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I wonder if anyone has any advice or ideas on bikes that I could consider for all year round commuting to and from work. My commute is a 20 mile round trip on a mixture of rural and urban roads. Whilst I know that there isn’t any bike out there which would be no maintenance however I’d like it to be as low maintenance as possible. I work long hours have a toddler plus another baby on the way and so whilst I’d love to spend plenty of time maintaining my bike being realistic my prospect of finding lots of time for maintenance is not an option.

I’d like to make use of the cycle to work scheme and so keeping the budget under £1,000 is a must. I do have a list of things that I’d love to have on a bike and there are a few bikes which meet some of my requirements plus one which meets all of them but isn’t available to buy in the UK.

Because I’ll be commuting all year around in all conditions, whatever the weather, my dream wish list for a bike would include the following. Now I know that I could buy a bike without any of these things and buy most if not all of these things separately but if I could buy a bike with everything already fitted then that would be great.

Mudguards; Pannier Rack; Internal hub gears; Dynamo hub; Dynamo lights; Disc brakes; and if possible a Gates Carbon Belt Drive.

Now I’ve found a bike that ticks all of the above boxes and would be perfect for me. It’s the Breezer Beltway Elite:-

http://www.breezerbikes.com/bikes/details/beltway-elite

Unfortunately it doesn’t appear that Breezer bikes aren’t sold in the UK. There is a distributor who will import it from Germany but if I did that it would not be possible to use the Cycle to Work Scheme. On this point in an ideal world I’d like to be able to buy a bike from a local bike shop which is also why I’m not keen on importing a bike.

When searching for bikes that fit my dream wish list I there is one bike I’ve found from a British company and I’d love to support a British bike company however this bike is way over my budget. Looking at the specs the Milk Bikes RDA would potentially make a great low maintenance commuter however as mentioned unfortunately it’s more than I can afford:-

http://www.milkbikes.com/rda/8-rda-the-commuter.html

The Focus Wasgo 3.0 ticks quite a lot of boxes however I would much prefer disc brakes and so it doesn’t tick as many boxes as the Breezer Beltway Elite.

(Sorry as I was going to include links to the other bikes that I mention but the forum won't allow me to use more than two links).

Looking at other bikes in the Focus range there is the Planet 2.0 which has disc brakes and the Gates Carbon Belt Drive but there’s no of the features that I see as essential for all year around commuting such as mudguards and a rack. In addition with no dynamo I’d need to get the wheel rebuilt with a dynamo hub.

However if I did go down the road of taking a more basic bike and having to add all of the commuter kit then there is the Roux Carbon Drive A8 but as with the Focus Planet 2.0 I’d be having to add the mudguards, rack, dynamo, dynamo lights etc.

At the moment I’d be grateful for any advice suggestions from people who can recommend bikes for commuting, from anyone who has had any of the bikes above and can say anything about them or from anyone who has alternative commuter bikes that they could suggest that I look at. As mentioned above from looking at the specs the Breezer Beltway Elite matches all of my requirements but I’m left really frustrated because I can’t buy it from a bike shop in the UK and it seems a difficult task to find anything similar at under £1,000

Thanks to anyone who can offer any thoughts and advice!

John

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  • You ask for a recommendation but then spec out the bike. I don't agree your spec is "low maintenance as possible".
    – paparazzo
    Sep 16 '14 at 22:41
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    I have this bike, but I had to go custom to get it and it cost a small fortune. You'll have many more options if you are willing to let the belt drive go. Next best is all-enclosed chaincase.
    – D.Salo
    Sep 17 '14 at 1:19
  • Welcome to Bicycles. We get a lot of questions of this type, and they are hard to answer definitively; it's mostly a matter of opinion. It's hard enough to recommend a general setup, but a specific bike will go out of date / off the market quickly. And a price is obsolete tomorrow. If your question gets closed, try submitting specific questions that have specific answers.
    – andy256
    Sep 17 '14 at 1:57
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I'd say buy a modern Dutch city commuter bike: except for a Gates Carbon Belt Drive (never heard of), they have all the listed specs, are indeed very low maintenance (having an completely enclosed chaincase helps a lot) and will cost you about 600 - 700 GBP, evering included with wheel lock.

Well known, good quality brands are Gazelle, Batavus, Sparta, and there are at least two shops in London that sell Gazelles (I bought mine at one).

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