Help picking a first adult bike!

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
pete146
Posts: 9
Joined: 23 Jul 2017, 9:04am

Help picking a first adult bike!

Postby pete146 » 11 Apr 2020, 9:39am

Driving myself mad reading reviews etc for my first bike purchase in 20 years!

I'm looking for a hybrid, around £400. It will be used for bridle paths, country lanes, woodland paths, fields - but also on the roads (a bit) to get to these places. I would like sit quite upright as I have some back trouble (which has stopped me buying a bike in the past).

My mind was made up - I was going to wait for the price to reduce and buy this (I know it's Halfords, but it gets well reviewed):
https://www.halfords.com/bikes/mountain-bikes/voodoo-marasa-mens-hybrid-bike----18in-20in-frames-445471.html

And now I've seen this:
https://www.decathlon.co.uk/900-hybrid-bike-water-green-id_8578872.html

So my question is - Which is the best, basic bike that will be reliable and comfortable to get me back into cycling?

Thanks :smile:

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NUKe
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Joined: 23 Apr 2007, 11:07pm
Location: Suffolk

Re: Help picking a first adult bike!

Postby NUKe » 11 Apr 2020, 11:08am

For you want Halfords have some great bikes. Don’t be put off by the love to hate Halfords brigade. My daughter has a Carreras Subway 1, which she has owned about 7 years and loves it the crossfire is also a good choice
NUKe
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Bonefishblues
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Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: Help picking a first adult bike!

Postby Bonefishblues » 11 Apr 2020, 12:20pm

Decathlon. Enough gear range, even with a single chainring, including a low bottom gear. Little or no weight penalty over the Voodoo for the suspension fork (which I assume you're keen to have if you really will be doing most of your riding off road). Decathlon support has a good reputation, and it's very good vfm.

Jamesh
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Joined: 2 Jan 2017, 5:56pm

Re: Help picking a first adult bike!

Postby Jamesh » 11 Apr 2020, 12:43pm

Have a look at Ridgeback bikes too.

Also Evans own brand and wiggle bikes.

Most of these tend to have a nicer and less agricultural finish than the decathlon.

Cheers James

pete146
Posts: 9
Joined: 23 Jul 2017, 9:04am

Re: Help picking a first adult bike!

Postby pete146 » 11 Apr 2020, 3:19pm

Bonefishblues wrote:Decathlon. Enough gear range, even with a single chainring, including a low bottom gear. Little or no weight penalty over the Voodoo for the suspension fork (which I assume you're keen to have if you really will be doing most of your riding off road). Decathlon support has a good reputation, and it's very good vfm.


I would like suspension yes - But I was advised that at £400 I should avoid it because it will be really bad. That's why I was favouring the Voodoo.

roberts8
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Joined: 20 May 2011, 9:14pm
Location: Surrey

Re: Help picking a first adult bike!

Postby roberts8 » 11 Apr 2020, 3:40pm

Two in my family brought Evans Pinnacle 2 which is a really well put together bike so might be worth a look.

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

Re: Help picking a first adult bike!

Postby Bonefishblues » 11 Apr 2020, 3:47pm

pete146 wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:Decathlon. Enough gear range, even with a single chainring, including a low bottom gear. Little or no weight penalty over the Voodoo for the suspension fork (which I assume you're keen to have if you really will be doing most of your riding off road). Decathlon support has a good reputation, and it's very good vfm.


I would like suspension yes - But I was advised that at £400 I should avoid it because it will be really bad. That's why I was favouring the Voodoo.

It won't be very good vs many/most others, you're right (but there again neither were the very best models when FS was introduced, and people clamoured to buy those).

The normal advice on here is to avoid at that pricepoint, but since you said most of your riding would be off road, on balance it's probably worth having, since, as I said, there's no weight penalty vs the Voodoo. And of course you mentioned comfort in your two key criteria.

pete146
Posts: 9
Joined: 23 Jul 2017, 9:04am

Re: Help picking a first adult bike!

Postby pete146 » 13 Apr 2020, 9:07am

Thanks all for the help :)

I ended up going for something entirely different, thank to some tips from friends who know a bit more than me.

I bought a Marin San Rafael yesterday, eagerly awaiting it now :)

Thanks again

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

Re: Help picking a first adult bike!

Postby Bonefishblues » 13 Apr 2020, 10:11am

Thanks for coming back & updating - out of interest why did they recommend that model (assume it's the 1?) over the Decathlon?

pete146
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Joined: 23 Jul 2017, 9:04am

Re: Help picking a first adult bike!

Postby pete146 » 13 Apr 2020, 10:21am

It's the 2 on a big sale at £400, and it's home delivered fully built (which at the current time is a big help)

Bonefishblues
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Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: Help picking a first adult bike!

Postby Bonefishblues » 13 Apr 2020, 10:57am

pete146 wrote:It's the 2 on a big sale at £400, and it's home delivered fully built (which at the current time is a big help)

That's good value. The chainset and the rear mech are a bit 'agricultural' so you'll likely replace in time, but that will see you well for a long time.

Martyn B
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Joined: 17 Apr 2013, 10:08pm

Re: Help picking a first adult bike!

Postby Martyn B » 13 Apr 2020, 2:37pm

I bought a Marin San Rafael best part of 20 years ago, and although there will undoubtedly have been upgrades on the model since then (disc brakes, perhaps?) I can only say that if you have as much use out of it as I did, then you will not be disappointed! For about 5 years, I did an urban commute of about 3 miles each way every day, through all weathers, and when I changed jobs, I did a longer commute for a couple of years of about 14 miles each way, just a couple of times a week, and once again through all the muck and bullets that the British weather can throw at cyclists. I also did a few lengthy day rides of about 70 miles without any degree of discomfort or mechanical problems, apart from the odd p-word! The only reason I upgraded to a 'better' bike was because, if I'm honest, I wanted to be part of the 'roadie' fraternity while I still had the fitness to keep up with some 'faster' riders. So, I passed the bike on to our local bike charity, Spokes, who couldn't believe I was giving them such a decent bike.

I kitted mine out with full mudguards and a rack, and I also purchased a suspension seat-post for those bumpy canal towpaths. I would agree with the comment made in an earlier post about the chain-set, I was on my third by the time I eventually handed it in, but I had done a lot of miles so that's just 'normal' wear and tear.

For me, the ringing endorsement of the bike is the fact that many years on, I now have 2 road bikes, a cross bike, a Brompton, and a Thorn Raven with Rohloff gearing for touring, but I really would love to be able to jump back on that San Rafael, I so wish that I'd kept hold of it!

Jamesh
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Joined: 2 Jan 2017, 5:56pm

Re: Help picking a first adult bike!

Postby Jamesh » 13 Apr 2020, 5:53pm

Bonefishblues wrote:
pete146 wrote:It's the 2 on a big sale at £400, and it's home delivered fully built (which at the current time is a big help)

That's good value. The chainset and the rear mech are a bit 'agricultural' so you'll likely replace in time, but that will see you well for a long time.


An upgrade to a deore chainset won't be too expensive either.

Cheers James

pete146
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Joined: 23 Jul 2017, 9:04am

Re: Help picking a first adult bike!

Postby pete146 » 14 Apr 2020, 7:42am

Thanks for all the help - Just got to wait for it to arrive now :)