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Advice needed on best bike to buy for 5 mile commute please!

(10 Posts)
blabalalalablabla Fri 30-Sep-11 16:51:18

Have just started cycling to work (5 miles) and am loving it - but I have a really heavy old steel mountain bike that is quite frankly not helping me get there any faster grin

Journey is a mixture of road and cycle tracks and the route is quite hilly so I'll need a enough gears to get me up them without quite so much effort.

Any recommendations? Budget is around £300 - keep hearing different things about hybrids so am all confused

Thank you grin

StrangewaysHereICome Tue 04-Oct-11 11:32:39

I have a Giant CRS 2.5 which is lovely. It cost £320 a couple of years ago. It is quite light, is fine for road and light trails. I used to have a solid heavy mountain bike and the difference it's made is amazing. The world of bikes is rather compacted and overwhelming (my DH is road bike obsessed and is always prattling on about various technical things which go way over my head!) I would go to a specialist bike shop and try a few. You should be able to find something decent for your budget.

blabalalalablabla Wed 12-Oct-11 19:23:27

Thank you - sorry - this slipped off my threads I'm on.
I have had a look at giant ones - the seem to be a good make - I've also tried a scott hybrid which was lovely to cycle compared to my old mountain bike. Am aiming to get to a bike shop this weekend to try some out.
Thanks

JohnnyRod Sun 16-Oct-11 20:38:10

Yep Giant are a good brand but really try a few out and see what fits, 90% of cycling is ergonomics. Be prepared to pay more for good components (shufters etc.) than a fancy frame so yes even some Halfords ones can be a good bet on a limited budget. I'd avoid hybrids unless you're on the road all the time (all the disadvantages of a road bike and of an MTB), get a mountain bike, you can always put road-style tyres on if you need, but really 5 miles isn't going to kill you on knobblies anyway. And stick at it!

blabalalalablabla Wed 19-Oct-11 20:21:46

Cheers johnny - I think I'm nearly sold on a trek 7200wsd - I loved that the frame is really light - has nice narrow handlebars so felt like a nice fit for me.

Want to try out the the fx range though as I'm not sure whether I'll need suspension - I'm doing 50:50 road and cyclepath. The roads are in pretty bad condition which is why I'm drawn to the 7200.

The only reason why I'm drawn to a hybrid rather than a mountain bike is the bigger wheels as I really want to get from A to B in as little time as possible with as little effort as possible grin

Budget has increased as I can make use of the cycle to work scheme which means I'll get about 40% off total price so means I can spend a bit more...

littlerats Thu 20-Oct-11 15:34:36

i cycle about 7 miles each way to work and back. i used to have a trek 7something but upgraded last year to http://www.dawescycles.com/p-163-discovery-301-ladies.aspx with the cycle to work scheme and I love it. i quite like the hybrids (my cycle is mainly roads but some tracks / paths). it's light, but i can get the child seat on/off easily and the bigger wheels do help. i did have it fitted with mudguards and more slick tyres for the roads which definitely helps with going faster too (not the mudguards but the tyres).
i was quite taken with some road bikes but the guy in the shop was very sensible and told me that there was no point in putting a child seat on a racer. in fact, he recommended a hybrid for the sort of commute i was doing (dropping child and seat at nursery after one mile and then 6 miles of road/tracks), through a few styles etc.

littlerats Thu 20-Oct-11 15:35:23

actually that's the wrong link to my bike, mine's a man's - i hate the women's frames! (despite being female)

JohnnyRod Fri 21-Oct-11 13:02:38

The wheels on an MTB are already 26" so really thre isn't alot in it with other bikes. I prefer a racer on the road but I just don't ride enough to keep both now. Suspension, everything seems to have forks these days but really get the best bike for your budget, adding rear suspenders adds cost so detracts from the other components. I'm biased cos I still ride rigid! If like Littlerats you put the kid on the back then yeah think about rear suspension, my mate does this on his Gary Fisher (£££!!!) and it does need a spring back there.

seedlessgrape Fri 21-Oct-11 13:08:00

My Claud Butler Odyssey cost about £300 last year and is brilliant for road journeys. I only got into cycling about 18 months ago (late developer!) but this suits me to a tee. I don't cycle to work (12 miles in each direction as the crow flies) but for 10 mile leisure rides it's fantastic.

KingofHighVis Sat 22-Oct-11 15:30:09

I have to disagree with everything JohnnyRod says; if you are going to be riding mainly on roads then don't get a mountain bike. They are designed to take the impacts of of road riding and therefore will be significantly heavier then a similarly priced hybrid. Suspension, either front and rear, adds weight and cost and won't make much difference to comfort on road and tracks (ride round the potholes). The 'bounce' in suspension also absorbs a considerable amount of energy from your pedalling.

A hybrid will also give you the option of a more upright riding position that you won't get with a mountain bike. this is less efficient, but allows better balance and visibility in traffic.

Best advice is go to a decent bike shop and explain what you want it for and they will give you some options - then choose the one that feels most comfortable, or you like the colour of. There aren't really any 'good' or 'bad' bikes around; you just have to find the one that is most suitable for you.

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