advice for new bike up to £1000 for commute

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nicl
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advice for new bike up to £1000 for commute

Postby nicl » 18 Mar 2013, 11:24pm

Hi all,

just found out my work takes part in the cycle to work scheme and I am going to take advantage to get myself a proper bike. The commute is ~7 miles into some quite trafficky parts of London. I did it last week on a borrowed bike and really enjoyed it despite the weather.

I don't really know anything about bikes, although I enjoy cycling when I have the chance (I borrow my dad's second bike quite often). The plan is to go to Evans (or somewhere) this weekend and buy a bike and equipment. My dad is going to come along - he knows more about bikes than me - but it would be great to hear any suggestions on good bikes in my price range. Oh, and I'm more than open to spending less than £1000; but £1000 is the absolute upper limit.

My Dad has a touring bike (a Dawes model) and I'm tempted to get something similar - certainly I need something which I can attach paniers to and which will be robust enough. But again, all advice welcome.

Thanks in advance,

Nic

eileithyia
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Re: advice for new bike up to £1000 for commute

Postby eileithyia » 19 Mar 2013, 12:37am

good ole dad's ....

you already have one main bit of info... it needs pannier carriers; you also need mudguards and it needs to be comfortable for you with gearing that will be adequate for what you will be riding...
sounds like dad's bike already has that, so go for something similar...?????

bike to work; several threads regarding this and a few things to be aware of;

can be lengthy, you have to see bike / kit in shop, fill in form / submit copy to work / await approval / once approved take paperwork back to shop for purchases.... or at least that was how it was when i did it...
remember you can use dosh to also buy kit; waterproof clothing / lights / helmet..

some shops add extra to cover admin, so you might be better off if you can afford to buy out right at a discounted price..
if your company is not vat rated the advantages are further diminished as you do not save on vat...
the buy back cost at the end of the scheme is less advantageous under newer guidelines so may not be as good as it seems.

if you cannot afford lump sum, some shops may have zero rated finance system that could equally be as lucrative

another i heard recently; get a zero% credit card for 1st year.... buy bike / kit, pay off credit card over the year.... have to be disciplined re other purchases...
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

Valbrona
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Re: advice for new bike up to £1000 for commute

Postby Valbrona » 19 Mar 2013, 1:29am

1/ Mudguards.
2/ Fixings to take pannier rack when you get fed up of wearing rucsac.
3/ A good lock if going to be left in public areas.
I should coco.

Malaconotus
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Re: advice for new bike up to £1000 for commute

Postby Malaconotus » 19 Mar 2013, 1:44am

use the budget to get not the bike but everything you need to get the most use and best use from it....

you can't ride it if it's nicked.... lock, x2 or even 3 for London
you need to ride in the rain... mudguards, jacket
you need to ride it when you've stuff to carry... rack and panniers
you need to ride in the dark... lights, lots of.

A good, lightweight, robust commuter bike starts at about £400 and rapidly enters the realms of diminishing returns, where your extra cash is buying you a slightly slicker gear change and a slight weight saving. Steer clear of suspension, and away from road bikes, they aren't built for all weathers, all surfaces, potholes etc. Disc brakes, with less maintenance faff, and all weather stopping power, are probably the one real technical benefit for commuters from spending a couple of hundred more. And if you're riding mostly in flat areas, look at hub geared bikes, again for the reduced faff, but these also add a couple fo hundred quid or more.

Good luck and hope you get something you enjoy riding.

dbascent1986
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Re: advice for new bike up to £1000 for commute

Postby dbascent1986 » 19 Mar 2013, 7:25am

I would add to mudguards, lights, considering internal hub gears - this would then allow a fully enclosed chainguard for added weather proofing. Hub gears (Shimano Alfine for example) are now quite silent and can be changed while stationary, it also is easier to keep clean. I have a locker at my destination so only use a zip roll bar bag for puncture repair kit, bike jacket, mobile, lock.

