Review: Excellent commuter bike, great spec & brilliant value cycling Halfords_uk
Brilliant versatile round-town bike with really handy extras to cope with the great British weather
Bad Appalling The Carrera Subway All Weather Edition from Halfords is a mountain bike-styled urban warrior that comes out of the box with some very useful winter-riding accessories and an excellent spec for a very modest price.have come to expect on the biggest stage in mountain biking.Learn more.weaker at 0.
Halfords offers some terrific value-for-money bikes and the Subway All Weather Edition (henceforth Subway AWE, I'm lazy) is an excellent example of the way the UK's biggest bike retailer uses its buying power for good.For less than £500 you get an urbanised rigid mountain bike with extras to make riding through the winter more bearable.Then the real fun begins.And it's a fun, easy ride too thanks to gears, brakes and tyres that are all very, very good for the money.Radical All Mountain Surveyor gravel bike c.Even the saddle's quite decent.13.AWE? Three things make this an 'all-weather' bike: it comes with mudguards; it has heated grips to keep your hands warm in winter; and you get a pair of LED lights to help you be seen on dark evenings..
The guards and lights are a bit basic and you could carp about that, until you remember this is only a £450 bike.Lemoine’s part starts at 54:18 in the full replay above.It’s got all the features you’d expect out of a modern trail bike, just reimagined a bit for a rigid bike with wide drop bars: long reach + short stem, low ride height & a slack front end, plus dropper post compatibility.Nevertheless, I wish Halfords had spent a bit more on the mudguards even if that put 10 or 20 quid on the price.The guards have plastic bodies and don't look terribly durable compared with the plastic-and-aluminium sandwich used by many other mudguard makers.If you missed the first time Crankworx returned home to British Columbia in three years, we’re sorry.At first glance it also looks like the front guard doesn't have any way for the stays to separate from the frame if you get something stuck in them.Tech Details & Geometry Like their enduro hardtail, the Surveyor is welded by hand in the UK “ by a guy with a beard & dodgy haircut ” from a mix of super-thin air-hardened Reynolds 853/631/525 & Dedacciai Zero Uno double-butted steel tubing to get the ideal balance of strength and ‘steel is real’ ride quality, while keeping weight in check.Fortunately it turns out that they come away at the mudguard end easily, so getting something stuck between tyre and guard shouldn't send you over the handlebar.Subscribe.Physicists avoided destroying the multi-shot magnet by only zapping it periodically with electric current to produce a powerful magnetic field.
Swapping the lights for better ones would be just a matter of fitting them, but is it just me or is fitting mudguards a pain? If you decide you want better mudguards than these, you'll have to go through the hassle of trimming stays and coaxing them into place without them rubbing on anything.The GloGrips heated grips are little short of marvellous, however.Radical isn’t sharing just how radical and progressive the geometry is just yet, as they are still prototyping and refining production geo.Press and hold the end cap until the green LED comes on and they quickly heat up.I measured them at 40°C, which is plenty to help fight the chill.They're claimed to last up to two hours, but customer reviews report shorter run-times when it's cold, so take that with a pinch of salt.Clearance for up to 700x47mm or 650×2.It is this inner magnet that consumes all the electrical power," Boebinger told us, explaining also why it's called a hybrid.
Nevertheless, if you've got a half-hour commute they definitely help keep your hands toasty.You're still going to need gloves to keep the wind off the backs of your hands, and as grips go they're pretty firm, so you'll want some padding in those gloves too.To charge the grips you either have to drape a pair of micro-USB cables from power point to bike (not supplied, but if you're like me you have dozens of the things kicking around), or take the batteries out of the grips.9mm dropper seatpost with a 33.This involves aligning a dot on the end of the grip with a really faint line on the rubber body, and pulling it out, then taking the cap off the battery housing in a similar process and finally reaching into the unit to remove a tiny rubber cover from the micro-USB port.It's fiddly and you just know the port covers are going to go AWOL." Boffins believe that generating increasingly stronger magnetic field strengths from hybrid magnets will advance our scientific understanding of electric and magnetic properties of materials, allowing scientists to make new discoveries in physics or even build.
That said, I'm not sure they're even necessary – they look more like packaging than weather protection, and a bit of silicone grease around the switch cover should be enough to keep out the worst of the wet.Finally, it gets an internal anti-rust coating, closed “stop-ended” braze-on bosses so water can’t get inside the frame, plus a BB drain hole to prevent corrosion.Ride & handling The Subway AWE's ride is quite firm thanks to a beefy aluminium frame and rigid steel fork, and the handling, while not twitchy, is on the quick side.The ride feel is easily softened by running the tyres a bit softer and they're plenty big enough that you're not going to get pinch flats without running them extremely soft.The quick handling is good for manoeuvrability in traffic but it does mean if you take to the trails on the Subway AWE it's a bit of a handful on fast descents.Custom frame delivery lead time is quoted at 16 weeks, so get an order in now to be riding a Surveyor by the end of the year.Halfords could have made a concession to trail riding by fitting a suspension fork, but I'm really glad it didn't.
