking for bikes, and not sure what to go for now..

    I went to see the subway 1 first and thought it looked good, but struggled to find my size -
    I could only find a 20" frame but I think I would prefer 22 (I'm 6'3"..).

    I then went to another (local) shop and the guy was raving about the trek 7.0 (and it also looked good - but anything would compared to my old bike!), from what I can tell has a better frame than the subway, but I am not sure about the other components - the trek has shimano tourney gears (and more of them for what thats worth..) but how do they compare to the sram sx4s on the subway (or indeed to the shimano alivios mentioned earlier - are they several levels down, or should I not be worrying too much at my level?)

    I also looked at a Giant crs 4.0, and it seems to be a similar bike, but with a worse frame than the trek and better rims (the giants were double walled, where as the treks weren't - but is this such a big deal?).

    I guess it kinda comes down to price - the subway came in at 270,the trek at around 325, with the giant ad around 360 (all in euro as i'm in ROI at the moment). I could prob go to the price of the trek if its worth it, but the giant is just over my budget.

    If possible, I would like to hear further comments on this selection (and answers to my jumbled questions!)

    Thanks again,
    km
     
  6. OP
    OP
    km991148

    km991148 Well-Known Member

    also, excuse the novice q, butwhat is a
    !

    Thanks,

    kenny
     
  7. gambatte

    gambatte Middle of the pack...

    Location:
    S Yorks
    See if theres one of these near you.
    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/EN/
    My bike cost £170. They've a rep for good spec at low prices. You're not adding anything on for the name. Aluminium frame has a 5 year guarantee.

    If theres one local, its got to be worth a visit. (they've a lot wider selection than whats on the website)

    'drop bar' refers to the type of handlebars (for example) on the tour de france, road racing type of bike.
     
  8. longers

    longers Veteran

    This is the cheapest drop bar road bike on the Decathlon website.

    I can't comment on it's quality or anything but definately worth a look.

    And it's bl**dy cheap ;).
     
  9. Its cheap because;
    (1) It doesnt have STIs.On cheap roadbikes the STIs are the most expensive component on the bike. Including the frame. Im not sure that down tube shifters are appropriate on a novices commuter bike either.
    (2) Its steel, nothing wrong with that but it wont be butted and its highly unlikely to have more than three chromoly tubes so will be a bit of a tank.
    (3) Sunrace mechs. Eeew. All steel and plastic.
    (4) Its guaranteed to have nasty steel hubs with a screw on freewheel and a super cheap BB. Lets assume 10 miles a day commuting, thats anything up to 2500 miles per annum. In my experience such cheap bikes cant hope to survive such mileage. Ok as an occasional weekend bike (if I remove my bike snob hat for a millisecond) I suppose.

    Reckon poster would be better off buying a 2nd hand roadbike for that kind of budget.
     
  10. gambatte

    gambatte Middle of the pack...

    Location:
    S Yorks
    Go upto £170, you get STI, alumuminium frame, Shimano Sora mechs and a casssette.
    Done over 1000 without complaint or any adjustment apart from cable stretch
     
  11. Blimey. I am suitably gobsmacked. Are they built in sweatshops do you think?
     
  12. Plax

    Plax Veteran

    Location:
    Wales
    Did you want to add accessories like mudguards and pannier racks? Something to consider when you get your bike as they might not have the necessary "braze-ons" or fixings to allow you to add them.
    I've got a GT Nomad Sport. Nice enough bike and within your budget (well mine was in the sale!), but you could do a lot better. I had to improvise with the fitting of my mudguards as it didn't have the necessay fixing points for the back wheel (this is where the P clips from my pannier rack came in handy!), and I haven't bothered to add my pannier rack yet.

    Claud Butler and Dawes do some good commuting bikes, and I've heard some good reviews about Speciaized bikes.

    http://www.falconcycles.co.uk/CORP/cb/hybrids.html

    http://www.dawescycles.com/dawes/discover-series.htm

    My one piece of advice would be to buy the best bike you can afford for your money. Buy cheap buy twice as they say. I got an Apollo CX10 from Halfords to begin with as I wasn't sure I was a "cyclist". Nice enough bike to begin with but sh*t (what can you expect for £99.99), it can't take the pace with regular commutes, it's more of a leisure bike.

    I had myself looked at the Carrera Subway but it didn't have enough gears for me. It's okay if you live somewhere like London but if you live slap up the side of a mountain, it's better to have more gears to deal with all the steep hills!
     
  13. bianco

    bianco New Member

    I've had the £170 decathlon

    I've had to have replacement:

    Bottom Bracket(bearings "gone")
    Wheels(freehub went 3 times!)
    Frame(cracked around the bb)
    Brakes(calipers cracked)
    Cranks(again, cracked)
    Headset(again bearings)
    Chain(50% of the orignal chain had stiff links)
    Front wheel went through 3 spokes
    Pedals(snapped off!)

    After all this the manager just agreed to get me a replacement bike, this years model and I've had no problems.


    I'd recommend them as they're dead nice about everything and didn't hesitate to replace any component. Infact, they were joking and I got onto first name terms with there overqualified bike mechanic(really, this isn't sarcastic!).

    I'm not a heavy rider either, so I believe I must have had the bad batch.

    I'd buy again
     
  14. OP
    OP
    km991148

    km991148 Well-Known Member

    ok, (for those that are interested..) have finally made a decision, and as mentioned by others on this forum (and others on other boards) am going for the specialized globe http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=22060 from http://www.mcconveycycles.com/ it seems to be a good quality frame, with good components (I believe the Altus rear derailleur is one up from the tourney on the trek) and the rims are doubled walled (I know its been said they wont make a big difference, but may as well get some better protection for my money..); I can get it delivered for 300euro (as mentioned earlier, I'm in Dublin at the moment, so can be difficult to find bikes for same price as UK), so reckon for 30 more than the subway and a good bit less than the others in its class, it represents good value (plus £200/ 300 euro is pretty much all my budget, will have to look to mudguards etc later/ take them off the old bike..);


    Thanks again to all those that have passed on advice!

    km
     
  15. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    There's a guy on ACF doing a long term test of it as his commuter.

    His last entry;

    Donwtube shifters might put some off, but you can get the Sport 16S with shifters integrated into the brake levers.

    For £169.
     
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