Author Topic: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?  (Read 45325 times)

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Offline Geoff Reid

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It didn't take long for me to realise that cycling into work is a lot of fun and the best way I've ever found to lose weight reasonably quickly whilst getting rapidly fitter.

On the downside, it also didn't take me long to realise that I'd bought, (as many do apparently), the wrong bike when I plumped for a (reasonably) cheap mountain bike to re-acquaint myself with bicycles after an infernal combustion engine encouraged absence of 31 years from them.  There's nothing necessarily wrong with my mountain bike - after I'd spent an afternoon building it, setting it up properly and correcting every 'foible' made by the underpaid chinese assembly staff, (the worst of which was probably that both wheels had about 8 untightened spokes) - and it rides really well....but it is under-geared and under-manufactured for the use I'm giving it.  I've already replaced the rear axle and freewheel for higher quality and more robust items.  Put simply it's neither fast or strong enough for a bloke of my size or the use I've been putting it to.

I'll be keeping my 'Black' bike as a spare/weekend fun bike for rides with Tig, but I'm taking advantage of my employers cycle2work scheme and upgrading my commuting ride to something that will last longer and be faster. Currently I'm flat-out at 13mph on the Black bike and I'm pedaling like a panicked politician. In the days when I rode bikes with dropped bars my comfortable cruising speed was 20mph (or slightly higher), and that's where I'm aiming this time, although I'm looking to do that with flat bars.  A 'Hybrid' bike seems to be my best option.

Unfortunately....and I don't mean any disrespect to the staff there, I must choose my next ride from the range of cycles offered by Halfrauds Halfords although, (fortunately for me), Halfords do stock my number 1 and 2 choices:

1. Boardman MX Race Hybrid

2. Voodoo Marasa Hybrid

I like the Boardmans huge range of gear ratios (27) although I'm not put off the Voodoo's 'mere' 24.

I need a big frame (I'm 6'3") so I'm a little concerned that I can only get the Voodoo with a 20" frame, (The Boardman is 21"), but guess that I can adjust that difference with the Voodoo's slighter longer (400mm) seatpost.

I definitely like the idea of the Voodoo's hydraulic discs.  Regular adjustment of cable operated discs is a fact of life....so hydraulics are attractive but new to me on bicycles.....and I'm wondering if other members & readers have any experience of hydraulic discs on bicycles?  Help & Comments much appreciated :)

The Boardman has hydraulic front forks, the Voodoo doesn't.  I don't particularly like or need hydraulic forks for most of my riding so the manual-lock out on the Boardman is useful, and I would use it regularly if not all the time, but I'm surprised that it is not cable operated.  Locking the forks requires reaching down to the top of the fork and turning the lockout manually - potentially dangerous on the move but also irritating to have to stop and do it.

I do prefer the overall look of the Boardman, but looks ain't everything.

The Voodoo has slightly bigger tyres than the Boardman: 700 x 45c as opposed to 700c x 37c.  Okay, the difference isn't that huge - and I can get the hard wearing and damn near puncture proof tyres in both sizes, but I'd welcome opinions on the rolling resistance, ride quality and increased/decreased possibility of rim damage for both tyre sizes.

There is a difference in price:  Boardman is £499, Voodoo about £350.   The price difference isn't an issue for me unless one or the other is built with significantly cheaper components.  I don't mind paying more for something as long as it is better quality, works better than the cheaper options and lasts longer.  £150 is quite a large difference and I'm wondering if some of the Voodoo components are, (as I've already found with my black bike), cheaper and will require replacing more often. 'Buy cheap, pay twice' as the old saying goes....

Anyhoo....I'd welcome observations, suggestions and informed critique. This bike will be my main commute-ride for the next two years and I'd like my choice to have been a reasonably well informed one:) 



Offline Outoftowner

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I don't want to pour tepid warm liquid on your chips Geoff but any day soon it will be cold, dark and tipping it down with rain.   :idiot2:

What about "summer only" cycling? You know that it makes sense!  :thumb:
What's it all about?

Offline Geoff Reid

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I don't want to pour tepid warm liquid on your chips Geoff but any day soon it will be cold, dark and tipping it down with rain.   :idiot2:

What about "summer only" cycling? You know that it makes sense!  :thumb:

Nah, I'll ride in anything apart from ice and snow :)

(I don't have a problem generating heat and I don't mind getting wet)


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Offline Mart

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You are getting on a bit, have you considered one of these?

http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_storeId_10001_catalogId_10151_productId_833779_langId_-1_categoryId_211566

Yes I am taking this seriously. I used to be a professional bicyclist.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Hahahahahaaaaaaa! :)  that sort of defeats the object.

I would like a segway though.


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Offline Simon

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Nah, I'll ride in anything apart from ice and snow :)

You're a hardier cyclist than me then, I really don't like cycling through rain.

