First time commuting on a bike, I have the option to exchange but would like advice on specs please

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
elliotthomas91
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Joined: 11 Jun 2019, 2:13pm

First time commuting on a bike, I have the option to exchange but would like advice on specs please

Postby elliotthomas91 » 11 Jun 2019, 2:26pm

Hi all

New here so apologies if posting wrong.

I have been cycling to work (2 miles each way) for a couple of weeks now on a Viking Urban X (I was sold on the misleading RRP and disc brakes for the price RRP £400 and I got it for £265..) but now feel I made a rash decision as it seems to be the same price everywhere else. The bike feels heavy, but I think it rides fine. Some tweaking needed I think as the gears are missing every now and then. Spec is here: https://www.evanscycles.com/viking-urban-x-2019-hybrid-bike-EV365669

I purchased it on a Cycle scheme through work and without doing prior research, locked myself in to £270 maximum however since found out I can exchange the bike if I am not happy and pay the difference cash with Evans. I am interested in https://www.evanscycles.com/trek-fx-1-2019-hybrid-bike-EV311936 but willing to take any reccomendations. Or even keep the bike if suggested.

I genuinely have no experience or frame of reference outside of aesthetics and the difference in brake types. I do think the Trek is a nicer looking bike but will need mudguards adding after.

My question is really can anyone advise in their opinion if I should keep the Viking or pay for the ugrade based off the specifications and/or experience with the Viking brand. A lot of the parts as you can see are branded, but I'd rather invest no more than an extra £100 to have a steady away commuter bike which will last me a couple of years at least. I know I'm at the budget end as it's my first bike, but I would prefer to get as much quality as I can for my money. I can find barely anything review wise on the Viking Urban X I'm currently riding.

Thank you in advance :)

Bonefishblues
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Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: First time commuting on a bike, I have the option to exchange but would like advice on specs please

Postby Bonefishblues » 11 Jun 2019, 2:34pm

The Trek will feel notably more sprightly to ride, for sure. The Viking's a bit of a lump.

Also worth trying the Pinnacle Lithium 2 at £375, as a point of comparison.

Brucey
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Re: First time commuting on a bike, I have the option to exchange but would like advice on specs please

Postby Brucey » 11 Jun 2019, 3:54pm

I'd second the Pinnacle Lithium suggestion; it has a cassette hub at the rear and the others have screw-on freewheels. Bike shops do a roaring trade in replacing failed rear wheels which had screw-on freewheels fitted.

FWIW I think the Viking is never worth £400 but it is not bad value at the price you paid; remember that you will need mudguards and a rack for commuting and these will cost a fair bit once added to the cost of the other machines. However all the parts are built to a price and the overall result is a fairly uninspiring ride.

FWIW I recently rebuilt a Giant Escape as a commuting bike; once it had a hub dynamo, lights, rack, mudguards, better (more puncture resistant) tyres etc fitted, it was no lightweight either.

Having noted the above, you only have a short commute; actually almost any bike is liable to work OK for a couple of years and there may be other factors (like how likely it is to get nicked) that are as important as actually riding the bike.

cheers
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531colin
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Re: First time commuting on a bike, I have the option to exchange but would like advice on specs please

Postby 531colin » 11 Jun 2019, 4:33pm

Lithium 2 is 7 speed here, doesn't that mean screw-on? https://www.evanscycles.com/pinnacle-lithium-2-2019-hybrid-bike-EV339937
But really, 2 miles? That's 10 minutes at 12 miles an hour. A "better" bike won't save you a measurable amount of time on that trip. How much maintenance you do, and whether or not you park it in the rain will have just as much influence on how long the bike lasts as how "good" a bike you buy in the first place.

Brucey
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Re: First time commuting on a bike, I have the option to exchange but would like advice on specs please

Postby Brucey » 11 Jun 2019, 4:40pm

pinnacle is listed as being fitted with HG200 cassette, by which I assume they mean CS-HG200-7. Shimano and others seem to be keen to make it so that if you 'only' have 21 gears (!) you have to have a screw-on freewheel but it ain't so quite yet.

cheers
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PT1029
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Re: First time commuting on a bike, I have the option to exchange but would like advice on specs please