Cheap suspension forks are almost uniformly awful: heavy, bouncy and quick to develop control-robbing slop or just stop working entirely.Anything but a cheap fork would take the Subway AWE well over £600..Gears and brakes I've got to give props to Halfords for the gear selection here.Up front there's a 46/30 chainset combined with an 11-36 cassette for a 502% gear range.More importantly, there are plenty of low gears, so you can comfortably get up just about anything a UK city is likely to throw at you.
More bikes – not just gravel bikes or urban bikes – should be geared like this.I do think that there's a really strong case for 1X systems on bikes like this, though.I see so many people toiling along in high gears because they apparently don't know how to use the shifting; the simplicity of a single chainring would surely make things easier, and be straightforward for bike shops to demonstrate.>How to get lower gears to make climbing easier However, wide-range 1X systems are expensive.The RRP for Shimano's cheapest system, Deore 11-speed, is £195 for cassette, chain, rear mech and shifter.
Even allowing for the discounts Shimano gives bike makers, that's going to be too big a slice of the bill of materials for any sub-£800 bike.Using a double chainring here with much cheaper mechs and shifters to provide a big gear range is really smart thinking on Halfords' part.And the Altus gears shift better than you've any right to expect from a £450 bike, popping smoothly and reliably from sprocket to sprocket and whopping cheerfully from small to large chainring and back.The same goes for the Clarks Clout disc brakes which provide plenty of easily controlled stopping power, which is why they're widely considered the best inexpensive brakes by the mountain bike community.Doyen of mountain bike testers Guy Kesteven once wrote that Clarks brakes provide 'effective stopping at ridiculously economical prices' and given that the retail price for these brakes is less than £50 for both ends, including rotors, I can't argue with that.
They have a reach adjuster so they work well with small hands, too, and are easily one of the best things about this bike.Contact points The bar and stem are styled after current mountain bike fashion with a 90mm reach and 680mm-wide flat bar.While it's occasionally nice to have the extra control a wide bar affords, that width is pretty big for city riding where you want to be able to filter through gaps in traffic.If you're used to drops, they feel quite silly, thanks to the very wide stance they put your arms in.If this were my bike I'd be getting out the tube cutter to trim them to something more sensible like 60cm or so.
The aluminium Wellgo pedals are also very much in current mountain bike stylee.They have moulded-in nubbins for grip, and while they're better than the cheap plastic-bodied pedals you often find, they don't grab your soles with quite the fervour of pedals with screwed-in steel studs.Wellgo makes pedals that are almost identical to these but with steel studs for £20.The saddle is long and narrow with a shape that's very reminiscent of a Fizik Arione, a high-end racing saddle.It fit me just fine, but I imagine many folks are going to want something a bit wider that's better suited to the Subway AWE's upright riding position.
Nevertheless, another big tick for Halfords for fitting a saddle that's not terrible.Wheels and rubber The most unusual aspect of the Subway line of bikes is their 650B wheels.This is an old French wheel size, resurrected for mountain bikes a few years ago by designers who thought 700C '29-inch' wheels were a step too big for dirt applications.It has a small but enthusiastic niche on gravel bikes because a 650B wheel with a fat tyre is about the same size as a 700C wheel with a skinny tyre, so you can swap wheels for different surfaces without changing the handling of the bike too much.On a hybrid, 650B wheels provide for the ability to fit a wide range of tyre and even wheel sizes.
You could swap out the stock wheels for 700C wheels with lighter tyres for road riding and the Subway would make a great flat-bar tourer and countryside explorer.The Subway's wheels are fitted with Vee Tire Co Speedster puncture-resistant tyres.They're grippy and comfortable across a wide range of surfaces.While the light tread would be defeated by any sort of serious mud, they're good for easy, dry trails, so if the Subway's mountain bike styling tempts you to a little light off-roading, fill your boots.My local trails are currently baked and dusty and I found they provided plenty of grip on short, steep pitches as well as on dirt roads.
Value On road.cc we judge value not as whether something is worth the money, but whether you're getting more (or less) for your money compared with similar products, and I think the Subway AWE is excellent value for money because almost everything else in its price range isn't as well thought out and lacks its bad-weather extras..
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