New bike. Advice, thoughts please.

Discussion in 'Bikes and Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by fudgepanda, 15 Aug 2012.

  1. fudgepanda

    fudgepanda Active Member

    Location:
    Manchester U.K.
    I'm closer now than ever since 1974 to getting a bicycle and could do with an opinion or two as to whether I'm on the right track. I've asked a couple of colleagues who are fairly serious cyclists, one of whom is a keen triathlete.

    Basically, I'm hurtling through middle age, not particularly fit, trying to give up smoking and have recently undegone a femoral arterial bypass. Advice so far is that for commuting (ultimately) 30 mile round trip, and riding on firm but non-mettled roads of the kind found in Delamere Forest in Cheshire a Hybrid would be the best bet and have found a couple of machines that fit the bill and seem to be pretty much in the middle price bracket, namely a Boardman Performance Hybrid Comp and a Bianchi Camaleonte 3. Both seem to be hovering around the £550 - £650 mark. Am I on the right lines? Are these reasonable bikes for mainly road riding with occasional forays onto firm, smooth off-road routes?

    Advice, opinions and condemnation gratefully received.
     
  2. MrJamie

    MrJamie Oaf on a Bike

    Personally I think a hybrid would be a decent choice, a good all-rounder bike that is fine on the roads, but also copes very well with trails. For the money you're mentioning youre not far off entry level cyclocross bikes, like the Boardman CX which might be worth at least looking at :smile: Its worth looking at the gear ratios too before you buy especially if youre rather on the heavy side or living in a particularly hilly area.

    A road bike may also be a good choice, but it depends about the offroad really, everythings a bit of a compromise - a road bike will be slightly faster on road, but quite a lot slower on loose/slippy offroad. On my hybrid I can keep a decent enough pace on the road (for non-racing/club purposes :smile:), but I can also blast around trails like a loon which id really miss if i only had a road bike.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    fudgepanda

    fudgepanda Active Member

    Location:
    Manchester U.K.
    I did consider a cyclo-cross bike but the reason I was veering towards the hybrid route was of the more relaxed riding position, although if you saw me on a bike the picture is anything but relaxed. My cycle experienced colleagues suggested that a straight bar machine would be more controllable for a novice especially if I'm riding slowly. I'm 5'8" with a fairly short inside leg measurement, but personally I put that down to huge genitals rather than short legs and I'm a smidgin under 12st. depending on what I had for breakfast. I do have a mtb kind of thing at work to ride so will try and build up some experience and fitness on that, although all of them are off the road atm because of the organisation awaiting a new cycle policy!?!

    C'est la vie.
     
  4. Cyclist33

    Cyclist33 Guest

    Location:
    Warrington
    I take my hybrid on roads with the occasional off road, it's fine, mine's a Cannondale Quick but pretty much the same sort of thing as the ones you linked to. You won't be short of a turn of speed on either the Boardman or Bianchi, not sure what tyre width their frame/fork would handle. I use Continental tyres that came with the bike which measure 25mm across (though they're rated as 32) so the same contact on the road as with some out and out road tyres. But heavier and touch wood, no punctures after 1000 miles. I have a pair of Schwalbe Smart Sams (40mm) to put on it if I want the more off road feel, although those tyres roll very well on the road and in fact don't really slow the bike down much. Saying that, on my last two rides I've had to pop through a 2 mile stretch of light trail on the Continentals and it wasn't particularly tricky. Might be different in the wet though!

    Basically, if I had stakcs of spare money, I'd have an out and out road bike, a roadish hybrid, an off roadish hybrid and a mountain bike. But since I don't, I find having two sets of opposing tyres a cheap and effective alternative.

    Only you can decide which particular model and size fits you, both physically and psychologically, so go and try them out before purchasing!

    Stu
     
  5. OP
    OP
    fudgepanda

    fudgepanda Active Member

    Location:
    Manchester U.K.
    Thanks for your replies Stu and Mr Jamie. I'm certain now that the hybrid route is the one for me. Although I know they're virtually all made in Taiwan, as an Italophile I'm leaning towards the Bianchi with the Boardman a close 2nd. The Bianchi will probably come from a local shop although Evans also sell them. Oddly enough, considering I haven't had a cycling history since 1974 (with the exception of a mtb at work) but I'm really getting pretty excited about getting my hands on one. That is until the first time I go for a long ride and think "The forecast is great for today and the sky is blue. I won't bother taking a jacket. What can possibly go wrong."
     
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