Bikes - Urban/Hybrid
You'll find plenty of disc-equipped, cyclocross-inspired do-it-all bikes under a grand; they're usually a good option as an all-rounder and popular on cycle-to-work schemes. Now there's one more, the Trek Crossrip, and it's a good bike. It's not the hottest on value but as a package the Elite model we've been riding is sensibly specced and good to ride.
Designed to be a fast paced ride, suitable for commuting and general mooching about, the Hob 3 is a three-speed version of Charge's singlespeed Hob, both built for women - although Charge reckon they sell a few to men as urban runabouts.
Genesis's Croix De Fer hardly needs an introduction. You most likely already know that it's a do-it-all bike, and that its credentials were firmly established in 2010 when Vin Cox got the Guinness World Record for riding it around the world faster than anyone had done before.
The Milk Bikes RDA is more than one bike, really. Capable of a range of different builds with 700c or 26in tyres, Milk describe it as a 'super commuter'. Whatever you build it up with, though, you'll be building it up with a Gates Carbon belt drive and disc brakes, because that's what the bike's designed for. Discs on a commuter is a very sensible call, and the bike as a whole is a reliable and likeable commuter, but I'm not convinced that the benefits of a belt drive over a chain outweigh the drawbacks.
Now, I'm a roadie through and through – I like speed, I've never ridden anything with tyres wider than 25mm and certainly never used a rack so when I arrived at road.cc to collect the Kinesis Decade Tripster I wasn't quite sure what I'd let myself in for. It turns out though that the last couple of months of riding have been some of the most fun and carefree I've ever known.
The 2011 Whyte Montpellier was a three grand exercise in brand awareness as much as it was a bike for sale, but the 2012 incarnation comes in at only just over half the price whilst keeping some of the aspirational componentry bolted to Whyte's MTB-derived urban frame. Overall it's a cracking bike, fun and versatile, although the existence of the £999 Stirling is for a lot of people going to provide the biggest disincentive to buying one.
Carrera's Gryphon is the kind of bike that sells in big numbers in the UK, and for good reason. It's a well-balanced urban machine that's sensibly built and very well specced for the price. £370 isn't pocket money but it's very affordable. This bike would cost you around £20 a month on a Cycle to Work scheme and it's built to last, so if you're looking for an urban workhorse it's definitely one to consider.
Hamilton and Alonso, Mancini and Tevez, Kate Moss and pretty much any pretty popstar of the last decade. Great on their own, but a bit of a disaster together. That pretty much sums up On-One's Pompetamine. Dropping Shimano's hot new Alfine 11 speed hub into the classic Pompino singlespeed frame promises so much but ends up being a sluggish and disappointing hybrid.
The Electra Townie 7D will appeal if you're looking for something a bit different for flattish cruising around town. At £375 you don't need a second mortgage to own one and it's good fun around town, but compromised climbing position and a tendency to ship its long chain mark it down a bit.
A new bike marque to the Road.cc office, this one. The unisex Halcyon Akita is billed as a 'hybrid trekking' bike, with the emphasis on value for money. At £300 it's pitched at the same market as Edinburgh Bicycles' Revolution hybrids, and the lower end offerings of some of the big brands. It has a lot to live up to.