Reccomend a bike - commuting, shopping, city use.

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Pyromancer, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. Pyromancer

    Pyromancer Guest

    For reasons given elsegroup I'm looking for a new bicycle. The main
    virtues I'm after are reliability and dependability, I want something I
    can rely on to get me to work and back every day. I think I want a
    tourer, but the definitions seem to have shifted since I last seriously
    looked at bikes rather than just buying second hand because a mate was
    selling one.

    I once rode a friend's Dawes Galaxy and loved it, are they still made
    and how much do they cost? Actually, I could ask said mate if he still
    has it and would sell, as ISTR he doesn't use it much, but that's
    another issue.

    I need a rack, and mudguards, and lights. I want tyres that are
    "tough" and won't puncture on every sharp stone. Suspension would be
    nice, but I can live without it.

    I'm not any kind of speed freak - I generally do 25mph going downhill
    with a following wind, and about 6 and a half going up in the lowest
    gear I can find. :) But I do like cycling, there is something really
    special about zooming along a flat road faster than you can run, in
    almost silence and knowing that the only thing powering the vehicle is
    yourself.

    Possibly I want a "Dutch bike", though I don't know the prices
    off-hand, does anyone have a website for them?

    My budget is probably in the 400 quid range, allowing another 100ish
    for lights, etc.

    In an ideal world I'd love a Trice, but that'd probably cost rather
    more than I can handle at the moment, given I'd also need a steel shed
    to keep it in. My current "bike shed" is a former almost-outside loo
    (now just an empty space) with padlocked door which forms part of the
    basement of our house, and was just large enough for the previous bike
    (an ex-catalog return non-suspension 'MTB' from an LBS in Sheffield) to
    fit in.
     
    Tags:


  2. Clive George

    Clive George Guest

    "Pyromancer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > I once rode a friend's Dawes Galaxy and loved it, are they still made
    > and how much do they cost?


    Spa (www.spacycles.co.uk) are flogging them for 550 quid, which is a very
    good price.

    They've also got the horizon for 345 quid, which is also a very good price.
    I was playing with somebody's previous model one (steel frame), and it
    seemed to be doing quite well.

    You'll not go wrong with either of these (provided you want a drop bar
    tourer).

    cheers,
    clive
     
  3. Shuggie

    Shuggie Guest

    Pyromancer wrote:
    > For reasons given elsegroup I'm looking for a new bicycle. The main
    > virtues I'm after are reliability and dependability, I want something I
    > can rely on to get me to work and back every day. I think I want a
    > tourer, but the definitions seem to have shifted since I last seriously
    > looked at bikes rather than just buying second hand because a mate was
    > selling one.


    > I need a rack, and mudguards, and lights. I want tyres that are
    > "tough" and won't puncture on every sharp stone. Suspension would be
    > nice, but I can live without it.
    >
    > I'm not any kind of speed freak - I generally do 25mph going downhill
    > with a following wind, and about 6 and a half going up in the lowest
    > gear I can find. :) But I do like cycling, there is something really
    > special about zooming along a flat road faster than you can run, in
    > almost silence and knowing that the only thing powering the vehicle is
    > yourself.
    >
    > My budget is probably in the 400 quid range, allowing another 100ish
    > for lights, etc.



    I've snipped bits of your post but pretty much all of the above would
    be satisfied by a Marin hybrid. I've bought three Marin Sausalitos over
    the years, most recently in 2001, the previous two being 1/ stolen and
    2/ vandalised while locked in the street (just the frame left intact).

    Marin prices have come down substantially such that for about £425 you
    could get a complete bike including front and seat post suspension and
    good Shimano mechanicals. Mudguards etc. extra of course.

    To be honest I have ridden nothing else in recent decades so I'm not
    saying there aren't better bikes available, but I have been very happy
    with my Marins - especially now that they have sorted out the cracked
    frame issue which plagued the 2001 model (but was always fixed under
    warranty).

    Very fast, agile and sturdy. Also very quiet. Months since I had it
    last serviced and there is not a squeak or rattle on her.

    Cheers, James
     
  4. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    Pyromancer wrote:
    >
    > Possibly I want a "Dutch bike", though I don't know the prices
    > off-hand, does anyone have a website for them?


    Do you? This is a different thing to a Galaxy or similar (or a standard
    hybrid as recommended elsewhere in the thread).

