Will this bike suit my needs - with child seat, up and down road hills?



thevillagebike

New Member
Apr 16, 2010
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Hello again,

Further to the advice of forum members yesterday, I returned my mountain bike and am now seeking your advice on the exchange, BEFORE i get it!

As I wrote in my thread "why is my bike so uncomfortable," I had a mountain bike by Falcon for a few days but took it back as it was too heavy and a bad fit - I'd been recommended a 19 inch frame for a 5'4'' girl - I also couldn't get on and off it easily as the crossbar was too high even on lower models.

The shop have offered me the above hybrid in exchange for £200 more, and I have now had the advice of the man manning the shop today who seemed very very knowledgeable about bikes - he said this'd suit my needs much better. I will be using it for a 2 mile commute on roads, uphill and downhill, and carrying a heavy three year old.

Am just a bit worried as it is so very expensive! It's the only bike shop for miles though and this man provides an excellent service. Just, I guess, seeking reassurance on the bike itself before I make the final purchase. It's £300. i could get a cheaper hybrid for £200 or £260 but neither have any suspension at all and the cheaper one only has 3 gears!

Finally, are there any differences I should expect to notice betwen riding the mountain bike and the hybrid? I'd love to hear from anyone who uses a baby seat on a hybrid. Or anyone at all who has any advice for me!

Thanks! :)
 

64Paramount

Well-Known Member
Jul 25, 2009
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What size is the new hybrid that you are looking at?

Hybrids make very good commuter bike, IMO.
 

thevillagebike

New Member
Apr 16, 2010
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Bonsoir! It's a 15 inch hybrid.

It has front suspension. I hear this makes the bike heavier but I like the feeling of it - am I alone?

It's the brand I'm concerned about - I'd never heard of it - googled it and one forum said it's "cheap and nasty", one said they've ripped off an old trusted brand name, while some have glowing reviews of how sturdy the bikes are....... confused!!! Will it stand up to the test of me +baby....
 

64Paramount

Well-Known Member
Jul 25, 2009
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I think it is the right size for you, but I'm not familier with that brand.

I personally don't like suspensions because they do add weight, but I don't ride the same way you do. I like to ride fast and far, and I don't carry a baby. A lot of people do like bikes with shock absorber type suspensions.

If you like the way the front suspension feels, then I think that's fine.

I would like to hear from some of the other folks on the forum about the CLAUD BUTLER ODYSSEY bike, if they have any knowledge of it.
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
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thevillagebike said:
It's a 15 inch hybrid.

It has front suspension. I hear this makes the bike heavier but I like the feeling of it - am I alone?

It's the brand I'm concerned about - I'd never heard of it - googled it and one forum said it's "cheap and nasty", one said they've ripped off an old trusted brand name, while some have glowing reviews of how sturdy the bikes are....... confused!!! Will it stand up to the test of me +baby....
FWIW. A bike without a front suspension + a kiddie trailer would probably be a better option for you to consider than a bike with a front suspension + kiddie seat on the back.
 

thevillagebike

New Member
Apr 16, 2010
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Hi Alfeng, thanks for your message.

The trailer isn't unfortunately an option for me, as I wouldn't personally feel happy with my child being so far away from me and low down on the road though I have heard great things about them.

However am interested to know - why do you feel a bike without front suspension would be better?

Thanks so much for your advice!
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
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thevillagebike said:
The trailer isn't unfortunately an option for me, as I wouldn't personally feel happy with my child being so far away from me and low down on the road though I have heard great things about them.

However am interested to know - why do you feel a bike without front suspension would be better?
No doubt, a front suspension fork can be a real benefit to a MTB rider who is riding over very bumpy terrain ... but, THOSE forks generally retail for several hundred Pounds ...

Unfortunately, the fork which is included on low end MTBs & Hybrids generally do not function as well.

I'm sure that some may suggest that it is an unfair comparison, but I would suggest that the inexpensive suspension forks which are standard equipment on low end MTBs & Hybrids are akin to having twin pogo sticks attached to the front of the bike ...
There is an inefficiency in having a fork which may bob up and down while you are pedaling ...
On top of having an internal mechanism of dubious value, the lowers are often shrouded in steel instead of an alloy of one sort or another. Consequently, I reckon a low end suspension fork of the ilk that is found on most low end MTBs & Hybrids probably adds more than 1 kg of weight to the front end of the bike when compared to a rigid steel fork, and at least 1.5 kg when compared with a rigid carbon fibre fork ...

In other words, to choose bike with a cheap suspension fork is to pay a premium for heavier and less efficient bike ...

I don't think a reputable bike shop would sell those bikes, but I suppose the desire for a few extra Pounds/Dollars/Euros of profit outweigh their morality.

BTW. The Pollyannish reason to choose & ride a bike with a cheap suspension fork is that it may make a more efficient rider as you attempt to mitigate the inevitable bouncing ... but, that isn't enough reason for a "regular" rider who ISN'T training to become a more efficient rider to choose/use that type of fork.