Looking for advice on a multi use bike.

chrismisterx

Well-Known Member
Location
North Shields
Hi all as you may have noticed on my other posts new to cycling and have at the moment a banged up super cheap bike to learn on.

Anyway to the point of this post, my wife last night has said she wants us to get a couple of new bikes for our 20th wedding anniversary, so i thought I would post here for some advise so we can start saving up and looking for the right bikes.

So after a bit of reading it seems it would be best if we had a bike that was a jack of all trades, following is the list of things we hope to do on our bikes, since we don't own a car or drive we have to be able to:-

1: Do the shopping / get to work! Money saved not using public transport can then be spent back into the bikes.

2: Take the dogs out. We have 2 small dogs and hope to be able to ride out to different more fun places for the dogs to play, something which is very important for my wife, maybe visit wooded areas etc.

3: camping trips over a weekend.

4: day trips on the bike.

5: maybe in the future long distance multi night trips, something my wife is a little unsure off atm due to not knowing if our fitness levels could handle it.

Those 5 above is pretty much what me and my wife would do together but as an extra thing I was going to take backpacking / hiking up with my friend but I read last night about bikepacking, so that is something that interests me a great deal, going out and wild camping sounds a ton of fun.

We have a small house and space is limited, so is budget is there a bike that could cover all these interests? I would rather buy 1 bike to use for everything rather than 2 bikes?

what kind of bike do I need and extra equipment, would I need a trailer for the 2 dogs and shopping? ( dogs are jackawawa's so very small ) or would side bags and a basket be enough?

Should I look for a MTB / Touring Bike / hybrid... it seems the choices are endless.

is it safe to use a backpack / rucksack when riding?

Lastly I ask my wife what the most important thing for her is and she said a comfortable ride and being able to enjoy the scenic routes, speed isn't important, she said she wants to relax and take it easy.

Sorry for another long post, hopefully you guys and girls cant point me in the right direction of a suitable bike for our needs on a modest budget for 2 bikes.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Budget?
Flat bars or drops?

I'd say, unless doing proper rough off road, avoid suspension forks (i.e. MTB or suspension hybrid)

Personally I don't like to use a backpack for more than about 10 minutes, uncomfortable, sweaty back, slight risk to spine in case of fall), so rack and panniers for me
 
OP
chrismisterx

chrismisterx

Well-Known Member
Location
North Shields
Budget?
Flat bars or drops?

I'd say, unless doing proper rough off road, avoid suspension forks (i.e. MTB or suspension hybrid)

Personally I don't like to use a backpack for more than about 10 minutes, uncomfortable, sweaty back, slight risk to spine in case of fall), so rack and panniers for me
£300 - £500 per bike if at all possible, entry level really. Cheaper the better,but not so cheap the bike is worthless if you know what I mean, my wifes friend said we should go to halfords as they have bikes around £200 that are fine but i have read bad reports about the shop and cheap bikes.

I would think it would be woodland trails and dirt paths mainly, but some wild camping thrown in and unsure how that would go, never done wild camping before so at little unsure how rough it would get, would mainly be the north of England upto the Scottish borders while we learn, after that further a field.

My wife doesn't want "racer" handle bars as she calls them, I have never used them before, so don't think it matters for me??

Would buying 2 bikes the same for the ability to have the same spares be worth while, my wife likes the idea of matching bikes.
 
Last edited:

MachersMan

Active Member
If you're planning longer distances definitely consider drop bars as they give you more hand positions so you can regularly change grip to avoid numbness, tingling and stiffness.

There's lots of options and 'adventure bikes' is a good place to start. Remember that kitting two bikes out for camping can get expensive so plan carefully.
 
OP
chrismisterx

chrismisterx

Well-Known Member
Location
North Shields
If you're planning longer distances definitely consider drop bars as they give you more hand positions so you can regularly change grip to avoid numbness, tingling and stiffness.

There's lots of options and 'adventure bikes' is a good place to start. Remember that kitting two bikes out for camping can get expensive so plan carefully.
I see I was wondering what some of the advantages of drop bars where and the main reason for this post is to avoid mistakes as a quick google showed things really can get expensive quick.

quick question whats the difference between a touring bike and adventure bike, plus the word hybrid seems confusing
 

MachersMan

Active Member
A touring bike will be better suited and geared for the road whereas an adventure bike would have off road capabilities. I'm not an expert so somebody will correct me if I'm wrong. Hybrids are designed for general purpose use over different terrains but not full mountain bikes.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
£750 gets you into the excellent Ridgeback touring range. Anything for £500 is liable to need another ton on guards and carriers etc to make it practical. You want a Smart Car, a Focus, and a Range Rover, all rolled into one, and you want to pay ten year old Corsa money for it - that's a tall order.

If your budget is definitely fixed at £500 I'd either go second hand, or bide my time, keep an eye on Wiggle, Evans, Paul's Cycles websites in the hope of something suitable from last year's model range turning up cheap, as sometimes happens,
 

Geoffers

Regular
Location
Lancs UK
Have a look at Decathlon and their range of bikes. They're pretty cheap but have a solid reputation for being a lot of bike for the money. There are a few choices for under £500.
 

MachersMan

Active Member
ukbikesdepot have got some good offers on Ridgebacks. The Expedition looks a lot of bike for the price and has flat bars.
 