    Pros:
    * no maintence to speak off
    * will keep you much cleaner
    * will come with lights, mudguards, racks etc etc
    * more upright position
    * will last forever with very few new parts needed

    Cons
    * weighs a ton
    * more upright position

    Cost is roughly in your budget area (they aren't cheap) since you'll
    get much of the stuff you have down as extras with the bike.

    Arthur

    --
    Arthur Clune
     
  5. John B

    John B Guest

    Pyromancer wrote:

    > For reasons given elsegroup I'm looking for a new bicycle. The main
    > virtues I'm after are reliability and dependability, I want something I
    > can rely on to get me to work and back every day. I think I want a
    > tourer, but the definitions seem to have shifted since I last seriously
    > looked at bikes rather than just buying second hand because a mate was
    > selling one.


    > I need a rack, and mudguards, and lights. I want tyres that are
    > "tough" and won't puncture on every sharp stone. Suspension would be
    > nice, but I can live without it.


    It sounds close to the kind of bike i've been looking for my son (London
    Bike Shop thread). The bikes we were most impressed with for quality and
    price were Marins, particularly the Urban range, with the Muirwoods
    looking very good value, and it would be in your price bracket. It can be
    fitted with guards and a rack.

    We have had a general purpose Marin in our stable for about 10 years and
    it has proved its worth, having been used for touring, camping, general
    riding and even, on one occasion, a Championship Hill Climb. "Reliability
    and dependability" cannot be faulted.

    I would recommend taking a look at their very informative website;

    http://www.marin.co.uk/marin-2005/index.php

    John B
     
  6. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Arthur Clune wrote:

    > Cons
    > * weighs a ton
    > * more upright position


    The former is certainly a con, the latter is more of a two-edged sword.
    On the one hand you're not leaning on your arms so there is more
    immediate comfort and your default view is where you're going, rather
    than a patch of tarmac just in front of you. But on the other hand
    you're /much/ less aerodynamic, so will do more work and go slower.

    For the shopping and urban use a Dutch bike is great. If it's good for
    commuting will depend on the commute. A couple of miles without big
    hills, absolutely ideal, 10 miles through lots of up and down, not so
    good at all.

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

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Pyromancer wrote:

    > I need a rack, and mudguards, and lights. I want tyres that are
    > "tough" and won't puncture on every sharp stone. Suspension would be
    > nice, but I can live without it.


    At £400 I'd avoid suspension. Done well it requires Serious Engineering
    and that puts the price up a lot, and you can far more usefully spend
    your money on a better frame and transmission at this price point IMHO.
    Also avoid things like disc brakes.

    > My budget is probably in the 400 quid range, allowing another 100ish
    > for lights, etc.


    Edinburgh Bike's own brand tourer isn't too far from this, and Dawes
    Horizons in last year's colours can be had for similar. These are about
    the entry level for tourers and come with racks and guards as standard.
    Good bikes.

    Alternatively there's an excellent degree of choice in hybrids at this
    price point. If you prefer flat bars go this way, if you prefer drops
    go for the tourer.

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

    > Arthur Clune wrote:
    >
    > > Cons
    > > * weighs a ton
    > > * more upright position

    >
    > The former is certainly a con


    Depends where you live, mind. Though I see the original poster
    mentioned Sheffield somewhere along the way; 'nuff said (speaking as an
    ex-resident)!

    David Belcher
     
  9. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    David E. Belcher wrote:

    [weight]
    > Depends where you live, mind.


    Even if you're in NL then a light bike is easier to manhandle than a
    heavy one and will accelerate better.

    Not an insurmountable problem, as I know owning a couple of 20 Kg bikes,
    but if all else is equal (in those two cases all else isn't...) lighter
    is better.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  10. dkahn400

    dkahn400 Guest

    Pyromancer wrote:

    > I once rode a friend's Dawes Galaxy and loved it, are they still made
    > and how much do they cost? Actually, I could ask said mate if he still
    > has it and would sell, as ISTR he doesn't use it much, but that's
    > another issue.


    The Galaxy is a very nice general purpose bike. If your mate's one fits
    you and is in reasonable nick, why not make him an offer for it? Better
    still, if it's dormant why not offer him twenty quid for two months
    hire of it while you find out if it suits?

    --
    Dave...
     
