Another request for a recommendation!

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Alex Veitch, Jun 4, 2003.

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  1. Alex Veitch

    Alex Veitch Guest

    Hello

    I've been reading the recent threads on bike recommendations with interest - as I also need advice!

    I want to start cycling but I am effectively a beginner, not having cycled for some years. Ideally I
    would like to cycle to work (1 1/2 miles) and about town, some light trails, perhaps getting out
    into the Peak District, and eventually perhaps some touring.

    At present I have a Dawes Galaxy, bought second hand 12 years ago and having spent the last 8 in
    slightly damp storage. It needs some work before it could be used safely, and I'd like to have gear
    shifters on the handbars in some form or other. The local bike shop can repair it for £50 plus
    parts, but they have have already warned me its likely to be better to get a new bike.

    The recommendation from the bike shop was for a MTB (Claud Butler Rock or Cape Wrath). I have a
    budget of £400 and already have a helmet, lights and lock. This might be enough for a lower end MTB
    and repairs to my existing bike, or I could get a higher spec MTB. I don't anticipate hurling myself
    down steep things though. So, I'm wondering whether to spend the money on the existing bike, get a
    MTB, or get a hybrid that can have a stab at covering all angles. Despite trying to read up on it I
    don't feel terribly well informed, so recommendations / advice including good models to look out for
    would be appreciated!

    Thanks

    Alex
    --
    Alex Veitch
     
    Tags:


  2. A Lee

    A Lee Guest

    Alex Veitch <[email protected]> wrote:
    >The local bike shop can repair it for £50 plus parts, but they have have already warned me its
    >likely to be better to get a new bike.

    Definite.If it is 12 years old, the tyres and tubes may be perished as well,and are best changed
    anyway, so add on another £30+.If it has 27" wheels, then again it is another excuse to get rid of
    it.( 27"tyres are still available from some places,but not many)
    >
    > The recommendation from the bike shop was for a MTB (Claud Butler Rock or Cape Wrath). I have a
    > budget of £400 and already have a helmet, lights and lock. This might be enough for a lower end
    > MTB and repairs to my existing bike, or I could get a higher spec MTB.

    A secondhand MTB,fitted with 'semi-slick' tyres would be ideal.MTBers love to upgrade their bikes
    every year,so bargains can be had by looking at the ads on the various websites.A wanted ad on
    www.singletrackworld.com should bring up plenty of offers. The semi-slick tyres are OK for road use
    during the week, and will be OK for occasional off-road use,so long as its not too slippy. Knobbly
    tyres are not a good choice for use on the road,but you see people using them every day, I suppose
    they would be alright for you if you are only going 1.5 miles to work. Get a copy of Mountain Bike
    rider, and look through the ads there, you'll see some real bargains compared to your local shop
    (where do you live?). MBR did a review of bikes less than £400 a few months ago, if you still want a
    new bike for that price,e-mail me, and I'll scan the pages for you. HTH Alan.
    --
    Change the 'minus' to 'plus' to reply by e-mail. http://www.dvatc.co.uk - Off-road Cycling in the
    North Midlands.
     
  3. Tenex

    Tenex Guest

    Alex Veitch wrote:

    SNIP

    >
    > The recommendation from the bike shop was for a MTB (Claud Butler Rock or Cape Wrath). I have a
    > budget of £400 and already have a helmet, lights and lock.

    Someone commented that JJB sports shops with bike depts have had the Rock on sale for £200.
     
