Bike Recommendation for Novice

TimeaJTimeaJ ✭✭✭

Hi All

I am sure this question has been asked a few times before but I have a very tight timeframe to make a decision so it is quicker to open a new thread for this...

I am looking to purchase a bike through the cycle to work scheme at Halfords, my budget is max. £450. I am looking for a good quality road bike or hybrid bike within this price range. I would be grateful for some top tips and suggestions. What to get, what to avoid in terms of brand and must have’s on the bike.

For example, are Pendleton and Boardman bikes any good?

The key thing for me when it comes to cycling is a smooth ride on a variety of elevations (I don’t mind uphill/downhill) so primarily road, pavement and tarmac. I would be reluctant to cycle on hard core surfaces, mud, forest, rocky roads etc. I want a bike that is suitable for sports/fitness (potentially something I could use if I wanted to enter a duathlon) rather than just a causal ride to work or the local shop.

Thanks a million!


  • Pendleton and Boardman both have a good rep.

    If you're thinking of a duathlon - then look at the road bikes. You can still ride them to the shops or whatever - but they will be faster in races.
  • Timmi,

    I think you may be disappointed.  Over on the tri section we usually use around £500 as the entry point price for a road bike.  Boardman bikes have a good reputation but Halfords have a bit of a foul reputation for selling/preparing bikes (generally to do with the lack of expertise of the staff).  If you are wanting something for possibly doing duathlons then a road bike will be a better start point than a hybrid.  Are you absolutely tied into Halfords for the cycle to work?  There are other shops which participate. 

  • Looking a the Halfords website, 450 will just get you a boardman road bike

    the only downside is that you'll still need some pedals.

  • I found a Boardman road bike to suit me fine when starting out, I've also just had an email to say they are having a flash sale tomorrow , between 12 and 2, with 10% of everything. May be worth checking with them to see if you can order online then collect in store with you bike to work voucher.

    BTW, I also got another bike this year on bike to work via the Halfords scheme, but got my bike from LBS so may be worth checking locally to see if your shop can accept Halfords. Only downside I can see is possibly budget constraints, cheapest available at my shop was a 2013 giant defy 5 at £549.

  • If it is for sport/fitness you want a road bike not a hybrid. If you were planning on cycling over rocky/muddy surfaces, you'd want a MTB... 

    If you can I'd aim to spend a bit more, £450 may only just get you a semi decent bike and at that you will still probably need extras as mentioned above (pedals and if planning to cycle through winter, lights etc although that is not necessary at the moment). If you can I'd go through another shop, a bike shop preferably. Halfords are pretty sh*t and know not very much about bikes imo....

    Boardman are a good brand I think... not really heard much about Vicky Pendelton's range... I don't like her :P

    Go out and look around, you will find loads of bike shops deal with Cycle to work.

    Good luck and happy cycling!!

  • Or you could ditch the cycle to work scheme, buy second hand, and get even more bang for your buck!

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