  11. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>,
    Pyromancer ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > For reasons given elsegroup I'm looking for a new bicycle. The main
    > virtues I'm after are reliability and dependability, I want something I
    > can rely on to get me to work and back every day. I think I want a
    > tourer, but the definitions seem to have shifted since I last seriously
    > looked at bikes rather than just buying second hand because a mate was
    > selling one.
    >
    > I once rode a friend's Dawes Galaxy and loved it, are they still made
    > and how much do they cost? Actually, I could ask said mate if he still
    > has it and would sell, as ISTR he doesn't use it much, but that's
    > another issue.
    >
    > I need a rack, and mudguards, and lights. I want tyres that are
    > "tough" and won't puncture on every sharp stone. Suspension would be
    > nice, but I can live without it.
    >
    > I'm not any kind of speed freak - I generally do 25mph going downhill
    > with a following wind, and about 6 and a half going up in the lowest
    > gear I can find. :) But I do like cycling, there is something really
    > special about zooming along a flat road faster than you can run, in
    > almost silence and knowing that the only thing powering the vehicle is
    > yourself.
    >
    > Possibly I want a "Dutch bike", though I don't know the prices
    > off-hand, does anyone have a website for them?
    >
    > My budget is probably in the 400 quid range, allowing another 100ish
    > for lights, etc.


    If it's for commuting, consider something with an epicyclic gearbox -
    lots less maintenance. Various makers do quite good hybrids with Shimano
    Nexus 8-speed epicyclics at about £400; they've been discussed on here
    several times. There's a Specialized - I think the model names is
    Crossroads - and two Ridgebacks, one (the Neutron) which comes with a
    hub dynamo and lights as well.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    to err is human, to lisp divine
    ;; attributed to Kim Philby, oddly enough.
     
  12. Pyromancer

    Pyromancer Guest

    Upon the miasma of midnight, a darkling spirit identified as Simon
    Brooke <[email protected]> gently breathed:

    >If it's for commuting, consider something with an epicyclic gearbox -
    >lots less maintenance.


    As in hub gears? I tend to associate epicyclic gearboxen with British
    Rail's 1950s diesel-mechanical multiple units like the Swindon Class
    126s - I don't think I'd want that size of gearbox on a bike! :)

    >Various makers do quite good hybrids with Shimano
    >Nexus 8-speed epicyclics at about £400; they've been discussed on here
    >several times. There's a Specialized - I think the model names is
    >Crossroads - and two Ridgebacks, one (the Neutron) which comes with a
    >hub dynamo and lights as well.


    I like the Ridgeback (well, I did after I'd done mighty battle with
    their site to get some info on it - what is it with bike shops and
    unusably bad websites?), but I'm also tempted by the Dutch Gazelle
    range. Having looked into the cyclescheme info, I can probably push the
    budget to 600 or so, work permitting. Though Cycle Heaven's site is also
    broken, I filled in their form with lots of info, clicked "Submit
    Order", and sod-all happened. Not impressed, but as York's just 8 quid
    in the train away I can pop over and visit some time.

    --
    - DJ Pyromancer, The Sunday Goth Social, Leeds. <http://www.sheepish.net>

    Broadband, Dialup, Domains = <http://www.wytches.net> = The UK's Pagan ISP!
    <http://www.inkubus-sukkubus.co.uk> <http://www.revival.stormshadow.com>
     
  13. Peter Clinch <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Arthur Clune wrote:


    >> Cons
    >> * weighs a ton
    >> * more upright position


    > The former is certainly a con, the latter is more of a two-edged sword.
    > On the one hand you're not leaning on your arms so there is more
    > immediate comfort and your default view is where you're going, rather
    > than a patch of tarmac just in front of you. But on the other hand
    > you're /much/ less aerodynamic, so will do more work and go slower.


    Which means you'll get into better physical shape at slower safer
    speeds. Could be considered an advantage :)

    > For the shopping and urban use a Dutch bike is great. If it's good for
    > commuting will depend on the commute. A couple of miles without big
    > hills, absolutely ideal, 10 miles through lots of up and down, not so
    > good at all.


    If they're country ups and downs. If they're urban, then the frequent
    traffic lights, junctions, etc., will considerably reduce the
    advantage of a more aerodynamic position un terms of elapsed journey
    time.

    --
    Chris Malcolm [email protected] +44 (0)131 651 3445 DoD #205
    IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
     
  14. Pyromancer a écrit :

    > Possibly I want a "Dutch bike", though I don't know the prices
    > off-hand, does anyone have a website for them?