Postby PT1029 » 11 Jun 2019, 4:45pm

Lithium 2 is 7 speed cassette, stated ratio is 12 - 32t. But as a general point, most 7 speed bikes are screw on freewheel.
To add other options, I'd go for hub gears/single speed (depending on hills), as more weather resistant, cheaper to replace chain/cog(s) when worn out.
Some people in the past (and still?) look down their nose at hub gears, but they are good practical things.

elliotthomas91
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Joined: 11 Jun 2019, 2:13pm

Re: First time commuting on a bike, I have the option to exchange but would like advice on specs please

Postby elliotthomas91 » 11 Jun 2019, 5:30pm

531colin wrote:Lithium 2 is 7 speed here, doesn't that mean screw-on? https://www.evanscycles.com/pinnacle-lithium-2-2019-hybrid-bike-EV339937
But really, 2 miles? That's 10 minutes at 12 miles an hour. A "better" bike won't save you a measurable amount of time on that trip. How much maintenance you do, and whether or not you park it in the rain will have just as much influence on how long the bike lasts as how "good" a bike you buy in the first place.


Hi Colin. Thanks. I’m not looking at saving time on my commute I’m more thinking on overall speed and build quality and weight so I can use it for a more diverse range of rides as I live near the country also. I can’t imagine lugging the Viking up any sort of hill. I am a self proclaimed absolute novice so it may be a non question to some however I am keen on taking the opportunity to exchange for something with more longevity and quality parts.

Bonefishblues
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Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: First time commuting on a bike, I have the option to exchange but would like advice on specs please

Postby Bonefishblues » 11 Jun 2019, 5:48pm

Worth saying that the Pinnacle has mountain bike gear ratios of you do want to take on hills. The tyres will cope with (dry) off-road tracks too. It's a versatile bike. The gears are serviceable rather than top-drawer, but will be durable and change well.

elliotthomas91
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Joined: 11 Jun 2019, 2:13pm

Re: First time commuting on a bike, I have the option to exchange but would like advice on specs please

Postby elliotthomas91 » 11 Jun 2019, 7:28pm

Thanks everybody, really helpful. Looks like I’ll be switching the Viking for the Lithium :D

Interesting discussions which I admittedly don’t fully understand but will take the time to do so tonight before confirming my decision with the store.

Cheers!

elliotthomas91
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Joined: 11 Jun 2019, 2:13pm

Re: First time commuting on a bike, I have the option to exchange but would like advice on specs please

Postby elliotthomas91 » 11 Jun 2019, 9:47pm

Would the pinnacle cobalt; https://www.evanscycles.com/pinnacle-cobalt-1-2019-hybrid-bike-EV306236 be worth the extra £25 for the disc brakes? I think I may be used to them on the Viking... also is the pinnacle vs trek fx debate with considering as they are the same price?

Thank you

Brucey
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Re: First time commuting on a bike, I have the option to exchange but would like advice on specs please

Postby Brucey » 11 Jun 2019, 10:01pm

the pinnacle lithium discussed upthread has a cassette hub and the trek has a (just as crappy as the Viking, in fact crappier probaby) screw on freewheel. Pinnacle every time for me if you are choosing between those two.

Hydraulic discs? Great whilst they work I suppose, but chuck 'em in the bin when they go wrong (and yes they do go wrong when shown winter weather, even at low mileages). Cable operated brakes are easier to fettle, when fettling is required.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

elliotthomas91
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Joined: 11 Jun 2019, 2:13pm

Re: First time commuting on a bike, I have the option to exchange but would like advice on specs please

Postby elliotthomas91 » 11 Jun 2019, 10:07pm

Brucey wrote:the pinnacle lithium discussed upthread has a cassette hub and the trek has a (just as crappy as the Viking, in fact crappier probaby) screw on freewheel. Pinnacle every time for me if you are choosing between those two.

Hydraulic discs? Great whilst they work I suppose, but chuck 'em in the bin when they go wrong (and yes they do go wrong when shown winter weather, even at low mileages). Cable operated brakes are easier to fettle, when fettling is required.

cheers


That’s great thank you so much :)

Jamesh
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Re: First time commuting on a bike, I have the option to exchange but would like advice on specs please

Postby Jamesh » 12 Jun 2019, 8:31am

If you park the bike anywhere public take the Viking but if you have secure parking by all means take the trek.

The trek will likely be taken from a station bike park where as the Viking unlikely too....

7 SPD gears will be clunky but shouldn't jump.
Easy to adjust find a YouTube video to see how.

Some new road tyres would make a big difference 28 or 32mm

Cheers James