Good bike?

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by expectant commuter, 19 Jun 2008.

  1. expectant commuter

    expectant commuter New Member

    Dear All,

    I want to start cycling to work and I wish to know what I should buy. I have looked at town bikes in Halfords and I think they are okay. Please advise. Alternatively, I will welcome any recommendations. Ideally I do not wish to spend more than £150 but I am prepared to spend £200. The route to work it almost entirely flat so I will not really need something too sophisticated. I do intend to carry a laptop with me. More than likely I will use a pannier but I may use my laptop rucksack. Also, any advice regarding helmets will be welcome. Are there any sites bar Ebay which are good to buy second-hand bikes from?
  2. Night Train

    Night Train Maker of Things

    Greater Manchester
    If that is your budget then you may be better off going on Freecycle and asking for a free bike. I did this recently and got a horrible looking cruddy bike. However, on putting a bit of air in the tyres and adjusting the gears and brakes enough for a test ride it turned out to have a really good feel about it. I was looking to break it for parts to mock up a recumbent I am building but it is too good to waste. It will have a few new parts and a clean and it can be my cheap ride to save the more expensive MTB being nicked.

    If you come across a free bike that is half way decent then your £150-£200 would go a long way to making it a great bike for your commute.
  3. Hi expectant – good luck – but for that money you’ll basically get a pretty rubbish new bike – it will be clunky and not much fun to ride – My personal advice would be to spend a minimum of around £400 on a hybrid – but at that price the quality of the bike would double even if you upped the spend to £500.
    One option is to look online for bikes that are new but last years display model – you might find something that had an original selling price of £400 but with a big reduction. Think Evans are doing some sort of clearance at the moment.
    Second hand is another option
    Don’t know about Freecycle – but sounds like another option.
  4. PrettyboyTim

    PrettyboyTim New Member

    I would suggest doing a search on eBay for hybrid bikes within 10/15 miles of your postcode. Look out for the ones that are 'pick up only' as they're less likely to go for a high price.

    See if you can have a look at the bike before bidding if possible, just to check the fit. There's lots of fairly nice hybrids going for the < £150 range.
  5. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    You could ask at your local bike shop if they have any decent secondhand bikes going. There may even be a notice board there with people selling their old bike after having bought a new one from the lbs.
  6. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Auld Reekie
    To be honest I think you would be wasting your money if you tried to buy a new bike for less than £300. As you have a limited budget you would be much better off looking for something second hand. Also check and see if there is a bike recycling scheme in your area, something like this one, they are also good places to pick up cheep bikes.

    Be warned cycling is addictive and you will soon be wanting to get a better bike...
  7. You could pick up a secondhand Dawes Galaxy within your budget. (I always seem to recommend these to new commuters.) They're great bikes, and are capable of long tours, reasonably fast day rides and even mild off roading, as well as being more than equal to regular commuting.
  8. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Hi Expectant Commuter.

    Sorry, there's a lot of bullshit spoken about bikes here sometimes...

    £200 will buy this from Halfords:

    OK, not the last word in Cycle engineering or performance BUT... it's well made. Alu frame and Chro-mo forks are a good start. OK it's only 14 speed, but that's no big deal, some of us went everywhere on 3 speeds without problem. It will take mudguards and a rack so perfect for commuting.

    Here's another:,_Hybrid_Bike,_2008/4544/index.aspx

    Again, solid commuting Iron, not a Tour de France winner, but a get you to work/pub/shops bike.
    The AW site has a lot of options at £200. Take a look, keep asking questions.

  9. I don't know your size or location but here's a 23.5" Galaxy.
    And another one, only cheaper.
    A slightly smaller one.
    Hope this is helpful.:eek:
  10. FF is quite right, incidentally. You can buy a perfectly adequate new bike for a few hundred quid nowadays.
  11. PBancroft

    PBancroft Senior Member

    You can pick up a decent bike for your budget. However, my recommendation would be to speak with your LBS (local bike shop) and see what they recommend. They may have old stock, or like my LBS even sell second hand.

    There are additional costs involved which you need to be aware of.

    While you can buy a half decent bike for £200, panniers will cost extra. I have just spent £60 on a new set.

    Likewise, your helmet will probably cost about £30, and you must buy a new one.

    If you are new to cycling, I cannot recommend getting a copy of the Haynes Bike Book strongly enough - your local library may have this. You will probably also want a few spares (inner tubes, puncture repair kit, pump, lights, hi-viz clothing) - again, your LBS can advise you on this.

    Ignore the naysayers, Halfords is perfectly reasonable for entry level bikes, and you should get some half-decent advice.

    You will save money in the long run by cycling, but like most things you have to invest now to reap later. A modern bike is quite a complicated piece of technology and the price reflects this. Generally, the more you pay, the better you get.

  12. mmm…. Well FF ;) – £200 will get you a new bike – and it’s probably ten times better than the £69 one in the Argos catalogue… some of them look good – but to achieve that price on a new bike I’d be really suspicious – goanna be achieved through cuts in component and build quality – but, if you want to spend £200 on one now, fine – go ahead – as FF suggests – it’ll get you from A to B for a while, just be prepared to chuck it into land fill in a year or so – or spend £400 on something that will have an expedientially better build quality & components and last you for a good 10 to 15 years.
    I’m sorry – but if you’re serious about commuting and using the machine every day then spending £200 on a new bike is a false economy. How much are you spending on public or private transport at the moment?
  13. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    if you go to halfords, the carrera bikes are great for the money. avoid the apollo bikes though.

    the issue with halfords is not the bikes, but the monkeys that build them.
  14. goo_mason

    goo_mason Champion barbed-wire hurdler

    Leith, Edinburgh
    I spent £250 on a Carrera Vulcan from Halfords in my cycling ignorance two years ago, but it did 2 years and 4000 commuting miles no problems - it won best budget bike in something like 'What MTB' too.

    I've kept it and will still be using it as a potter-about bike and most likely as my winter commuter (don't want to ruin my SCR2 too soon !!).

    So - you can get a decent enough bike for under £300 - £400. Granted, it's a heavy beast but it's built to last. You might like to consider the Carrera Subway bikes from Halfords - I hear great things about those on here and in the cycling magazines.
  15. ianrauk

    ianrauk Tattooed Beat Messiah

    Atop a Ti
    Yep, Subway's are great bikes. Perfect for the commute.
    I have had one a couple of years, now it's in use as a hack bike, done near 2000 miles on it, never had a problem.

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