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I want a new bike

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by surfgurl, 7 Nov 2007.

  1. surfgurl

    surfgurl New Member

    Location:
    Somerset
    Can you lot help me out please?
    I am currently commuting on a £99 catalogue special with a dodgy full suspension setup and cheapo knobbly tyres.

    My commute is about 5 miles and includes:
    the road through town
    the fast road to the motorway and then along the A road (I currently ride this on the pavement where there is one due to the difference in speed between me and the car and lorries.)
    country lanes
    bridlepath (muddy grass track)

    I don't need full suspension, but I need some kind of sturdy tyres for the lanes and the bridlepath, but I would like to increase my speed on the road section so I can face cycling on the fast road.
    I would like to buy from Evans or Wiggle with a budget of about £300.

    What would you advise? I want to consign my catalogue special to the tip.
    Many thanks
     
  2. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    The Subway 1 and 2 always seem to get good recommendations from Halfords
     
  3. ChrisW

    ChrisW Senior Member

    Surfgirl,

    It's going to be difficult to find a bike that can do "muddy grass track" and help you increase your speed.

    You could try a hybrid with wider tyres than a road bike but skinnier than an MTB. But if ther has been some rain on your muddy grass track it may be a bit unstable.

    http://www.evanscycles.com/product.jsp?style=86693

    Other than that a good quality MTB but maybe without suspension. This would make the bike lighter an the handling a bit sturdier.

    http://www.evanscycles.com/product.jsp?style=86079

    Certainly, if you feel relaxed that a hybrid with 700x35 tyres can cope with the muddy/grassy bit then Evans have got a lot of hybrids on sale for less tha £300.

    http://www.evanscycles.com/dept.jsp?dept_id=3802

    One final thought. If you get a bike without susoension, you can get a suspension seatpost which will add some comfort.

    http://www.evanscycles.com/product.jsp?style=12293

    Best of luck.

    Chris
     
  4. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK
    I'm not up on individual models or makes much, but you should easily get something suitable for that price, having had a quick look at the Evans website. Sounds like you need to look at a 'hybrid', which combines the strength of an MTB with the slicker tyres and stiffer frame of a road type bike... Tyres can be sturdy without being knobbly, so ditch the knobbles, they will be slowing you down on the tarmac, and making you sound like a tractor...:biggrin:

    (An aside. I wish someone would invent a tyre that is skinny on the road, but can be inflated at the flick of a switch, to cope better with gravelly paths... )

    I'd suggest, if you haven't thought of it, getting one with mudguards and a rack, to make life cleaner and easier to carry stuff.

    Finally, before you dump the old bike at the tip, you might like to find out if there is a local bike recycling scheme, or if a charity shop will take it. It may be a cheapo special, but someone might be very glad to have it.
     
  5. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK
    Yeah, I think I've probably not taken as much notice of the grass track as I should, good point Chris. I suppose, if one tyre can't cope with it all, the best bet is to go for something suitable for the majority of the route and resign yoourself to occasionally having to walk the muddy bit...

    My winter hack is an MTB frame with Big Apple tyres - still almost slick, but wide. I suspect it would cope with most things, but I haven't actually tried it off road...
     
  6. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    £99!

    yikes, one dreads to imagine that

    cut out the grassy/muddy bit, it'd likely be quicker to go further on road to get to the same place, and the tarmac stays good all year round, grassy and mud tend to go a bit horrid in winter
     
  7. PrettyboyTim

    PrettyboyTim New Member

    Location:
    Brighton
    I have this one, which is £200, but you may well want to add mudguards to it. Not particularly light, but I enjoy riding it. My commute is entirely through London, so no country lanes or muddy paths to deal with.

    The wheels are 700x40c, so a bit fatter than road bikes and a lot of hybrids, but without knobbles.
     
  8. Bokonon

    Bokonon Über Member

    700x~32c knobbly (cyclocross?) tyres pumped up hard on a hybrid shouldn't give too much resistance on tarmac and, with confidence, will be fine on a muddy path.
     
  9. beckc

    beckc New Member

    Location:
    beccles
    I recommend a cyclocross bike for what you are doing. Light, strong with good brakes. Het on e-bay and you should get something good for about £300. My Trek XO1 cost £311. I would have thought for what you are doing Michelin Jets might be the perfect tyre - 30 x 700.

    Good luck - hope you get something good.
     
  10. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    I hate compromising road performance for the odd bit of off road
     
  11. Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Honky

    Location:
    North Somerset
  12. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Location:
    Guildford / London
    I'm with you there Tynan, I'd rather buy an all out roadbike and mix it up with the traffic.
     
  13. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Location:
    Guildford / London
    The Subway is a pretty decent ride actually, having had a bit of a blast on a friend's.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    surfgurl

    surfgurl New Member

    Location:
    Somerset
    Wow! Thank you for all the replies. I shall research them all this evening and I will let you know my final decision.

    Cheers!
     
  15. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    Location:
    York
    My son has a Scott Sub 30, and it's been pretty good. I see Evans is now selling the Sub 20, which is the next model up for the same price.

    But you might well find that some of the women specific bikes that others have mentioned fit better.

    I think you should try and get a bike from Evans or a local shop rather than from Wiggle, so you can try it for size. Getting a bike mail order is a big risk unless you are ultra confident that what you are ordering is really going to fit.