Decent but cheap bike? For cycling to work.

#1
Awrighty righty?

So I've been thinking about getting myself a bike for getting back and forward from work at night and I was taking a look at Halfords. For a decent man's bike seems to be £100 - £200. I'm not whinging about the prices, I haven't cycled since I was about 12 but is there any chance that any of you know of a better place to take a look?

I understand that you get what you pay for, I'm alright with that and I expect to be using this thing 4-5 days a week for a couple of miles each day so I don't want something that's going to fall apart beneath me like I'm in a cartoon. I'm 6 ft and about 17 stone too, so sturdy is obviously good.

Actually planning to do this in the hopes of shifting the weight I've put on since last Summer. Right now I'm either driving everywhere or getting the bus. I've not been running in ages and I am going to the gym but it's a miserable place to be, in my opinion, and I'd prefer to go out and do something a bit hands-on so I thought I'd start the cycling.

Also: a hybrid bike - is that my best bet for cycling through town? They seem to be the most sturdy, mixture of mountain and road bike. Any advice would be appreciated, just to perk my confidence up about the whole thing.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#2
At 17 stone I recommend lots of hot man on man action. Your hideous frame needs lots of pounding. A regular sound thrashing will get some weight off that rump.
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
#3
£100 - £200 is very cheap, you won't get much cheaper than that except from a charity shop, most halfway decent bikes expect to pay from £300+.
 
#4
Indeed I would love the man on man action. But don't you see? This is why we can't be together! The idea of my beer belly flapping around during our 'intense' love-making session is a huge blow to my confidence. Once I have cycled to work for a few months we might be able to pursue our 'similar interests'.
 
#5
Agree with what Joker62 is saying.

Halfords: Take a look at the Carrera Gryphon hybrid (think it retails around the £350 range).

Other makes (hybrid): Specialized.
Claud Butler.
Kona.
Dawes.
Cannondale.
Giant and Scott (might need to raid a bank to afford some of these).

Some independent retailers have second-hand bikes which might be in your £100-£200 range.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#6
Indeed I would love the man on man action. But don't you see? This is why we can't be together! The idea of my beer belly flapping around during our 'intense' love-making session is a huge blow to my confidence. Once I have cycled to work for a few months we might be able to pursue our 'similar interests'.
You just need lettuce, lube and penetration.
 
#8
If you go very cheap you'll regret it, see if Halfords have a New Year sale and try and pick up a Carrera Subway or similar. Do you have a Decathlon superstore near you, they've got a great rep for good value, well specced bikes. Otherwise look for an old steel framed Specialized Rockhopper or similar old-school bike from any of the other big names- Giant, GT, Kona, Trek, etc. If Glasgow's thieving scrotes are anything like Oxford's you'll want a fb lock too.
 
#9
Diamond Back are a decent bike. Your best bet is leave Halfords alone and go to your local independant. Those guys are usually keen cyclists and can give you much better information. Personally I recommend a hard tail mountain bike. That way you get the best of both worlds. The following link isn't a local independant but might give you an idea of prices. Also find out if you can benefit from the Cycle To Work Scheme.


Cycles UK | Bikes - Mountain Bikes - Hardtail Mountain Bikes

Tax free bikes for work through the Government's Green Transport Initiative - Cyclescheme, provider of Cycle to Work schemes for UK employers - Cyclescheme
 
#10
Thanks for the links, Phoenix.

Obviously I'm going to shell out more dosh on decent gear. I'll need a helmet, lights, high-vis jacket/vest or whatever. Could probably use some gear to maintain the ****** as well once I buy it.
 
#11
You might want to think about putting a car rack on the back in case it's raining when you go home.
 
#12
Obviously I'm going to shell out more dosh on decent gear. I'll need a helmet, lights, high-vis jacket/vest or whatever. Could probably use some gear to maintain the ****** as well once I buy it.
Maintenance isn't really an issue with bikes, depending on how you use them of course. I've got mine for 15 years now and only needed to fix the tires a few times. If you can store it in a shed it doesn't go rusty either.

Go to your local bike shop and ask for a second hand one. They're often cheaper and as good as new ones. They're not cars with potential hidden failures, so any old frame will do.

Lights and a high-vis vest shouldn't cost you more than a few quid. A helmet (do you need one in the UK?) is probably the most expensive part. I wouldn't know what a bike costs because mine were always liberated from the Amsterdam railway station.
 
