Best bike for under £500 - please help me choose

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
DaveW
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Joined: 31 Jan 2019, 10:11am

Best bike for under £500 - please help me choose

Postby DaveW » 31 Jan 2019, 12:58pm

I have had very good 21speed, lightweight Shogun mountain bike for over 25 years [having git it 2nd hand from my brother]- I now have a chance to get a bike via the Halfords cycle to work scheme in my new workplace. I do a total of 10km each day. I enjoy the odd ride at the weekend and would like to do more. Rather than maintaining an old bike I'd like to go for one on the scheme. I don't want suspension and would prefer to have disc breaks. I have a max budget of £500. I ride on a combination of roads and cycle tracks and use it in most weathers. Any bike I get I'll be putting mudguards on. I have narrowed my search down to 5 bikes that are within my budget. Please can anyone advise if any of these are much better than the others and which are to be avoided? Which one would you go for?
-Marin Fairfax 2 2019 - Hybrid Sports Bike £500
https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Marin-Fairfax-2-2019-Hybrid-Sports-Bike_129662.htm

-Boardman HYB 8.6 2019 - Hybrid Sports Bike £499
https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Boardman-HYB-8-6-2019-Hybrid-Sports-Bike_128000.htm

-Giant Escape 2 City Disc 2019 - Hybrid Sports Bike £499 or standard 'Giant Escape 2 City Disc 2019'
https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Giant-Escape-2-City-Disc-2019-Hybrid-Sports-Bike_200581.htm

-Orbea Carpe 40 2019 - Hybrid Sports Bike £499
https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Orbea-Carpe-40-2019-Hybrid-Sports-Bike_127281.htm

-Kona Dew 2018 £422.99
https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Kona-Dew-2018-Hybrid-Sports-Bike_111480.htm

Cheers

Jamesh
Posts: 379
Joined: 2 Jan 2017, 5:56pm

Re: Best bike for under £500 - please help me choose

Postby Jamesh » 31 Jan 2019, 6:17pm

Boardman for me
Carbon fork + higher spec groupset + great brakes.
Lightweight frames too.

Cheers James

landsurfer
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Location: Rotherham

Re: Best bike for under £500 - please help me choose

Postby landsurfer » 31 Jan 2019, 6:26pm

Decathlon ..... does what it says on the tin ....
“I’m responsible only for what I say, not what you understand.”

The Road Goes on Forever.

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Best bike for under £500 - please help me choose

Postby Brucey » 31 Jan 2019, 6:55pm

all these bikes are cut from similar cloth but there are enough differences to make the decision non-trivial.

Four of the bikes have hydraulic brakes which are good (they self-adjust for pad wear and are usually powerful) but the pads can wear down to the backing (esp in wet weather) without you noticing and if (when) the hydraulics spring a leak (a year or two in all-weather use is not unusual) it is usually easiest to fit a whole new brake (as a pre-bled unit). Ditto if you smack a lever. Mechanical discs (eg the Kona) will require more frequent fettling but it is at least reasonably straightforward fettling; you won't wear the pads out without noticing either.

The kona is a pretty good bike which is let down by the cheap transmission components; since these wear out anyway they can be replaced with better stuff as time goes on. If it were cash money then the Kona would be a good choice, but with the CTW scheme it is tempting to spend a bit more.

The orbea is an oddball because it has only 7 gears. On the plus side this should mean the rear wheel is less dished and therefore stronger, and the whole bike is likely to be a bit lighter in weight. On the minus side seven gears may not be enough, giving you an insufficient range and/or big gaps in the gear range.

Of the remaining bikes both the boardman and the marin have very low-set seatstays. This is very trendy but it makes fitting mudguards and racks less easy than it should be. Choosing between those two may be down to the difference between a 2x9 geartrain and a 3 x8 geartrain; one may suit you better than the other.

I might well buy the Giant because it doesn't have such an impractical frame design and it does come with a rack and mudguards.

