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What, roughly, does a bike cost?

(40 Posts)
themousedogbird Fri 25-Sep-20 20:44:53

I'd quite like to get a bike to give me the option to cycle to work (about six miles, all road) and also go for a ride in the forest every now and again. I'm certainly not sporty, or in need of anything high performance, but don'tmind paying a bit more if it's going to be worth it; can anyone advise roughly what price bracket I should be looking in (or, if you're an expert, any recommendations for specific bikes?).

OP’s posts: |
themousedogbird Fri 25-Sep-20 20:45:21

Thank you for any advice or recommendations!

OP’s posts: |
Tiggles Fri 25-Sep-20 20:59:13

In essence the more you pay for a bike the better it will be. In reality the more you pay the lighter it will be (before it gets really fancy and starts getting electronic gears etc). A lighter bike makes Hills easier. If you have an independent bike shop they will be great at fixing you up with a bike that fits you. I love giant bikes - they fit my body shape. Personally I would spend at least £500 on a bike (although my last one cost 5times that blush). If it is very hilly you might need more gears to get up the hills.

But my biggest recommendation would be to also splash out on a pair of padded shorts to go under whatever you are wearing. It makes cycling much more comfortable. Aim to spend at least £50 on them or they won't be worth wearing.

PurBal Fri 25-Sep-20 21:08:01

It depends. A relative who is a pro cyclist has a bike worth over £5k. Another relative who is an avid cyclist (every weekend, 80 miles a day but doesn't cycle to work) spent £2.5k on a road bike. DH got his gravel bike for free, a hand-me-down from a friend, the same bike on Ebay is £250. I think a cheaper bike is better to begin with, you might hate it. Definitely consider second hand and then have an good service. Also lots of companies have cycle to work schemes worth investigating.

kingsleyhimself Fri 25-Sep-20 21:16:06

I've got a Specialized Sirrus which I think is about £500, it's a hybrid and pretty light and fast on the roads but is also solid enough to handle gravel or a dirt road. It's a nice responsive ride and I've always felt pretty safe and stable on it. I wouldn't bother with suspensino personally as it does make the bike heaver and you probably don't need it if you're just riding on the road.

I wouldn't go somewhere like Halfords for a bike unless you're looking at a Boardman, which are meant to be good (never ridden one). A small local bike shop should be pretty helpful for working out what you need, size etc. Decathlon (BTwin) get good reviews in terms of value for money.

I've always tried bikes before buying so see if you can do that.

ivykaty44 Fri 25-Sep-20 21:30:08

if your doing 6 miles each way a typical hybrid bike would be fine and cycling in normal clothing would be ok, many of our European neighbours do this each and every day and just hop on and off a bike like we do getting in and out a car - no special clothing needed

wiggle have a few under £500 which are really suitable for everyday popping to the shops and riding to work on and would come in at 6 tanks of petrol in price

MJMG2015 Fri 25-Sep-20 21:30:26

Avoid Halfords for sure. Their bikes are WAY too heavy!

Decathlon aren't too bad.

Local bike shops are ok if they're not too 'serious rider'

I'd say look at those in the £500+ range,

Beware buying second hand as SO many are stolen. Unless you know the person I'd avoid it personally.

Definitely get a GEL Seat Cover - they make a huge difference!

Don't forget to budget for a lock, lights, reflective stuff, etc.

yolio Fri 25-Sep-20 21:34:43

Please don't laugh at me, but I have Menieres (bad balance issues), so I am looking at a trike!

I don't care what anyone thinks, they look so balanced to me, and will defo get one in Spring. No point beforehand, can't practice...

My uncle aged 78 has one and goes everywhere on it. I am nowhere near that age, but it doesn't matter does it.

NotMeNoNo Fri 25-Sep-20 21:39:46

Well my commute is half yours, but I got a bike under cycle to work scheme this year and I love it. It's a Specialized Sirrus 2.0 and was £550 plus some extras (carrier,etc). It is so light and a pleasure to ride. There are a good selection of hybrids in that price bracket.

ivykaty44 Fri 25-Sep-20 21:43:05

yolio of course it doesn't matter, my cousin has an electric trike - its fab as no parking issues and no hill problems. he has a basket across the back and it holds loads of stuff

NotMeNoNo Fri 25-Sep-20 21:45:37

Try Decathlon, Evans, Rutland Cycling or a good local bike shop. Not Halfords, Aldi etc. Although if you are looking a bit cheaper I've heard Raleigh Pioneer hybrids are good for the price.

cheerfulpanda Fri 25-Sep-20 21:48:09

A good hybrid bike around the £500 point should suit you well. An independent bike shop should help you find a good fit and size.

