Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

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robjwood
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Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby robjwood » Mon Oct 01, 2012 14:43 pm

I am looking to get a new bike via the Cycle 2 Work scheme (after a failed attempt to convert an old Raleigh Montage to an SS). I have a budget of £300 and want to get a hybrid. I've narrowed it down to either a Carrera Subway or a Voodoo Marasa (I'll have to get it from Halfords).

I may be able to get a bike that Halfords don't stock so I've also looked at the Specialized Crossroads Hybrid 2013 and the Scott Sportster 60 2012.

Which of those bikes is the best value? I'm looking for something robust that'll mainly be used on road/path. Are there any other bikes that are worth a look?

alan sherman
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby alan sherman » Mon Oct 01, 2012 15:41 pm

Giant escape 3. Wife has one. It does what it says on the tin.

robjwood
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby robjwood » Mon Oct 01, 2012 15:53 pm

Looks nice. Another one to add to the list...

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Daddy0
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby Daddy0 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 16:50 pm

My brother in law just bought a Voodoo Marasa. Its quite a nice bike for the money, but be warned - its HEAVY. I'd not want to ride it to work because I have a steep hill climb both ways. The disc brakes are meant to be quite good I understand, but superfluous on a road bike and more likely to cause you issues after a bit of wear. My BIL's is too new to comment about how they will stand up to a bit of punishment, but he's been doing 22 mile round trips everyday for a couple of weeks and is enjoying himself greatly. One good thing to be said for it - he's probably going to end up a lot fitter than me!

I, on the other hand went the other way and got an old (2006) second hand Scott Sportster P4. It cost £150 and I've spent about another £150-200 on new tyres, speedo, lights, tubes, cassette, chain, pedals and rigid forks (yet to fit these). Plus I've re-greased it and cut down the bars. I'd say that my bike is a lot nicer to ride than the Voodoo, much much much faster and much less effort. Did I say it was much faster? ;-)

Whatever you get either make sure it comes with skinny slick tyres, or get beefy off road tyres and then buy some slicks/semi slicks as well so you can change it up. The difference going from the stock slightly knobbly tyres to some narrower Gatorskins pumped up to 120psi was massive - instantly added 10mph to my top speed, and probably 5+mph to my average speed over an hour.

I just had a look at the Sportster 60 - if the gearing was better then I'd choose it over the Voodoo, but would probably choose it over the Voodoo anyway just for snob value. Smallest rear cog on the 60 is a 14 tooth - on mine its 11, so you're not going to have as quick a top speed. If I were you I'd consider spending the extra £30 and going for a Scott Sub 40 2012 (or the Sub Solution) with an 11 tooth rear cog - you'll be grateful for this every time you go downhill.

Now I've had a half decent bike for a few months though I'm looking at decent road bikes. I didn't think I would as a hybrid seemed perfect for my commute when I first started getting into it. If you're anything like me, enjoy going fast downhill and want the most efficient bike for going uphill, then eventually you'll probably end up looking at road bikes too. Halfords do the Carrera TDF Road Bike for £330, if you got that then you'd probably be able to go faster than I would on my pimped up Sportster...

Southgate
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby Southgate » Mon Oct 01, 2012 19:33 pm

Given that you're getting a new bike at almost half price with interest free monthly repayments, are you able to consider a bigger budget? Cheap bikes can be a false economy as with regular use they tend to fall to bits quite quickly, and they're not as light, as fast, as safe or as much fun to ride. If you're planning on commuting, even a £600 or a £1,000 bike should pay for itself AND save you money.

Here in London an annual Zone 1-4 Oyster card is almost £1,700, or if you buy a monthly card: £160.

A lot of London cyclists on the scheme spend up to the £1,000 limit (say £800 on a bike plus £200 on a top notch lock and other accessories), which (depending on their own tax band etc) works out at around £600 paid in twelve £50 monthly installments.

That's over £100 a month cheaper than public transport, and after a year you've finished paying and you're left with a pretty decent bike which will go on for years if properly maintained.

geebus
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby geebus » Mon Oct 01, 2012 20:24 pm

I got a specialized Globe Vienna second hand for £115 - pretty much new and happy with it for what it was. (Have since got a more expensive hybrid with road bike gearing for longer rides, but still keeping the Vienna for around town.)
Original RRP £300.

Think the Globe Work is probably the new equivalent. £350 or so for that.

robjwood
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby robjwood » Tue Oct 02, 2012 08:14 am

@Daddy0 I started looking at racing bikes but I do a fair bit of kerb-hopping and I don't know if a racer would appreciate that kind of action...

@Southgate I totally see your point but I can't really justify a larger monthly amount than that. My commute is a mile each way and I although I've been doing a bout 5 miles at lunch time I don't see that continuing over the winter months.

I guess what I'm looking for is primarily a robust, reliable commuter that will handle the cold winter months (and be able to withstand 7 hours out in the rain) and be of decent enough quality to be fun to ride.

@geebus The Globe is yet another to add to the list. This choice is getting more difficult!

exlaser
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby exlaser » Tue Oct 02, 2012 08:21 am

subway is a good bike for the money.
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Southgate
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby Southgate » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:39 am

@Southgate I totally see your point but I can't really justify a larger monthly amount than that. My commute is a mile each way and I although I've been doing a bout 5 miles at lunch time I don't see that continuing over the winter months.


