Thoughts/impressions on Dawes Discovery 201

Chief Broom

Über Member
I'll state straightaway im very much a newbie! and if someone's looking for proper advice should ask the many experts on here or at least an adult :laugh:
My criteria for buying a bike centred around simplicity.....no disc brakes, no carbon, single chain ring were the main points. Light..ish, cheap..ish and no energy sapping wide tyres. The 201 fitted the bill and after a fair few 100 miles i can say..i love it! ^_^ Longevity and quality of components remains to be seen but can imagine theyre on par. I do like to like a vehicle whether car/motorcycle or bike and that has qualities that endear....the 201 in my eyes has them. For sure theres lots of hybrids bikes that will beat it in some departments but the overall package of the 201 works for me. I really like the 8 speed single chain ring transmission! For a newbie like myself i can select without fumbling and changing is clean with just the occasional hesitation probably because im not spinning fast enough. There's mounting points for rack/mudguards and bolt ready holes for water bottles. The adjustable handlebar wasn't liked by one reviewer but having a bad back i can fine tune my riding position to suit so alls good. The saddle does make my r's hurt after 20miles :laugh: but that just might be a newbie's wimpiness! So in conclusion theres nothing i dont like and most importantly im really enjoying riding it! ^_^ Review: Dawes Discovery 201 2020 | road.cc

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All uphill

I didn't recognise you but I knew your bike
Location
Somerset
If it works for you and gets you out cycling then it is an excellent bike.

I hope you have many more miles of enjoyment on it!
 

Alex321

Über Member
Location
South Wales
As others have said, if you like it, then that is great.

For me personally, two of the important things for you would have been the exact opposite for me, but that is very much personal preference. Having ridden with hydraulic disc brakes, I wouldn't ever want a bike without them again. And for me, single chainring means eithr not wide enough range from top-bottom, or too big a step between gears.

But we all have different preferences, there is nothing wrong with that bike, and if it means you are enjoying cycling, then it is absolutely a good bike for you.
 

Cycleops

Guru
Location
Accra, Ghana
Great to hear you’re enjoying it which is the main thing. The uncomfortable perch might be down to you backside not being used to it or maybe it just doesn’t suit. Get yourself down to Decathlon and look at what they have, I bought one of their excellent budget saddles and it suits me well, might not do for you though but worth a go. Don’t be tempted to buy one of those gel padded saddles.
If you’ve got the Schwalbe Citizens as in the review you might need to swap them out for Marathons soon, I had some and had to Chuck them away the puncture resistance was so poor.
 
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Cathryn

Legendary Member
My first 'proper' bike was a Dawes Discover 201 (called George) and I LOVED it.

It's a bit of a gateway drug bike though :smile:
 

freiston

Über Member
Location
Coventry
I was about to disagree with you about "energy sapping wide tyres" - it is a myth generally debunked nowadays - Schwalbe even have a web page that explains why "wide tires roll better than narrower tires" but then I checked the specs for the bike - 35mm tyres are not that narrow and many would consider them wide - so I think that we might be meaning different things. Knobbly tyres (that are generally only found in wide sizes) can sap away a lot of energy when riding on roads but not because of their width per se.

I understand where you're coming from with regards to the single chainring and I suspect that it meets your requirements well because you are not needing "touring gears", but personally, I find a double or a triple with front changer is still elegant simplicity and a lot more practical than a single chainring - for the same reasons that Alex321 gives - wider (especially lower) ratios with smaller steps - but I have a touring bike that I sometimes ride very heavily laden (I'm an old fart who needs really low gears for moderate hills too). I genuinely think that the industry is doing a disservice to new (or not new) cyclists by pushing the (non mtb) 1x at the expense of the 3x and even the 2x (it's getting difficult to source drivetrain components that work well together for a good drop bar 3x touring bike now) - as well as reducing choice and available ratios, it is perpetuating a myth that multiple chainrings are difficult, complex and problematic.

I do disagree with Alex321 regarding rim brakes - I love the simplicity of my cantilevers and find them good enough even when carrying 30kg of luggage in the wet - the biggest weakness in my braking is not the power of the brakes but the loss of traction 'twixt tyre and tarmac - my closest shaves have been with locked wheels and I have never had a situation where I couldn't stop in time (reckless riding doesn't count).

It is getting very difficult to find a good bike with a 3x drivetrain and rim brakes nowadays.

Going back to the Discovery, I like the look of it. I wouldn't mind having one in my "stable". It should serve you well and I hope you have many miles of enjoyable riding on it :smile:
 
OP
OP
Chief Broom

Chief Broom

Über Member
I was about to disagree with you about "energy sapping wide tyres" - it is a myth generally debunked nowadays - Schwalbe even have a web page that explains why "wide tires roll better than narrower tires" but then I checked the specs for the bike - 35mm tyres are not that narrow and many would consider them wide - so I think that we might be meaning different things. Knobbly tyres (that are generally only found in wide sizes) can sap away a lot of energy when riding on roads but not because of their width per se.

I understand where you're coming from with regards to the single chainring and I suspect that it meets your requirements well because you are not needing "touring gears", but personally, I find a double or a triple with front changer is still elegant simplicity and a lot more practical than a single chainring - for the same reasons that Alex321 gives - wider (especially lower) ratios with smaller steps - but I have a touring bike that I sometimes ride very heavily laden (I'm an old fart who needs really low gears for moderate hills too). I genuinely think that the industry is doing a disservice to new (or not new) cyclists by pushing the (non mtb) 1x at the expense of the 3x and even the 2x (it's getting difficult to source drivetrain components that work well together for a good drop bar 3x touring bike now) - as well as reducing choice and available ratios, it is perpetuating a myth that multiple chainrings are difficult, complex and problematic.

I do disagree with Alex321 regarding rim brakes - I love the simplicity of my cantilevers and find them good enough even when carrying 30kg of luggage in the wet - the biggest weakness in my braking is not the power of the brakes but the loss of traction 'twixt tyre and tarmac - my closest shaves have been with locked wheels and I have never had a situation where I couldn't stop in time (reckless riding doesn't count).

It is getting very difficult to find a good bike with a 3x drivetrain and rim brakes nowadays.

Going back to the Discovery, I like the look of it. I wouldn't mind having one in my "stable". It should serve you well and I hope you have many miles of enjoyable riding on it :smile:
Hi freiston thanks for that, very interesting regarding tyres, perhaps its the extra weight of them that slowed me down. As a newbie i bought an old retro [see pic] and spent my first month or so getting used to cycling again and it served me well. When i bought the 201 it was a revelation! the ease with which it covered ground and various terrain was a joy ^_^ Obviously the old retro was much heavier but the lighter 201 also had much better ergonomics which made it a pleasure to ride.
Regarding the drivetrain i reckon its 'each to their own' but i love it! ^_^ Im not short of hills where i live [Bora Highlands] and as my leg strength improves im confident i'll cope...perhaps a very severe incline will cause me to dismount but i can live with that! I feel Dawes has hit a sweet spot with the 201- its more then the sum of its parts :okay:

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