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  1. #1
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    Question Hybrid bicycle buying advice (UK)

    Hello,

    I'm looking at buying my first bike and I'm currently doing some research into different options.

    So far I'm looking at a hybrid bike for the combination of road/mountain bike features as I might want to go off road once in a while. My research suggests looking at a Boardman or a Carrera bike - any others that are quite decent?

    Also would I be better off just getting a road bike as I am moving to a city (Leicester)?

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member fairymuff's Avatar
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    www.evanscycles.com have a good selection of hybrids. My wife and I both have a Trek 7.3 FX with disc brakes (550), and we love them. The Trek is a very popular choice on these forums. We occasionally take them for light offroad (towpath, disused railway) and they're fine for that. I'm very pleased with the disc brakes, and would definitely recommend them for the rainy UK.

    What's your budget?

    Also: Once you've narrowed down your choices, you really want to find a local bike shop for a test ride. There's no substitute for actually riding a bike when choosing one.

    Evans have a number of shops throughout the UK, so they might be a good place to start.

    Oh. If your employer participates in ride2work, you can effectively deduct the price of the bike for tax purposes.
    Last edited by fairymuff; 09-10-11 at 02:30 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BiCycleRace View Post
    Hello,

    I'm looking at buying my first bike and I'm currently doing some research into different options.

    So far I'm looking at a hybrid bike for the combination of road/mountain bike features as I might want to go off road once in a while. My research suggests looking at a Boardman or a Carrera bike - any others that are quite decent?

    Also would I be better off just getting a road bike as I am moving to a city (Leicester)?

    Thank you in advance.
    IMHO you should research other bicycle companies than Carrera. I would concentrate on companies like Jamis, Trek, Giant, Dawes, Seracen, and Claude Butler.

    Personally, I like the Jamis-Coda, the Trek-7.3 FX (or 7.6 FX), the Giant-Sedona, Cypress, or Tourer-RS. I also like the Seracen- Urban Myth and the ESC. The Claude Butler-Oregon looked pretty nice, as did the Specialized - Crossroads. Finally, the Fuji-Absolute 2.0 should be seriously considered prior to any other investigation.

    Good Luck!

    - Slim

    * Most of these bikes cost less than 400 pounds
    Last edited by SlimRider; 09-10-11 at 06:52 PM.

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    Hi, cheers for the link. As I am probably going to be selling the car I would be looking at a budget of around 200 - 400. I realise most of the Boardman models will be out of this price range.

    I'm based in Bedfordshire at the moment - looks like Evan's nearest store is Milton Keynes.

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    Senior Member fairymuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    IMHO you should research other bicycle companies than Carrera. I would concentrate on companies like Jamis, Trek, Giant, Dawes, Seracen, and Claude Butler.

    Personally, I like the Jamis-Coda, the Trek-7.3 FX (or 7.6 FX), the Giant-Sedona, Cypress, or Tourer-RS. I also like the Seracen- Urban Myth and the ESC. The Claude Butler-Oregon looked pretty nice, as did the Specialized - Crossroads. Finally, the Fuji-Absolute 4.0 should be seriously considered prior to any other investigation.

    Good Luck!

    - Slim

    * Most of these bikes cost less than 400 pounds


    Jamis isn't widely available in the UK. I think Evans are the sole distributor, but they don't seem to stock the Coda. The Specialized Sirrus would seem another contender, as would the Dawes discovery and the Kona Dew.
    Last edited by fairymuff; 09-10-11 at 04:20 PM.

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    Senior Member fairymuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BiCycleRace View Post
    Hi, cheers for the link. As I am probably going to be selling the car I would be looking at a budget of around 200 - 400. I realise most of the Boardman models will be out of this price range.

    I'm based in Bedfordshire at the moment - looks like Evan's nearest store is Milton Keynes.
    I would be looking at the top of that range, and stretch it a little if possible. There's lots of bikes in the 300-400 range, but you will get better quality if you spend a bit more. Having said that: bear in mind that accessories will cost as well. Unless you're going to ride the bike in fair weather only (as if there's such a thing in the UK), you will need mud guards, and they will set you back 25. Same for a half decent lock (preferably more, as bike theft is rife), and lights if you plan to ride in the dark.

    Still, more money spent on the actual bike will most likely give you more enjoyment riding it, and 400 will definitely give you a much better bike than 200.
    Last edited by fairymuff; 09-10-11 at 04:22 PM.

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    Senior Member fairymuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    Hi there BiCycleRace!