My bike (which I use mainly for commuting to work) is a hybrid at the bottom end of the range offered by Raleigh, and it has served me faithfully for the best part of 5 years.

I like the Boardmans huge range of gear ratios (27) although I'm not put off the Voodoo's 'mere' 24.

It's not the number of gears which is important, it's the range they cover and whether you can easily change between them. My bike has 21 gears (3 on the pedals * 7 on the rear wheel) but I only use about 4 of them regularly, and one of the really low gears for a few seconds per year before deciding to walk the rest of the way up Kingshill instead.
We are all in this together, but some of us are more in it than others (with apologies to George Orwell)

Offline Geoff Reid

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Ah, 30+ years of all-year motorcycling sort of puts low speed rain in its place - also easier for a cyclist to keep their body temperature up and I run quite hot so can use a light shell layer, even in winter temperatures.

I use all my gears, even the granny ring, although I have noticed that I'm not using that as often as I did to start with. I pedalled up Kingshill the other evening, didn't drop down onto the granny ring until the last 100 yards :)

Pretty.pleased with the way my fitness is improving each week, I've pedalled every inch of the laat 80 commuting miles and last night did the outbound 7 miles in exactly 40 minutes - I'm also 21 Lbs lighter than I was when I started.  Considering that I've added a few pounds of muscle weight I'm quite pleased :)

I know I can do it harder and faster, but not much of either on the black bike.  That said, I'll continue to get fitter and lighter whatever bike I commute on :)


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Offline Simon

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I pedalled up Kingshill the other evening, didn't drop down onto the granny ring until the last 100 yards :)

I'm impressed :-) I'd probably have been walking by then.
We are all in this together, but some of us are more in it than others (with apologies to George Orwell)

Offline Geoff Reid

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I pedalled up Kingshill the other evening, didn't drop down onto the granny ring until the last 100 yards :)

I'm impressed :-) I'd probably have been walking by then.

Tig and I are.walking up some proper big hills soon so it's part of my 'psychollogical preparation DBDBBH' program. (Don't be daunted by big hills) :)


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Offline Muggins

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Every way home to Penhill involves a big hill,so well used to those.  Mind those leg muscle buil up,they soon tturn back to flab once you stop!

A choice of bike for me would not depend on the number of gears,, but the size of the saddle, and basically i,d never geet one big enough.   :(
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Offline Mart

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Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2013, 07:19:44 PM »
Only some of you will understand this.

I was given as my daily rider a no gear, rod brake bicycle as my company car. This was in the pre-wussy days of weight limits in the cage on the front.

I was given a specific list of hills I was not allowed to ride up after I snapped a succession of chains and stripped a couple of sprockets off the back wheel. I did weigh close to 18 and a half stone at the time but was on a health kick to shift some of it.

I reckon I could cycle close to 100 yds now before I suffered some sort of arrest that involved me turning most colours of the rainbow, it would not be pretty and I could be unwell for some time afterwards,

I think I am older than you Mr Reid (I know, you wouldn't credit it would you? It's a gene thing) so I'm allowed to slack off a bit.

Mmmm, beer.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Mickraker

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Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2013, 12:11:55 PM »
Go on you Geoff, for the Kingshill summit. 27 gears I am a Sturmey Archer 3 speed fan  :-\
My non aggresive posts are my own opinion and represent me, myself and I only!

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2013, 04:01:52 PM »
Only some of you will understand this.

I was given as my daily rider a no gear, rod brake bicycle as my company car. This was in the pre-wussy days of weight limits in the cage on the front.


I also 'lived the dream' for a while. Eventually decided it was quicker to walk the walk and, as an incidental benefit to not having to operate the bone shaker, had enough puff left to enjoy a rollie at strategic lurking points :)

I've decided on the Boardman.

Piccie from www.bikeradar.com




Coming soon - a thrilling and turbulent discussion on bike lights  ;D


Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2013, 10:28:28 PM »

Collecting my new ride tomorrow :)




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Offline Mart

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Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2013, 06:10:13 PM »
Hope your helmet is polished.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2013, 09:02:53 PM »
Hope your helmet is polished.

Gleaming vibrantly :)


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Offline Outoftowner

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Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2013, 03:23:06 PM »
I felt tired just looking at that bike!
What's it all about?

Offline Weebleman

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Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2013, 06:43:22 PM »
I felt tired just looking at that bike!
  :azn: :azn:
Yeah! not a patch on my old SWO's bike OOT, You'd never fit on that crossbar  ;D

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2013, 09:52:09 PM »

I'm a bit irritated because I haven't been able to get out for a ride yet and I'm on leave next week so no commuting for the next 11 days or so.

Hoping to squeeze a score or two of early morning miles in during the early part of next week....after which we're off up the Cumbrian fells :)


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Offline Mart

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Re: Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2013, 01:09:05 PM »
I'll watch out for you.

In a good way.

Obviously.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.