Buying commute bike... Trekk vs Boardman vs Ridgeback. Help?

jujubeebikes

New Member
Hello!
I am wanting to buy a bike for my commute - it is through London roads, 7.8 miles, a not flat ( I live at the top of one of those long, deceivingly difficult hills).
I'm 171 cm / 5f6inches, and want to pay 450-500 for a hybrid bike. Because of the hill, I think a priority for me is a lightweight bike? But I don't know what else I should be prioritising.
I have found the following:
Ridgeback Motion Womens Step-Through Hybrid Bike 2021 https://www.balfesbikes.co.uk/bikes/hybrid-bikes/ridgeback-motion-womens-step-through-hybrid-bike-2021-in-cool-grey__15186
Trek FX 2 Disc Stagger Womens Step-Thru Hybrid Bike 2021 https://www.balfesbikes.co.uk/14817/products/trek-fx-2-disc-stagger-womens-step-thru-hybrid-bike-2021-silver-medium.aspx
Boardman HYB 8.6 Womens Hybrid Bike 2021 https://www.halfords.com/boardman-hyb-8.6-womens-hybrid-bike-2021---medium-366318.html
I'd really welcome suggestions on which of these bikes would be best suited.
Thanks,
Jujubee x
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
Firstly hello and :welcome: to the forum

Any of the bikes you’ve linked would do a good job for you, the only reservation I’d have is wi the Ridgeback which has rim brakes rather than hydraulic discs like the other two. Discs will give better quick reliable stopping in all weathers. Those two have little to choose between them, they’ll both give you a similar experience. Both have sufficiently low gears for hills. I imagine that Balfes Bikes is online and you would be picking up the Boardman in store. You might feel better having a shop where you can run the bike back to in the event of a problem.
Don’t forget you’ll also need mudguards if using in all weathers and a good D lock if you have to lock it anywhere although if you can keep it off the road that would be preferable. You might want a helmet too. You’ll also need a pump and a spare inner tub. For clothing you could get some cycle specific shorts and top but be aware that after 7/8 mile ride you’re going to be a bit sweaty so a change of clothes is best :smile:.

Good luck. Anything else ask away.
 
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OP
jujubeebikes

jujubeebikes

New Member
Firstly hello and :welcome: to the forum

Any of the bikes you’ve linked would do a good job for you, the only reservation I’d have is wi the Ridgeback which has rim brakes rather than hydraulic discs like the other two. Discs will give better quick reliable stopping in all weathers. Those two have little to choose between them, they’ll both give you a similar experience. Both have sufficiently low gears for hills. I imagine that Balfes Bikes is online and you would be picking up the Boardman in store. You might feel better having a shop where you can run the bike back to in the event of a problem.
Don’t forget you’ll also need mudguards if using in all weathers and a good D lock if you have to lock it anywhere although if you can keep it off the road that would be preferable. You might want a helmet too. You’ll also need a pump and a spare inner tub. For clothing you could get some cycle specific shorts and top but be aware that after 7/8 mile ride you’re going to be a bit sweaty so a change of clothes is best :smile:.

Good luck. Anything else ask away.
Thank you so much Cycleops! I actually live next to a very friendlyBalfe's shop, so for both bikes I would be going in store. I will go for one with hydraulic brakes then.
I'm taking all your advice on board, I have a helmet and a pump, but will buy a spare inner tube a cycle clothes and mudguards! Many thanks! What a lovely community :smile:
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Firstly hello and :welcome: to the forum

Any of the bikes you’ve linked would do a good job for you, the only reservation I’d have is wi the Ridgeback which has rim brakes rather than hydraulic discs like the other two. Discs will give better quick reliable stopping in all weathers. Those two have little to choose between them, they’ll both give you a similar experience. Both have sufficiently low gears for hills. I imagine that Balfes Bikes is online and you would be picking up the Boardman in store. You might feel better having a shop where you can run the bike back to in the event of a problem.
Don’t forget you’ll also need mudguards if using in all weathers and a good D lock if you have to lock it anywhere although if you can keep it off the road that would be preferable. You might want a helmet too. You’ll also need a pump and a spare inner tub. For clothing you could get some cycle specific shorts and top but be aware that after 7/8 mile ride you’re going to be a bit sweaty so a change of clothes is best :smile:.

Good luck. Anything else ask away.
Balfe’s is a SE London LBS so could be local to the OP :okay:
Always good to support an independent over a chain if possible
 

si_c

Veteran
Location
Wirral
Out of those bikes I'd opt for the Trek - it's slightly cheaper, has broadly the same specification as the Boardman and the price means you can fit mudguards for the same price. Also the Trek is more adjustable if you find you want to change anything - that single piece stem and bars whilst trendy aren't really ideal.

