Buying bike for commuting and a bit of off road

Coronakid

Regular
Hello
i am a 55 year old lady who has recently got into cycling during lockdown in the uk. I live in Manchester and have bought a second hand ladies hybrid trek bike which has high Dutch style handlebars. I like to cycle up in the Peak District around Whaley bridge and kettleshulme but find I struggle in some of the hills. I am not sure if this is due to the upright nature of the bike, the gearing or the fact that its an older bike and a bit weighty. I am getting a bit faster and fitter and have managed some 48 mile rides which tend to take me all morning. I would like to commute a day a week from south manchester to Macclesfield which is 17 miles On road and 24 Miles on road (one way). I’d really like some advice on what bike to buy Now that I am thinking of carrying on cycling. My criteria are
1. good gearing for steep hills
2. able to cope with off road ( but not extreme off road)
3. Fairly light
4. comfy - I love my high handlebars but am not sure if they don’t detract from cycling efficiency so would be prepared to go a bit lower with the handlebars)
4 preferably below1000 pounds in price
mhany thanks
C
 

I like Skol

Hold my beer and watch this....
I like to cycle up in the Peak District around Whaley bridge and kettleshulme but find I struggle in some of the hills. I am not sure if this is due to the upright nature of the bike, the gearing or the fact that its an older bike and a bit weighty.
The Peak District just isn't easy.

TBH it sounds like you are doing just great as you are and your perceived struggle could be all the above, slightly due to these points, or actually nothing to do with the bike?

There is a saying, "Cycling doesn't get any easier, you just go faster!" and this essentially means it doesn't matter if your bike is lighter, the gears easier, the position better, you will still make the same hard effort.
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
48 miles in a morning sounds fab!
I was thinking the same - the OP is already in imperial century day rides territory.

Anything with Trek written on it won't be all bad, so I reckon there are only marginal gains to be had from a new bike.

The OP has certainly 'earned' a new bike even if there is no desperate need for one.

I suppose the first question to answer is: drop bars or flats?
 
OP
C

Coronakid

Regular
thank you for your positive comments! I am not very fast. I go about 13 mph on flat but with stopping at lights and hills average time is slower. I don’t fancy drop handlebars as I think you would get a crick in the neck. Flats might be better. I was thinking of a dual sport 3 woman’s trek and getting puncture resistant tyres as I am always mending punctures. I think it’s all the brambles growing onto cycle paths at this time of year
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
I go about 13 mph on flat but with stopping at lights and hills average time is slower. I don’t fancy drop handlebars as I think you would get a crick in the neck. Flats might be better.
Drops don't have to be uncomfortable as long as you ignore the current stupid roadie fashion for stem-slamming and set the things at a sensible height! Most road bike discomfort is self-inflicted by the rider prioritising aerodynamics over comfort and good visibility. On longer rides drops are more versatile than flats because you have more places you can put your hands which reduces fatigue. That said, for most of my utility rides I do use flat bars, especially riding in busy traffic.

This is my drop bar set up and I do not experience any discomfort, although flat bars set high do still give slightly better all round visibility .
550749


Puncture-resistant tyres like Schwalbe Marathons are the best upgrade you can do to a bike, and well worth the extra bit of weight. I'll be fitting Schwalbes to the above Raleigh for next spring , as the lack of puncture protection on the current tyres are it's only real shortcoming.
 

dave r

Dunking Diddy Dave Pedalling Pensioner
Hello
i am a 55 year old lady who has recently got into cycling during lockdown in the uk. I live in Manchester and have bought a second hand ladies hybrid trek bike which has high Dutch style handlebars. I like to cycle up in the Peak District around Whaley bridge and kettleshulme but find I struggle in some of the hills. I am not sure if this is due to the upright nature of the bike, the gearing or the fact that its an older bike and a bit weighty. I am getting a bit faster and fitter and have managed some 48 mile rides which tend to take me all morning. I would like to commute a day a week from south manchester to Macclesfield which is 17 miles On road and 24 Miles on road (one way). I’d really like some advice on what bike to buy Now that I am thinking of carrying on cycling. My criteria are
1. good gearing for steep hills
2. able to cope with off road ( but not extreme off road)
3. Fairly light
4. comfy - I love my high handlebars but am not sure if they don’t detract from cycling efficiency so would be prepared to go a bit lower with the handlebars)
4 preferably below1000 pounds in price
mhany thanks
C
48 miles in a morning is good going, perhaps look at a hybrid if you want to stay on flat bars or an adventure bike if you decide to go for drops.
 
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fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
I assume you'll be riding Middlewood Way to Macc some times if you want a bit of off road. It's fine on a hybrid, and I've seen road bikes on it, but it does get a bit muddy in places.

Which Trek is it - model please ? I use Middlewood way alot as part of my training route, but on a mountain bike, which is overkill.
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
I was thinking of a dual sport 3 woman’s trek
That will be heavy with its suspension fork which you don't need.

If you want to stick with Trek, one of their fitness bikes meets your spec.

A carbon fork helps keep the weight down, so it ought to be a little easier to propel up hillls.

It also has sensibly low gearing.

https://www.trekbikes.com/gb/en_GB/...bikes/fx/fx-3-disc/p/28474/?colorCode=reddark
 

Dan77

Well-Known Member
Location
Worcester
You're doing fantastic. I have a Trek FX2 disc and have found it to be a really good bike for the money but now I'm upgrading to a road bike as I push on to go further and faster. The Trek is not a light bike (around 12.5kg) although there are plenty of gears to help with hills due to the 3 rings at the front.
 

AuroraSaab

Senior Member
Wow. I am massively impressed with 48 miles. That's amazing. To be honest, I think any hybrid or mountain bike will be an improvement on your current bike for such rides.

I have a carbon road bike bought cheaply on Sphock and a £30 Dawes mtb from ebay. Both are easier and nicer to ride than my friends step through Cube bike, which I imagine will be similar to yours. Dutch style bikes just seem so heavy to me - great for flat journeys but I'm amazed you can get round the Peak District on one.

I would look for a decent hybrid if you are pretty sure you don't want to go off road. OH has a Cannondale hybrid, which he loves. I think you'll find a lighter bike a revelation after a Dutch style bike.

Unfortunately stocks are still low in many outlets and there aren't many deals on at the moment. Just had a look and the bike OH got for £240 in a sale last Autumn is £400 now. The Evans near the Trafford Centre has a decent stock of bikes now so might be worth a look. There's a Wetherspoons next door for a sneaky latte too.
 
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OP
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Coronakid

Regular
I assume you'll be riding Middlewood Way to Macc some times if you want a bit of off road. It's fine on a hybrid, and I've seen road bikes on it, but it does get a bit muddy in places.

Which Trek is it - model please ? I use Middlewood way alot as part of my training route, but on a mountain bike, which is overkill.
 
OP
C

Coronakid

Regular
Thank you. It is a trek 721 multitrack.its a really lovely bike. Seem to have got faster in last week - really pleased. Averaging 12 mph now where it was 10 and that’s with all the traffic lights😊. Yes trip To Macclesfield is up to Styal, A555 cycle path, middlewood way. Not the most direct route but I am a bit worried about the fast bendy A roads if I go via Alderley edge
 
OP
C

Coronakid

Regular
You're doing fantastic. I have a Trek FX2 disc and have found it to be a really good bike for the money but now I'm upgrading to a road bike as I push on to go further and faster. The Trek is not a light bike (around 12.5kg) although there are plenty of gears to help with hills due to the 3 rings at the front.
Thank you.
 
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