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Hi

I'm looking for something via Cycle to Work scheme, maximum budget is £1000.

I like the idea of a road bike, but I've no experience of one. I'll also need it for commuting and I'm worried about damaging the wheels.

I'm looking for something reasonably reliable for the week that I can have a lot of fun on at the weekend. Seems like I have two options:

1) Get a road bike, put some chicken brakes on it for the commute and just be careful with it(!);
2) Maybe get a cyclo cross type bike.

So far, I like the look of these but only viewed on-line so far and I've not looked in detail at pure road bikes yet.

Trek Crossrip;
Merida CC 4;
Cotic Road Rat
I also looked at the Kinesis Tripster - that seems to be frame only then custom components.

What would you suggest - road or cyclo cross and what would you recommend in each category?

Many thanks in advance for your time and your help, James

22 comments

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Shanefutcher [98 posts] 3 years ago
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Hi mate I always commuted on my specialized allez road bike,however I was constantly fixing/replacing cassettes,chains,derailleurs etc.then I bought a single speed/fixie bike,its the best ever thing for commuting.unless you live in the hills its THE only thing you need.i do my 10mile journey to work in 27mins

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Nick T [1038 posts] 3 years ago
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Why would you damage the wheels, and what's a chicken brake?

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Shades [321 posts] 3 years ago
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I have a pretty trusty old Cannondale Hybrid commuter but if I was starting from scratch again I'd go for the Trek Crossrip (best seller according to my LBS). I particularly like the fact that it's got disc brakes with additional levers on top of the bars, which means you can stop quickly if you haven't got your hands in the drops. I had an 'altercation' with a car the other day which jammed it's brakes on right in front of me (on purpose). With flat bars and hydraulic brakes I stopped just in time. Not sure I'd have managed it on my road bike (travelling faster with my hands on the hoods).

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Singletrack [17 posts] 3 years ago
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@ Nick T

Thanks for your question - I'm worried about damaging the wheels on a road bike because they're so thin and I guess I'd have to take way more care than I'm used to with my old bike. I can remember kids at school getting bollocked for going up the kerbs on racers and buckling their wheels.

By 'chicken brakes' I meant the extra set of levers on the straight part of the handlebars so I can sit upright and still brake quickly.

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Shades [321 posts] 3 years ago
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I have a pretty trusty old Cannondale Hybrid commuter but if I was starting from scratch again I'd go for the Trek Crossrip (best seller according to my LBS). I particularly like the fact that it's got disc brakes with additional levers on top of the bars, which means you can stop quickly if you haven't got your hands in the drops. I had an 'altercation' with a car the other day which jammed it's brakes on right in front of me (on purpose). With flat bars and hydraulic brakes I stopped just in time. Not sure I'd have managed it on my road bike (travelling faster with my hands on the hoods).

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Singletrack [17 posts] 3 years ago
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@Shades

Thanks for your advice!

I really like the look of that Crossrip. I used to own a Trek mountain bike back in the day and loved it and of all the ones I listed the Crossrip is probably edging it as my favourite - I like the good brakes, the 'don't nick me' colour scheme and the internally routed cables. Only thing is, the Merida has better kit on it and is a kilo lighter...

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Singletrack [17 posts] 3 years ago
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@Shanefutcher

Thanks for your comment!

Yeah, I like the idea of the Cotic and fixies generally. I'm not sure about long weekend rides though... would I not really be limiting myself just to the commute?

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Sniffer [356 posts] 3 years ago
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I commute on a hybrid at the moment, but would like to get a Whyte Suffolk. The model below, the Dorset, was reviewed on this site recently and would be in budget. I like the idea of discs for all weathers, reasonably robust tyres and it would be good for a winter trainer as well as the commute.

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Beefy [381 posts] 3 years ago
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After a break of about 6 years from riding (road bike) I started commuting on a canondale hybrid. After a few months a realised my mistake and longed for a road bike. On my purchase of a spec allez, The difference was immediate, much more speed for energy output. No problems with durability at all commuting 30 miles daily my cassete ect lasted for 2 years until I upgraded to a Ribble bianco.

Not sure about a single speed though, I used to ride track and so have experience of fixed wheel and though very trendy your riding terrain wil be very limited.

I must say cross bikes look good and I am considering one as a new winter bike

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Singletrack [17 posts] 3 years ago
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Thanks guys. As two of you have mentioned it I will take a look at the Spec Allez.

