First bike, need something cheap and reliable

Kenny Pride

Member
Hi all...

I've never had a full size bike before, only rode a bmx, but have started doing food deliveries (just at weekends) on my mate's Bianchi Camaleonte hybrib type affair.

I need to get my own (second hand) bike for the deliveries, but have no clue where to start. I don't even know what brands are good. The Bianchi is nice but too expensive (£500-£600 I think). I'm so wary of it getting nicked, I need something cheaper, not esp. desireable to theives, but still reliable. I ride in a pretty flat area of London, I tend to use all 8 gears via the middle chainring - occasionaly I'll swap to the larger chainring for downhill. It has calliper brakes which are fine. (I don't knowingly go out in the rain.)

I do hate the thin tyres on the Bianchi, I'm used to big chunky things that will get me up and down steps without a clang. I'm also not jazzed on the height of the crossbar. I'm 5'8" and the Bianchi frame is 21" which I think is about right for riding, but constantly getting on and off with a backpack full of food is cumbersome, esp with what feels to me like ridiculously large wheels, it's like trying to get on a frikkin penny farthing. :biggrin:

So I wonder if something more mountain bike-ish would suit me better? I really don't know where to start. I look on Gumtree/eBay but don't even know what I'm looking at or how much I should be spending. :biggrin: Any help appreciated!
 

Gunk

Veteran
Location
Oxford
For value for money just look out for a clean used Hybrid like a Carrera or Ridgeback, or a mountain bike with no rear suspension and 26” wheels. Both will available on Gumtree for around £150 max.
 

Spiderweb

Not So Special One
Location
North Yorkshire
As above, a Carerra would be cheap and cheerful and serve you well. A new Carerra Subway will set you back £300. You should be able to get a second hand one much cheaper with V-Brakes. Pre Covid you could get one for under £100, they might be a bit more expensive now?
Might be worth considering a pannier rack if you are struggling with a backpack? The Subway has mounting points for one too.
https://www.halfords.com/bikes/hybr...ike-2020---grey---s-m-l-xl-frames-346126.html
 

Gunk

Veteran
Location
Oxford

Gunk

Veteran
Location
Oxford
Why no rear suspension? Is front suspension a good option?
Unnecessary weight and added complexity, most will have front suspension though.
 
OP
Kenny Pride

Kenny Pride

Member
I’d say go back to the old skool rigid frame MTBs of the nineties. They had better quality components than the modern cheap hybrids like the Carrera and you can find one for £150 or less plus they are cool :becool:. Try to find one that’s been looked after and fitted with slicks.
https://cyclingtips.com/2018/10/the...riding-mountain-bikes-from-the-good-old-days/
If there's one thing I'm partial to it's anything old school. :biggrin: Would the weight of the frame of older bikes not be an issue, or is it all much the same in this price range?

Also, regarding slicks, what would be a good tyre that's less prone to puncture but still have grip/speed for street riding?
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
Not really, they used a variety of tubing some even coming in Reynolds 531, 501 being a wee bit heavier. Most will be straight chromolly. You won’t of course have the extra weight of suspension fork if you go for one of those.
Regards tyres Schwalbe Marathons get good press here and come in various flavours, the standard should be fine but if you want ultimate bulletproofability go for the Plus, but they’re absolute barstewards to get on.
 
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OP
Kenny Pride

Kenny Pride

Member
Thanks for all the info so far, this is a great help.

Regarding frame size for a mountain bike, at 5'8" should I still be looking for a 20-21" frame. Also some bikes (like the Giant Revel that was shown above) are listed just as S M or L frame size - which size would best suit me?
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
MTB frames aren’t equivalent in size to road bikes due to the higher BB, so a 20/21“ frame would be large.
Can't say for definite but you’d probably need a 18/19” or a S/M.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Thanks for all the info so far, this is a great help.

Regarding frame size for a mountain bike, at 5'8" should I still be looking for a 20-21" frame. Also some bikes (like the Giant Revel that was shown above) are listed just as S M or L frame size - which size would best suit me?
Most manufacturers (At least of modern bikes) give a size guide, if you’re in between, go smaller
 
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