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Advice requested for new bike - budget £1500

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 Ian.Hogg 11 May 2020

HI: I need to replace a 20yr old cycle. I am looking for some suggestions for a good make for an about town bike which can be used as well on towpaths and bridleways. So my spec is : straight handelbars: 21 gears able to get an oldy up steepish hills: decent brakes : fittings for mudgards, water bottle, etc: Something that is easy to adjust the brakes and gear cables to reset without a lot of faffing and (too much) oily hands. The main requirement is light weight. Around 10 kilos looks a goer without buying carbon fibre at £4K.  Many Thanks. Ian

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In reply to Ian.Hogg:

21 gears would be an odd set up on a £1,500 bike. For that kind of money you are probably looking at 2 x 10 or 11 gearing, rather than 3 x 7.

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 oldbloke 11 May 2020
In reply to Ian.Hogg:

Probably something like the Canyon Roadlite range.  don't worry too much about buying direct online - had bikes from Canyon and YT all fine and decent customer service and the value is so much greater.  £1300 sees you sub 10kg.

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 Yanis Nayu 11 May 2020
In reply to oldbloke:

Yes, Canyon bikes are great. 

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 cb294 11 May 2020
In reply to Ian.Hogg:

As usual, buy used! The depreciation curve for most bikes is ridiculous.

CB

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 daftdazza 11 May 2020
In reply to Ian.Hogg:

Maybe a gravel bike, something like Pinnacle Arkose, Ribble CGR, Canyon grail al, or Cannondale topstone.

Stick on semi smooth 35mm tyres, will be perfect for mixture for on and off road 

Post edited at 14:02
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 bigbobbyking 11 May 2020
In reply to Ian.Hogg:

How do you feel about flat bars vs drop bar? Drop bar bikes have become very popular recently, and lots of good options in the 'gravel' or 'cyclecross' bike genres which would suit your requirements, but they'll be drop bar which some aren't used to.

Also as others have pointed out, gearing has moved on a bit in 20 years  11 speed wide range cassettes are common on bikes of that price and so triple chainsets are rarely seen. More common is double chainset, but even single chainrings are possible with a fairly wide range of gears. This is marketed as '1x' and has the advantage of one less derailer to fiddle with and get trimmed correctly, and associated reduction in weight and complexity. If you don't have too many hills around is well worth considering.

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In reply to Ian.Hogg:

Normally the best value for money is found by waiting until late summer/autumn when surplus bikes in this year's colours are heavily discounted to make way for the new range. With demand for bikes being so high this year I doubt there will.be many of these around. 

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 bearman68 18 May 2020
In reply to Ian.Hogg:

The latest thing, as someone has said, is a 'gravel' bike. they look great fun to be fair - even though they are pretty much mid 90's MTB with dropped handlebars. 

Drops are definitely worth considering - they save a good deal of energy, and the number of different riding positions make them probably more comfortable than anything else.

For £1500 it's going to a be an Ally frame - but worth getting a carbon fork, as it absorbs lots of shock from the road. And personally, I'd recommend disc brakes over rims. Much better stopping power, and you're not going to wear the wheels out. 

Canyon do a great range, but my prefered choice was Cube. Better gear mech for the same price. I also personally rate Giant. 

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 Wilderbeest 18 May 2020
 Dave B 18 May 2020
In reply to Ian.Hogg:

Two possible, but not ideal... 

Canondale Quick Disc 1 is slightly over weight at 10.5kg at £1000

Decathlon triban 520 flat bar is also just over at about 11kg. At £730

Both flat bar.  A bit heavier than you wanted but 105is good kit. Possibly not low enough geared if you want a really low ratio for hill climbing.

 Slight ly closer to what you want :

Giant fast road advanced at about 1700 touches under 10kg. Fast road sl at about 1000 and just over the 10kg. Again gearing could be a problem. 

I'm surprised how heavy bikes are still at the £1000 mark when they are flat bar. Drop bars seem lighter. E. G the giant contend sl disk is under 10 kg for £1300, £400 cheaper than the fast road. 

The word Gravel seems to add about £300to the price for manymanufacturers. 

Or push thr boat out and get a ribble e bike https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-cgr-al-e-grey-105/ heavier than your wanted but power up the hills! 

Good luck.

Post edited at 21:34
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 Siward 19 May 2020
In reply to bigbobbyking:

If the aim is "to get an oldy up steepish hills" as per the OP, he may well want to be looking at a triple, akin to propert mountain bike gearing. The current vogue for pretending a 34/32 11 speed set up is equivalent just ain't so.

So, to the OP, how easily do you want to get up hills?