#13
Find a colleague or someone you know who is in to cycling and tap them for local knowledge. There isn't anything better than that for knowing best shops, deals etc where you are.
A hybrid is probably the best bet for you. You don't need suspension at all - a heavy waste at the cheap end anyway. I would strongly suggest getting full length mudguards on the bike for commuting - any serious commuter will tell you that and they make a massive difference in the wet.
You will need a good lock (or two) of the D lock type - Abus Granite have a very good name for the price. As for clothing - waterproof jacket (pref high vis / reflective), trackie bottoms or something else for your legs, gloves, a helmet, lights and the ability to make quick repairs on your route (multi tool, pump, tyre levers, spare tubes). I would strongly recommend getting a pair of proper lycra shorts to wear underneath - I see too many people getting those mahoosive saddle covers that do nothing.

Bike - a Carerra Subway would do you fine. Diamondback and doing some great commuter bikes at the cheap end too, as are Dawes and most other brands. Have a look at the Edinburgh Cycle Co-op and their flat bar hybrid bikes too. I'd always recommend spending at least £300 on a bike as that really is the entry point for durability - this is going to be replacing a car / bus on a daily basis after all.

Any maintenance advice can be found on the Park Tools website. If you buy the bike froma local shop, quite a few do decent deals on servicing, but the more you can do yourself the better it is.
 
#14
Awrighty righty?

So I've been thinking about getting myself a bike for getting back and forward from work at night and I was taking a look at Halfords. For a decent man's bike seems to be £100 - £200. I'm not whinging about the prices, I haven't cycled since I was about 12 but is there any chance that any of you know of a better place to take a look?

I understand that you get what you pay for, I'm alright with that and I expect to be using this thing 4-5 days a week for a couple of miles each day so I don't want something that's going to fall apart beneath me like I'm in a cartoon. I'm 6 ft and about 17 stone too, so sturdy is obviously good.

Actually planning to do this in the hopes of shifting the weight I've put on since last Summer. Right now I'm either driving everywhere or getting the bus. I've not been running in ages and I am going to the gym but it's a miserable place to be, in my opinion, and I'd prefer to go out and do something a bit hands-on so I thought I'd start the cycling.

Also: a hybrid bike - is that my best bet for cycling through town? They seem to be the most sturdy, mixture of mountain and road bike. Any advice would be appreciated, just to perk my confidence up about the whole thing.
Wouldn't buy from Halfords, the component parts are really pikey and cheap!

Like others have posted, you ain't gonna get much for £200...maybe something with stabilisers and spokey-dokeys!
 
#15
So boardman bikes have pikey components?????

It depends on the bike and as others have said hybrids are the way to go. I
f you are going to use it every day then don't spend anything less than £300-£500 on a new one.GO and have a look in the bike shops and find one you like then look for a similar one on Ebay as you will get it cheaper.
 
#16
I bought a Halfords cheapy last year as the house I was living in was a fair distance outside the barracks I was at. Its allright for simply going A to B but I don't think it would fair very well against some serious miles across rough terrain or anything like that.

However it is still going strong now, although I'm nowhere near 17 stone.
 
#17
So boardman bikes have pikey components?????

It depends on the bike and as others have said hybrids are the way to go. I
f you are going to use it every day then don't spend anything less than £300-£500 on a new one.GO and have a look in the bike shops and find one you like then look for a similar one on Ebay as you will get it cheaper.
Yes, they are!

I have had two friends require their rear wheel free hub replaced due to it being really pikey! Also, I have replaced a few cable as they were cheap JagWire cables. Boardman bikes have the named components you can see, but cheap hubs and bearings you cannot see...it keeps the cost down!

This is very counter productive when you think about the most important parts, and what you're asking the bike to do...especially winter.
 
#18
THe carrera subway is the rose amongst Halfords many thorns

I've had one for a few years, sturdy, wizzy smooth tires, nowt breaks on it, you can bolt panniers etc to it. good on the road and it'll go offroad (I did the south downs on it a couple of years ago)

Its been superceded by a lovely cyclo-cross now though so my mates got it for commuting
 
#19
I'm in the same boat as the OP, however as I'm now getting past running because I'm old and lazy I want to take up mountain biking. I have about 500 sheets to spare on a peddly bike. I don't want owt flash as the majority of the cycling will be done over the North York Moors. Can anyone set me on the straight and narrow.
 
#20
I'm in the same boat as the OP, however as I'm now getting past running because I'm old and lazy I want to take up mountain biking. I have about 500 sheets to spare on a peddly bike. I don't want owt flash as the majority of the cycling will be done over the North York Moors. Can anyone set me on the straight and narrow.
Look at something that has a triple ring for hills, the following are good bikes:

Cube - loads of bike for the money, superb quality but may be slightly over your budget.

Specialised -have a good range within your bracket.

Scott- good sturdy bikes, excellent if you're willing to spend money on the higher end bike.

Orbea- brilliant, can be expensive.

There are plenty others. Go to a decent shop...not Halfords and ask for advice on a brand and model within your price range, then when you're happy google it, always cheaper on the net...you could even go back to shop and ask him to match price or offer extras like:

Pedals
Shoes
Helmet
Etc
 

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