Entries now open - duly signed up


I’m thinking about buying a bike. The last one I owned was a BMX - a long, long time ago.

Having just joined the local gym (which is about 2 miles away on quiet country roads), it seems logical to get there on two wheels and leave the car out of the equation.

I don’t want to spend a lot and will be using the bike on the road (and perhaps some very gentle off road scenarios).

A bit of googling suggests a hybrid would be ideal.

Halfords have their Carrera Subway 1 on offer at £230 at the moment. It seems generally well reviewed for the money.

What do you think?


Seems alright.

Can you get anything through a cycle to work scheme?


I haven’t checked, as it’s a 30 mile journey to work and there’s no way I’m cycling that.


These seem great if you want an expensive bike, but less so if you just want a basic thing for getting about short distances.


It is 42 miles to my work. I sometimes cycle a bit of it. Nobody checks. Halfords do a lot of bikes on the cycle to work scheme. But your work has to agree to it.
You can get the bike and safety bits and bobs.

Or just buy the bike.


Lots of used bikes on Gumtree/eBay.

I suppose a ‘used twice by delusional fatbloke’ example could be a good buy.


Watch out for Halfords bike set up, generally poor IME. This bike would be fine for the short trips you’re envisaging. If you decide to do more cycling I’d definitely spend more, going cheap is a false economy. Second hand can be good if you know what you’re buying, but a bit of a minefield. In this instance local bike shop is your friend (unlike hi fi dealerscum).


A good fit is by far the most important thing, for comfort, efficiency and avoiding knee niggles etc. As Bolts said, a good bike shop is the best bet for this - you’ll spend a little bit more than online/halfords but the result will almost certainly be better. Plus they may have second hand/last year’s models at a discount.
For frame size and approximate fit you can get a rough idea in advance with something like this:


Funny twitter exchange with Surrey Police


Good that :+1:


Thanks everyone.

Turns out I have a colleague at work who is a bike nut (he kept that quiet). He’s offered to let me try his hybrid and mountain bikes so I can get a feel of what might suit me. He’s the kind of bloke who likes to strip his bike down to the nuts and bolts just for giggles, and is keeping his eye out for good secondhand deals for me. I’ll kick the tyres, he’ll look under the bonnet (so to speak).

I’ll let you know how I get on.


Update: Have been for a spin or two and came to the conclusion that for the kind of sedate riding I am likely to be doing, it doesn’t matter too much what kind of bike I get. The hybrid was great, as was the mountain bike, the latter being rather like the former, only with the addition of a springy fork.

Of course, if I thought there was any prospect of me chucking it down a mountain, I might feel differently. But that ain’t happening.

Long story short, I’ve just bought a 2015 Carrera Fury. Well used, but also well maintained. Took it straight to the local bike shop for a once over - new chain, a few adjustments, some puncture resistant gloop in the tubes - all good.

Total cost about £175. Not bad, I think.

Things have moved on since my youth. Hydraulic brakes are scarily good.

I’m now going to need some lights, a bike maintenance book, spoke clickers and some of those streamer things that fit in the ends of the grips.

The tyres are perhaps a bit knobblier than is ideal for the road, but they’ll be fine until they need replacing.

First priority will be lights and a lock. Any tips?



Your first priorities should be cycling shorts or padded undershorts, a windproof and/or waterproof jacket and mudguards - you can buy a decent set of lights and a lock from Aldi for £20.

Youtube is your friend for bike maintenance Global Cyling Network are very good - think Top Gear only without the wankpuffins.

Next year, when you’ve just bought your third bike; which will either be a steel fixie for nipping down to your local hipster coffee emporium or a carbon fibre dream machine for nipping down to your local coffee emporium to pose - we will laugh knowingly :joy:


For lights, if you want something reliable get Exposure. They’re a bit dearer than some others but work well and last a long time.
As for not getting it pinched, where you leave it has a far bigger impact than what kind of lock you buy. Or there’s always this:


Ha excellent :grinning:


If you do get into it maybe something like this?

15K :blush:


Ffs, fifteen big ones and you don’t even get pedals!!?! :disappointed:


What…! £26k and you need to spend more before you even get any sound out of them :open_mouth:



Cost break down -

Parts - £500
Marketing/ service £250
Overheads £250
Profit - £14,000