  4. In message <[email protected]>, Alex Veitch <[email protected]> writes
    >Hello
    >
    >I've been reading the recent threads on bike recommendations with interest - as I also need advice!
    >
    >I want to start cycling but I am effectively a beginner, not having cycled for some years. Ideally
    >I would like to cycle to work (1 1/2 miles) and about town, some light trails, perhaps getting out
    >into the Peak District, and eventually perhaps some touring.
    >
    >At present I have a Dawes Galaxy, bought second hand 12 years ago and having spent the last 8 in
    >slightly damp storage. It needs some work before it could be used safely, and I'd like to have gear
    >shifters on the handbars in some form or other. The local bike shop can repair it for £50 plus
    >parts, but they have have already warned me its likely to be better to get a new bike.
    >
    >The recommendation from the bike shop was for a MTB (Claud Butler Rock or Cape Wrath). I have a
    >budget of £400 and already have a helmet, lights and lock. This might be enough for a lower end MTB
    >and repairs to my existing bike, or I could get a higher spec MTB. I don't anticipate hurling
    >myself down steep things though. So, I'm wondering whether to spend the money on the existing bike,
    >get a MTB, or get a hybrid that can have a stab at covering all angles. Despite trying to read up
    >on it I don't feel terribly well informed, so recommendations / advice including good models to
    >look out for would be appreciated!
    >
    >Thanks
    >
    >Alex

    It really depends on what you mean by 'light trails'. If this means well-surfaced forest tracks or
    canal towpaths or former railway tracks then a hybrid could be your best bet. It's a fairly common
    response on this NG that you don't need front suspension on a low-end bike but it's difficult to
    find suitable models. The Ridgeback Rapide Series (www.ridgeback.co.uk) seems to have a range of
    models filling this need. The Bullitt looks particularly attractive.

    Did your LBS give you a particular reason for saying it's likely to be better to get a new bike
    rather than repair your Galaxy? Or did they detect that you're interested in something different?
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  5. Alex Veitch

    Alex Veitch Guest

    On Wed, 04 Jun 2003 10:50:23 GMT, "Tenex" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Alex Veitch wrote:
    >
    >SNIP
    >
    >>
    >> The recommendation from the bike shop was for a MTB (Claud Butler Rock or Cape Wrath). I have a
    >> budget of £400 and already have a helmet, lights and lock.
    >
    >Someone commented that JJB sports shops with bike depts have had the Rock on sale for £200.
    >

    Thats good to know, thanks. I'm in Sheffield - don't know where my nearest JJB is with a bike
    section - but JE James have it for £230.

    Thing is, if I replace the galaxy am I going to be better off getting a MTB or a hybrid?

    Alex

    --
    Alex Veitch
     
  6. Alex Veitch

    Alex Veitch Guest

    On Wed, 4 Jun 2003 12:15:03 +0100, Michael MacClancy <[email protected]> wrote:

    >In message <[email protected]>, Alex Veitch <[email protected]> writes
    >>Hello
    >>
    >>I've been reading the recent threads on bike recommendations with interest - as I also
    >>need advice!
    >>
    >>I want to start cycling but I am effectively a beginner, not having cycled for some years. Ideally
    >>I would like to cycle to work (1 1/2 miles) and about town, some light trails, perhaps getting out
    >>into the Peak District, and eventually perhaps some touring.
    >>
    >>At present I have a Dawes Galaxy, bought second hand 12 years ago and having spent the last 8 in
    >>slightly damp storage. It needs some work before it could be used safely, and I'd like to have
    >>gear shifters on the handbars in some form or other. The local bike shop can repair it for £50
    >>plus parts, but they have have already warned me its likely to be better to get a new bike.
    >>
    >>The recommendation from the bike shop was for a MTB (Claud Butler Rock or Cape Wrath). I have a
    >>budget of £400 and already have a helmet, lights and lock. This might be enough for a lower end
    >>MTB and repairs to my existing bike, or I could get a higher spec MTB. I don't anticipate hurling
    >>myself down steep things though. So, I'm wondering whether to spend the money on the existing
    >>bike, get a MTB, or get a hybrid that can have a stab at covering all angles. Despite trying to
    >>read up on it I don't feel terribly well informed, so recommendations / advice including good
    >>models to look out for would be appreciated!
    >>
    >>Thanks
    >>
    >>Alex
    >
    >It really depends on what you mean by 'light trails'. If this means well-surfaced forest tracks or
    >canal towpaths or former railway tracks then a hybrid could be your best bet.