Totally understand. Enjoy the cycling! :D

robjwood
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby robjwood » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:48 pm

I'm intruiged by the Specialized Crossroads 2013 Hybrid Bike. I like the idea of fewer gears but not so sure about the twist shift.

I've struggled to find any real info about them (all seems to be from the manufacturer). Anyone know anything about them? I know Specialized have a good reputation but I've no idea what their lower end bikes are meant to be like.

Anyone had any experience with them?

Gizmo_
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby Gizmo_ » Tue Oct 02, 2012 13:43 pm

robjwood wrote:@Southgate I totally see your point but I can't really justify a larger monthly amount than that. My commute is a mile each way and I although I've been doing a bout 5 miles at lunch time I don't see that continuing over the winter months.

For a mile each way, I'd just walk it or get a secondhand BSO from the local market / small ads / Gumtree. It's almost that far from my house to the tube anyway!
Scott Sportster P45 2008 | Cannondale CAAD8 Tiagra 2012

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supersonic
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby supersonic » Tue Oct 02, 2012 13:59 pm

This one?

http://www.jejamescycles.co.uk/speciali ... 92148.html

It will do the job for what you want: as has been mentioned a mile is not too far. But for £300 it is pretty poor, ancient quill stem system, screw on freewheel with limited range of gears and weaker axle, some heavy steel parts, very cheap gearing.

I'd take a look at this:

http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... pping#tab2

Some nice parts, good gear set, sub 30lbs, tough as well.

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Daddy0
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby Daddy0 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 15:37 pm

If your ride is only a mile each way and you like curb hopping then get a BMX. Bunnyhop those curbs and learn to manual whilst your commuting - much more fun than a boring road/hybrid bike ;-)

geebus
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby geebus » Tue Oct 02, 2012 16:56 pm


Spec doesn't look too far off my Vienna - which as I say, generally impressed by for what it is.
Though I do get proper shifters - which are pretty nice, as opposed to twist grip ones, which aren't very likely to be nice!

But then I paid £115 for mine in almost-new condition. Wouldn't have been nearly as happy paying £300 for it (even with a bike to work scheme.)
I have however just paid a smidge over £300 on a 'Charge Scourer' (rrp £630) which was on offer at wiggle.
If you can do it through a place offering such discounts, definitely worth keeping an eye out as this is the right time of the year for some good deals.

robjwood
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby robjwood » Fri Oct 05, 2012 08:59 am

Thanks for all the feedback. I've narrowed it down to two bikes: Giant Escape 3 and Globe Work (in that order). Both seem pretty solid choices but does anyone know of any catches or things to be aware of before I purchase?

I think at this price range you'll never get a perfect bike but these seem decent enough.

robjwood
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby robjwood » Fri Oct 05, 2012 13:13 pm

OK, so it looks like I wouldn't be able to get the Giant until mid-Jan so that's out. I was also looking the Trek T30 as a backup choice but I'm not convinced about the twist gears.

Has anyone used these in anger?

jamesco
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby jamesco » Fri Oct 05, 2012 13:44 pm

robjwood wrote:OK, so it looks like I wouldn't be able to get the Giant until mid-Jan so that's out. I was also looking the Trek T30 as a backup choice but I'm not convinced about the twist gears.

Has anyone used these in anger?

Yes! I was just about to suggest it as it's a great bike and sneaks under your limit here.

I've had one for six years and think it's fantastic for the price. Mine is left outside year-round and used in a 12 mile commute and has only needed the usual consumable parts (gear cables x 2, cassettes & chains x 2, bottom bracket x 1, brake pads x lots).

A big advantage is that it comes with mudguards and rack - which are essential for commuting, IMHO - so no faffing about or spending extra money.

People say that spending so little up-front will result in spending a lot more in the future, but that's not been the case with this bike. I have a good-as-new Giant SCR1 road-bike as well, but the Trek gets vastly more use and despite costing only 1/3rd as much I reckon it's better.

robjwood
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby robjwood » Fri Oct 05, 2012 14:33 pm

I'd heard that the Trek was pretty robust. I'm riding without mudguards at the moment but I think I'll need to get these so adding getting a bike with them ready mounted does make some sense.

How do you find the twist shift compared to triggers?

jamesco
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby jamesco » Fri Oct 05, 2012 15:13 pm

robjwood wrote:How do you find the twist shift compared to triggers?

Twist-shift was simply what the bike came with and I don't think I've ever thought about it, so they must be okay. Your best bet is to take one for a spin and see if you like it (or not - that's okay :)) - Evans offers test-rides.

People will say that twist-shift sucks, or that there's no such thing as a good cheap bike, or that a hybrid is only a stepping-stone to a road bike, but I'm really happy with my T30 and recommend you give one a try. Another good thing about the T30 is that it looks so dull it's not likely to ever get stolen!

robjwood
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Re: Budget Hybrid bikes for up to £300?

Postby robjwood » Fri Oct 05, 2012 15:51 pm

Ha! I am pretty partial to that 'wouldn't touch with a barge-pole' look that it has! It does have a certain charm...


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