Any Alternatives For My Chosen Bike?


Well-Known Member
I've never cycled before. I do a lot of walking and hiking but fancy a change from the usual places I walk plus leaving the car at home for the daily commute. There's plenty of scenic routes near me as well that lead to places good for hiking too. I have in my head as well about doing weekend rides, riding out and staying in B&Bs along the way. Riding will be nearly all on road with some tarmac greenways and towpaths.

I will buying through Cycle To Work scheme. I am currently based in Belfast and Newry and would be using shops from either city.

I've been in a few local shops. Two had the Specialized Sirrus Elite and one had the Marin Fairfax. They seem fairly similar in spec, maybe with the Marin edging it. Not that it really matters but I also prefer the look of the Marin. Both allow panniers, should I do weekend rides, and mudguards.

Will the Marin be capable of handling the uses I have described above? It seems to be flexible enough to handle most types of riding so i can see what I enjoy the most. I may never bother with weekend rides so my next bike could be an out and out road bike. Plus, if I don't ride a huge amount, I haven't bought a massively expensive bike.

As for accessories, I'm thinking helmet, lock, mudguards, saddle bag with spare inner tubes and multi-tool, water bottle and holder and pannier racks. I'll buy the pannier bags at a later date when/if I decide to do weekend rides.

I regularly do 15 - 20 mile hikes through the mountains. Looking at cycling route websites there's plenty of 30 - 50 mile routes near me, even a great looking one round a coastal pennisula at 70 miles. Are these feasible routes for me to build up to using the Marin?

Bit of a long winded post there but essentially what I'm asking is, is the Marin Fairfax a decent bike for what I as a beginner am looking to do and have I got the right accessories to start with? Anything I should consider instead?



Oaf on a Bike
Im still quite a newbie, but i like the Marin too :smile:

Its quite roadish, but still looks to have a rather low gear which youll probably appreicate on hills and carrying panniers. It should be more than capable of doing those rides.

Id add a mini pump and a spare chain link so you can clip your chain back together if it breaks 30 miles from home. Also worth getting a decent multitool with a chain breaker imho, not that its a common occurance :smile:

Its worth asking or reading old posts about the accessories so you dont waste your money on junk :smile:


Smile a mile bike provider
i am a big Marin fan and was so dissapointed a while back as was offered a Fairfax locally went to try it and just could not get comfy , and the seller was not keen with me making any adjustments and could not understand why i wanted to make these adjustments on his bike that he was selling , so did not buy it .

but try it and if it feels comfy go that route


Über Member
My GF recently bought the Specialied Vita Elite, the female version of the Sirrus, and we are both really impressed with the setup and overall performance of the bike. It's light, smooth and handles really well. The day after buying it we had a 4 day mini cycling holiday from Norfolk to Suffolk, and the bike was apparently a real joy. So, I would reccommend the Sirrus, out of those two based on experience of one.

I can't recommend any other hybrids, apart from the Carerra Subway, which may actually be a bomb proof bike. After 4 years of ownership the paintwork is still perfect, the wheels are still true, and the disc brakes run like a dream. I went singlespeed on it, but the original gearing was superb, and overall the riding experience was a real pleasure. It's not the lightest or the heavest of bikes, but seems balanced and responsive, and has taken me some serious miles and over some pretty sketchy tracks and surfaces, and felt super comfortable. Well worth a look if you want to save some cash but still get a very good bike; the new paint job on this years model looks quite nice too.

Cletus Van Damme

Previously known as Cheesney Hawks
I have an older Marin Mill Valley ALP hybrid which is a lightweight hybrid. I also have a Specialized Secteur road bike, they are both great bikes. Either would probably be a good bet to be honest.

Mr Haematocrit

msg me on kik for android
The specialized Sirrus is an incredible bike, I can't fault it. A family member has one, its a real decent bike. The biggest bonus for the specialized is the way in which the company treats customers, im aware of a number of people that have had frames replaced out of warrenty and I myself have seriously screwed up when modifying bikes and specialized have assisted with addressing the issues I caused at their expence. I can't say the same for Marin


Had a Sirrus Comp that i used as a commuter for a little over a year and it got me into cycling. Quite recently sold it and have 2 drop bar bikes now. Would highly reccomend the Sirrus to anyone, just be sure to try an few different bikes for size / comfort. I did when buying mine and was surprised at how different bikes feel, even on a short ride.
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