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honesty
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Re: advice for new bike up to £1000 for commute

Postby honesty » 19 Mar 2013, 8:37am

The other question to ask is if this is going to be your one and only bike, and if you are going to want to do other things on it. If this is the case then a good touring bike would be something to look at. You can definitely get one, as well as panniers, coat, lights, pump, etc for your £1000. Have a look online and see if you can get last years models on the cycle scheme as these will usually be discounted.

For example: Dawes horizon plus
or if you want a bit more of a sports tourer style bike Dawes Century SE

Brucey
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Re: advice for new bike up to £1000 for commute

Postby Brucey » 19 Mar 2013, 8:51am

IIRC the cycle scheme often applies only to full-price bikes, not sale models, so you'll have to see if this is the case or not.

The 'residual value' in the scheme can be a bite in the bum; depending on how this is enforced, and if the scheme applies to sale bikes or not, you might be better off just buying a bike on sale.

A bike that is versatile enough for other uses (like weekend jaunts) is a good idea.

cheers
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Mark1978
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Re: advice for new bike up to £1000 for commute

Postby Mark1978 » 19 Mar 2013, 9:32am

Evans at least says it can apply to sale bikes. As mentioned above I wouldn't just go for a £1,000 bike because it's a nice bike, save £200-£300 for all the accessories you are going to need.

Locks (yes more than one), lights front and back (preferably two front, two back), cycle computer, bottle cage, mudugards, bidon, saddle bag or panniers, helmet, pump, repair kit, spare inner tubes, clothing - cycling trousers, jerseys, hi-vis coats. Also consider clipless pedals -- they help a great deal and if set up right are easy to use.

A big part depends on your other riding; are you just going to ride to work and that's it. Or do some weekend stuff too? As others have said, you don't need a road bike for that distance and you definitely don't want a mountain bike.

As for which one, try and look at the Trek FX series. They do them at various prices, some have disc brakes - but tbh I wouldn't worry about that, my 7.1 FX had rim brakes and they had excellent stopping power. The 7.5FX is £750 and an excellent bike with high spec equipment, a carbon fork (almost acts like front suspension but is very light). http://www.trekbikes.com/uk/en/bikes/ro ... /fx/7_5_fx that would leave you £250 for accessories.

Mark1978
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Re: advice for new bike up to £1000 for commute

Postby Mark1978 » 19 Mar 2013, 9:36am

nicl wrote:The plan is to go to Evans (or somewhere) this weekend and buy a bike and equipment.


AFAIK you have to first apply for the vouchers under the scheme and wait for them to arrive, then go and order the bike and then wait for the paperwork do be done -- It's not just a matter of turning up at the shop and walking out with a bike. Even if paying in cash, you can't expect a shop to have your exact size and model of bike in stock, even if they do they'd still have to set it up.

Not trying to put you off, just don't make plans which involve cycling next week as you may be disappointed!

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honesty
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Re: advice for new bike up to £1000 for commute

Postby honesty » 19 Mar 2013, 10:44am

I administer the scheme at my work so here's the exact process (through Cyclescheme anyway, it may differ slightly with others)
First you have to go into a cycle shop and decide exactly what you want. They will generate a form for you with their reference on top with the prices of all the bits and bobs.
Then you need to go to the cycle to work website and request the voucher.
The administrator of the scheme at your workplace will need to approve the voucher at which point an invoice is sent.
When the invoice has been paid by your work the voucher will be issued to you.
Take the voucher back to the shop and pick up your stuff.

On how much you will pay in total. Assuming you are a lower rate tax earner on a £1000 you will pay £680 + a final payment (more on that later) or £total amount - 32%. Schemes can be for 12 to 18 months long.
You have 3 options at the end of the scheme.
1. Hand everything back. Its a hire scheme so you just stop paying and someone (Cyclescheme usually) takes ownership of all your stuff.
2. Pay a final amount (on a 12 month hire this is 18% of original value for bikes under £500, 25% for bikes over 500 quid, for 18 months ones its 16% and 21% respectively). The bike is now yours.
3. Pay a one of hire extension amount of 3% for bikes under £500 and 7% for bikes over, to extent the hire period out to 4 years. You pay no further monthly fees and at the end of the 4 years ownership of the bike is transferred to you.

Given all this on a £1000 voucher you will make a saving of £250.