You need mudguards for commuting - the number of times I've ridden to work in the morning only to find it unexpectedly raining in the evening. I'd also consider getting a rack and panniers for whatever you need to carry - by all means use a rucksack to start but you may find it irritates you.

Also don't worry too much about bike weight - once you add in yourself and any gear that you're carrying the difference is barely noticeable especially on the bike itself.
 
OP
jujubeebikes

jujubeebikes

New Member
Thank you!
Out of those bikes I'd opt for the Trek - it's slightly cheaper, has broadly the same specification as the Boardman and the price means you can fit mudguards for the same price. Also the Trek is more adjustable if you find you want to change anything - that single piece stem and bars whilst trendy aren't really ideal.

You need mudguards for commuting - the number of times I've ridden to work in the morning only to find it unexpectedly raining in the evening. I'd also consider getting a rack and panniers for whatever you need to carry - by all means use a rucksack to start but you may find it irritates you.

Also don't worry too much about bike weight - once you add in yourself and any gear that you're carrying the difference is barely noticeable especially on the bike itself.
Thank you! I think I am leaning towards the Trek as I have read really good reviews online, and it is in stock ;) I am planning on getting mudguards, and using my backpack. I've never ridden with panniers, I see it's a popular choice for commuters but I worry it would throw me off balance?
thanks xx :smile:
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
Don't worry too much about the weight of the bike, the gearing should compensate, but it would be useful to know the weight of the bikes you are considering as one might be a lot heavier than the others?

You sound a bit similar to one of my daughters. Cycled a little when young and at university, but decided to get a bike, to ride to the station (Streatham). This was only a mile or so, but saved a lot of time on her commute. The bike she bought for this was a Specialized hybrid, might have been an Alibi model. This had solid/airless tyres, so eliminated any puncture worries.
With her two boys getting older and more active, my daughter up graded to a gravel bike and fully intends doing the whole journey into the "city" when she has to attend face to face meetings.

But the solid tyres is something you may want to consider.
 
OP
jujubeebikes

jujubeebikes

New Member
Don't worry too much about the weight of the bike, the gearing should compensate, but it would be useful to know the weight of the bikes you are considering as one might be a lot heavier than the others?

You sound a bit similar to one of my daughters. Cycled a little when young and at university, but decided to get a bike, to ride to the station (Streatham). This was only a mile or so, but saved a lot of time on her commute. The bike she bought for this was a Specialized hybrid, might have been an Alibi model. This had solid/airless tyres, so eliminated any puncture worries.
With her two boys getting older and more active, my daughter up graded to a gravel bike and fully intends doing the whole journey into the "city" when she has to attend face to face meetings.

But the solid tyres is something you may want to consider.
haha I am also in Streatham! I hadn't thought about solid tyres, thank you, may be useful as with my old mountain bike (stolen last month) I got quite a few punctures.
I looked at specialized hybrids but none of them are in stock until December, so decided to therefore not include them in my list.
All the weights are similar - ranging between 11 and 13kg I think. I take this then doesn't really matter?
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
haha I am also in Streatham! I hadn't thought about solid tyres, thank you, may be useful as with my old mountain bike (stolen last month) I got quite a few punctures.
I looked at specialized hybrids but none of them are in stock until December, so decided to therefore not include them in my list.
All the weights are similar - ranging between 11 and 13kg I think. I take this then doesn't really matter?
Daughter is in Penwortham.

Weight of course matters a little, but 11-13kg is not bad. My race bikes are about 10kg, so not much lighter.

Happy commuting
 

YukonBoy

The Monch
Location
Inside my skull
All the weights are similar - ranging between 11 and 13kg I think. I take this then doesn't really matter?
Think of it this way. If you weigh 60kg then you plus bike is either 71kg or 73kg. That’s just under a 3% difference between them. Not worth worrying too much if you have the right gearing for going up hills.
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
The Trek looks a good choice to me.

It should be quite a bit easier to ride than your old mountain bike.

Mountain bike tyres tend to be soft, which may be why you were getting punctures riding on asphalt.

The Trek will probably come with basic tyres, which you could upgrade to something with more puncture protection.

Schwalbe Marathon Plus are about the best in this regard.

Some customers of my local bike shop like to have them fitted before they take the bike away, but you could try the Trek as it comes.

It may be you won't tend to get punctures, in which case you could put Marathons on when the original tyres wear out.

Solid tyres are a topic in themselves, but a pair will be £100+, which is a lot to add to a £450 bike.

The latest ones, called Tannus, do ride quite well.

But they are different to pneumatic tyres, and some riders don't get on with them.

They are not recommended for gravel tracks - they grip fine on asphalt but not so well on loose surfaces.

Almost certainly not a problem for your commute, but it may limit where you could safely take the bike at weekends.

I think you should view solid tyres as a last resort.
 
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