Bikes - Urban/Hybrid
The Boardman Urban Pro Ltd is a very capable fast commuter with a high spec level and a responsive ride. It's light and comfortable enough for much, much longer outings than just the trip to work and would be a great sportive or Audax tool for riders who prefer the flats to the drops. Aside from a few niggles, it comes highly recommended.
Kona's Africabike is a sturdy commuting machine that makes you feel good in more ways than one. If it wasn't enough that it's a pretty capable workhorse and fun to ride to boot, you can also relax in the warm glow of having done some good in the world too.
Ridgeback's Flight series has been around a good few years in its various guises – Ridgeback Genesis, Genesis Day and now Ridgeback Flight – and has always been a stable of good quality bikes. The newest range looks set to continue the good work, and the Flight 04 is a good higher end, lower maintenance commuter for urban jaunts.
Giant's Mini 0 is a small-wheeled bike that you might expect to fold, but which doesn't. That might seem like a mark against it but as Alex Moulton has been demonstrating since back in the Sixties small wheeled bikes do not need to fold to earn their place.
When we first looked at it we did put a question mark over the centre point of the frame where two small stiff triangles are joined at one point. However, on closer examination and after speaking to the Mini 0's designer, Joe Chou, it is apparent that that point is much stronger than it looks.
The Speeder is an important bike for Merida in the UK. The £600-£650 price point is a really crucial one for manufacturers these days, as it's the kind of money lots of people are spending on bikes through company-run cycle-to-work schemes. In fact, we happen to know that one of the Merida's direct competitors, the Specialized Sirrus Comp, is Cyclescheme's most-supplied bike of all time. It's important for Merida to get this bike right, then. So have they?