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    Bike for commute to work - 200 budget
    • #1
    • 30th Oct 13, 3:36 PM
    Bike for commute to work - 200 budget 30th Oct 13 at 3:36 PM

    I've recently acquired a new job around 4 miles from my home in the city of Bristol, so have decided that cycling to work is my best option. I've cycled before in Bristol (to and from uni) so no the roads, and its generally a cycle friendly city, so am keen to get going. My last bike, was bought for 20 off Gumtree, and as I'm sure you can imagine, was rubbish. The wheell actually fell off whilst I was cycling, and after a quick inspection from a cycle-savvy friend, was deemed a piece of junk that didn't deserve to be repaired!

    So what I'm looking for this time around is a good quality, reliable, functionable bike, with a budget of around 200. I'm going to be cycling on roads (a few hills -its bristol) and wouldn't mind taking the bike for occasional treks to Bath etc, so think Hybrid style bike is best for me (not full on road, or chunky mountainbike) I know this is hard to come by (judging from internet research) and that its hard to get a good bike for 400, let alone 200. I am currently enquiring with my current employer is they qualify for the cycle to work scheme, if they do, I guess that means the RRP of the bike could be around 250. I'd also need accessories, but I would only need lights, lock and helmet, and think I can get these all for around 30.

    Does anyone have any suggestions of bikes that would fit what I've asked for? Failing that, can any Bristolians recommend a good shop to deal with (I live near to Halfords, and have heard bad things)


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    Last edited by Former MSE Debs; 12-11-2013 at 4:56 PM.
Page 1
    • ringo_24601
    • By ringo_24601 30th Oct 13, 3:45 PM
    • 17,148 Posts
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    • #2
    • 30th Oct 13, 3:45 PM
    • #2
    • 30th Oct 13, 3:45 PM
    I was very happy with my Giant Cypress hybrid before it was pinched. You can pick them up second hand for sub-200. I used it around Cardiff and its hills. It had an upright riding position that I liked
  • underhanded
    • #3
    • 30th Oct 13, 5:07 PM
    • #3
    • 30th Oct 13, 5:07 PM
    Thanks, that sort of moves me onto my next question. Buying second hand seems to be a good way to go, some big name brands/nice looking price for a decent price. However I'm wary of possible dodgy deals/stolen bikes etc, and as I'm not really a bike person feel I could pick up a dud without realising? Is there any trusted 2nd hand bike outlets people could recommend? Whats the vital things to check/look out for on a second hand bike.

    Just checked that model- looks good and thats the type of bike I'd ideally go for - obviously shopping second hand though its more of a case of selecting from whats out there.

    I found these on Gumtree, am I on the right track in terms of quality?
    • andrewf75
    • By andrewf75 30th Oct 13, 5:12 PM
    • 9,790 Posts
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    • #4
    • 30th Oct 13, 5:12 PM
    • #4
    • 30th Oct 13, 5:12 PM
    I would go to a "proper" cycle shop i.e not Halfords, Cycle King or similar, they will have a few new bikes in that price range and probably some second hand.
    But don't fall for the cheap bikes sold by the likes of Cycle King. They can be a write-off after a year.
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 30th Oct 13, 5:19 PM
    • 2,607 Posts
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    • #5
    • 30th Oct 13, 5:19 PM
    • #5
    • 30th Oct 13, 5:19 PM
    Do you still have your cycle savvy friend around at all?

    I was going to suggest having a look at Gumtree as your budget would get you a much better bike and there's plenty out there with good parts and in great condition that people have bought with the intention of cycling and never got into it.

    My commuting bike is very similar to that Carrera one in that it has a Nexus 8 rear hub and rear drum brake, I bought it as it seemed a good low maintenance bike for commuting. Generally it's been very good although the catch with the gear hub is that while it's very low maintenance, when it fails it can be a pain to sort out. It's also quite heavy which can be noticeable climbing hills but quite manageable unless you're only climbing steep hills.

    The drum brakes are good in thatt they offer consistent braking in all weather conditions but they're not as responsive as other brakes, they have a very spongey feel (I have a disc on the front so not sure how two drum brakes would be).

    • mandragora
    • By mandragora 30th Oct 13, 5:24 PM
    • 2,561 Posts
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    • #6
    • 30th Oct 13, 5:24 PM
    • #6
    • 30th Oct 13, 5:24 PM
    There's an Evans in Bristol, and they deal with Cycle to work - your 200 would then be worth the 200 & whatever your taxable rate is and your NIC amount - so adding another about 32% to 42% roughly - there's a table here that explains it:

    Evans are very good for being price-competitive, and carry a reasonable range in stock. However, I would give them a somewhat mixed review, having just bought a bike from there. Deal - fab. Customer service and follow-up, indifferent.
    Reason for edit? Can spell, can't type!
    • thelawnet
    • By thelawnet 30th Oct 13, 5:56 PM
    • 2,466 Posts
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    • #7
    • 30th Oct 13, 5:56 PM
    • #7
    • 30th Oct 13, 5:56 PM
    200 is not much for a new bike really.

