What to Buy????

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Top Cat, 19 Aug 2007.

  1. Top Cat

    Top Cat New Member

    Hello all and forgive my basic query but I really do not know what to buy for the best. I have recently had a very bad experience buying a Raleigh Hybrid off-line and it has taught me some expensive lessons:

    1 Raleigh do not seem to produce the quality of bikes they used to.
    2. If you buy on-line once the retailer has your dosh they do not want to know you when the product turns out to be defective.
    3. I should have sought advice from local dealers about the price to pay and the sort of machinery that might suit me rather than think I can save a few quid on the net and
    4. When you buy local they set up the bike and can respond immediatley to any problems you may have.

    So regrouping now I am looking to buy a a not too expensive (say £2-£300) bike for commuting and some leisure riding at weekends and in the evening. I do not want to climb mountains, I do not want to do triathlons and I do not want to enter the Tour de France. I just want a nice comfortable piece of machinery that is reliable and will invite me to take it out (ie a pleasure to ride). In order to commute it also needs mudguards, a rack (to bungy my briefcase to) and ideally a little stand thingy to park it up at the office!! Having realised my £170 Raleigh was not the bargain I first thought, my two local dealers are inviting me to consider three makes in all of whihc they say are a siognifcant step up from the Raleigh Metro - a Giant Expression LX; a Trek 7.1 FX and a Dawes (cannot remember what its model name was but it was about £269). The Giant comes with all the bits but the Trek and the Dawes will require mudguards and rack etc. fitting. The dealers say they can do all this as a package if I am interested. Having had such a disappointment with the first bike I am now terrified of making any more mistakes. So boys and girls what advice would you give. Are any of the above worth the plunge? Does any one stand head and shoulders above the others? If none are any good what do I do next? Oh help, please help!! What was supposed to be an enjoyable way for me to get some exercise is turning into a complete nightmare.

    Yours expectantly

  2. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    I can't comment on whether or not Dawes are as good as they used to be (only young, me) but I have a Dawes Discovery hybrid which I completely adore. I bought him about four years ago and have ridden him round town, on weekend trips and even a week's touring in Germany and was never once let down!!

    I've recently splashed out on a more expensive bike, so am starting to notice the difference between entry level and splashing-out level, but would honestly recommend a Dawes hybrid as a good starter bike.

    However, Mr Paul has a darn site more experience than me so I'd listen to him first!!
  3. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Miserable Old Bar Steward

    How ya doin' ya old bugger ? :blush:
  4. OP
    Top Cat

    Top Cat New Member

    Mr P, Sorry to be a pain but looking around sites would the "Globe" be the Globe Sport advertised or are there lots of different "Globes" of differing specs and at differing prices? The Sport seems to be about £299 is that right? I would then need to add on my mudguards and rack I presume.

  5. starseven

    starseven Guest

    Hi TC heres a few suggestions , I 've used evans website for examples , you can get bargains from any website but you local bike shop should let you try out a few bikes.

    Most examples I have chosen have guards and a rack ,but dont forget you can fit them to just about anybike for £50 sh.

    Cheaper Ridgeback
    Spech no rack
    Scott with suspension

    kona mtb size wheels
    A spech mtb , fit your own rack and guards

    Giant makes nice bikes too , there just wasnt any on this site.

    Hope these help

  6. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Are you saying I'm old or summat?[/QUOTE]

    Old.....er????????:blush: But I bet you know more about bikes than I do.
  7. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member

    What went wrong with the Raleigh TopCat ? and which model is it.

    Ifs its truly defective, maybe take the advice of Trading standards, they can be a powerful weapon against a retailer...

    Is it worth paying a LBS to right whatevers wrong rather than paying again for a new bike. Raleighs definately arent what they used to be, but mines been a gem. I wouldnt give up with the retailer yet...just on principle. Give 'em something to think about.
  8. OP
    Top Cat

    Top Cat New Member

    Thanks for all the advice guys. Now the choice is even more difficult!!

