A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Archive for May 4th, 2011

PROPER CYCLISTS – Help required

Posted by Alan on May 4, 2011

Falcon - mountain bike

'The Falcon', back when it still had off road tyres

I’ve needed a new bike for a long time. Probably for years. I got this bike when I was around 15 or 16 and still doing a paper-round, because my Peugeot Racer wasn’t really designed to carry a full sack of Sunday papers. It’s gradually transformed from a mountain bike (never used off road) into a weird hybrid, with the addition of mudguards, rack, pannier, pound shop horn, a proper bell and finally road tyres. The government’s ‘cycle to work’ has just opened so it’s time to move on to something more in tune with the riding I actually do – some utility transport riding, some ‘pleasure/health’ related (i.e. losing the moobs and moving to a normal BMI) and I guess some a bit of both. It’s 11 miles-ish to work which I could probably do in around 1 hour, around the same time it takes going via the tube ironically!

So… this is where I need some advice.  The main provider is Halfords, but they partner with Action Bikes, Cycle Republic, Leisure Lake and Condor Cycles and can order things in. Theoretically, I can buy up to 1K of cycle equipment through the scheme, however our cycle ‘storage’ is a garage containing a heap of bikes so I’m not really looking for something at the top end of what is allowed.

So what I am looking for in a bike?

  • Probably a hybrid – something with ‘road’ tyres but not for racing.
  • Mudguards and chain guard – I don’t want to dress specially for riding
  • A rack for panniers – because this is how I bring home the bread
  • Some gears
  • Some brakes – hub nice due to low maintenance but don’t care too much, I’m getting there with maintenance
  • Sprung seat
  • Kickstand nice, but not essential – see picture above!

From my early searches the best I can find are this Raleigh from Halfords, a Trek from Action and this Globe Daily from Condor. Or maybe this Pashley Paramount.

The plan is to have the new bike ready and worn in slightly for the summer solstice by which time I will be tackling the c2c across the top of England so I will need to be comfortable in the new saddle. Any recommendations before the 14th of May would be great! – I’ll need to buy the bike really quite soon as cycle to work closes again at the end of the month!

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