Beginner CX bike and upgrade questions

kalniel

Well-Known Member
Location
Herts
Hi all,

I've not cycled since university over a decade ago, but am keen to get into it for infrequent fair-weather hobby cycling in Hertfordshire, which isn't the most demanding of places but does have atrocious roads and several crushed stone/gravel trails.

Having borrowed a hybrid for a ride I'm convinced I'd like a dropped bar bike, which is also what I used to ride at uni, so with the combination of potholes/gravel and trails, I think either a robust road bike or perhaps ideally a cyclocross would be for me.

The issue is I don't think I'll be doing it seriously/frequently enough to justify much more than a bargain purchase, but I am mighty tempted by the cheap Carrera Tanneri that Halfords offer (http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/road-bikes/carrera-tanneri-limited-edition-cyclocross-bike-2015-black#tab2) and perhaps using the saving to upgrade a few things down the line.

Question 1) Halfords have an awful rep.. is this so bad as to be worth paying 3x the price to avoid?

2) What upgrades should I consider down the line? First on my list is tyres - something tough and semi-slick or a commuter tyre would suit fine I guess. Then I'm not sure - maybe chainset? Which leads to..

3) What should I be looking for to ensure a chainset is compatible? I see many are listed for differing numbers of cassette speeds. The Tanneri has an 8-spd cassette, so must I ensure the chainset is 8-spd compatible rather than say 10/11-spd which many appear to be? There is no information on the Halfords site about the bottom bracket other than "Square taper sealed bearing'. And perhaps quite importantly...

4) How hard is it to change chainset?

5) Wet or dry lube? Just kidding... I can see lots about this already.

6) Since I'm coming at this with no bike specific equipment.. is there anything beginners often forget to purchase tools/equipment wise?

Many thanks in advance,
 
Halfords bad reputation mainly concerns the building of the bike although it seems some stores are better than others, if you have the knowledge and are confident enough then but it boxed and build it yourself at home or get a local bike shop to build it.
 

outlash

also available in orange
As above for Q1.

Q2: Tyres will depend on what surfaces you're riding on. For example, when it's dry, semi slicks would be fine for nearly everything but useless when it's muddy.

Q3: Without knowing what groupset (if it is a complete groupset) it is, I'd take a punt on being Shimano or Shimano compatible which would be Claris as an upgrade and keeping it 8 speed.

Q4: No massivley so, get the right tools for the job and a bit of patience to do it right.

Q5: ;)

Q6: I'd say at least get the basics, pump, puncture kit/spare tubes, multitool, saddle bag to put them in.

Saying all that, at 12.6 Kg it's a bit of boat. I've got a steel framed, hub geared bike that doesn't weigh much more than that. Cross bikes take a bit more of a battering than a standard road bike, any sub-standard parts will get found out pretty quickly and while that was never £600, the lack of details in the specs sheet doesn't inspire me with confidence. Only having two frame sizes seems a little odd too.

Tony.
 
OP
kalniel

kalniel

Well-Known Member
Location
Herts
There's a certain irony in buying a cheap bike and then asking for equipment upgrade suggestions. Why not just spend more to start with?
That's a very reasonable question! but looking at the sums: The bike's £230, a set of tyres is what, £50? Claris chainset £60. That's only £340 if I upgraded right away, when in reality I'd probably wait a bit anyway. The next cheapest CX bike I could find was around £550.

Aside from the financial, there's also just the simple if I run out of motivation then I'll have wasted less money.
 
Last edited:

MichaelW2

Veteran
Why upgrade a chainset . Cheap ones work fine.
You may need mudguards: full-length, bolt-on, not clip-on. Lock, lights, repair kit, saddlebag.
Can it take a rear luggage rack. This option will extend the use to shopping and touring, and is really essential for any non-competition bike.

Revolution Cross is a tad lighter.
Jamis Nova Sport is a whole lot better
 
OP
kalniel

kalniel

Well-Known Member
Location
Herts
Thanks. I blew the budget on a Fuji Tread 1.3 as it seemed to hit a lot of 'oh I quite like the sound of that' things...
 
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