Help with bike selection

arghill

Active Member
Hi All,

Hoping some of you kind souls can help steer me in the right direction on a bike purchase…

I used to ride regularly to work on a Saracen, roughly 2-3 miles each way which I did rain or shine for several years. Then the frame broke, my cycling has been on hiatus and I have been walking instead.

I now want to get a replacement to ride weekends mainly to get some fitness back and shed a few pounds.

I am looking for a new bike to use on canal paths, b roads and a roads. I am around 5"10, 16.5 stone!
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The LBS has the following which catch my eye.
  • Ridgeback 2010 MX3 249gbp
  • Kona Lanai 2010 309gbp
  • Marin Shoreline 2010 349gbp
  • Ridgeback 2010 MX4 399gbp < main difference from mx3 is disk brakes - is that worth 150?
We have another shop (which I have yet to visit) which supplies Gt, Giant, M-trax, Trek, Diamondback and there is also a local Halfords!

With whatever bike I get I will switch the tyres over to something thinner.

I have an old road bike which I will renovate once I have lost some weight so am looking for a solid MTB for the time being.


I have noticed with the product ranges the main difference seems to be components with the frame staying the same, is there much benefit to the more expensive groupsets apart from a small weight loss ?


Thanks for any input.
 

MJN

New Member
Location
Bristol
Hi Arghill (and welcome!),

Have you looked at the Specialized Crosstrail? I've got one and, as a hybrid, can highly recommend it. I've got the 'Sport' but its qualities are shared throughout the range. I haven't ridden the other bikes you've listed so it would be unfair of me to make a relative assessment, however in absolute terms and personal recommendation I would offer up the Crosstrail as worthy of consideration (the Sport in particular if you can stretch to £450).

With whatever bike I get I will switch the tyres over to something thinner.

A hybrid would, or ought to, come with 'semi-slicks' - a smooth central section for low(er) rolling resistance but with some grip on the edges for off (the) road. Do bear this in mind given the non-zero cost of replacing them.

I have an old road bike which I will renovate once I have lost some weight so am looking for a solid MTB for the time being.
Do you really need the MTB given your planned usage (road, towpaths)?

(If you did get an MTB then, yes, you might want to ditch the tyres given the wasted effort with those knobblies)

I have noticed with the product ranges the main difference seems to be components with the frame staying the same, is there much benefit to the more expensive groupsets apart from a small weight loss ?
There may be some longevity (strength-related) benefits, and in some cases performance too. Some aspect of component variation is very much a marketing necessity to allow a range to cover a wider target audience with ease (hence why the frames tend to stay the same). I wouldn't get too hung up on the subtle differences between components from different manufacturers at the same price point as even though they are obviously the easiest way to differentiate between two offerings on paper they amount to very little given that you rarely get something for nothing (a 'better' derailleur has to be offset somewhere, however that's not to say there is no room for providing an intelligent mix). The real differences between the bikes at a given price point are more down to the bike as a whole and how it (frame geometry in particular) feels to you which is why seeing them in the flesh can be so beneficial. Ideally you would ride them too but having been out of the saddle, as it were, for a while they may all either feel the same or 'not quite the same as my old bike' so I wouldn't stress too much about it!

Mathew


 
OP
arghill

arghill

Active Member
A hybrid would, or ought to, come with 'semi-slicks' - a smooth central section for low(er) rolling resistance but with some grip on the edges for off (the) road. Do bear this in mind given the non-zero cost of replacing them.
Do you really need the MTB given your planned usage (road, towpaths)?
The main reason for heading in the MTB direction is I like having the front end shocks. Good point about the cost benefit on the tyres though.

There may be some longevity (strength-related) benefits, and in some cases performance too. Some aspect of component variation is very much a marketing necessity to allow a range to cover a wider target audience with ease (hence why the frames tend to stay the same). I wouldn't get too hung up on the subtle differences between components from different manufacturers at the same price point as even though they are obviously the easiest way to differentiate between two offerings on paper they amount to very little given that you rarely get something for nothing (a 'better' derailleur has to be offset somewhere, however that's not to say there is no room for providing an intelligent mix). The
real differences between the bikes at a given price point are more down to the bike as a whole and how it (frame geometry in particular) feels to you which is why seeing them in the flesh can be so beneficial. Ideally you would ride them too but having been out of the saddle, as it were, for a while they may all either feel the same or 'not quite the same as my old bike' so I wouldn't stress too much about it!

The biggest practical difference I can see going up some of the price points is the addition of disk brakes.


I tried to find out the difference in weight for having front suspension comparing a couple bikes on Evans cycles, however their weight figures seem wrong so it didn't work :?
Specialized Crosstrail 2010 Hybrid Bike - Weight for Medium Version - 30lb 2oz / 13.66kg
Specialized Hardrock Disc 2010 Mountain Bike - Weight for Medium Version - 30lb 7oz / 13.18kg
 

MJN

New Member
Location
Bristol

The main reason for heading in the MTB direction is I like having the front end shocks. Good point about the cost benefit on the tyres though.

Many hybrids do come with front shocks... (the Crosstrail included! ;))

You might want to consider those with a lockout function as, in theory at least, you can lock the shocks out on smooth road for maximum efficiency. In practice, however, many (I hesitate to say 'most' as I really don't know) simply leave them unlocked (sprung) all the time. This feature can be another differential factor across the range (e.g. lockout is a feature of the Crosstrail Sport over the standard model).

The biggest practical difference I can see going up some of the price points is the addition of disk brakes.
That doesn't surprise me. Even if the component cost doesn't vary marketing rules will necessitate it - disk brakes are an 'upgrade' that one would be expected to pay extra for. All that said, I'm not a particular fan and remain unconvinced that they provide any benefit over v-brakes at this level.


I tried to find out the difference in weight for having front suspension comparing a couple bikes on Evans cycles, however their weight figures seem wrong so it didn't work :?
Specialized Crosstrail 2010 Hybrid Bike - Weight for Medium Version - 30lb 2oz / 13.66kg
Specialized Hardrock Disc 2010 Mountain Bike - Weight for Medium Version - 30lb 7oz / 13.18kg
Those weights look okay to me. Are you missing the fact that both these have front suspension?

Mathew

P.S. If you're considering Evans than you can get 10% off with the code 'DAIRYLEA' (not sure if it works in-store)
 

rajthakur090

New Member
Even I've been looking for some bikes all this time....Came across this fanpage called "trackandtrail" on Facebook where I could actually see some of the Road bikes...an MTB...and some Hybrid bikes which are a combination of both..as in Road as well as MTB....could see some bikes within my price range....have thought of buying "Bianchi Camaleonte 1 (V-Brake)"...!!! Hope this might help.....
 
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