Which bike to buy?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Joined: 20 Feb 2018, 9:25am

Which bike to buy?

Postby onetwothree » 20 Feb 2018, 10:18am

Hi all,

I am looking for a new bike as current one is very old. I tend to go on mixed rides with roads, paths, tracks and some off-road. So I need something that will be fairly quick on roads but can also handle off-road and must have drop bars. From doing some research, a CX or 'gravel' bike seems like the best fit. I will be buying through my company's C2W scheme where the two biggest retailer choices are Halfords and tredz.co.uk (and must be under £1k). I have narrowed down to the following:

1. https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Merida-Cyclo-C ... 110597.htm
2. https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Cube-Cross-Rac ... 112991.htm
3. https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Cannondale-CAA ... 108757.htm
4. https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Genesis-Vapour ... _98934.htm
5. https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Genesis-CDA-10 ... 113919.htm
6. https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Genesis-CDA-20 ... 113920.htm
7. https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Genesis-Croix- ... 113921.htm

I was pretty set on the CAADX but have read that the brakes are no good which is putting me off but still tempted as it is a beautiful bike! The tyres on the CX bikes are also very knobbly which might not be great for the road portions of my rides? I don't know enough about the different gears, wheels, tyres, brakes etc so hoping you guys can help me make a decision!


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Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: Which bike to buy?

Postby whoof » 20 Feb 2018, 1:26pm

There's quiet a range of equipment on the bikes and what you choose depends on what you are hoping for in a bike.

If you are look for cheap to replace components that are longer lasting on one of the Genesis bikes (no.4) has an 8 speed cassette and a square tapered bottom bracket (as do all of the Genesis bikes). If you keep a look out on Ribble and Planet X etc you can pick up a cassette and chain for not much more than £10. A square tapered BB will also probably outlast an external bearing one as fitted to all of the other bikes. I've just replace the bearing on a Tiagra external BB after 4 years of winter weekend riding. My ride to work bike has done 5 days a week, all year for 20 years with the same un71 stBB.

At the other end of the spectrum 11 speed will give you a wide gear range with fewer gaps but may wear quicker than the 8 speed and an external bearing bracket make be a bit stiffer (if you can notice this) but probably won't last as long especially if you use it off road and will cost more to replace. You can however still pick up 10 speed cassette and chains for very reasonable money and this wouldn't be a deal maker personally.

There is no huge differences in the gear rations of any of the bikes. Most have road compact 34/50 with the odd cyclo-cross 34/46 or 36/46. So bottom gears range from approximately 27" on the no 6 & 7 on your list to 33" on no 4. So no.4 will be about 20 % 'harder' work going uphill, although a cassette is a consumable and you can change the 12-28 on this at a later date.

Three of the bikes have Spyre TRP which some people rate (although the was a concern on here last week about their long term life due to their design) not familiar with the others. Avid BB7 are another popular choice.

If you want good grip off road then the tyres are not going to be sprightly on the road. You can get two pairs of tyres and change them for different styles of riding, which will mean you either get very bored of this or get very good at changing tyres. The alternative is two pair of wheels with road tyres on one and cross tyres on the other, but this is of course an additional cost.

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The utility cyclist
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Joined: 22 Aug 2016, 12:28pm

Re: Which bike to buy?

Postby The utility cyclist » 12 Mar 2018, 1:09pm

Get the Cannondale, the braking is unlikely to be a problem, pretty much all bikes these days have decent brakes, caliper or disc, even ones at a lower spec than you're aiming at.
People having braking issues is generally not down to the brakes themselves.

If you get the chance see if you can ride some of the bikes, if you can't go with the one that pleases you the most aesthetically, works for me :-D they're all decent bikes so any one is going to work out ok.

Regarding tyres, you'd be surprised at how some small knobbled tyres run on tarmac, larger knobbles more like an mtb will be significantly slower obviously but try to see if the tyres fitted are isted on bike rolling resistance, and don't forget a semi knobbled tyre is going to work better off road than aslick road tyre so there's a payoff, you can always swap the tyres for something else if you don't like the ones fitted.