Which bike for commuting in a hilly environment?

carlyandrews

New Member
Hi all,
I'm thinking of buying a bike for university to get to my lectures and back and also to the shops. I live in Bangor, North Wales near snowdonia so it is rather hilly. I have been looking at hybrid bikes currently and have a budget of upto about £300. I am unsure about whether I should get a mens or womens bike - I am 5'8 (172cm) and have a 32" inseam. does it matter whether i go for mens or womens? Any suggestions within my price-range or advice on what to look out for/avoid when buying a bike?
Thank you,
Carly
 

vickster

Legendary Member
At your height, either men’s or ladies, but if unisex/men’s, you might want to budget for a new ladies saddle, possibly getting the bars cut down if too wide, a shorter stem (you’ll probably want a medium men’s bike, possibly medium or large if a ladies model).
If it’s very hilly, lighter is better and perhaps a triple chainset, or at least good low gearing. Avoid suspension forks.

Universities are magnets for bike thieves, so also budget for good D lock(s).

Going used and cheaper definitely worth exploring too. £300 buys little new to be honest, will be heavier, lower spec.
Brand wise, you’ll get better bang for buck with lesser known makes.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game procrastinator!
Universities are magnets for bike thieves, so also budget for good D lock(s).
You beat me to it!

I went with my stepdaughter to her interview at Sheffield university. While she was being interviewed I walked around the campus and spotted some bike racks. There were locked front wheels with bikes missing, locked bikes with front wheels missing, broken locks (with entire bikes missing!) and securely-locked bikes which had been vandalised.

My mate's son was going to Sheffield uni the following year. I heard that his mum was going to buy him a bike to get around the city so I suggested that it would be a good idea for him to ride something cheap, and effectively disposable. The advice went unheeded and he got an expensive mountain bike. It was stolen in his first couple of weeks there ...
I'd suggest buying the cheapest acceptable bike that you can find to make it less tempting to steal, and less of a loss if it IS stolen.
 

nickyboy

Norven Mankey
For all relatively inexperienced cyclists I always suggest they have a look at the Decathlon website as it has a really wide range of bikes to suit all budgets. Almost without fail, they represent good value for money and at least will give you an idea of what you get with your budget.

Hybrid Bikes | Mens & Womens | Free Delivery | Decathlon

For example they have a model at £229 which looks like it has gearing that would be suitable and leave a bit in your budget for a good lock, lights. The only issue is that the saddle is "quick release" which means it's really easy to remove. You should detach the saddle and pop it in your bag. It'll also make it less attractive to someone wanting to steal a whole bike if it has no saddle.
 
An aluminium frame, non suspension fork hybrid with 3x8(ish) gearing is good.
Fit bolt on mudguards and rack, a good lock, lights.
At your size, m or f frame us Ok.
Consider a newish used bike or Decathlon or Dawes.
Make sure you have some good puncture protection tyres eg Shwalbe Marathon.
On any ride longer than a walk carry a spare inner tube, small pump, tyre levers and too to remove wheel.
 

Moodyman

Guru
For all relatively inexperienced cyclists I always suggest they have a look at the Decathlon website as it has a really wide range of bikes to suit all budgets. Almost without fail, they represent good value for money and at least will give you an idea of what you get with your budget.

Hybrid Bikes | Mens & Womens | Free Delivery | Decathlon

For example they have a model at £229 which looks like it has gearing that would be suitable and leave a bit in your budget for a good lock, lights. The only issue is that the saddle is "quick release" which means it's really easy to remove. You should detach the saddle and pop it in your bag. It'll also make it less attractive to someone wanting to steal a whole bike if it has no saddle.

Not sure if folk heed your advice, but whenever I've recommended Decathlon, folk always go and buy from Argos or Sportsdirect. Then, ring me month later asking me why their brakes are not working or their gears are skipping.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game procrastinator!
Not sure if folk heed your advice, but whenever I've recommended Decathlon, folk always go and buy from Argos or Sportsdirect. Then, ring me month later asking me why their brakes are not working or their gears are skipping.
Why do people do that? :wacko:

Buyer: What should I buy?

ColinJ: A, B & C are good; D, E & F are ok - not quite as good, but cheaper; G, H & I are expensive and crap - AVOID AT ALL COSTS!

(Time Passes...)

ColinJ: So, what did you buy in the end?

Buyer: I bought a G, but it fell to bits so I got my money back and bought an H instead. I eventually realised that was useless, so I part-ex'd it for an I...

:banghead:
 

nickyboy

Norven Mankey
Not sure if folk heed your advice, but whenever I've recommended Decathlon, folk always go and buy from Argos or Sportsdirect. Then, ring me month later asking me why their brakes are not working or their gears are skipping.
I dunno. I buy my bikes from Decathlon. Whilst my bikes are a bit more expensive than the OPs budget, all Decathlon bikes get the same in store advice and post sale customer service. They're a zillion times better to buy from than the likes of Argos because they have people who know what they're talking about.
I'm not saying everyone should buy one of their bikes. But it's a good place to start to see what you get for a particular budget
 

Gillstay

Senior Member
I would buy a second hand one so less attractive to thieves and if it has less gears then just ensure you have a good range. I just bought a 7 speed Raleigh and its better than my 9 speed modern as the gears are spot on for around here. It cost £200 but is in perfect condition and newly serviced.
 

Dolorous Edd

Senior Member
Always an option for 90% of bike duties - a 1990s no suspension mountain bike, something like this:

s-l1600.jpg


https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/144217916683
 
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