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horizon
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Re: advice for new bike up to £1000 for commute

Postby horizon » 19 Mar 2013, 10:52am

The sad thing is that going to a bike shop (even one as large as Evans) won't allow you to look at the bikes you might need to see. Half the shop will be road bikes (see above) and the other half fairly pedestrian comfort bikes for pavement riders. The bikes you might really want are in the warehouse or only available to order. This isn't a criticism of bike shops - they simply wouldn't have the space to display all the bikes available and in your size. So,

:!: do lots of homework and look at the on-line catalogues;
:!: be clear about the sort of bike you want;
:!: ring the dealer in advance to ask if they have a couple of "your" bikes on display or if they can have one ready in your size.

A good commuting bike in the opinion of many folk on this forum probably won't be on display. Last year's models will usually produce some great savings (i.e. hundreds of pounds).
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dbascent1986
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Re: advice for new bike up to £1000 for commute

Postby dbascent1986 » 19 Mar 2013, 5:17pm

Did not go through the scheme (self employed so I own the residual) but did look at Kona Dr Fine, Charge Mixer and settled on a Thorn Raven Sport Tour with Shimano hub gear which brought it into my price range (they normally use Rohloff gears) - I also wanted V brakes which only the Thorn had. All three were good contenders and I am sure there are other well designed commuter bikes out there with similar specifications.

Elizabethsdad
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Re: advice for new bike up to £1000 for commute

Postby Elizabethsdad » 19 Mar 2013, 7:16pm

As a fan of hub gears and disc brakes the best available bike that Evans has looks like:-

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/cha ... e-ec042805

but like others are saying you have to try a few out. Just to blow the trumpet for hub gears a bit more. They are particularly good for riding in traffic because if you have to stop when in a high gear you can drop to low gear while stationary befor esetting off again, as well as requiring a lot less maintannance - notquite maintennance free still need to keep an eye on chain tension. Disc brakes provide very good stopping performance in all weathers - provided your tyres can keep up - and I like the idea of not wearing my wheel rims away.

Definitely get a good lock, lights, mudgaurds and rack. A kick stand is probably worth it as well. The last bike I got came with all this included but then it was from Germany:-

http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/rose ... aid:609521

Russell160
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Re: advice for new bike up to £1000 for commute

Postby Russell160 » 19 Mar 2013, 7:42pm

Two thoughts:
-another little addition (for London) is security skewers for the wheels. Most bikes are fitted with quick release levers which makes them easy to steal and I know from my son's experience this is a constant headache in London. I'm sure the shop will explain.
-I would also suggest you try Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative (are they in London??), see below for suggestions. Evans are good. The Boardman range at Halfords are good. Quick and lively and have all the fittings for mudguards and racks and within your range.
-Having done a bit of riding in LOndon traffic one of the key decisions for you to make is do you want straight handlebars which gives you more of an upright posture, helps you keep an eye on traffic or drop bars which put you lower down which can mean a bit of neck strain.
-I would also suggest a little mirror to fit on the handlebar.

Finally I would say two things:
*Get the best possible bike you can afford. A nice bike is a joy to ride which means you will use it more, whereas an average bike can be just a chore/means of transport.
*Choose the bike you fall in love with. If you have an emotional connection with a bike you'll use it more and hopefully get obsessed with cycling like all us saddos on here.

http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/product ... tirling-13

Big T
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Re: advice for new bike up to £1000 for commute

Postby Big T » 19 Mar 2013, 9:54pm

Evans may have some touring bikes in, depending on the branch. My local one has a Ridgeback Voyage, Jamis Aurora, Kona Sutra and Dawes Galaxy. If they don't have any in the shop, they will be able to order bikes in for you to look at and test ride- you may have to pay a small deposit which is refundable if you don't wish to buy the bike.

I think a dropped bar tourer would be good for commuting. I commute on a Ridgeback Panorama which is sure-footed, soaks up potholes and has front and rear pannier racks. It has a fairly upright position, not as much as a hybrid, but more upright than a road bike. The Voyage is a cheaper, lower spec version of the Panorama.
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