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 elsewhere 19 May 2020
In reply to Dave B:

> Or push thr boat out and get a ribble e bike https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-cgr-al-e-grey-105/ heavier than your wanted but power up the hills! 

I can't believe how normal looking those Ribble e-bikes are, I had to look hard to find the motor (rear hub, hidden by cassette on photos) and no visible battery (inside downtube?).

Post edited at 11:08
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 ChrisJD 19 May 2020
In reply to Siward:

> ....  looking at a triple, akin to proper mountain bike gearing.

Have you been living under a rock?

'Proper' MTB gearing is now all 1x11 or 1x12.

.. with rear cassette going as big as 10x50 or 9x46 (the latter gives a bigger range than 10x50)

My flat bar bstard X/gravel bike is geared 38T up front with a 9-46 out back.

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 Siward 19 May 2020
In reply to ChrisJD:

Under a rock's a good place to be these days.

How's that setup on a nice flat road though?

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In reply to Ian.Hogg:

Well below your intended price range (£599.99) so may not be quite the quality you want, but the Decathlon Hoprider 900 would appear to fit much of your requirement overall.

I don't think I'd be going for drops or an aggressive riding position for a "town bike" - a more upright flat bar bike is much more practical for that purpose.  I've never understood why everyone seems to ride round New York or London on what are utterly impractical bikes for the purpose; there almost seems to be a competition about just how ridiculous they can be made to be.  The Dutch know town bikes and do them right, though I wouldn't buy an actual Dutch one as the gearing tends to be too long for British hills.

A bit heavier than you intend though, I can't get the website to work properly but I recall it being about 16kg, though that's fully equipped.

By the way, fit Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres, you won't get punctures.  It comes with standard Marathons but these aren't as good.

Post edited at 14:21
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 ChrisJD 19 May 2020
In reply to Siward:

> How's that setup on a nice flat road though?

the 38T on a 9 can give a fair lick and is approx equiv to a 46T on a 11.

I use to the 38T to make the most of the 46 for going up off-road tracks in the Peak.

.. remembering the OP said: "about town bike which can be used as well on towpaths and bridleways"

So could easily push it to 42T or bigger up front, and still have low gear for hills on the 46.

A 42T on 9 is approx equiv to a 51T on a 11.

Post edited at 14:37
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 S Ramsay 19 May 2020
In reply to Ian.Hogg:

I'd buy this, slightly outside of your budget but looks amazing, will require very little maintenance, practical around town and for longer rides. The Shimano Alfine gear hub has a spread 409% which should be ample for any hills. Apparently the XL version weighs 10.6 kg. Maybe not so good for bridleways if by that you mean mtb terrain but will be fine for towpaths

https://www.canyon.com/en-gb/hybrid-city/citybikes/commuter/commuter-sport-8.0/1960.html?dwvar_1960_pv_rahmenfarbe=BK#!accordions=1_1

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 bigbobbyking 19 May 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> I've never understood why everyone seems to ride round New York or London on what are utterly impractical bikes for the purpose

In my experience, it's because riding on roads that are hostile to cycling you feel safer if you are faster. Pootling along on a dutch bike is fine if you have a nice segregated cycle path. But if you're mixing in with busy traffic you feel safer if you can ride at 20mph. Add to what some people might call 'twitchy' handling on a road bike compared to a dutch bike, allows you to filter more easily and have more room for error if you need to make a fast correction.
 

Post edited at 16:08
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In reply to bigbobbyking:

Probably a style of riding thing, then - I've cycled in London and I find a defensive, relaxed approach and a sit-up type bike (mostly a Bozza bike, or is it a Sadiq cycle now?) preferable.  Same as my approach has been when driving there, though I've not done that very often.

Narrow tyres must be awful with the terrible quality of the roads, too.

Post edited at 16:47
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 bigbobbyking 19 May 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Probably a style of riding thing, then

Yeah, maybe it's just the frantic 'must get there faster' spirit that living in a big city gives rise to. See also: walking around the underground...

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In reply to bigbobbyking:

Probably true.  That said, I tend to move around the Tube quite quickly (London does that to you), but then that is much less likely to kill me than adopting an overassertive method of cycling/driving on the roads.

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In reply to Neil Williams:

It's more than 20 years since I commuted in London, but I did it for 4 years on three different bikes. A fairly relaxed and upright hybrid (stolen), an old steel framed road bike (long term loan) and a 90s style mountain bike. The road bike was definitely my favourite for riding around the city.

In terms of city bikes, I've only really ridden them as hire bikes when in flat European cities. To me they feel very heavy, slow, unresponsive and really hard work on any kind of hill. Generally fine for easy going tourism type travel, particularly when separated from traffic, but as soon as the things get more car / bus / lorry focussed, pretty dreadful.

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