    The problem, gbb, is that there is something significantly wrong with the back wheel of the Metro LX I bought from this mail order place in Ipswich. I have not ridden more than half a mile at a time since having it because it keeps puncturing rear tyres. But more than this, if you try to pump up the tyre beyond about 30lbs per sq. in the tyre beading starts coming away from the wheel rim. If this happens while you are riding, the inner tube pinches and BANG, another inner tube bites the dust. This has happened 3 times and the dealer keeps palming me off with new tubes or tyres and none of these solves the problem. I offered to send the wheel back but they do not answer the phone and I have decided enough is enough and I have sent the whole bike back in the box in which it came with a demand for a refund and the cost of the first inner tube which I bought myself. If they fail to refund its the County Court and Ipswich Trading Standards. I am having no more messing about. People like this give the internet a bad name. I have learnt my leeson with on-line bike shopping and I am very dissappointed with the apparent poor quality of the Raleigh Metro bike. What is worse is I could have gone to a local supermarket, bought some really cheapo bike and it would probably have performed better!!!!!! Still you live and learn and I have. Time to look forward BUT I do not want to make the same mistake twice, hence my seeking this advice.

  9. Mortiroloboy

    Mortiroloboy New Member

    Are you saying I'm old or summat?[/QUOTE]

    Old.....er????????:blush: But I bet you know more about bikes than I do.[/QUOTE]

    Not saying Mr Paul is old...But when 'e were a nipper, the Dead Sea was only a bit poorly. Boom Boom;):ohmy:
  10. starseven

    starseven Guest

    I know its a bit late now, but I would have suggested you take the raliegh to a local dealer for assesment prior to sending it back.

    Good Luck regardless.
  11. johnr

    johnr Über Member

    Are you anywhere near an Edinburgh Cycle Coop? I'm a Specialized user myself - they stock them and will let you have a go - I recently sent a friend to their Leeds store when he was looking for a similar bike to you. Their own brand - Revolution - range always get good reviews. They ended up selling him another make, because they were knocking them out on a special offer and the spec was better.

    On that experience, I'd say they were dealers you can trust. Others on the forum will probably be able to point you to a local dealer with a good range and a decent attitude.
  12. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Auld Reekie
    For what it is worth, my standard advice is to decide on a budget, go to as many bike shops as you can and try out as many bikes as you can within your budget and buy the one that feels right and is the most fun. Oh and keep an open mind as to what type of bike you want to ride.

    If the shop won't let you ride the bike out side on the road, then walk away and don't go back.

    Certainly beginners should avoid buying bike that they haven't ridden, sure look for a better deal on-line once you have tried it, but don't buy something when you don't know what you are getting.
  13. OP
    Top Cat

    Top Cat New Member

    This is good stuff people. I have always thought the retailer would chuck me out if I ask to ride the thing................OUTSIDE!!!! I will try that. On the discount front, the dealer in Chester (Bike Factory) did say he would be prepared to offer a 10% discount on the Trek 7.1Fx which I thought was reasonable. I live in Wrexham, North Wales so not sure if there would be an Edinburgh shop nearby but I will have a look.

    There is a Specialized shop in Chester so I will see if I can have a look at a Globe there as so many seem to rate them. The weekend could be busy again. First of all however I want my money back off the previous howler.

  14. gbb

    gbb Legendary Member

    I have a 7.1FX as well Topcat, its generally a nice bike.
    The unfortunate thing is i found the wheels to be the weakest link :blush:, both got wrecked.
    It may be my son...:ohmy:...was a little silly with it, i dont know...but they didnt survive. They are probably more than adequate if treated gently.
  15. OP
    Top Cat

    Top Cat New Member

    Thanks gbb and Mister P. I am going to try and see a Specialized Globe tomorrow I think and see how that grabs me. Given that it was the wheels at fault on the Raleigh, I do want to ensure these are robust on any purchase I make. I would not be doing any rocky off road stuff but I cannot gaurantee the odd pothole or two would not be encountered and I do not want any more tyre explosions!!!

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