    Thats pretty much it really. I live near the Peaks so it would be nice to get out there, but I don't
    see myself hurtling down huge slopes or negotiating anything extreme.

    It's a fairly common response on
    >this NG that you don't need front suspension on a low-end bike but it's difficult to find suitable
    >models. The Ridgeback Rapide Series (www.ridgeback.co.uk) seems to have a range of models filling
    >this need. The Bullitt looks particularly attractive.
    >
    >Did your LBS give you a particular reason for saying it's likely to be better to get a new bike
    >rather than repair your Galaxy? Or did they detect that you're interested in something different?

    They said it before I'd mentioned getting a new bike, so I think it might be a stock answer!
    A.

    --
    Alex Veitch
     
  7. Tenex

    Tenex Guest

    Alex Veitch wrote:
    > Thats good to know, thanks. I'm in Sheffield - don't know where my nearest JJB is with a bike
    > section - but JE James have it for £230.
    >
    > Thing is, if I replace the galaxy am I going to be better off getting a MTB or a hybrid?
    >
    > Alex

    Can't comment knowledgably - I'm getting a hybrid myself - just not sure which one! ;-)

    You already have lights, dome, and lock otherwise there's an offer from Trek of getting them free
    with bikes of £250+.
     
  8. Mads Hilberg

    Mads Hilberg Guest

    > Thing is, if I replace the galaxy am I going to be better off getting a MTB or a hybrid?

    Well exactly. I really don't understand why so many people in the UK choose mountain bikes for
    town/city use. They have a fairly uncomfortable riding position (leaning forwards a fair bit),
    require a fair amount of maintenance, typically have rather wide tyres and there is no chain guard
    so if you're cycling to work you are likely to arrive with oil on your trousers.

    If all one is planning to do is cycle a few miles to and from work and not do much off road riding,
    then a hybrid is surely the best bet (well, some dark side/comfort bikes are even better, but I'll
    ignore that for now). It should have a fairly upright sitting position which is comfortable and
    practical in traffic, a 4 to 7 internal gears (unless you live on a very steep hill in which case
    external gears are obviously needed), a chain guard, brakes that don't need too much servicing
    (roller brakes are quite common on hybrids on the continent now, but if on a limited budget v-brakes
    are the most likely setup), a comfortable saddle and a pannier rack so you can carry stuff to work
    without needing an uncomfortable and sweat-inducing rucksack on your back.

    There was an article about this on bikefix.co.uk in relation to the congestion charge, but I can't
    seem to find it.

    Mads
     
  9. In message <[email protected]>, Alex Veitch <[email protected]> writes
    >On Wed, 4 Jun 2003 12:15:03 +0100, Michael MacClancy <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>In message <[email protected]>, Alex Veitch <[email protected]> writes
    >>>Hello
    >>>
    >>>I've been reading the recent threads on bike recommendations with interest - as I also need
    >>>advice!
    >>>
    >>>I want to start cycling but I am effectively a beginner, not having cycled for some years.
    >>>Ideally I would like to cycle to work (1 1/2 miles) and about town, some light trails, perhaps
    >>>getting out into the Peak District, and eventually perhaps some touring.
    >>>
    >>>At present I have a Dawes Galaxy, bought second hand 12 years ago and having spent the last 8 in
    >>>slightly damp storage. It needs some work before it could be used safely, and I'd like to have
    >>>gear shifters on the handbars in some form or other. The local bike shop can repair it for £50
    >>>plus parts, but they have have already warned me its likely to be better to get a new bike.
    >>>
    >>>The recommendation from the bike shop was for a MTB (Claud Butler Rock or Cape Wrath). I have a
    >>>budget of £400 and already have a helmet, lights and lock. This might be enough for a lower end
    >>>MTB and repairs to my existing bike, or I could get a higher spec MTB. I don't anticipate hurling
    >>>myself down steep things though. So, I'm wondering whether to spend the money on the existing
    >>>bike, get a MTB, or get a hybrid that can have a stab at covering all angles. Despite trying to
    >>>read up on it I don't feel terribly well informed, so recommendations / advice including good
    >>>models to look out for would be appreciated!
    >>>
    >>>Thanks
    >>>
    >>>Alex
    >>
    >>It really depends on what you mean by 'light trails'. If this means well-surfaced forest tracks or
    >>canal towpaths or former railway tracks then a hybrid could be your best bet.
    >
    >Thats pretty much it really. I live near the Peaks so it would be nice to get out there, but I
    >don't see myself hurtling down huge slopes or negotiating anything extreme.
    >
    >It's a fairly common response on
    >>this NG that you don't need front suspension on a low-end bike but it's difficult to find suitable
    >>models. The Ridgeback Rapide Series (www.ridgeback.co.uk) seems to have a range of models filling
    >>this need. The Bullitt looks particularly attractive.
    >>
    >>Did your LBS give you a particular reason for saying it's likely to be better to get a new bike
    >>rather than repair your Galaxy? Or did they detect that you're interested in something different?
    >
    >They said it before I'd mentioned getting a new bike, so I think it might be a stock answer!
    >A.
    >

