Carrera's Subway is designed as a slick tyred city bike - and it excels on tough urban streets - but we thought it would be more fun to swap to knobblies to see how it fared off-road.
The Subway feels fast and lively, flying along rough Tarmac and trails alike. The surprisingly subtle frame feel, cromo forks and suspension seat post make it remarkably smooth over rolling or medium rough off-road. It still needs careful piloting in rocky or steppy trail situations, but it's one of the smoothest rigid bikes we've ridden recently.
The low bottom bracket means it bashes pedals regularly and handling is quick too, which might scare novices. It's great for faster, more aggressive riding though, and there's plenty of stretch for easy breathing on hard climbs and long distances, too. A fully female-friendly version is also available.
Heat treated, multi-shaped tubes make for a remarkably light chassis. The cromo steel rigid forks are comfortable, and come with rack and mudguard mounts to match the ones at the back. We swapped the supplied slick tyres for Conti Vapor knobblies to increase off-road grip, but the lack of a granny ring restricts mountainous off-road use. The adjustable stem is reliably tight though, and the suspension seat post and reinforced saddle really help comfort.
The Subway is a really impressive, lightweight and surprisingly smooth ride. The double chainset is restrictive in steep slow terrain, but stick on knobblies and it's a really enthusiastic ride on more open, rolling trails as well as the road.