New bike - Advice please!

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by KitsuneAndy, 10 Sep 2007.

  1. KitsuneAndy

    KitsuneAndy New Member

    Well, when I lived back home in Northumberland I was an avid cyclist. Was always out and about on my bike and had some lovely woodland area's to ride in. Think I had some form of Ridgeback, but god knows what model it was. Just remember it being a fairly lightweight mountain bike...

    Anyway, haven't really been cycling for years and looking at getting back into it. I ideally want something that's lightweight as I will be commuting to work on it as well as riding for pleasure.

    I'm just torn between getting a lightweight MTB or a Hybrid. (Helpfully most websites don't list the weight of the bikes making it a tad harder).

    My budget is £300 - £400.

    Popped into a local cycle shop today and they suggested a Ridgeback Velocity as a Hybrid. Which was definitely nice and light, but not sure how it'll handle off-road as the wheels did look a little thin?

    I've had a look at the Trek 4300 which is the same price as the Velocity, but no idea how they compare in weight.

    Has anyone got any other suggestions? Or any advice to offer?

  2. oxbob

    oxbob New Member

    the trek weighs 12.8kg/28.4lbs,no idea on ridgeback weight, its not even given on their website
  3. OP

    KitsuneAndy New Member

    Just managed to find the weight of the Trek on the Which? website. It also lists the Ridgeback Speed as 13kg, but to be honest, no idea if that's light or not... Will have to go and get some weights to check :blush:
  4. I commute on a Velocity and hired a Trek hybrid on tour, I'm not sure of the model though. IMHO the velocity is the nicer, lighter bike and handles better. I actually think the tyres are a little wide 37C's. I've only had it occasionally off road and its coped fine. I did find the quill stem a little noisy and needs occasional tightening, it may be because of riding style , I pull up on the bars.
  5. longers

    longers Veteran

    For that money you could look at a Specialised Sirrus. It's one of my bikes and has proved excellent for me - commuting, light off road duties, toured with it and done a 200k on it plus many rides of 100k plus. Love it :blush:.

    I think choice of tyres over wheels will make a bigger difference to it's capabilities.
  6. MarkF

    MarkF Legendary Member

    Hi Andy, I can't help you with the model but I would buy the hybrid.

    I blunderd back into cycling at 40+ and without any advice ended up with first a Galaxy, then a MTB and finally a hybrid. The hybrid got used 90% of the time, it was a Dawes Discovery with thinish tyres and it coped with the woods (if dry:smile:) the towpath which varied between reasonably surfaced to very rocky and also took me on 50 mile+ rides easily.

    I think it your riding is specifically targeted or you are young then a Hybrid will fill morem of your requirements than a MTB will, just IMO.
  7. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    It's interesting that you make the comparison between hybrids and MTBs, because there's one thing I've noticed about hybrids which I can't really figure out why it's the case - they are normally all fairly cheap/low-end. Why can you not get a 'high-end' hybrid - e.g. a light bike with fairly thin tyres but sturdy enough to go on gravelly canal towpaths, etc., lightweight, low-travel, forks - but all good quality components all round?! They just don't exist. It's as if the manufacturers know that 90% of the market for hybrids is people who are just taking up cycling/beginners/people who don't know whether they'll like it or not.
  8. 515mm

    515mm Well-Known Member

    Did 4 months commuting on a rigid (no suspension at all) MTB but I invested in narrow-ish slick road tyres for it which made my journey much faster, less tiring and much more comfortable due to the smooth rolling nature of the Continental Sport Contact tyres. At the weekends I would swap to off-road knobblies for rides in the local woods etc.

    You should be able to find plenty of cut-price MTBs about now as the season is over and shops have to make way for new stock. I used an old Cannondale but Mrs 515mm bought a Kona and adores it - she's quicker than me through the twisty section of our favourite woodland trail. (Her Kona Fire Mountain turns on a sixpence!)
  9. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Miserable Old Bar Steward

    I wouldn't exactly call this cheap!
  10. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    well, they're calling it a hybrid but it's not technically a hybrid Elmer is it, it's a road bike.
  11. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    S of Kendal
    You're right they're not very common. But there are plenty of 26 inch wheeled flat bared tourers around (26 inch Hewitt Cheviot) which would do the job perfectly.

    And although, some people do opt for 'road' suspension forks to go with these, most people feel rigid forks offer the best compromise, especially as high quality suspension road forks are few and far between.

    I've even seen a dropped bar, suspension forked, bike made by Dave Yates on some of the 'Classic' sportives in Belgium and France. The advantage of it was difficult to see, as on the Paris Roubaix the rider appeared no less 'beat up' than the rest of us on race bikes and he had had seven pinch flats to our none.
  12. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Miserable Old Bar Steward

    Twue !
  13. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    Do you get any 'high quality road suspension forks'? I don't think I've ever seen any. And no those ones with little rubberry inserts in the middle don't count.
  14. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    S of Kendal
    Well, the guys with them were convinced they were 'high quallity' (enough to base a custom made bike around them) but, as I said, they were suffering more than I was, so it's questionable quite how good they were!

    I think those with 700c wheels were using the RST with 30mm of travel, which I would guess would be rubber boingies. But with disk brakes you could fit 26 or 700c to any suspension fork.

    But why would you bother? For canal use and forest roads, I think a decent sized 26 inch tyre at 40psi on a rigid fork will be just as comfortable as a 700c suspension fork with a 38c tyre at 80 psi. (or any cheap, <£200, mtb fork).
  15. MarkF

    MarkF Legendary Member

    Apologies, I got my last point puddled mup and my spelling was atrocious too. I meant unless you were into a specific cycling category or were also young then the hybrid would be better, IMO.

    I am lot fitter than I was but am unlikely to take up hard core mtb's at nearly 46:biggrin: Nor am I likely to do many long tours, what with working for myself and having 3 sprogs. I see that hybrids on some forums seem to be looked down upon, but for a middle aged returnee like myself they make real sense. Without the hybrid option cycling would have probably been yet another short-lived hobby.

    Bonj, I don't know why they are not better specced, I am sure there is a market and I'll be looking to spend when my insurance money comes in;)
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