Been shopping....none the wiser!

davidjm81

New Member
Hello!

I'm very new to this forum (about 3mins!!) and the focus of my post is that I would like to purchase a hybrid bike in the next 48hrs or so and get out and about!!

Primarily my aim is to use it as a way of getting fitter, I also want to use it as a form of leisure and enjoy the freedom you get with a bike, plus it's better than running my car on short journeys!!

The last bike I had was probably 15-20 years ago (I'm 30 now) and it was fine for knocking about on, but I want to get a bike now that is going to last, a bike that will do everything I want, but I also want value for money.

I have been into several shops near me (Essex) and have been told about different brakes, gear systems, lockable suspension etc etc and I've also encountered brands I have and haven't heard of.

I'm hoping some of you may be able to help? My budget is really £300-350 and I've seen many at these prices.

I looked at a Canull Detroit, it was fully loaded with disc brakes, lockable suspension, adjustable handle bar height etc and all for £299, but I can't find it online ANYWHERE!! Is that a bad omen? Anyone heard of it, or have one?

I've been told to steer clear of anything Halfords and have looked in Evans cycles, but nothing stood out.

Please help and tell me what I want! Haha!

Cheers Guys!
 

Cubist

Still wavin'
Location
Ovver 'thill
Ignore whoever told you avoid Halfords. Go in there and look at the Carreras and Voodoo hybrids, but make sure you know someone who can check the bike over for build quality when you get it (because with your budget you will get one there, or at a Decathlon.)
Ignore all suspension at that price bracket unless you want to ride off road, and if you do save another £200 before you even consider buying a bike.

If you can't find that bike online it'll be because it's a one off or a chain store brand, and at that sort of money not one you should be considering.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
First question - what sort of terrain will you be riding? Disc brakes and suspension on £300 bikes will be mediocre and heavy and probably completely unnecessary - if you need these, then you should be looking at hardtail mountain bikes

I have owned a bunch of bikes, been riding again for a few years and have never heard of Cannull nor seen in a bike shop...

Halfords bikes are actually better than the company that sell them - well Carrera and Boardman are (Apollo and Trax are pretty ****) . Carrera Subways are bombproof pretty much and very good vfm - usually around £300 - definitely worth a look. Halfords shops vary a lot - the ones around here are pants (just getting service is a mission) but some are very good. Just make sure the bike is checked over before you leave the store by someone who knows what they are doing :smile:

Key is that you buy a bike that is the right size for you - guides exist but there is no substitute for sitting on the bike and preferably riding - Evans good for test rides but tend to be on the expensive side IMO - Carreras are better vfm, or Decathlon - there is one at Lakeside)

Second hand may work for you - you'll get more for your money - just make sure you are comfortable with the provenance of the bike ;)
 
OP
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davidjm81

New Member
Thanks for the replies so far guys!

I had been to Halfords before hearing bad reports, and likes the Carrera Subway and Voodoo hybrids.

In terms of terrain, as I'll be using the bike mainly for fitness, I'll be on the roads and designated trails, nothing too rocky or bumpy!

I am surprised to hear a tone of "for that sort of budget" I am open to ideas, but I can't really justify spending hundreds and hundreds. Ideally, I guess I'd like an end of range model to save money. Don't really want second hand, although if there was an unbelievable deal for a bike in excellent condition, then perhaps.

Also, do you know anything about Viking bikes? Are there bikes to definitely avoid?

All advice is good!

Thanks again people
 

Cubist

Still wavin'
Location
Ovver 'thill
Viking are cheap and cheerful. Another mail order only special. Not bad, but there's better out there for the money.

Don't get hung up on budget comments, I'm simply referring to what you will get for that sort of money. If you ask me to recommend a bike for £1500 I'll use the same phrase. You spend what you can afford, but in terms of value for money the components on a £350 Carrera will be far better than a £350 Trek. You need to recognise that tht money won't buy you a top spec bike, but it will buy you a robust and competent workhorse or leisure bike.

