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Which Bike?


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Hello all you cyclists out there. I need a new bike, it's been a while since I did a lot of cycling, and I'm not looking for anything too flash, just a good road worthy bike with a few gears (basically one loose, one hard, and one middle), definitely don't need one of these 20+ gear things!

Had a quick look at Halfords just now, and they seem to have some good discounts, but have no idea what is good.


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It looks like what you are after is a Hybrid. This is a good choice for leisure riding where you might go off road a bit but most of the time you'll be riding at not too fast a pace on roads and tracks. I used to have a Ridgeback Velocity which I really liked.

The Carrera range of bikes at Halfords arent too bad (My GF used to have a Carrera Velour - I think thats what it was called) but they are a touch more expensive than the Apollo range. The Apollo range are pretty rubbish TBH.

I've just started riding single speed and around London I really like it. Completely hassle free. I think this would be a nice bike.


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Really you have to think that if you buy second hand if you sell it third hand you will lose little money whilst if you buy new and then sell you will lose a lot more money.

If you really take to it you will want to sell and upgrade soon anyway.

Things to think are IMO are your height/ weight. Dont go for a sexy bike with thin racing tyres if you are not of athletic build. go to somewhere like evans, pick their brains , try a few out and then try and get a second hand one. Things to think about are - are you going to have to carry it up stairs? will you want to put it in your car/ on your car.

will you want to go up on pavements? ( need thicker tyres)

will you want a little rack on the back top carry stuff on?

will you be pottering about SE22 mainly? there are quie a few hills so lighness of bike and more than 3 gears are quite important. If you are going to commute and leave it in the same paloce everyday for fixed time periods you will have to get good locks ( plural). Ther are some amazing lightweight bikes out there that cost over ?500 ( hah I mean ?5k) and some real tanks - some of the decathlon ones are so cheap but so heavy- ditto halfords). If you can try and borrow one from a friend for a day just to see.

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What's your budget?

If it's ?200 definitely try and get something second hand.

If you're planning on using it often you will regret wasting that money on something from Halfords.

It wont be a pleasure to ride.

Go to Edwardes cycles in Camberwell or Re-cycled. (avoid ebay)

Try something with a hub gear if you want low maintenance and few gears, or single speed.

If your bugets more, go to Evans and try a few out for a test ride and see what you like.

You can get some good deals in the sale.


Or buy my Ridgeback Genesis Day 02 of me......!

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I wouldn't buy a bike from Halfords, unless it's one of the higher end bikes like a Boardman. Nor would I get anything from Decathlon. Cheap badly put together bikes that won't last long if you're riding seriously in London. Nor would I get second hand in London. I looked into this and they seemed seriously overpriced to me (although Bob's bikes off the Walworth Road sell second hand pretty cheaply and would ensure it's road worthy). You could look on Gumtree, but they're often nicked.

What I would do is wait until after Christmas, because that's when bike shops discount massively to get rid of old stock. I bought a bike in Edwardes's in Camberwell a couple of years ago in February. Came in all in at about ?350 for a decent Kona hybrid with Scwhalbe puncture proof tyres (I would recommend such tyres). You could also try a few bikes out in a bicycle shop and then buy off the web after Xmas (so eg Wiggle). This is a bit naughty, but if it's Evans no problem: they deserve it! If you're looking at sub-?400, makes I'd go for are Kona, Marin, Trek, Specilaised. If you're festivally plump, Ridgeback's aren't durable enough in my experience.

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That's a bit unfair Taper. The mid-top range bikes at Decathlon are good bikes. They come well equipped for the money.

The only bikes to look at in Halfords are the Boardman range. I know Evans gets a bad rep and I don't like using them much but they can be useful to order in several bikes and try back-to-back, you'll have to put done a deposit but you aren't committed to anything. Second hand is always a bit hit and miss and unless you know what you are looking for it can be dicey. People don't look after their bikes very well on the whole and you can end up with soemthing that'll need a lot of parts changing in short time if it hasn't been looked after.

As Taper says You won't go wrong with Specialized, Trek, Marin etc. I'd add Scott to that list. The most important thing is to get a bike that fits you properly!

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The problem with sizing bikes is that each manufacturer and each style of bike has different geometry. There are usually fairly good ball park sizing guides on maker websites but it's best to get along to a shop and have them look at you on the bikes, make adjustments and get you to ride them to see how you feel.
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Hi keef you could also pop into BC Bikes on ED Rd and have a quick chat.

If you explain to the staff what you're looking to use the bike for, budget etc, they are very helpful and there's no pressure to buy from there either (in my experience).

They helped me to choose the right frame size when I had to replace my bike last year and were impartial in their advice when I took in a catalogue from a friend's bike shop in another area and asked what they thought of the models that I was considering to buy (even though they were different to the ones that they stock).

Good luck and hope you find one to suit.

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What katie and karter say, go to some real local bike shops and get some advice, try some bikes out, etc. Don't go asking a bunch of bike nerds on the web :) My only advice on top of that would be to stay above ?250 to get something of a reasonable quality, get two decent gold rated locks, always lock it up properly and get some insurance!

I'd also recommend BC Bikes (lovely lot), Brixton Cycles (workers' co-op!) and Re-cycling.

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You might do worse than talk to mlteenie he repairs bikes for bikers and shops hire him too, he has no axe to grind on which is the best as he doesn't sell them, but he knows everything you could want to know.

My input would be, ride as many as you can to see which fits you best.

get large wheels, they corner, brake, and ride better than small.

Take the lightest bike you can afford, you will only pay for it once but it will repay you every time you attempt a gradient.

Hire mlteenie for half an hour to give it a service, he will help to set it up to suit you, plus excellent advice.

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