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Commuting By Bicycle - Hybrid Upgrade: Boardman MX Race or Voodo Marasa?

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Geoff Reid:
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:) 

Outoftowner:
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:

Geoff Reid:

--- Quote from: Outoftowner on August 28, 2013, 03:41:19 PM ---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:

--- End quote ---

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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Mart:
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.

Geoff Reid:
Hahahahahaaaaaaa! :)  that sort of defeats the object.

I would like a segway though.


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