General Buying Advice

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by Daniel Knight, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. Daniel Knight

    Daniel Knight New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Over the weekend, I signed up for the London to Brighton Night Ride for the British Heart Foundation and got a place! Yippee!! :) I haven't cycled in a long time if I'm honest, but always enjoyed it and have been considering taking it up again a bit more seriously for a while, this is the kick I needed I think!

    However, the bike I have at the moment is completely beat up, and has been rusting in the garden since I went to Uni (almost 4 years ago!)

    So, it's time to buy a new bike. Requirements:

    1.) I only want 1 bike, for now at least. A road bike would be best suited to the event itself, but I can't ride it off-road on the weekends for a bit of fun, so a jack of all trades is essential.
    2.) Needs to be comfortable and enjoyable to ride.
    3.) Not insanely expensive (still a student here!)

    I looked in a local cycle shop, and the guy recommended a Specialized Carve Expert 29er, on the grounds that with some semi-slick road tyres it'll chew the event up no problem and give me the versatility I want for use beyond the event. They also offer 0% interest financing up to 36 months with only a 10% deposit (which I've been accepted on) and would be willing to add all the extras (tyres, lights, helmet etc) to the financing to help me spread the cost.

    In total, that's the best part of £1,500. I'd like to get that down if possible, but I also want to get the best bike I can for the money. Plus, I can still get the financing on other bikes.

    You guys are obviously far more experienced than me, so I thought I'd ask on here before making any decisions.

    What are your thoughts on this bike, and this deal? Is a £1,300 bike really that much better than a £400 one from Halfords? Or, are there any other options I haven't considered yet?

    Many thanks,
    Dan
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. If 'I' were on a tight budget then my FIRST CHOICE would be a box of BRILLO pads + elbow grease + oil for the moving parts + a new set of tyres & tubes and/or a new saddle + handlebar grips/tape ...

    My second choice would be to choose the less expensive bike which you may be considering -- specifically a "Hybrid" whose frame can hopefully accept a 700x52 tyre and which has a RIGID fork ...

    That should cost less than £500 ...

    I think that there is a 29er tyre in the 700x48 size ... but, I haven't seen one ... which may fit in the rear triangle of most Hybrid frames if a 700x52 tyre won't fit ...

    A 700x52 tyre will fit in most forks which have cantilever brake bosses ...

    You can install a Rigid fork which has disc mounts if you are really going on unpaved paths-or-trails which require better braking ... it should cost less than £100 for a tandem fork removed from a new bike + the cost of a mechanical disc brake PLUS less than £100 for 29er front wheel (less if you can relace the front wheel, of course).

    To over-simplify the difference between a 29er frame & Hybrid frame -- the 29er frame is hopefully a little more robust (but, may not be) AND the Hybrid frame may have slightly longer chainstays (by 1cm to about an inch, I would guess).

    A 29er frame will have clearance for a 700x58 tyre ...

    I don't know what the clearance is for a Hybrid frame ... I have a vintage "sports touring" frame which can accommodate 700x52 29er tyres mounted on a relatively narrow 622-15 rim:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Fortunately-for-me, the frame only has a 1" head tube (and, is a bit tall for serious off-road riding) otherwise I might actually consider getting a 29er Suspension Fork for it at some point in time!?!

    Some 29ers have Full Suspension, of course.
     
  3. Francisco2012

    Francisco2012 New Member

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    thanks for advice, this problem also is i want to know
     
  4. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW & IMO, if you are capable of working on a bike, yourself, then a £1300 ROAD bike is probably not as good a value as spending £400 on a ROAD bike at Halford's + £900 of selected components BECAUSE the frame on the £1300 bike may not be appreciably better than the frame on the £400 bike ...

    That's not to say that the £1300 won't have a very nice frame which IS marginally better ...

    • often, the £1300 Road bike will have trickle-down "technology" from the latest-and-greatest of the particular brand ...
    • and, the frame & fork on the more expensive bike will probably be lighter ...

    The material & finish beneath the paint will be better on the £1300 bike, but the a paint on a £400 Trek-or-Specialized-or-whatever will probably be as nice as the paint on a £1300 bike of the same brand ...

    AND, if the £400 bike were stripped of its componets & retrofitted with the components from the £1300 bike, or vice versa, AND if the geometry of the two frames were the same (or, close to being the same) then the average rider probably wouldn't feel that much difference in how the lesser (or better) bike feels.

    • in theory, if a person were to spend £900 for components & wheels then most of those components could be moved to another frame in the future

    BTW. Most of Shimano's lesser components are almost as good as their better components ... the less expensive Shimano components weigh more & are not as nicely finished ... only the 7-speed Shimano "stuff" is not quite so good, but if properly maintained, the 7-speed "stuff" will serve the casual rider well.

    ---​

    N.B. MTBs are a different animal, and a £400 MTB would probably be acceptable only if it is a Hardtail.
     
  5. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Notarized.
     
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