New commuter bike


i have decided to get back into commuting. i am still way over weight (111kg at 5' 8") and if i don't do it now I won't...

I normally carry 2 panniers clothes and lunch etc and the roads around here are pretty dire..

The journey 3 miles but has 2 big hills each way..

I am looking for suggestions as to what to get and what budget I can get away with. I don't know whether to go for a mountain bike and slick it up - are the 26" wheels stronger will 700c be ok? 29er?
Not sure whether i want discs or not, a colleague is going through blocks at an alarming rate at the mo due to the weather...

budget would like to come in under £500 but i am open to advice..



Personally i would go for a hybrid
I use one for most of my commute and carry panniers rack bag and its fitted with full mudguards.
I think you would benefit more than on a mtb.
Should get a descent one for your budget have a look at your local bike shop that way you can sit on them and see whats best for you.

Good luck


will 700s be strong enough? would they have rim or disc brakes? most i have seen have rim brakes..
I've commuted on an mtb before and didn't find it as comfortable as the hybrid I use now. I used panniers for several years and know many people prefer them, but nowadays have a backpack which deliberately stops me carrying as much as I used to.


Forum Stalwart (won't take the hint and leave...)
11Kg is not that big compared to what some people around here have been, so if you fancy it, an aluminium road bike with 700c wheels would be adequate.

However if you are carrying 2 panniers, I'd recommend something more robust, particularly on the wheels side.

Look at a hybrid or touring bike, with 25, or more sensibly 28mm tyres. Avoid mountain bikes and suspension unless you fancy hitting the forest trails or canal towpaths during the weekend.

£500 is a good budget and should get you a good quality bike. Don't be afraid of putting some of that budget to equipment - lights, lock, pedals, etc.


Forum Stalwart (won't take the hint and leave...)
Big advantage of discs is stopping power in the wet and mud, and are great use in serious downhill work. On a commuter bike they are over-engineered.
Rim discs will be plenty man-enough for the task.


Well-Known Member
I weigh 17 stone and cycle anywhere between 4,000-6,000 miles annually. You'll be absolutely fine on 700c wheels but do try and get some decent ones. As for tyres I run 23mm on the front and 25mm on the back and it's perfectly comfortable.

Ideally I should be around 15 stone but my body seems to think otherwise. It keeps forcing frozen yoghurt and dark chocolate down my throat after each ride...

Don't bother with mountain bikes, unless you regularly go completely off road (I'm talking muck, branches, bricks, dropoffs etc) you won't need suspension or disc brakes. Don't look at a "super wide comfortable gel saddle" as it'll be anything but comfortable. Get a Charge Spoon or similar.

Your arse will hurt like hell for a week or so but eventually it'll go away. After a month of commuting you'll be finding longer ways to get to work, because 3 miles will only just see you warmed up....
(cough)Cyclocross bike(cough) :smile:

No, I haven't got one but kinda wish had as I've only got space/budget for one machine at present and, whilst perfectly happy with the performance of my Tifosi, sometimes wish I had a CC bike for the odd bit of off-road/'cycleway' use mine gets.
As for 700c's being tough enough, the Shimano R500's on mine have taken everything I've thrown at them, including a C2C with luggage, several sportives and about 7-8000 commuter miles and they're still damn near true (only reason they're not 'true' true is 'cos I'm too tight to get 'em done :blush:). Oh, I'm 6ft 5in tall and weigh (currently) 98kg.
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