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  1. #1
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    Help deciding on a cheap bike

    Hi,

    I am going to buy a cheap hybrid bike to go to work sometimes, go to the park and try to save on transport cost in London! So, I did a bit of research and I need help deciding between these two:

    Activ by Raleigh, woman's hybrid city bike 17inch

    Viking Prestige ladies hybrid 19inch

    I researched specifications for both and they are barely the same. Also, I am 1,69 m tall and inside leg is 81-82 cm, ideally, the frame size would be 18 inch, but I am wondering if the 17 inch would be too small... can it be too small 1 inch difference?

    If anyone has any experience with any of the bikes above, please comment, the price difference is not big, so I cannot rely on it to make a decision.

    Thank you all!

  2. #2
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    Those certainly are some cheap options; they'll get you where you want to go for sure, but in my opinion they may leave you wanting more.

    Both bikes use twist shifters, and those are fine I guess, but once you've used trigger-type shifters (you can still find them on cheaper bikes), you won't want to go back.

    I can't tell what size tires (tyres?) they use but generally you want to go for the slim and/or slick ones, which are just so much quicker and easier to accelerate, especially for someone shorter such as yourself; you may also want to get something light-weight overall, which also helps in those regards.

    I've never heard of Viking, but Releigh has some credibility behind its name, although I suspect the quality of the components on them is nothing to write home about. With the cheaper stuff there's always a chance it'll start falling apart on you sooner or later (it's usually the derailleurs that are the first to go).

    And about the frame size: 1 inch could make a difference, but it's best to test ride it first if you can (at least a standover height test). You could always raise or lower the seat to suit you, however.

  3. #3
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    Welcome To Bike Forums, Indecisa!

    If you don't have any major inclines or really serious hills, I would suggest that you purchase a single speed bicycle. They're efficient, easy to maintain, and usually quite inexpensive.

    PS.

    Male bicycle frames are generally much stronger than female frames

  4. #4
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    Would it be better a 7 speed bike than these ones? There is another Viking bike of the same sort, with 7 speed gear... I am all confused, I shortlisted the two above and I find hard to decide among them, so I want to shortlist.

    A single speed option is :
    2012 Viking Hollywood 18" Ladies Traditional Dutch Bike

    But I though, having gears would make it easy for me...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by indecisa View Post
    Would it be better a 7 speed bike than these ones? There is another Viking bike of the same sort, with 7 speed gear... I am all confused, I shortlisted the two above and I find hard to decide among them, so I want to shortlist.

    A single speed option is :
    2012 Viking Hollywood 18" Ladies Traditional Dutch Bike

    But I though, having gears would make it easy for me...
    If you have hills or inclines, having more gears will definitely make it easier for you. This is especially so, since females have smaller muscle groupings. However, in the absence of hills, a woman could afford to be frugal by selecting an inexpensive single speed, just for bumping along in the city.

  6. #6
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    Yes, it would be easier to pedal with lower gearing. I think that's important, but single speed bikes are really low maintenance, hence more reliable (for cheaper bikes). Are you buying only online? If you could get to a local department store who sells budget brand bikes I'm sure you could test ride a few and find one in your price range (and with a good return policy).

    I don't think anyone has much experience with what you are considering, but I like the looks of that Viking Hollywood.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    If you're planning to use the bike in any mixed mode scenario (train, bus, commute) or if you're worried about keeping the bike safe while at work, you might want to consider a folding bike. They're not cheap, but they are versatile, and you can pick up a used one or less extravagent model. More over in the folding bikes forum.
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

  8. #8
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    I noticed that no one has suggested craigslist so far. E.g., if you can bargain this down to 160, it would probably be a good deal:
    http://london.craigslist.co.uk/bik/3124273994.html
    It's even 18". You would need to fix the seat though, or at least figure out a way for it to not absorb water when it rains! Check reviews of the Trek, I don't know about this model at all.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    Male bicycle frames are generally much stronger than female frames
    WTF. Please explain. Do you have proof to back that up?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BijouBikeNoob View Post
    WTF. Please explain. Do you have proof to back that up?
    Yes. It's general knowledge that the diamond shape in bicycle frames, has been perfected for well over a hundred and thirty years. Female oriented "step thru" frames were just designed for the convenience of women to wear skirts and dresses while cycling. This design lacks the diamond shaped geometry and thus, weakens the frame.

    Reference:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Step-through_frame
    Last edited by SlimRider; 07-12-12 at 01:22 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    An open V vs a closed triangle is a no brainer; the trangle wins every time. I suspect the OP is not going to be torquing the daylights out of the frame on steep hills and clipless pedals, and a mixte frame isn't going to be a terrible choice. The feel of these bikes will be very different. A triangular frame would have better resale value if that matters.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

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