    Well, I suppose your decision comes down to how much it will really cost to put your Galaxy in
    good order and whether it will then do what you want it to do and comparing this to the cost of
    new bike that meets your requirements. (This looks increasingly like a hybrid. Main difference
    between this and the Galaxy is likely to be the handlebars and shifters and these can probably be
    changed - at a price.)
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  10. Tenex

    Tenex Guest

    Mads Hilberg wrote:

    SNIP

    > If all one is planning to do is cycle a few miles to and from work and not do much off road
    > riding, then a hybrid is surely the best bet (well, some dark side/comfort bikes are even better,
    > but I'll ignore that for now). It should have a fairly upright sitting position which is
    > comfortable and practical in traffic, a 4 to 7 internal gears (unless you live on a very steep
    > hill in which case external gears are obviously needed), a chain guard, brakes that don't need too
    > much servicing (roller brakes are quite common on hybrids on the continent now, but if on a
    > limited budget v-brakes are the most likely setup), a comfortable saddle and a pannier rack so you
    > can carry stuff to work without needing an uncomfortable and sweat-inducing rucksack on your back.

    But the perplaxing thing for a new rider is the plethora of choice. I thought I should get a Trek
    7100FX FS then someone pointed out that the Fisher Tiburon was the same bike from the same factory
    but 10% cheaper. Then I found that the spec was slightly different (as a newbie I don't know if the
    differences are last years components & therefore the cheaper price or are significant). Someone
    mentioned the "uncool" Navigator in another thread and that doesn't seem too different to the 7100
    in the eyes of a newbie. (Given that people tend to hold onto their bikes and upgrade components I'd
    prefer to avoid buying the wrong bike in the first place and spending a fortune on upgrading an
    unsuitable bike). Then there's Dawes, Claud Butler, Giant, etc. There's no end to the variation in
    spec or price....

    Then there's the big debate over front suspension. I'd like to do what Alex mentioned: mainly road
    (not commuting) with the occasional track/trail. I tried the 7100 with and without FS and had to
    admit the FS was pretty good. Then someone throws a ggogly saying the FS soaks up the pedalling
    effort ... Confusion reigns. :) I could go on but that's a flavour of what a newbie faces.
     
  11. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Mads Hilberg wrote:

    > I really don't understand why so many people in the UK choose mountain bikes for town/city use.

    Because they're commonly available and cheap, and robust. They're especially good in hilly
    towns as well.

    > They have a fairly uncomfortable riding position (leaning forwards a fair bit)

    Not that much. Bolt upright can be uncomfortable (and inefficient) for many people.

    > require a fair amount of maintenance

    Not really - although more than hub-geared bikes - but at least the maintenance is easy to do when
    it is required.

    > , typically have rather wide tyres

    Wide tyres are great for casual and town use as they provide a comfortable ride and soak-up
    the potholes.