    This is 270 and very decent value
    • WatsonNimrod
    • By WatsonNimrod 31st Oct 13, 11:20 AM
    • 1,868 Posts
    • 2,311 Thanks
    • #8
    • 31st Oct 13, 11:20 AM
    • #8
    • 31st Oct 13, 11:20 AM
    I'm not sensing a lot of love for Halfords, but they do stock some decent kit if you are on a budget.

    I was in a similar position to you a few years back with a similar budget, I bought a Carrera Subway for about 229, but I took it away and built it myself (I had heard conflicting reports about the service) and with no experience whatsoever put it together with a tutorial on youtube.

    My daily commute was Bath - Bristol on the cycle path (a bit like the M25 of cycle paths!!) so about 30m round trip and the Subway was a workhorse, I also didn't mind it being left lying around as it doesn't look worth nicking, but it never once let me down in a year of doing the journey in all weathers.

    Not exactly the same, but this might be worth a look as its got an extra 10% off.... 2068_langId_-1_categoryId_165534
  • Avoriaz
    • #9
    • 31st Oct 13, 1:16 PM
    • #9
    • 31st Oct 13, 1:16 PM

    a cycle-savvy friend

    So what I'm looking for this time around is a good quality, reliable, functionable bike, with a budget of around 200.
    Originally posted by underhanded
    You will get far more bike for your money second hand than new, even with the CTW scheme.

    A lot of people are getting on the post Olympics and Tour de France cycling bandwagon, buying expensive new bikes, riding them a few times, giving up and selling them on Ebay. *

    That means there are bargains out there for savvy buyers.

    I'm 61 and have recently got back into cycling for the first time since my teenage years. I knew nothing about bikes a few months ago but have learnt a lot by googling and reading cycling forums etc.

    Have a good look on Ebay and Gumtree and see if your cycle-savvy friend can advise you.

    With a bit of luck, care and common sense you could get an almost new 400 bike for 200 or less.

    Avoid cheap brands and supermarket bikes and stick with respected brands such as Ridgeback, Trek, Specialised, Giant, Marin, Boardman etc.

    Good luck.

    * Be aware that you could be one of those people. You may hate commuting by bike and go back to car or public transport so don't splash out on a new bike that you might be selling for half the price in a few months.

    You could buy a cheapish but decent bike second hand and then upgrade in a few months if you take to cycling or resell it for much the same money of you don't.
    Last edited by Avoriaz; 31-10-2013 at 1:25 PM.
    • SailorSam
    • By SailorSam 31st Oct 13, 1:22 PM
    • 21,172 Posts
    • 36,772 Thanks
    If you were thinking of going down the second hand route but worried it might be stolen, what about looking at Police auctions. Even if it was stolen thy could hardly come back on you.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

    Daniel Defoe: 1725.
  • Avoriaz
    Here are two bikes on Ebay that might suit you.

    I don't know what frame size you need so you need to establish that before buying

    Trek 7.5 FX

    I bought this less than a couple years ago. I had SKS mud guards fitted with the intention to commute. It's been sat in the garage for the most part having ridden less than a dozen times!
    That auction has 3 days to run. It is currently at 103 and may well go a lot higher than 200 but you never know.

    It is a large frame so you need to be over 6 foot.

    Ridgeback Rapide Comet
    Ridgeback rapid comet, Mens Hybrid bike almost new.
    Used twice & injury forces sale
    350 new
    That auction ends tomorrow. It has a starting price of 200 with no bids and will possibly not get any bids as that is probably too high a starting price.

    A bid of 200 might win it but my advice is not to bid as you are not in a hurry. Send this message:

    Hi, I'm interested in this bike but I like to see a bike before bidding. What size is the frame? If it doesn't sell I would like to visit to examine it and make you a cash offer if I like it.

    If the seller responds, then visit with your friend if possible. If you like the bike offer something like 170 cash for it. The seller would have paid about 30 in Ebay and Paypal fees so that is a decent offer.
    Last edited by Avoriaz; 31-10-2013 at 2:33 PM.
  • underhanded
    Thanks for all the info guys - very much appreciated. Unfortunately the cycle savvy friend is not around - however I've just found out and old friend of mine now runs his own little business doing bike services, as well as doing up bikes to sell on, so an even better contact in many ways! Its very much a side project of his, and he hasnt got any bikes at the moment, but I'm going to meet up and ask a few questions, try get myself a bit more clued up!

    WatsonNimrod - thats a lot further than my commute each day, I'll be doing a 7-8 mile round trip but still feel a bike is a good idea nonetheless. In regards to the Carerra, I've read in a few places this isn't actually a bad bike, but gets tarred with the anti-halfords brush, so will definately consider it.