Pretend I said "at that price point".
 
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davidjm81

New Member
Haha! Sorry! I wasn't trying to be 'off'! I'm genuinely delighted with your responses.

I've always been the sort of person who will buy the best they can afford. If for another £50 I can get something far better, then great! I'm realistic, but can't spend the earth.

Am I right in thinking that you really lean towards the Carreras at that price point?

Evans do their own brand - Pinnacle and they suggested that i look at the Pinnacle Lithium 2. £350 plus £50 of free instore accessories. They also do a Specialized for £370!

Just want to get one and get riding now!!
 

slowmotion

Quite dreadful
Location
lost somewhere
You mentioned getting an "end of range" bike. Bike stores tend to offer good deals on "last year's" model early in the New Year so you are probably a bit early for one right now. If you are thinking of buying online you ought to remember that you will not get the first service for brakes, gears etc that a bike shop will probably throw in FOC.
 

rowan 46

Über Member
Location
birmingham
I ride a canull for commuting not a detroit mine was a bit more expensive but the short review goes something like this not a bad bike you get a fair component spec for the price but the frame is heavy and the paintwork is fragile. I used to own a viking that died on me after many years of abuse, a solid bike with cheap components. I then used my specialized comp disc for commuting until it got nicked hence the reason I got the canull it's a no name bike with good bits at least mine is I have had mine about 6-months it cost about £100 less than the speccy has deore parts except for the drive train which is xt it rides a little nicer than the specialised but the paintwork is more fragile.
 

sidevalve

Über Member
Cubist is right, the carrera range are pretty good [one of the mechanics at my local halfords admited he used one and the others were, to use his words, cheap junk]. I have a Subway and on offer it cost just over £200. That's pretty good VFM [I prefer my old Dawes however but that's just me]. As a beginner I'd be wary of second hand, you could get a superb machine or you could get a dog. Don't be afraid of the "lighter" bikes [maybe not an out and out "race" bike though]. You aint zooming down mountains, bikes are much tougher than they look and it's easier to push a light bike than a heavy one.
 

GetAGrip

Feel like a melting ice cube .. fading away.
Location
N Devon
I made the choice of a Carrera Subway for my first bike after researching reviews on here and elsewhere online. Have been really please with it, and still ride it quite often, even though it is now my +1
 
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davidjm81

New Member
Cubist is right, the carrera range are pretty good [one of the mechanics at my local halfords admited he used one and the others were, to use his words, cheap junk]. I have a Subway and on offer it cost just over £200. That's pretty good VFM [I prefer my old Dawes however but that's just me]. As a beginner I'd be wary of second hand, you could get a superb machine or you could get a dog. Don't be afraid of the "lighter" bikes [maybe not an out and out "race" bike though]. You aint zooming down mountains, bikes are much tougher than they look and it's easier to push a light bike than a heavy one.
Thanks for your help with all this!!

When you say a "lighter" bike, can you give me some examples of makes and models that you would suggest for £300-£400? Or any other bikes in general?

Thanks!
 

Andrius.B

Active Member
Location
Bristol
Sometimes it might be worth it buying second hand. My friend just bought a hybrid which is worth around 850 pounds new for 320 quid. And it is in amazing condition.

So before I buy new, I would definitely check bike offers at eBay or gumtree.
Note that there is always a danger that some of those second hand bikes might be stolen.
 

sidevalve

Über Member
Hmm, my fault there. By lighter I mean don't worry about huge tyres, thick frame tubes [it doesn't always mean stronger]. it seems you plan to use the roads or gentle tracks and more or less any bike will cope with that.
As I [and Andrius.B] said, you can find great bikes second hand but with no experience it's easy to make a mistake. However try picking up whatever you're looking at and compare with a few others in the shop. When a manufacturer takes the trouble to make a light frame they usually fit decent components as well.
Anyway, whatever you decide on, have fun.
 
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