I have a ridgeback vanteo with an open frame and it’s sturdy enough for my 25min London commute but light enough to get up and down my flat stairs.
It’s a few years old now but has lasted well, get it serviced annually and it’s never needs any repairs.

fruitpastille Fri 25-Sep-20 21:51:45

I only ride occasionally but my last couple of bikes have been extremely cheap via Facebook. I'm only a couple of miles from work but still driving mostly despite plans! I would buy a cheap one to start with and ask for a better one for Christmas if you are still committed.

NotMeNoNo Fri 25-Sep-20 21:54:16

Do look at the cycle to work scheme if your employer offers it. My £700 package is costing me £37 a month for 12 months.

kingsleyhimself Fri 25-Sep-20 22:17:38


Well my commute is half yours, but I got a bike under cycle to work scheme this year and I love it. It's a Specialized Sirrus 2.0 and was £550 plus some extras (carrier,etc). It is so light and a pleasure to ride. There are a good selection of hybrids in that price bracket.

Good point about the extras, if you're cycling to work get one with proper mudguards fitted. You'll also need to get lights at a minimum, high viz waterproof jacket I'd really recommend too. I've got good quality waterproof jacket and trousers and arrive bone dry apart from my socks!

FreeButtonBee Fri 25-Sep-20 22:21:50

I agree avoid Halfords. But I cycle 10 miles twice a day on a decent hut not fancy £400 trek bike. And no fancy padded shorts. It is perfectly adequate and not so fancy that anyone wants to nick it.

I think best get a reasonable med range bike (new or second hand depending on what bike shops you have near by) and use it for a year. Then plan how you up grade.
But proper lights and decent panniers are worth every penny. My ortlieb panniers are still perfect 12 years later.

Ilovesausages Fri 25-Sep-20 22:23:06

I have a Btwin and I love it. I believe they are from Decathlon although I got mine second hand.

museumum Fri 25-Sep-20 22:24:37

Approx £600 will do you well for the commute.
Less if it’s just the occasional weekend tootle with kids.
More if you’re going actual mountain biking, even gentle proper mountain biking you’re taking closer to £1k minimum. Or second hand.

MrsAvocet Fri 25-Sep-20 22:29:39

Probably your two options if you want to ride both on and off road are a gravel bike or a hybrid. Gravel bikes are basically road bikes, with drop handlebars and clearance for wider tyres, but they have no suspension. They tend to have lower gearing than road bikes, but not as low as mountain bikes. So they are good for riding on forest tracks/fire roads etc but not really for more serious off road riding. They're fine on roads, especially if you swap the tyres from the knobbly off road ones they usually come with for the smooth road type.
Hybrids tend to have flat bars and you can get them with front suspension which would be potentially useful for your forest rides. Gearing again is somewhere between road and MTBs and you'd have the same options with tyres. If you buy a bike with suspension, make sure that it is lockable as you will probably want to lock it off if you're riding on smooth roads. A hybrid will almost certainly have a more upright riding position than a gravel bike, which you may find more comfortable if you haven't ridden a bike for a while.
Really its a matter if personal taste and what style of bike you think you'd find more comfortable. Another factor is how hilly your area is. If there are hills then you want to go for the lightest bike you can get, with nice low gears, but if you are in a flat area that's less important.
As with many things, you do get what you pay for with bikes, but you can get something that would be a reliable every day bike for between £500 and £1000. Obviously at that price point you aren't going to get a super lightweight carbon fibre frame or top of the range components but a lot of modern aluminium frames and cheaper components are still very good.
I would agree with the advice to avoid Halfords, except for the Boardman range. There are some very capable bikes in that range, and not badly priced. Decathlon's own brand B'twin often get good reviews when cycling magazines do "best budget buys" articles, though I have never ridden one myself so I can't give a personal opinion. People can be snobby about these kind of bikes, and its true, you wouldn't enter the Tour de France on one. But since you don't plan on doing so, that doesn't matter does it?! The best bike is one that fits you, is the right sort of bike for the terrain and that you enjoy riding. Don't worry too much about the brand name.
However, if you want to spend a bit more, I'd probably go for something like this
I'm a big Canyon fan - they are very nicely made bikes. The only downside is that they only sell direct, there are no dealers, so you can't usually try before you buy. The online fitting tool is pretty good though. Or at least its worked for me.
Lots of brands have similar models though, at around the same kind of price. As has already been mentioned, you might be able to buy through a cycle to work scheme, and some schemes will also cover additional costs like helmets, locks etc.
I'd start by visiting a few different shops to get an idea of what seems to suit you. Unfortunately you may find there is not a lot in stock at the moment though. This is usually a great time to buy a new bike as shops are keen to clear out old stock to make room for the new season's models so you can often get good deals in the Autumn. However, Covid has put paid to that this year, both because most 2020 models are sold out and because production of some 2021 bikes has been delayed. So you may find the shelves are a bit bare at present I'm afraid. I've ordered a new bike this week but have no idea when it will arrive. I hope its before Christmas but they couldn't promise even that.
Good luck with your hunt - I hope you find something that suits you and that you enjoy your rides.