    There's no need in tossing time here. If you have that kind of budget, then none of the bikes that I researched could compare with the Jamis-Coda. It has fair componentry. However, that doesn't matter right now. The fact remains that it has a steel frame. A frame that will outlast any aluminum or carbon based frame. If your derailleurs or shifters should give way, fine. Just upgrade your bike to a Coda Competion or a Coda Elite, by changing your componentry. Nonetheless, the Jamis Coda is an award-winning bicycle. I've ridden it myself and I can assure you, it rides like a dream. For 350 pounds, it's a steal!

    Just get the Jamis-Coda!

    Afterwards, return to BF and thank me later!

    - Slim
    Ahem, I refer the gent/lady to post #5. Apart from the fact that the OP may not like what works for you: You'll struggle to find a Coda in the UK, let alone be able to test drive it. You may like it, but it's a bit of a lead balloon in the UK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fairymuff View Post
    Ahem, I refer the gent/lady to post #5. Apart from the fact that the OP may not like what works for you: You'll struggle to find a Coda in the UK, let alone be able to test drive it. You may like it, but it's a bit of a lead balloon in the UK.
    Ok, FairyMuff...

    If you Google Jamis dealers, international...You get a list. Then they give you the UK. If you click onto UK. Suddenly, a slew of Jamis dealers appear. Like over twenty of them, well over a dozen right in the greater London area.

    Does that mean that they're not really bonafied dealers or something?

    What's going on over there?

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    Senior Member fairymuff's Avatar
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    To be honest: I don't know. Jamis is a little known brand out here. I don't recall seeing a Jamis on the street here.

    Evans (40 odd shops in the UK) do stock some Jamis bikes: http://www.evanscycles.com/search?query=jamis&x=0&y=0, but not the Coda.

    I don't know what all these 'dealers' are doing or why they are on the Jamis site. Just stick 'jamis bikes uk' into google, and it should be obvious that they're not widely availabe.

    For me, the first two hits are Jamis corporate. The third is bikeradar (nov 2010).

    From that article:

    Jamis Bicycles have dropped off the UK cycling radar since they sponsored Team MBUK in the late '90s. Now the US company are back, with a promising-looking line-up of road and off-road machines.

    The bikes, which will be available exclusively via Evans Cycles from mid-December, include the Durango 3 aluminium hardtail with 30-speed SRAM X7 groupset, RockShox Tora fork and Hayes Stroker Ryde Comp for 729.99.
    Make of it what you will, but the OP is not going to walk into his LBS and test ride a Coda...

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    Quote Originally Posted by fairymuff View Post
    To be honest: I don't know. Jamis is a little known brand out here. I don't recall seeing a Jamis on the street here.

    Evans (40 odd shops in the UK) do stock some Jamis bikes: http://www.evanscycles.com/search?query=jamis&x=0&y=0, but not the Coda.

    I don't know what all these 'dealers' are doing or why they are on the Jamis site. Just stick 'jamis bikes uk' into google, and it should be obvious that they're not widely availabe.

    For me, the first two hits are Jamis corporate. The third is bikeradar (nov 2010).

    From that article:



    Make of it what you will, but the OP is not going to walk into his LBS and test ride a Coda...
    Thanks for the clarification, FairyMuffin!

    - Slim

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    Raleigh Makes a Really Nice Steel Frame

    Alright, BicycleRace!

    Here we go. I can't impress upon you enough, how important it is to get a steel-framed bicycle. I have a steel Nishiki Sebring road bike that's almost thirty-years old and it's my best riding bike. I now have four bikes. One was purchased just a few weeks a ago. My aluminum Trek 7.5 FX was purchased in 2007. I just refurbished a steel Giant Innova from 1993. It looks brand new, but it isn't. However, I digress.........

    The point is that when you buy a steel-framed bike, you should consider it an investment. The other bikes will most certainly last you for a minimum of five years, at least, in most cases. However, aluminum suffers from stress fatigue and will NOT outlast steel in most cases. Should we discuss carbon? Let's NOT!

    If there's one thing that Raleigh makes well, is the bike's frame. They make some of the best lugged road bikes in the world. I personally, own one of them, the Raleigh Grand Prix. That's the bike I purchased a few weeks ago and it rides on a cloud.

    Well in the UK, Raleigh also makes a steel-framed bike, called the Oakland. It has eighteen speeds and is well within your budget. Remember, you can always upgrade later...

    For 220 pounds, it's a genuine steal.

    You might want to check it out. Otherwise I'd look into the Fuji Absolute 2.0 ...

    Just go Online to www.about-bicycles.com/Bike-Reviews/fuji-absolute-hybrid.html

    Then click onto 2011 Absolute 2.0

    PS.

    The componentry on this Fuji bike is unbelievable for the price of just over 400 pounds!


