Budget bikes

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by MrsDangermouse, 27 Oct 2012.

  1. MrsDangermouse

    MrsDangermouse Well-Known Member

    Been reading the forum for a couple of weeks now but this is my first post :hello:
    A few weeks ago hubby and I dug our old bikes out of the garage (cheap ones bought from Halfords about 5ish years ago) and we've been riding several times a week since then. At the moment its mainly short routes after work and longer ones on the weekends - we still have a long way to go fitness-wise but we're enjoying it and I think we're going to keep it up as we're both having fun and feeling good. :bicycle:

    So....assuming we do in fact keep this up, and we start doing longer routes (6 miles is about the limit at the moment before the legs get too tired), we're probably going to need a couple of new bikes in a few months time because the ones we have aren't ideal. I currently have a 21" ladies Apollo CX10 hybrid, which is actually too small for me (but it was the largest bike we could find at the time) so I'm looking for a 23" frame to match my overly-long legs. Hubby has an Apollo FS26 mountain bike which he doesn't like because of the suspension - he'd prefer a hybrid.

    We mostly cycle on the road and cycle paths, but come the summer we'll be wanting take them on canal towpaths or woodland paths - nothing too seriously of-froad though.

    We've had a look around a couple of shops so far and are realising that for our budget we are going to struggle to get anything good - can only afford about £300 per bike. So I'm starting the research now so that we can try to find the best we can and I'd appreciate any words of wisdom anyone cares to share :thumbsup:

    Hubby quite likes the look of the Ammaco CS300 - he doesn't like things like mudguards, and he thinks the lockout front suspension will make it better for those occasions where we do on canal paths etc. At £250 its also well within budget. I'd need to spend a bit more (£300) on the Ammaco CS500 as that one comes in a 23" frame. There isn't much flexibility in the budget so the fact that we could get both of these within budget makes them seem attractive. BUT I've not been reading great things about Ammaco bikes on forums so I'm not really sure whether these would be any improvement on what we've already got?

    Today I saw a few Ridgeback bikes (seems to be a better brand?) that could also be potentials: Ridgeback Motion (£260), Ridgeback Speed (£285), Ridgeback Comet (£315) - but they are all described as "commuter hybrids" so I'm not sure whether they'll cope on off-road paths?

    I know Decathalon gets mentioned as a good place to go - we're going to try to get over there at some point to see what they've got. I don't think they'll be much good for me (I think I'd need an EU:XL but the website only shows one hybrid in that size and its well out of budget) but they might have something good for hubby - any thoughts on the B'twin Riverside 3 Men's?

    Wow this has turned to to be a bit long....thanks for making it to the end! Any thoughts on the bikes mentioned? Or suggestions where else to look? Thanks!
  2. Welcome to the forum Mrs DM,

    I'm not sure what bike would be best, but a visit to good sized dealership is always worthwhile to see what's available and to try the bikes for size. A Decathlon, Wiggle or Evans type of place can give you good advice as well. I've also had good service from independent local bike shops. Your LBS might well cut you a nice deal if you buy some accessories at the same time as you order the bike too, or if you're buying two bikes at once.

    Enjoy your rides, but watch out for Baron Greenback!
  3. mrandmrspoves

    mrandmrspoves Middle aged bald git.

    Hi, you will find that almost anything will be an improvement on the Apollos that you have (!!!) and by spending in the £250 upwards category you should get something that is reasonable. If you are going to be cycling mainly on road, I would question whether you need front suspension at all? At the low end of the market, front suspension is heavy, and does little to improve comfort or handling, and most hybrids, tourers, commuters and roadsters can cope with canal tow paths so long as the wheels are ok and the tyres are not in the ultra thin racing style. If you hope to increase your distance, weight will become an issue, so avoid anything too heavy and try and choose something with a good range of gears.
    You will get a very good deal from Decathlon - so long as what they sell suits your needs. Best advice is try a few different cycles, sit on them and if possible have a test ride.
  4. Andy_R

    Andy_R Hard of hearing..I said Herd of Herring..oh FFS..

