Bike for commuting and light touring

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g004ahe
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Joined: 11 Jun 2008, 12:57pm
Location: Burton on Trent

Bike for commuting and light touring

Postby g004ahe » 15 Mar 2009, 10:48am

I'm looking for bike for commuting (19 mile round trip) and the occaisional light touring (i.e. not camping). When I do tour I often hit the hills (Pennines etc.) so a good range of gears will be useful. I want drop handlebars and have a budget of around 600 GBP. I do the occaisional 100 mile day ride and am also comtemplating Lands End to John O'Groats in a year or two.

Any ideas greatfully received!
Sidman

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MLJ
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Location: Rugby

Re: Bike for commuting and light touring

Postby MLJ » 15 Mar 2009, 3:42pm

Try to get a previous year's model of the Dawes Galaxy, but this may be above your price unless you see one second hand.

rogerzilla
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Joined: 9 Jun 2008, 8:06pm

Re: Bike for commuting and light touring

Postby rogerzilla » 15 Mar 2009, 4:23pm

Something described as an audax bike would be best - lighter than a full-on tourer, but usually with a triple chainset and some luggage-carrying ability. £600 is a tight budget since most of these bikes are British-made, but you can probably get Ribble to build you one.

gilesjuk
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Joined: 17 Mar 2008, 10:10pm

Re: Bike for commuting and light touring

Postby gilesjuk » 15 Mar 2009, 5:30pm

http://shop.18bikes.co.uk/products.php? ... p450&rs=gb

£600 exactly.

Good clearance for big tyres, rear rack mounts, mudguards.

Frame can take disc or v brakes.

This build is singlespeed, but it can take gears too.

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robwa10
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Location: North Derbyshire/South Yorkshire

Re: Bike for commuting and light touring

Postby robwa10 » 15 Mar 2009, 5:45pm

If you feel able to build it up yourself I'd recommend a Thorn MK3. I have one and do exactly what you want to do with it. I ordered the frame and then the parts and calculated I spent around £600-£700 on it.

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CREPELLO
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Joined: 29 Nov 2008, 12:55am

Re: Bike for commuting and light touring

Postby CREPELLO » 15 Mar 2009, 5:49pm

As prices for bikes have generally gone up a lot recently your £600 is going to get you a much better machine if you have the patience to buy second hand. An audax specced bike sounds the right kind for your needs. Spa cycles do have a 2008 Dawes Audax Sport listed at £460http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php?plid=m1b0s21p896, which seems good value but the gears don't seem seem ideal for them big 'ills. Asking Spa to change the chainset from the compact double for a triple is likely to incure big costs as the STI's would need replacing as well.

However, the ubiqutous Galaxy seems more available in the second hand market unless you strike lucky with the right audax model. So as a good compromise, how about buying a descent second hand Galaxy off ebay or this forum, then equipping it with a light weight wheel set based on something like a Rigida Chrina rim and Deore hubs? Parker International seemed to be best value at present: could cost about £110 + extra for good light weight folding tyres. The lighter wheels should help you up those Penine hills even if the frame is a little over built for your needs - you notice weight savings far more in the wheels than in the frame department for any given weight reduction. (And you'll always have the original set of wheels should you wish to use the bike for any heavier duties). A good choice for doing long day rides or LEJOG I reckon.

Jerry

pioneer
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Joined: 13 Feb 2007, 10:39am

Re: Bike for commuting and light touring

Postby pioneer » 16 Mar 2009, 11:17am

How about the Ridgeback Horizon? Some places doing them (09 models) for £549.00.

Saw one yesterday on the club run,very impressed. It will do all you ask. In fact the chap who bought it, choose it for exactly the same reasons as you specify. Certainly better value than the Dawes Audax/Sportif models.

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MikewsMITH2
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Joined: 19 Sep 2008, 10:25am
Location: POOLE Dorset

Re: Bike for commuting and light touring

Postby MikewsMITH2 » 16 Mar 2009, 12:32pm

I have a Dawes Audax Sport and have been very pleased with it. I changed the cassette for an MTB one and the rear mech for a long cage one (total cost about £35) and now it'll get me up anything! The only other extras I have fitted are a Jim Blackburn Rear carrier and a cycle computer. Ideal for light touring and day rides. IMHO triples aren't worth the aggro especially with STI unless you want ultra low gears for heavy touring or towing a trailer. We don't even have a triple on our tandem and we're two overweight, unfit 50+ year olds.
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woollee23
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Joined: 8 May 2008, 5:19pm

Re: Bike for commuting and light touring

Postby woollee23 » 16 Mar 2009, 12:43pm

MikewsMITH2 wrote:I have a Dawes Audax Sport and have been very pleased with it. I changed the cassette for an MTB one and the rear mech for a long cage one (total cost about £35) and now it'll get me up anything! The only other extras I have fitted are a Jim Blackburn Rear carrier and a cycle computer. Ideal for light touring and day rides. IMHO triples aren't worth the aggro especially with STI unless you want ultra low gears for heavy touring or towing a trailer. We don't even have a triple on our tandem and we're two overweight, unfit 50+ year olds.


I'll second Mike on this one. I too have the Audax Sport and I'm very pleased with it. Bearing in mind that the 2009 Sportive model which replaces it for this year is some £300 or so more, then it's especially good value.

I bought it with the intention of using it for my commuting bike, with a view to doing some Sprtives / audaxes in the summer. The compact double is fine for me, and will probably do a grand job for most circumstances other than fully laden touring.

I also spent some time deliberating about my choice and had considered a tourer before settling on this. On reflection I think I made the right choice for me, but if funds allowed would have gone a bit more upmarket and gone for the Thorn.

My tip as far as luggage carrying capacities go for this bike and other light tourers is to go for some kind of saddlebag set up (SQR / bagman support / Brooks saddle). At around up to 23-24 litres the Carradice range should cope for most situations.

The Ridgeback Horizon suggestion is also a good one, though be aware that the 09 models have alu frames rather than steel.

Jay-X
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Joined: 27 May 2007, 3:20pm
Location: Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire

Re: Bike for commuting and light touring

Postby Jay-X » 16 Mar 2009, 3:15pm

pioneer wrote:How about the Ridgeback Horizon? Some places doing them (09 models) for £549.00.

Saw one yesterday on the club run,very impressed. It will do all you ask. In fact the chap who bought it, choose it for exactly the same reasons as you specify. Certainly better value than the Dawes Audax/Sportif models.


I agree with pioneers recommendation on the Ridgeback Horizon - fantastic bike for the money. I have just bought a new '08 Horizon for £360 from my LBS. :lol: Unfortunately for you it was the last one, but as Pioneer says, you can pick up an '09 model for around £550.00. Looking at the spec the '09 model is upgraded to 9 speed.

pioneer
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Re: Bike for commuting and light touring

Postby pioneer » 16 Mar 2009, 7:09pm

Well,I'm out and about tomorrow and if see an 08 Horizon for anything up to £400.00,I'll be having it.

My son has a Ridgeback Meteor (though selling it now because of a job change)and I think Ridgeback give very good value for money.

Yes, A Galaxy would be nice,a Thorn Audax Mark 3 even better,but the Horizon will do the job just fine.