ByTheStarryNight Fri 25-Sep-20 22:30:55

Just adding to the above, as a rule of thumb add 10% of your bike value to your budget for a decent lock. Or two.

My bike was £400 so I bought 2x Abus D Locks at about £40 each. One lock stays at work, the other at home. That saves me carrying a heavy lock on my commute.

For a bike, I'd advise looking in Decathlon, Rutland or Edinburgh cycles, if you can get to a shop. Don't buy without trying it for size and comfort first.

YouUnlockedTheGateAnd Fri 25-Sep-20 22:39:31


Please don't laugh at me, but I have Menieres (bad balance issues), so I am looking at a trike!

I don't care what anyone thinks, they look so balanced to me, and will defo get one in Spring. No point beforehand, can't practice...

My uncle aged 78 has one and goes everywhere on it. I am nowhere near that age, but it doesn't matter does it.

Please, please don’t feel bad, or daft about a trike

First up, and this is by close to my heart. Accessible bikes are a big thing now. The freedom and sheer happiness that someone can have by getting some form of bike they can ride is truly lifechanging.

Second. All the hipsters want a trike , cargo bike or cargo trike anyway. So just pretend you are über hip. If you aren’t anyway.

Cycling is life changing, you live a longer healthierhappier life with a bike or a trike in it !

yolio Fri 25-Sep-20 23:11:29


What a lovely and positive post. Thank you so much.

Will research what might suit me over the Winter, and emerge in Spring!

Thanks again.

HappyDays10101 Fri 25-Sep-20 23:27:39

I would say it’s worth paying upwards of 500. My first bike about 10 years ago cost £200 and it was awful, gears etc were terrible.

NameAChange Sat 26-Sep-20 01:11:10

The other thing to consider is getting the right size frame. If you google it you can find out more info. The right size in inches will fit beautifully and comfortable.

Consider if you need a pannier rack added and some panniers. I got the city version of those pricey oil cloth ones (I forget the brand). They are waterproof and indestructible.

Second vote for an Abus gold standard d lock, and a wire encased lock. It makes bike insurance cheaper too. You can also mark the bike with invisible ink. A thief can still cut through the locks but the point is it takes longer.

I was lucky and bought my bike second hand off a friend and it had only been used a few times.

Blibbyblobby Sat 26-Sep-20 01:29:04

Do you want your commute to be fast and sweaty with a shower at the end, or slow and sedate? Different bikes suit different riding styles.

My commute is about 6 miles. Over the years I have ridden: a 15 year old mountain bike that I brought from my parents house, a new folding bike that got nicked after a week, a 70s "racer" (anything but!), a vintage tourer, a frakenthing I made out of bits, a 1930s loop frame with rod brakes, a 3 speed dutch bike, an 80s loop frame ladies bike, a single speed bike and a small-wheeled ladies shopper.

My advice is if you have an old bike or can borrow one from a friend then start with that (if you are worried about condition pay a bike shop to check and service it). Get started as cheaply as you can, find out what sort of cyclist you are going to be and then if you need to buy a new bike.

Most importantly, have fun!

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