    The four main dealers are Gazelle, Sparta and Batavus and Union:
    http://www.cycle-heaven.co.uk/gazelle.html
    http://www.sparta.nl/nl/
    http://www.batavus.nl/
    http://www.union.nl/

    I know Sparta has an outlet in Cambridge, and the Gazelle outlet is in York.

    I have a Dutch bike, but I don't ride her much. I find the swept-back
    handlebars very carpal-tunnel inflaming, and the weight redibitory, my
    commute to work being rather hilly. I much prefer my Dahon folder, an
    Impulse P21. You might consider a nice folder for commuting as it's very
    light and modular. You can switch to public transport on some stretches,
    and take it with you on holidays, and generally for all-purpose it opens
    up possibilities. There's no front basket but the back rack is adequate
    with two shopper bags I bought in the Netherlands (though I use a
    different bike for the supermarket). There is a very well-reviewed Dahon
    model called the Vitesse which is reckoned to be outstanding value for
    money, and well within yur budget.

    EFR
    Ile de France
     
  15. Roos Eisma

    Roos Eisma Guest

    Chris Malcolm <[email protected]> writes:

    >If they're country ups and downs. If they're urban, then the frequent
    >traffic lights, junctions, etc., will considerably reduce the
    >advantage of a more aerodynamic position un terms of elapsed journey
    >time.


    Indeed. When I lived in Amsterdam I spent the first 10 year on a typical
    heavy upright roadster. Only when I moved to the far edge of town my
    commute had enough distance and clear roads to motivate me to buy a
    lighter faster hybrid with actual gears.
    On inner city roads my speed was usually limited by other traffic around
    me, not by me or my bike. Not to mention the wait for the ferry and the 5
    min ferry ride :)

    Roos
     
  16. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    dkahn400 wrote:
    >
    > The Galaxy is a very nice general purpose bike. If your mate's one fits
    > you and is in reasonable nick, why not make him an offer for it? Better


    This is what I did. I bought a Galaxy from Simon Ward (ex of this parish)
    and then spent a little more converting it to flat bars to make it more
    suitable as a commuter.

    Arthur

    --
    Arthur Clune
     
  17. R. Murphy

    R. Murphy Guest

    Listen to/read all the advice in the responses - then do the following

    Figure out what you would really really like/want (NOT "need") - i.e. the
    bike of **your** dreams

    then go buy it in your size

    Anything else is a substitute - that's why I ride a Galaxy! Always wanted a
    Dawes since I was a lad, then I bought one about 12 years ago while in my
    early 40's - and ride it every weekend.



    "Pyromancer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > For reasons given elsegroup I'm looking for a new bicycle. The main
    > virtues I'm after are reliability and dependability, I want something I
    > can rely on to get me to work and back every day. I think I want a
    > tourer, but the definitions seem to have shifted since I last seriously
    > looked at bikes rather than just buying second hand because a mate was
    > selling one.
    >
    > I once rode a friend's Dawes Galaxy and loved it, are they still made
    > and how much do they cost? Actually, I could ask said mate if he still
    > has it and would sell, as ISTR he doesn't use it much, but that's
    > another issue.
    >
    > I need a rack, and mudguards, and lights. I want tyres that are
    > "tough" and won't puncture on every sharp stone. Suspension would be
    > nice, but I can live without it.
    >
    > I'm not any kind of speed freak - I generally do 25mph going downhill
    > with a following wind, and about 6 and a half going up in the lowest
    > gear I can find. :) But I do like cycling, there is something really
    > special about zooming along a flat road faster than you can run, in
    > almost silence and knowing that the only thing powering the vehicle is
    > yourself.
    >
    > Possibly I want a "Dutch bike", though I don't know the prices
    > off-hand, does anyone have a website for them?
    >
    > My budget is probably in the 400 quid range, allowing another 100ish
    > for lights, etc.
    >
    > In an ideal world I'd love a Trice, but that'd probably cost rather
    > more than I can handle at the moment, given I'd also need a steel shed
    > to keep it in. My current "bike shed" is a former almost-outside loo
    > (now just an empty space) with padlocked door which forms part of the
    > basement of our house, and was just large enough for the previous bike
    > (an ex-catalog return non-suspension 'MTB' from an LBS in Sheffield) to
    > fit in.
    >
     
  18. Pyromancer

    Pyromancer Guest

    Upon the miasma of midnight, a darkling spirit identified as Arthur
    Clune <[email protected]> gently breathed:
    >dkahn400 wrote:


    >> The Galaxy is a very nice general purpose bike. If your mate's one fits
    >> you and is in reasonable nick, why not make him an offer for it? Better


    >This is what I did. I bought a Galaxy from Simon Ward (ex of this parish)
    >and then spent a little more converting it to flat bars to make it more
    >suitable as a commuter.


