Bike advice needed: Racer / Town & Trail <£550.

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by cjbailey1, 5 Jun 2008.

  1. cjbailey1

    cjbailey1 New Member

    I am new to the forum and am looking for a bit of advice with regards to chosing a bike as part of a Cycle to Work scheme. I have had a search through the forum without much luck, so I thought I'd ask a question!

    I have been cycling (on and off) for many years, mainly on muddy rutted paths etc. using a mountain bike I had built by a friend (Built in 2000, Shimano Acera gears, Custom frame, Front suspension [suntour I seem to remember]). I will be keeping this bike for these purposes, with a new bike for Road Riding.

    Work have offered a Cycle2Work scheme through Halfords which seems good value for money. I have decided that I would like another Road bike (I used to have an old Dawes Shadow which was great), but the reviews of the halfords bikes don't come out well. There is the option to get a 'special order' bike in if none of their bikes meet my needs, but I'm assuming this would have to be a readily available branded bike for them to do it.

    I am 6'4 and 20 Stone and will be cycling on both Roads and Cycle Tracks on the Isle of Wight. The cycle tracks are a mixture of Concrete, Tarmac and Shallow Gravel (great choice there...) and the roads are fairly heavily potholed in places.

    I am not too woried about what style of bike I get, but I would like something that I am able to get up a decent speed on, I'm quite strong in my legs but can't make them go round _that_ fast!! I have been thinking that something similar to the old Dawes Shadow, but with better gearing selection would be a good option, but I have also noticed that 'Town and Trail' bikes seem to be coming in to fashion.

    The questions:
    What is the difference between a Hard Tail Mountain Bike and a Town and Trail bike (my assumptions are that gearing is the main difference)?
    Would a racing bike cope with my Weight and the Cycle Tracks?
    Are there any bikes under £550(ish) that people can recommend?

    Many thanks,
  2. 1st Welcome cjbailey1

    2nd If your work is doing the C2W scheme they can not specify which shop you can go to its your money!. If you see a bike you like in say your LBS (local bike shop) and they are doing the C2W scheme ask them to process it by computer (on line) for you it will save you taking the form into work.
  3. OP

    cjbailey1 New Member

    Thanks :biggrin:

    Work have gone into the Cycle2Work scheme with Halfords ( rather than the proper scheme which allows you to use any bike shop. It's stupid and annoying, but at least halfords will do a special order of other bikes!

    My problem is finding another bike, at the moment I like the look of some of the BeOne bikes from CRC, but Halfords won't be able to order those as I gather CRC are the only UK supplier.
  4. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    hi cjbailey1, don't be afraid of getting one of halfords' carrera bikes, they are good value for money. be sure the bike is correctly set up if you do.

    however this looks like it might be of interest to you…

    to answer your original question, a hard-tailed mountain bike will have 26" (usually knobbly) tyres and front suspension, a town and trail bike is more like a road bike but with flat handle bars, and sometimes with treaded or knobbly tyres. the ttb is a better bet for commuting than the mtb, unless your commute involves a lot of off road riding.
  5. OP

    cjbailey1 New Member

    My MTB is currently on Panaracer Trailblaster's, which I found gave nice handling both on the tracks and on the road between them. I do like the look of the cyclo-cross style bikes that you and User have pointed out, I'll have to research them more!

    I think my old Dawes Shadow was classed as a Tourer, but these seem to have gone somewhat out of fashion now.

    Thanks for those.
    Unfortunately the last two are well out of my range, but the first is worth another look, even though it's a bit above my budget.
  6. If so I would go for the Bordman range if the Kona road bikes where out of my price range? If halfords still sell Kona road bikes?
  7. The Jake is £650

    Jake the snake is £1000

    and the Major jake is £1500

    I think not bad if you look at what your getting
  8. OP

    cjbailey1 New Member

    Halfords do sell Kona, but only the MTBs. With Boardman bikes there is the lowest spec Road Bike at the very top end of my range (

    There is also a 'Performance Hybrid' by them within my range (

    It's all so confusing!
  9. HelenD123

    HelenD123 Veteran

    Halfords will order you anything through their Cycle to Work Scheme. You're not limited to what they usually sell.

    EDIT: User beat me to it!
  10. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Auld Reekie
    I used to have a Dawes Shadow, it was a great bike, these days I cycle a hybrid and it ain't slow, I can do up to 34mph on the flat (but not for any great distance). To be honest I don't miss the drops at all. Get some thing with 700 mm wheels, put on slick tyres and away you go...
  11. OP

    cjbailey1 New Member

    Thanks for all the replies, I went in to Halfrauds this morning and spent about an hour and a half chatting to my mate in there about bikes and what is best to do, I've managed to discount quite a few bikes from the list for various reasons and I'm down to the following (not so small) list lol.

    Scott: £449.99 £339.99 £399.99

    Ridgeback: £499.99 £499.99

    Specialized: £449.99
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