    Avoriaz - thanks for the links, I'm 5'11 with small legs so the 1st might be a touch too big and I'll keep tabs on the second, ask a few questions and possibly make an offer! In regards to being 'one of those people' lets hope not! To be fair a couple of years back I was commuting to and from university every day and loved it. My wheel falling off, having no money and a bit of a lack of ambition to buy a new bike was the only thing that put a stop to it!

    All in all the job doesn't start for a couple of weeks, so I'm in no rush, but feel I'm at least a little more clued up on what to go for, Thanks
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 31st Oct 13, 7:03 PM
    • 11,622 Posts
    • 6,535 Thanks
    The only way to get a decent enough bike for <200, is to buy 2nd hand.....
    I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an a** of yourself.

    <><><><><><><><><<><><><><><><><><><><><><> Don't forget to like and subscribe \/ \/ \/
    • AndyBSG
    • By AndyBSG 1st Nov 13, 9:51 AM
    • 972 Posts
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    For the budget you're talking about then second hand really is the only option.

    You may be able to pick one up new but it will be cheaply made junk with rubbish components so you'll get much better value second hand.

    If you're going for a hybrid avoid getting one with suspension. Unless you're doing real off road all suspension does is add weight and slow you down with little benefit.

    Also, i'd invest in a decent set of slick tyres rather than the bobblies that Mountain Bikes come with.

    Scott, Giant, Claude Butler Urban or Specialized Sirrus are all ones to look out for.

    You could also look at a Cyclocross bike as opposed to a strict hybrid(although that's more road based with little room for off road use)

    I'll second the suggestion of a Giant Cyprus earlier in the thread because Giant make VERY good entry level bikes(especially the Defy) and a Giant Roam or Escape will also fit your needs

    You can actually pick up last years entry level Escape brand new for less than 300. It's a pretty decent frame with reasonable components that will allow you to upgrade them over time.
  • Hanky Panky
    I'll second the suggestion of a Giant Cyprus earlier in the thread because Giant make VERY good entry level bikes(especially the Defy) and a Giant Roam or Escape will also fit your needs
    Originally posted by AndyBSG
    I'd also add the Giant Rapid to that list.

    Bought mine as my first bike (since childhood!) last year for 250 off ebay. It was hardly used and still had the injection mouldings on the tyres.

    I bought a Defy this year and love it even more but still use the Rapid in wet weather having now fitted mudguards.
  • underhanded
    Thanks guys, I'm pretty much sold on the second hand idea - It may add a slight expense but I'm in touch with a few people (including the guy mentioned above) about buying refurbished second hand bikes off of them. I've been offered a Gary Fisher Wingra that has been given a full service, new brake pads, cables etc, and any worn out parts have been replaced. Its being offered at 175 (picture below). Is this a good deal do you reckon?
  • underhanded
    p.s thats not the picture of the actual bike being offered, jist the model, hes currently refurbing and will send me a pic once refurbed.
    • AndyBSG
    • By AndyBSG 1st Nov 13, 4:18 PM
    • 972 Posts
    • 1,206 Thanks
    That's a pretty good bike providing it's in a reasonable, especially for that price.

    Frame on it looks to have good geometry, quick release wheels. I'd be quite happy with that bike.

    Some nice thin wheels with slicks on and that should be a pretty speedy commuting bike while still allowing you to do some low level off road.

    Would recommend getting some mudguards fitted though but apart from those, a bottle cage and some lights you should be good to go.
    Last edited by AndyBSG; 01-11-2013 at 4:22 PM.
  • Avoriaz
    .. I've been offered a Gary Fisher Wingra that has been given a full service, new brake pads, cables etc, and any worn out parts have been replaced. Its being offered at 175 (picture below). Is this a good deal do you reckon?
    Originally posted by underhanded
    That looks like excellent value, probably a lot better than that Ridgeback that didn't sell at 200 on Ebay.

    If the frame is the right size for you; 18 to 20 inches is probably about right for you; I doubt if you would be disappointed with that bike.

    You should check that any replacement parts are of similar quality to the originals.
    Last edited by Avoriaz; 01-11-2013 at 5:35 PM.
    • maxheadroom
    • By maxheadroom 3rd Nov 13, 5:39 PM
    • 144 Posts
    • 150 Thanks
    Try one of the social enterprise bike recycling projects, possibly not as cheap as ebay/gumtree but you do get a fully serviced bike usually with some kind of warranty (bikes donated and they are fixed up buy vounteers orsometimes disadvantaged people as training under supervision of a qualified bike mechanic) - the cardiff one and swansea one are pretty friendly places bit hit and miss what you find but perhaps worth a look.

    Bristol One

    looks as though they have a sale in a few weeks

    If you fancy a trip to cardiff they have a sale on the 7th december

    Examples of what the cardiff one sells
    Last edited by maxheadroom; 03-11-2013 at 5:41 PM. Reason: more infor
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