@Sniffer: Thanks for the heads up on that Whyte Dorset - that could be just what I'm looking for, seems like a good stepping stone from an MTB to a full blown racer. It's better reviewed here than the Trek and the Merida. I guess I will just need to give them all a try.

I'm also going to go to my Trek dealer tomorrow and ask if they would swap out the Sora groupset on the Crossrip for a 105. Is there much of a market for pre-owned groupsets - would I be likely to sell it in the classifieds on here (given that it would be unused)?

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jollygoodvelo [1606 posts] 3 years ago
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Seriously - don't worry about the wheels on a road bike. They're not made of glass - if you keep the tyre pressures up you will be absolutely fine.

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TimTim74 [1 post] 3 years ago
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I would go for a CX. I commuted half a year with a road bike. But since I can doo 80% of the trip through forest if I want, and I missed that bit. So then I started using my MTB. But that was really slow again when I just went on the roads (to get to a meeting in time or so).
So in the end I bought a CX. And that is the best thing I ever did. Just love it to have that flexibility. The only downside is that it eats CX-tires.... They last about 1 year max. But oh so worth it !!!!

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Jack Osbourne snr [587 posts] 3 years ago
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I can't fully agree with you on that Gizmo... At the OP's price point he's going to be getting fairly ropey wheels with the bike anyway.

Where town centre potholes and kerbs are involved, narrow ropey wheels with narrow tyres will go out of shape more easily than wider ropey ones with fatter tyres.

That however is as far as it goes with my disagreement... Even super skinny rims are generally fairly robust. One caveat though - It always a good idea to know how to use a spoke key properly.

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Singletrack [17 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm going to look at some bikes in the real world tonight instead of on a computer screen. Just can't wait to get out there and get some miles! I looked at the Spec Allez review and it seems to be £1200. Does anyone know if the cycle to work scheme allows you to just pay the difference yourself?

In any case, from your comments on this thread, I definitely think a fast CX is the way to go for now. Maybe get the road bike next year.....  3

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jason.timothy.jones [293 posts] 3 years ago
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Singletrack wrote:

Does anyone know if the cycle to work scheme allows you to just pay the difference yourself?

The HMRC man say that you cant, however if you have a friendly retailer they may have a bike with everything ready to go, but without the wheels for say £999 and sell the wheels separately to you for £201  4

this is actually semi legitimate

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Singletrack [17 posts] 3 years ago
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jason.timothy.jones wrote:
Singletrack wrote:

Does anyone know if the cycle to work scheme allows you to just pay the difference yourself?

The HMRC man say that you cant, however if you have a friendly retailer they may have a bike with everything ready to go, but without the wheels for say £999 and sell the wheels separately to you for £201  4

this is actually semi legitimate

That makes sense, thanks Jason!

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Singletrack [17 posts] 3 years ago
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Ok, just had a look at a Trek Crossrip, a Specialized TriCross and a Cannondale CAADX Disc 6 Tiagra. The Cannondale blew the other two away in my opinion. Lighter, tighter and better looking. I'm looking at a Whyte Dorset on Saturday and I think it's between these two now. Dorset looks like it might edge it as a fun road bike at the weekends.

If any of you have any thoughts on these two bikes I'd appreciate it. Thanks again to everyone who has given me advice so far.

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Singletrack [17 posts] 3 years ago
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Went for the Whyte Suffolk. The test ride was wonderful and I can't wait to get it! Thanks again for the advice everyone  1

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jason.timothy.jones [293 posts] 3 years ago
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nice bike, let me know how you get on with the HyRd brakes, im thinking of getting some

How did you get on with the shop did they be nice with the C2W?

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Singletrack [17 posts] 3 years ago
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jason.timothy.jones wrote:

nice bike, let me know how you get on with the HyRd brakes, im thinking of getting some

How did you get on with the shop did they be nice with the C2W?

They were great - charged me £200 for a wheel nut!!

The brakes are remarkably subtle, that's the main thing I noticed. I got quite a bit of speed up and they felt responsive and unfussy. Builds a lot of confidence.

Need to decide on pedals now, I'm going to start a new thread.

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userfriendly [600 posts] 3 years ago
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Don't mind me, just another voice adding praise to the Hy/Rd brakes - swapped out the stock BB-5 ones on my commuter for them, and I'm glad I did.

My mate just now bought a Whyte Suffolk too, partly because it came with those brakes.

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Singletrack [17 posts] 3 years ago
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Liking the HyRd brakes. I went out for an hour in the rain this morning and they dealt with everything very well, including some nice fast descents. They seem to be getting better the more I use them - rubber building on the disc I guess.