    > and there is no chain guard so if you're cycling to work you are likely to arrive with oil on your
    > trousers.

    Not if you tuck trousers into socks!

    Chain gaurds are a big nuisance when they get bent or knocked out of position, and make maintenance
    more awkward.

    "City bikes" with hub gears may be better for some people who don't like derailleurs or doing /any/
    maintenance, riding in flat areas, perhaps with long skirts. ...That's not really the majority of
    the population, is it?

    ~PB
     
  12. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Mads Hilberg wrote:

    > Well exactly. I really don't understand why so many people in the UK choose mountain bikes for
    > town/city use.

    There isn't a cycling culture, so folk tend to get what's currently seen to be the In Thing. Most
    people, AFAICT, genuinely don't realise that an MTB as typically supplied is harder work than
    alternatives.

    > maintenance, typically have rather wide tyres and there is no chain guard so if you're cycling to
    > work you are likely to arrive with oil on your trousers.

    Another product of no general utility cycling culture is that bikes are often bought as a "lifestyle
    statement", and bikes are often bought on the grounds of the image they project. A lot of people
    like to think of themselves as sporty outdoor types rather than not, so that means chaincases, hub
    gears, racks and mudguards are seen as Bad Things by many who might benefit from them. There's also
    a culture of thinking that what works for someone doing something extreme must be the best for
    routine use, so "obviously" full suspension and 21+ gears are better than no suspension and 3.
    Though it is realised in general that the cheapest car available is not always the best, this
    mindset has generally not crossed over to cycle buying in many cases. A Lada may have a 1.6 litre 4
    cylinder engine, 5 gears and 4 wheels just as a Ford Focus does, but most people would sooner spend
    the money on the Ford. But a full suspension 21 gear mountain bike is, you could be forgiven for
    thinking from general buying habits, better than a hardtail 21 gear MTB no matter what the quality
    of the various components and design. <sigh>

    > If all one is planning to do is cycle a few miles to and from work and not do much off road
    > riding, then a hybrid is surely the best bet (well, some dark side/comfort bikes are even better,
    > but I'll ignore that for now). It should have a fairly upright sitting position which is
    > comfortable and practical in traffic, a 4 to 7 internal gears (unless you live on a very steep
    > hill in which case external gears are obviously needed)

    Finding a value for money bike with hub gearing is rather difficult here. Derailleurs are standard
    on almost everything where the relatively sensible market starts, because 21+ gears sound better
    than 3-7 :-(

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  13. Mads Hilberg

    Mads Hilberg Guest

    > Because they're commonly available and cheap, and robust. They're especially good in hilly towns
    > as well.

    And why do you think they're commonly available? Or more to the point why do you think hybrids as I
    describe are so widely available on the continent but not in the UK? I refer you to Peter Clinch's
    excellent post. I agree that in hilly towns you need many gears, but a hybrid with 21-27 gears works
    just as well if not better for most people who ride only short distances and rarely go off road.

    > Not that much. Bolt upright can be uncomfortable (and inefficient) for many people.

    Hybrids aren't bolt upright (except maybe a Pedersen bike, but that's quite a rare design and not
    really a hybrid). Exaggeration to the point of inaccuracy doesn't enlighten anyone.

    > Not really - although more than hub-geared bikes - but at least the maintenance is easy to do when
    > it is required.

    Most people don't find it easy (although you and I and most of the regulars on this newsgroup
    probably do). Clearly you've never bought a hybrid with hub gears, ridden it for over 4 years and
    never had to do anything other than oil the chain.

    > Wide tyres are great for casual and town use as they provide a comfortable ride and soak-up the
    > potholes.

    They're pointlessly inefficient. Don't get me started on the state of UK roads and the scarcity of
    cycle paths ;-)

    > Not if you tuck trousers into socks!

    This is essentially an admission of the impracticality of an MTB.