    * Just spotted this on Bikesdirect.com

    Motobecane- Cafe Express @ 285 pounds (If you're not interested in the Oakland or Fuji, this is your next best selection).
    Last edited by SlimRider; 09-10-11 at 07:25 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member fairymuff's Avatar
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    Oh. One more thing: now is actually a very good time to buy a bike. The 2012 models are coming in, so shops are discounting the 2011 models, which often are no different apart from colour. As an example: the 2011 Trek 7.3FX with rim brakes is available from Evans for 425, down from 500. The disc brake model is 490 down from 550, but only available in limited sizes.

    Which reminds me: do make sure you get a bike in a size that's appropriate for you. Unfortunately, many shops will sell you whatever size they have on the shop floor, rather than the one you need. If you go to a larger shop like Evans, you can check the availability of the different sizes online. If they don't have your size at the local shop, you should be able to have one sent down from the warehouse.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fairymuff View Post
    I would be looking at the top of that range, and stretch it a little if possible. There's lots of bikes in the 300-400 range, but you will get better quality if you spend a bit more. Having said that: bear in mind that accessories will cost as well.
    Yes, hopefully I'll get at least 1,000 for the car so I may be able to aim a bit higher. I might have been pessimistic in my budget as we do live a world knee-deep in financial mess. Of course I'll have to add on for mud guards, d-locks and so on.

    Quote Originally Posted by fairymuff View Post
    I refer the gent/lady to post #5.
    I should have mentioned I'm a young male in my mid 20's.

    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    Alright, BicycleRace!

    Here we go. I can't impress upon you enough, how important it is to get a steel-framed bicycle. I have a steel Nishiki Sebring road bike that's almost thirty-years old and it's my best riding bike. I now have four bikes. One was purchased just a few weeks a ago. My aluminum Trek 7.5 FX was purchased in 2007. I just refurbished a steel Giant Innova from 1993. It looks brand new, but it isn't. However, I digress.........

    The point is that when you buy a steel-framed bike, you should consider it an investment. The other bikes will most certainly last you for a minimum of five years, at least, in most cases. However, aluminum suffers from stress fatigue and will NOT outlast steel in most cases. Should we discuss carbon? Let's NOT!

    If there's one thing that Raleigh makes well, is the bike's frame. They make some of the best lugged road bikes in the world. I personally, own one of them, the Raleigh Grand Prix. That's the bike I purchased a few weeks ago and it rides on a cloud.

    Well in the UK, Raleigh also makes a steel-framed bike, called the Oakland. It has eighteen speeds and is well within your budget. Remember, you can always upgrade later...

    For 220 pounds, it's a genuine steal.

    You might want to check it out. Otherwise I'd look into the Fuji Absolute 2.0 ...

    Just go Online to www.about-bicycles.com/Bike-Reviews/fuji-absolute-hybrid.html

    Then click onto 2011 Absolute 2.0

    PS.

    The componentry on this Fuji bike is unbelievable for the price of just over 400 pounds!


    * Just spotted this on Bikesdirect.com

    Motobecane- Cafe Express @ 285 pounds (If you're not interested in the Oakland or Fuji, this is your next best selection).
    SlimRider! Yes, there's some good points in there - I will certainly take this into consideration.

    Quote Originally Posted by fairymuff View Post
    Oh. One more thing: now is actually a very good time to buy a bike. The 2012 models are coming in, so shops are discounting the 2011 models, which often are no different apart from colour. As an example: the 2011 Trek 7.3FX with rim brakes is available from Evans for 425, down from 500. The disc brake model is 490 down from 550, but only available in limited sizes.

    Which reminds me: do make sure you get a bike in a size that's appropriate for you. Unfortunately, many shops will sell you whatever size they have on the shop floor, rather than the one you need. If you go to a larger shop like Evans, you can check the availability of the different sizes online. If they don't have your size at the local shop, you should be able to have one sent down from the warehouse.
    Yes I'll probably need an 18 - 20" frame as I'm around 32-34 on the inside leg. CycleKing are my nearest LBS as they are almost right on my doorstep. However, looking at their hybrid's (http://www.cycleking.co.uk/1_3_3_Gen...kes_3_asc.html) they don't seem that good so I may well go to Evans.

  14. #14
    Senior Member fairymuff's Avatar
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    To be honest, Cycleking looks a little dodgy. Unlike Evans, they don't stock any of the reputable brands. They appear to be more concerned with price than quality, and the specifications they give on the bikes are minimal. Steer clear...

    You're far more likely to get decent advice from Evans (or any other LBS that is serious about bikes)

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    I recently bought a fuji absulute for riding around town in a 10 mile circuit of sorts. For in town, it's amazing. The handling is superior to most bikes I've rode. It's a little slow compared to other bikes, but nothing terrible. My burst speed is at 24-26 mph, my average over ten miles in town is like 10, but theres a lot of starting and stopping. Mainting speed for me is about 16 mph.

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