    County Durham
    A lot of people here describe Halfrauds in the worst of terms, but if you know how to set up a bike, or know someone who does, look at their Carrera range, especially the Subways. Cheap as chips, bomb proof, and actually rather nice to ride.
    david k likes this.
  5. cyberknight

    cyberknight Wibble

    Land of confusion
    I had a subway and i wish i had kept it , but the lure of the "raodie/racer" tempted me into lycra :smile:
  6. Soltydog

    Soltydog Guru

    near Hornsea
    I know its a bit far, but may be worth calling Cyclesense in tadcaster they have Ridgeback MX5 hire bikes for £250
    2nd hand, but from a reputable source :thumbsup:
  7. NickJ95GB

    NickJ95GB Well-Known Member

  8. mrandmrspoves

    mrandmrspoves Middle aged bald git.

    I have a Triban and great value it was too......but not recommended for tow paths on 700 x 23 tyres!
    Lanzecki likes this.
  9. DCLane

    DCLane Found in the Yorkshire hills ...

    My work uses Ridgeback bikes for their Velocampus scheme, the hybrid ones here;

    http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/products/ridgeback-meteor-13 for £350 and
    http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/pro...-13?bct=browse/bicycles/commuter-hybrid-bikes also £350

    They are popular because they're simple and reliable.
  10. DaveyM

    DaveyM Über Member

  11. growingvegetables

    growingvegetables Guru

    Just to throw in another brand - Dawes Discovery (the 201 is something like £250 upwards?)

    I got a 201 something like ten years ago, and it's been a brilliant work horse - comfortable, reliable, and pretty well "go anywhere". OK - I didn't do the Marin Trail with the panache and speed of the MTBs, but by god, I enjoyed it. And it's done several 200+ miles road trips. Canal paths - eats them up, no bother. Bridle paths - no problem. Forest paths - easy. Touring with panniers front and rear - done it (and being dad, was carrying FAR more than my fair share). Commuting - easy peasy. Just a good all-rounder.

    But +1 on avoiding suspension. Aye, there's a few (a very few) miles I might have wanted it --- and thousands more I'd have just been hauling the weight around uselessly.
    MarkF likes this.
  12. shouldbeinbed

    shouldbeinbed Rollin' along

    Manchester way
    Have a look at Edinburgh Bikes too. Excellence VFM and a good range of sizes to go at.

    In the nicest possible way, rubbish. My B'twin sport1 (pre triban decathlon roadie) was fine on towpaths and gravel/muck country park surfaces, obviously roadies aren't MTB rugged or grippy or long distance comfy but there's a lot of guff spoken about not using them on anything but tarmac.
  13. mrandmrspoves

    mrandmrspoves Middle aged bald git.

    ....... Also in the nicest way, let's try and help the OP make wise choices about what to buy based on her requirements. I own a Triban and do not believe that the wheelset would cope with an inexperienced rider cycling along a towpath...nor do I think that an inexperienced rider would enjoy cycling along a tow path on a Triban.....
    I do agree with you about the fact that for light off road use you don't need a MTB or hybrid......which is why I wrote this in my original reply at the top Of this thread!
  14. david k

    david k Hi

    North West
    i have a subway and love it
  15. sidevalve

    sidevalve Über Member

    As above a blanket downer on Halfords is just foolish. The Carrera range are fine base level bikes [I've had two, and still have a subway] and at £200 ish [always look for the offers or "last years model" ] can be a great buy.
    Suspension is a bit of a dead end at these prices, fun for an old lad playing around on the mud [like me] but not really of any use and just adding weight. You don't need it to ride towpaths and the like and I suspect most of the "need" for it is industry, fashion, and speed driven. I have said before and sorry but I will say it again EVERY ounce of weight must be pushed along by you.
    One last thought, don't be too upset by the comments on low priced bikes. Your milage is low, you arn't entering the tour de france and you arn't riding down mountain tracks, almost any bike will do what you want but some may be better at it than others
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