    > Chain gaurds are a big nuisance when they get bent or knocked out of position, and make
    > maintenance more awkward.

    I think most people who cycle very little don't do maintenance themselves anyway. And they're not
    likely to damage their chain guard just cycling on normal roads.

    > "City bikes" with hub gears may be better for some people who don't like derailleurs or doing
    > /any/ maintenance, riding in flat areas, perhaps with long skirts. ...That's not really the
    > majority of the population, is it?

    Well in the rest of Europe it is and hopefully one day it will be like that in the UK also (a small
    number of UK shops such as bikefix have realised this, so there is some hope).

    Of course as I've mentioned before I think the rest of Europe has it all wrong too as everyone
    should be on a 'bent/comfort bike, but that's another matter.

    I'm rather surprised that a hybrid vs. mtb flame war is brewing. I thought most people accepted that
    for just pottering about town a hybrid is the best bet. And likewise that for going off-road on
    trails, up mountains, etc, a mountain bike is best (hence its name).

    Mads
     
  14. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Tenex wrote:

    > Then there's the big debate over front suspension. I'd like to do what =
    Alex
    > mentioned: mainly road (not commuting) with the occasional track/trail.=
    I
    > tried the 7100 with and without FS and had to admit the FS was pretty g=
    ood.
    > Then someone throws a ggogly saying the FS soaks up the pedalling effor=
    t ...

    That was me. What I failed to point out but which may be a useful point =

    is that FS becomes relatively less useful the more upright the riding=20 position, as the more you
    sit up the more weight goes onto your bum and=20 off your arms/wrists. Thus, my Brompton with just a
    simple rubber cone=20 rear suspension is actually quite comfy to ride over reasonable offroad=20
    trails despite only having 16" wheels and no front sus aside from 100=20
    psi tyres.

    So, an upright position is good, yes? Well, that depends... it gives=20 you a better all around
    viewpoint (quite handy in traffic or out in=20 scenic countryside) and removes the problem of sore
    wrists, neck and=20 arms at a stroke. But it's also very good at catching the wind, making=20 a big
    distance significantly more work than if you're in a crouch.=20 Which is why long distance and/or
    speed machines tend to have drop bars=20 more often, and urban bikes have a more upright position.

    > Confusion reigns. :) I could go on but that's a flavour of what a new=
    bie
    > faces.

    On the one hand it's a problem because you're unlikely to get what's=20 absolutely best for you, but
    OTOH it's quite unlikely you'll come out=20 with anything awful as long as you avoid something
    that's basically a=20 poor design for your job (i.e., Brompton for road racing, racer for=20 descent
    trails, gaspipe clunker for pleasant, efficient riding etc.).=20 And I think you already know enough
    to avoid them. I can't tell you=20 hand on heart my bikes are the best things I could've bought for
    my job=20 and that much money, simply because it's impossible to try everything.=20 But even if
    there is something better it's still the case that they do=20 the jobs I want to my satisfaction,
    and that's the important thing.

    There's no way I would swap my Streetmachine for a rather old and basic=20 12 speed tourer with
    sidepull brakes, but there's an old and basic=20 tourer answering that description in the shed that
    was my only bike for=20 over a decade, and it did everything I needed (from tough, rock strewn=20
    trails in the Cairngorms to my regular grocery shopping and a daily=20 commute). You'd have trouble
    buying a good basic bike at ca. =A3250 that=
    =20
    wouldn't be better in most respects (it cost me =A3250 in 1989, when that=
    =20
    was worth a lot more than it is now) so it's almost certainly the case=20 that you should come out
    with a good machine, looking where you're=20 looking, for a relatively small amount of money. And
    the basic diamond=20 frame bike is a flexible beast, well suited to doing a lot of tasks=20
    acceptably well. The modern hybrid is very similar to what used to be=20 called "a bike" back in the
    past. They did just about everything then=20 (still do in Africa, India, SE Asia etc.), and now
    they're better and=20 cheaper. So don't worry *too* much!