    I'd forgotten about the drop bars, that was one feature I wasn't keen
    on. But the gearing was incredible, best I've ever ridden by a long
    way.

    --
    - DJ Pyromancer, The Sunday Goth Social, Leeds. <http://www.sheepish.net>

    Broadband, Dialup, Domains = <http://www.wytches.net> = The UK's Pagan ISP!
    <http://www.inkubus-sukkubus.co.uk> <http://www.revival.stormshadow.com>
     
  19. Pyromancer

    Pyromancer Guest

    Upon the miasma of midnight, a darkling spirit identified as Peter
    Clinch <[email protected]> gently breathed:
    >Arthur Clune wrote:


    >> Cons
    >> * weighs a ton
    >> * more upright position


    >The former is certainly a con, the latter is more of a two-edged sword.
    >On the one hand you're not leaning on your arms so there is more
    >immediate comfort and your default view is where you're going, rather
    >than a patch of tarmac just in front of you. But on the other hand
    >you're /much/ less aerodynamic, so will do more work and go slower.
    >
    >For the shopping and urban use a Dutch bike is great. If it's good for
    >commuting will depend on the commute. A couple of miles without big
    >hills, absolutely ideal, 10 miles through lots of up and down, not so
    >good at all.


    It's about one mile each way, and it's downhill all the way there. And
    while it's a hill to me I suspect many of the serious cyclists
    hereabouts would probably regard it as flat! :)

    It's also through the heard of Leeds' densely built Victorian east end,
    so lots of junctions, though there is one nice long straight descent
    (well, long is relative - it's perhaps 1/3 of a mile, maybe less).

    Regarding the gearing on the Dutch bikes - I assume you get 3, 5 or 7 in
    the hub, and then when there's a 3 chainring derailleur that gives you
    the 24 or whatever. What are the hub gear ratios like? Is it like a 21
    speed normal set but with much bigger gaps between the ratios, or are
    the ratios closer together?

    I noticed that on my old bike I really only ever used the largest,
    middle, and smallest gears at the back, plus the three at the front, so
    although it was actually a 21 I really used it like a 9 (or perhaps 7,
    as I tried to avoid the "diagonal chain" thing).

    I suppose really it's the lower ratios I really need - don't want to
    have to get off and push up the steep hill by the Fforde Green when
    coming back from Tesco fully loaded!

    I've looked at the Gazelles and like what I see, though I'll have to try
    one before deciding though, guess I'll be popping over to York for a
    test ride at some point. I do like the idea of a hub dynamo and built
    in locks, and of bikes built to last for decades.

    --
    - DJ Pyromancer, The Sunday Goth Social, Leeds. <http://www.sheepish.net>

    Broadband, Dialup, Domains = <http://www.wytches.net> = The UK's Pagan ISP!
    <http://www.inkubus-sukkubus.co.uk> <http://www.revival.stormshadow.com>
     
  20. Pyromancer

    Pyromancer Guest

    Upon the miasma of midnight, a darkling spirit identified as David E.
    Belcher <[email protected]> gently breathed:
    >Peter Clinch wrote:


    >> Arthur Clune wrote:


    >> > Cons
    >> > * weighs a ton
    >> > * more upright position


    >> The former is certainly a con


    >Depends where you live, mind. Though I see the original poster
    >mentioned Sheffield somewhere along the way; 'nuff said (speaking as an
    >ex-resident)!


    LOL! Leeds now, was Sheffield till a couple of years back, and I still
    like the place.

    --
    - DJ Pyromancer, The Sunday Goth Social, Leeds. <http://www.sheepish.net>

    Broadband, Dialup, Domains = <http://www.wytches.net> = The UK's Pagan ISP!
    <http://www.inkubus-sukkubus.co.uk> <http://www.revival.stormshadow.com>
     
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