Salar

A fish out of water
Location
Gorllewin Cymru
The cheapest budget touring bikes around are I think the Roux Etape 150, not sure if it's discontinued now , but have seen them for £350.00

Another one, Adventure Flat White tourer for approx £400.0 or so, not sure about the quality of these though. Seen them for sale once in Cardiff.

But you do get what you pay for.

If you know someone who is knowledgeable about bikes why not try secondhand.
 
Hi all as you may have noticed on my other posts new to cycling and have at the moment a banged up super cheap bike to learn on.

Anyway to the point of this post, my wife last night has said she wants us to get a couple of new bikes for our 20th wedding anniversary, so i thought I would post here for some advise so we can start saving up and looking for the right bikes.

So after a bit of reading it seems it would be best if we had a bike that was a jack of all trades, following is the list of things we hope to do on our bikes, since we don't own a car or drive we have to be able to:-

1: Do the shopping / get to work! Money saved not using public transport can then be spent back into the bikes.

2: Take the dogs out. We have 2 small dogs and hope to be able to ride out to different more fun places for the dogs to play, something which is very important for my wife, maybe visit wooded areas etc.

3: camping trips over a weekend.

4: day trips on the bike.

5: maybe in the future long distance multi night trips, something my wife is a little unsure off atm due to not knowing if our fitness levels could handle it.

Those 5 above is pretty much what me and my wife would do together but as an extra thing I was going to take backpacking / hiking up with my friend but I read last night about bikepacking, so that is something that interests me a great deal, going out and wild camping sounds a ton of fun.

We have a small house and space is limited, so is budget is there a bike that could cover all these interests? I would rather buy 1 bike to use for everything rather than 2 bikes?

what kind of bike do I need and extra equipment, would I need a trailer for the 2 dogs and shopping? ( dogs are jackawawa's so very small ) or would side bags and a basket be enough?

Should I look for a MTB / Touring Bike / hybrid... it seems the choices are endless.

is it safe to use a backpack / rucksack when riding?

Lastly I ask my wife what the most important thing for her is and she said a comfortable ride and being able to enjoy the scenic routes, speed isn't important, she said she wants to relax and take it easy.

Sorry for another long post, hopefully you guys and girls cant point me in the right direction of a suitable bike for our needs on a modest budget for 2 bikes.
Other than the Bikepacking, there's no reason why the bike you have can't do any of that. And unless the bikepacking is off-road, then what you have will work too - so long as it is in good mechanical order!

I get that you want to get "new" bikes to mark the occasion, but....... there's a lot of extra costs involved in what you want to do;
Commuting will require bags /panniers, as will shopping and camping.
Transporting the dogs comfortably and safely will require a trailer. (You could use a basket, but I'd be wary).
Camping will require camping gear. Do you have it? otherwise that's a whole new level of expense.

Your enthusiasm is very clear!
Given a limited budget and a lack of storage space, I'd suggest slowing down and focusing on learning about what you have, what you're happy with, what you're not. Then later on, you can make decisions based on what you know, rather than what you feel right now.

A bicycle mechanic course for one of you, a gps navigation course for another, exchanging gifts of tools/panniers/helmets (if ye want them), or a supported tour in a romantic location (The Rhine/The Danube) might all be inspiring and valuable Anniversary gifts instead of new bikes.

To answer your specific questions, I'd go second hand, look for old 1990's Mountainbikes. They're plentiful, cheap, easy to maintain, strong as oxen and adaptable for just about every use. They're also less likely to be stolen than a new bike. You can pick one up for 30 or 40 quid - leaving a lot of budget over for adding extras like trailers, rack, panniers etc.

Backpack? Don't recommend it. A pannier on a rack is better, in my opinion. Aldi/Lidl do cheap ones. I use them every day for commuting. I get about a year out of a bag.

Oh! And listen to your wife a comfortable ride and being able to enjoy the scenic routes, speed isn't important, she said she wants to relax and take it easy.

Best of luck!
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
For all day touring, people do it on flats, usually with some bar ends to give alternative hand positions, or clip on aerobars for headwinds. Euro-trekking bikes usually have butterfly style trekking bars that offer a selection of grip positions but maintain MTB/hybrid flat bar controls. For your budget you may get more bike from a euro style trekking bike. The advantage of keeping all of the controls MTB style is quite high. If you can fit some decent disk brakes into the budget they are worthwhile for your riding. Dawes Karakum is a V brake style.

I use a flatbed trailer, the Carry Freedom Y frame large (20" wheels). You can attach anything to the flatbed including dog baskets. I do big shops using a green recycle bin lashed on, and take big bags/timers straight onto the flatbed. The mounting position and hardware is well thought out, it works best with solid axle but can work with quick release axle.
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
The "do it all bike", the holy grail of cycling!
But you can do most of that on any bike if you're prepared to accept some compromises.
Given your budget I'd be tempted to go used if you know what you're buying. A proper tourer with fittings for panniers would be a good choice. Bike packing could also be considered if you can travel light.
Matching bikes are a bit naff so I should give that one a miss. Essentials would include plenty of gears and bigger tyres for comfort. Most tourists would choose drop bars or butterflys, most hand positions for comfort.

This is a classic tourer which you can pick up for reasonable money;

https://www.gumtree.com/p/for-sale/details-about-classic-british-vintage-fw-evans-touring-bike-in-original-condition-med-size/1317863550
 
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