The other thing is that all these bikes have flat bars. I would be tempted to choose a machine with a short top tube (reach) and mechanical disc brakes, so that I could easily convert it to dropped bars if I felt the urge. This probably isn't a consideration for you.

cheers
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thelawnet
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Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 12:56am

Re: Best bike for under £500 - please help me choose

Postby thelawnet » 31 Jan 2019, 7:07pm

None of them especially inspiring.

How about this for £300?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pinnacle-Lit ... 3620282367

Bonefishblues
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Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: Best bike for under £500 - please help me choose

Postby Bonefishblues » 31 Jan 2019, 7:30pm

thelawnet wrote:None of them especially inspiring.

How about this for £300?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pinnacle-Lit ... 3620282367

Will Evans do their eBay ex-dem bikes on C2W? If so, job jobbed if it fits, plus as many accessories as OP can carry!

landsurfer
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Joined: 27 Oct 2012, 9:13pm
Location: Rotherham

Re: Best bike for under £500 - please help me choose

Postby landsurfer » 31 Jan 2019, 7:36pm

Well if Decathlon cannot sort you out ... i have experience and ownership of the 300x and 500x variants ... superb cycles ... try this .. Alloy frame and Claris gears ... top kit ...


https://www.argos.co.uk/product/8017992
“I’m responsible only for what I say, not what you understand.”

The Road Goes on Forever.

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robgul
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Re: Best bike for under £500 - please help me choose

Postby robgul » 31 Jan 2019, 7:56pm

You need to know that if the scheme is a Halfords voucher they take 15% of the retailer's sales price as commission (that's retailers that are not Halfords Group - that's Tredz and Cycle Republic) - and many shops will not take Halfords C2W.

So choice is limited to Halfords group offerings

Rob

PH
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Re: Best bike for under £500 - please help me choose

Postby PH » 31 Jan 2019, 10:21pm

robgul wrote:You need to know that if the scheme is a Halfords voucher they take 15% of the retailer's sales price as commission (that's retailers that are not Halfords Group - that's Tredz and Cycle Republic) - and many shops will not take Halfords C2W.
So choice is limited to Halfords group offerings
Rob

Don't all the C2W schemes take a commission from the retailer? Is the Halfords one more than the others?

PH
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Re: Best bike for under £500 - please help me choose

Postby PH » 31 Jan 2019, 10:24pm

Of the bikes listed, I like the Giant, just looks ready to go as a commuter and I prefer the 3x8 gearing to some of the other options.

Eyebrox
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Location: Ayrshire

Re: Best bike for under £500 - please help me choose

Postby Eyebrox » 31 Jan 2019, 11:33pm

Tricky one, as the price point makes it so. They've all got good and bad points. Components randomly mixed across each bike to suit budgets. I like the Orbea because of the weight. Their other bikes in this range sold out last year. Seven gears might be limiting though. I could give reasons for buying every one of them - but my choice for hybrid bike riding would be the Orbea. Try one and see.

DaveW
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Joined: 31 Jan 2019, 10:11am

Re: Best bike for under £500 - please help me choose

Postby DaveW » 1 Feb 2019, 12:26pm

Thanks for the feedback. I'll have a close look and see.
The 7 gears of the Orbea may be limiting but I'm strangely drawn to it anyway. When I've seen each one I'll let you know.

pete75
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Re: Best bike for under £500 - please help me choose

Postby pete75 » 1 Feb 2019, 6:20pm

The CTW scheme budget limit is £1000 not £500 so you could go a bit higher up the bike hierarchy.

DaveW
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Joined: 31 Jan 2019, 10:11am

Re: Best bike for under £500 - please help me choose

Postby DaveW » 1 Feb 2019, 7:58pm

I would have liked to have had that bigger budget as I've seen some decent bikes in that bracket but the firm I work for have limited it to £500

Brucey
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Re: Best bike for under £500 - please help me choose

Postby Brucey » 1 Feb 2019, 8:12pm

if your commute is not hilly, you could buy a different cassette (about £10 for a 7s one) and have gears that are closer together, should you find the wide range cassette on the orbea too 'gappy'. If your commute is like that, and you don't plan to ride elsewhere, there is arguably absolutely no point in having two more chainrings and more sprockets etc.

cheers
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