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Thoughts on new bike strategy?

15 July, 2015 10:12PM
Hi! I'd love to get some thoughts on my new bike strategy.

I've been cycle-commuting for a number of years but getting tired of my slow, upright Gitane and looking to get something a bit faster and lighter that I'm really going to enjoy riding for a number of years. I've done a bit of research and my ideal bike would be:

- Step-through frame, like a Mixte. Vintage look preferred.
- Good quality steel like CrMo
- Lightweight and a smooth ride
- Nice and quick but I'm not worried about being the fastest on the road.
- 3 or 7 speed hub gears with disc brakes
- Choice of upright or semi-upright riding posture
- A belt drive. Ha! I said it was ideal!

Obviously this would be rather expensive. I've a budget of around £450 so I was thinking I could buy a good second hand bike and make adjustments over time. I've seen a single-speed 2011 Charge Hob for £250, barely used. Can you give me some thoughts about whether it would be possible / worth making the following adjustments?$_86.JPG

- Changing the handlebars (currently not adjustable). I'm used to an upright style but happy to try slightly further forward - can you suggest what stem / handlebars would be appropriate? Moustache? North Road? Where's a good place to buy these?
- Happy also to try single speed for a bit while I'm still healthy(ish). The gear ratio is 46-16 which might be a bit tough for a newbie. Thinking of changing it to 46-18 - would this be ok for going up London hills / carrying a laptop in my pannier bag*?
- This would then allow me to use this minimal chain guard.
- In future I might change over to a hub gear/disc brakes. Does this involve changing the whole wheel?
- The bike currently has some very high pressure tyres and I'm terrified of a high speed blow-out. Ideally I'd get these solid puncture-proof tyres, but maybe I'll save up for a bit.
- Maybe a women's specific saddle - how would I go about trying this out? Do any bike shops let you try seats out before buying?
- Pinhead security bolts.
- The Charge is a little bit sensitive on the steering - I tried some vintage touring bicycles which are so stable. Anything I can do about this?

Lots of questions here but don't worry about answering them all - any thoughts would be highly appreciated.
Is it worth the investment? Any better suggestions? Any off the peg bikes that might fit the bill?

Thanks in advance!

*This is probably not advisable, I know.
Subject Author Posted

Thoughts on new bike strategy?

silver_girl 15 July, 2015 10:12PM

Re: Thoughts on new bike strategy?

The_Fettler 26 July, 2015 11:47AM

Re: Thoughts on new bike strategy?

kea248 28 July, 2015 03:48AM


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