    Pete. --=20 Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics,
    Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  15. Al_mossah

    Al_mossah Guest

    I have a MTB with no suspension (bought in 1997), my wife has a hybrid. Both have 21 gears, wife's
    with an extra-low-ratio big sprocket on the rear derailleur.

    Generally I'm fitter and faster than her, but going down hill at anything above 30kph she barely has
    to pedal, I'm working hard to keep up. Her tyres are nice and thin, my rear one is knobbly.

    Over bumps mine is better, but she has a sprung saddle, smooths out the bumps on her bum and back,
    but we both have our arms shaken about on bumpy roads (and the worst bumps are not off-road, they're
    on the Bristol Road in Chippenham when you've got a jugganaut 3 feet to your right).

    Both bikes have decent pannier-frames and pannier bags, and can carry stacks of shopping (whatever
    that is). I sling my laptop case on mine and use it to go to the station each day. I also have great
    fun off road. Both have dynamo lights, which work fine.

    If I was buying today I'd go for an MTB with smooth tyres (or at least a continous strip of rubber
    around the circumference. I'd definitely not have rear suspension- if you're going fast downhill
    your bum is barely on the saddle anyway. If you're pushing hard uphill your weight is on the pedals.
    I'd consider a sprung seat post (wimp) and front suspension, but this latter does add weight- pain
    to lift on and off trains, carry over bridges, stiles etc.

    If I was allowed two bikes, I guess I'd probably want four- One with full suspension for silly
    rides, my MTB for long-ish off-roads, a hybrid for commuting and a drop-handled racer to see how far
    and fast I can really go. But I probably have as much fun on my trusty (and only slightly rusty)
    Merida Dakar.

    Enjoy choosing, and enjoy the riding.

    Peter.
     
  16. In message <[email protected]>, Mads Hilberg
    <[email protected]> writes
    >I'm rather surprised that a hybrid vs. mtb flame war is brewing. I thought most people accepted
    >that for just pottering about town a hybrid is the best bet. And likewise that for going off-road
    >on trails, up mountains, etc, a mountain bike is best (hence its name).

    It seems to me that you're the one fanning the flames.

    I personally don't think there's much difference between most hybrids and many low-end mountain
    bikes. Both make for excellent utility cycling with a slight difference in emphasis. Are you sure
    you're not thinking about 'comfort' or 'city' bikes when you use the word 'hybrid'?

    As regards gearing I'm sure that your experience of the UK will have persuaded you that many parts
    of it are considerably hillier than Denmark and other places on the continental land mass where
    cycling is popular.
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  17. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote: [MTBs in the UK]
    > Because they're commonly available and cheap, and robust. They're especially good in hilly towns
    > as well.

    They're commonly available from the rules of supply and demand. They're cheap partly from same but
    partly because stack 'em high, sell 'em cheap is apparently the best way to sell bikes here. It
    doesn't work for cars used as utility transport because people use cars enough to know that there is
    such a thing as a false economy. The same perception is not as wide for bikes. They're not
    "especially good" in hilly towns. I have an MTB and a 3 speed Brompton and I live in a hilly town.
    The only time I use the MTB is offroad, because it's more work on them than the Brompton. The low
    gears on MTBs are for insanely steep things on marginal surfaces and there just isn't any point on
    an urban bike. It's just more stuff to spend money on unnecessarily and have go wrong.

    [crouch position]
    > Not that much. Bolt upright can be uncomfortable (and inefficient) for many people.

    Crouched forward to a greater degree than most urban bikes. Inefficiency is from poor aerodynamics
    rather than a power supply perspective, and it really isn't an issue on a typical urban commute up
    to, say, around 5 miles (I use the Brompton rather than the 'bent for that sort of distance, even if
    it's windy, when parking and stowage at the other end are going to be issues and I don't need the
    extra load carrying).

    > Wide tyres are great for casual and town use as they provide a comfortable ride and soak-up the
    > potholes.

