City bike purchase. Any recommendations

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 Mattia 04 Nov 2018

Hey there,

I'm about to retire my current city run-around bike for a more solid one.

My criteria: preferably new, ideally set up for city commuting (mudguards, chain guard) but not essential,  not too flashy, possibly front suspension for day touring comfort, no grip shift

Decathlon sells some for £300-400. Wouldn't spend any more than that as it'll be locked outside day and night, so no point of getting bits stolen if too flashy.

My question: is decathlon the best place for what I'm looking for? Does £300ish buy you a solid bike? Will I be better off buying a stripped down version and add mudguards, lights, etc. myself to have more choice in bikes?

Maybe someone on here has recently purchased a similar bike and has a hot tip? 

Any recommendations appreciated. 

In reply to Mattia:

I don't have any precise suggestions but there are some great looking bikes in that price range. I commuted for years on a "sports hybrid" - no suspension, and I reckon avoid suspension - with biggish tires you just don't need it. It's heavy, something to go wrong, and money will go on that and not elsewhere on the bike's components. If you can get hydraulic brakes - they are just so good and for riding in traffic just very reassuring.

Decathlon is always excellent value, but I'd see what Boardman do (via Halfords probably) in that price range and also Vitus, Chain Reaction's own brand, and Pinnacle, Evan's own brand. They all do some great looking urban bikes. I just got a new Boardman cyclocross/gravel bike for my commuting - I'm just used to drop bars now, but you see how much more you get for your money on flat bar bikes - I think the combined gear shifter/brake levers on a road/cx bike just cost loads more, and the trickle down from mountain biking to flat bar urban/road bikes means great brakes and the like are just much cheaper. Flat bars seem a bit out of fashion too currently with everyone going CX/gravel etc, so again keep price competitive.

 Jesus 04 Nov 2018
In reply to Mattia:

Have you ever considered a Dutch style bike? I bought one off ebay to use for a 4 mile commute, and it's become my favourite bike. 

If mine ever got stolen I'd probably replace it with one of these.

https://www.cycle-heaven.co.uk/products/bikes/by-type/town-bikes/gazelle-classic-3-speed-mens

Bit out of budget, but it would last a lifetime.

 Mattia 04 Nov 2018
In reply to Jesus:

Hello Jesus, thabks for your suggestion. I'm  familiar with the Gazelle bikes and while they're nice and comfy they're probably a bit too chilled for me.

I'd like to have a decent set of gears, a reasonably sporty riding position to allow cycling in London traffic. 

 Mattia 04 Nov 2018
In reply to TobyA:

Thanks for the Infos, TobyA. You make a few good points there. The front suspension is not really essential for city commuting, especially when trying to keep the cost manageable.

I've had a Carlton drop bar bike for years. Problem I find with that is that I couldn't get decent spare parts in the shop; had to order some obscure parts from the internet instead of just popping into the local bike shop.

I'll give Halfords a try. Let's see what can be found there.

 Mike-W-99 04 Nov 2018
In reply to Mattia:

I use an 8 speed Edinburgh revolution courier around town. We’ve plenty of hills and 8 gears are fine. Alas they don’t do their own bikes anymore but if you look at the specs on an archived model it’ll give you an idea on what to look for.

In reply to Mattia:

The Decathlon Hoprider 500 is a very good bike for your price range, FWIW.  I've got one and am very happy with it.

 Darron 04 Nov 2018
In reply to Mattia:

I can recommmend the Carrera subway 2. Occasionally on sale at Halfords for £270 ( and excelllent value at that) otherwise £350. Extra for mudguards, rack etc.

 LastBoyScout 04 Nov 2018
In reply to Mattia:

Try eBay - picked up a barely used Whyte hybrid for less than half retail, bringing it in your budget.

 Monk 04 Nov 2018
In reply to Mattia:

Have a look at the Voodoo Agwe. I've been riding one for a little while and it's pretty good around town in my opinion. 

 Mattia 06 Nov 2018

Some of the bikes suggested are great but too fancy to be left parked outside overnight. 

Thanks for all the suggestions, people. I'll follow all the leads and suggestions and will report back once I've made up my mind. 

 scope 06 Nov 2018
In reply to Mattia:

Go to the dump, get one for a tenner. I could buy a car for £300.

 NaCl 07 Nov 2018
In reply to scope:

I've seen your car in the past and can well believe that.

In reply to Mattia: I once had a neat little Mongoose mtb that I converted to single speed and used as my hack/commute bike. It looked rubbish and I could safely leave it anywhere . I then decided to paint it olive green and add roundels and fake bullet holes etc. and it looked so cool. Someone  knicked it within the first week after rebuilding. There's a lesson there for ya.

 

 subtle 09 Nov 2018
In reply to Mattia:

Mango do rather nice looking single speeds that could be good for you, although they may encourage theft.

I alwaysy used an "old wreck" of a bike for commuting when leaving it at train stations, meant it was always there when I got back - make the non working parts look dirty etc. 

In reply to Mattia:

Don't get suspension. Cheap forks won't last 5 minutes as a commuter bike and people will be less likely to steal a bike without suspension. 

 gethin_allen 09 Nov 2018
In reply to subtle:

> Mango do rather nice looking single speeds that could be good for you, although they may encourage theft.

Mango bikes are exactly that "nice looking". Unfortunately they are branded up cheap rubbish. The reason why they have gone bankrupt twice in recent years.

I'd sooner buy a decathlon bike, in fact I actually did, although I got a triban 540 which is a fair bit more expensive than the op wanted to spend. Still, you get very good value for money from decathlon.

 

 nniff 10 Nov 2018
In reply to Dax H:

> Don't get suspension. Cheap forks won't last 5 minutes as a commuter bike and people will be less likely to steal a bike without suspension. 

Agreed.  If the bike's living outside and being used over the winter on gritted roads, they'll rust quickly and either seize, fall apart or make terrible noises, or all of the above.

Decathlon for my money.

If you can squeeze it into your budget, then  disc brakes are a sound idea for London commuting - consistent braking and an absence of that filthy grey slime with which your bike will otherwise soon be covered.

I'm back on CS7 for my sins after 6 months working out of town :|

 


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