    Wide tyres with mud knobbles (yes, you can change them, but AFAICT most people never do so that's a
    moot point on a typical UK cheap MTB) on are utterly, utterly shite for town use because they
    generate noise and vibration to reduce comfort as well as considerable extra friction that reduces
    speed and probably doesn't exactly help cornering. I speak from the experience of riding my MTB on
    roads (I go on roads to get to the off-road) with its wide, knobbly tyres.

    > Not if you tuck trousers into socks! Chain gaurds are a big nuisance when they get bent or knocked
    > out of position, and make maintenance more awkward.

    There's chain guards and chain guards. The Streetmachine needs a great deal less chain
    maintenance than it's predecessor in part because the chain runs most of its length in teflon
    tubes where bending and being knocked is effectively a non-issue. The Brompton doesn't have
    anything nearly as elaborate as a full case, but still doesn't get oil on my trousers. I don't
    wear socks most of the time.

    > "City bikes" with hub gears may be better for some people who don't like derailleurs or doing
    > /any/ maintenance, riding in flat areas, perhaps with long skirts. ...That's not really the
    > majority of the population, is it?

    There seems to be a misconception about what you can get from hub gearing. The 3 speed Sachs on my
    Brompton is quite enough gears to get me round Dundee, and if you're not familiar let me assure you
    it doesn't do "flat" around here. And the Sachs 3 is hardly the last word in big gear ranges (though
    we'll ignore the Rohloff here as it costs more than most bikes).

    Derailleurs are generally unnecessary for short hacks and as well as being exposed to salt and grit
    they increase chain wear.

    Derailleurs are good on urban bikes where you're using one bike for everything (why my old
    derailleur tourer got used for commutes and shopping), there are unusually large hills and/or cargo
    requirements (an 8 Freight can take a 100 Kg load, wouldn't fancy that without grannies!). But the
    main reason people get them, I'm quite sure, is because they have a less stuffy image and that's the
    market (both feed into the other). I wouldn't have bought a hub gear bike as recently as about 3 or
    4 years ago. I wouldn't have bought a bell, kickstand or dynamo either. Now I know I was more
    worried about image and form than function, and frankly making life harder for myself.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  18. As far a I can tell, the main difference between a "hybrid" and a similarly-priced MTB:

    MTB: wide, knobbly tyres on 559 rims, probably front suspension "Hybrid": Less wide, less knobbly
    tyres on 622 rims, probably mudguards

    Riding positions are as near as make no odds the same.

    Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  19. In message <[email protected]>, Dave Larrington <[email protected]> writes
    >As far a I can tell, the main difference between a "hybrid" and a similarly-priced MTB:
    >
    >MTB: wide, knobbly tyres on 559 rims, probably front suspension "Hybrid": Less wide, less knobbly
    >tyres on 622 rims, probably mudguards
    >
    >Riding positions are as near as make no odds the same.
    >

    Good summary but hybrids probably don't come with mudguards. (See www.trekbike.co.uk for examples.)
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  20. In message <[email protected]>, Mads Hilberg
    <[email protected]> writes
    >I think that for people taking up cycling after not having cycled for a number of years the most
    >important factors are comfort and ease of maintenance. I am quite certain that the hybrid is
    >stronger in these two areas than an MTB. For enthusiasts or people who know what they want I have
    >no objection to their choosing MTBs if they feel that is most suitable for them.

    I came back to cycling after a number of years and the first bike I bought was an MTB. I rode this
    almost exclusively around town and it was excellent. The second bike I bought was also an MTB and I
    have ridden this intensively on and off-road throughout Europe including very mountainous areas.
    Again, thoroughly excellent. I have an MTB rather than a hybrid because I think that the MTB is more
    robust and more suitable for off-road use. If I didn't want to go off-road I might consider a hybrid
    but it wouldn't have the chain guard, mudguards and hub gears that you seem to think it should have.
    It would be more like a racing bike with straight bars. I my interpretation is the more generally
    understood meaning of the word 'hybrid'. You're talking about something quite different.
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
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