South Bank Bicycles, London SW8 (0171-622 3069): Ross Fisher-Smith recommends "a hybrid (a mix between a mountain bike and a touring bike). Over the past couple of years they have really taken off and are the most popular town bikes. You can use them in the park and on the roads." The hybrid has the same size wheels as the touring bike, has the strength of a mountain bike, and is more upright than a conventional three-speed or racing bike. "You get good visibility in traffic and the gears are on the handles. The Trek 700 Sport, pounds 199, is popular. These come in a range of sizes and include ladies' frame and saddle in two sizes."
Ladypool Cycle Co, Birmingham (0121 449 9988): Mr Allso likes mountain bikes for trips around town. "They are slow, cosy, with big fat tyres and multi-gears, and are ideal for adding a child carrier," he said. "My favourite bike is the top-of-the-range Giant, which has to be specially ordered. For a cheaper bike, I would choose the Universal - you get a good after-sales service with them. They cost from pounds 100-pounds 180."
Bike, Bristol (0117 9293500): Woody at Bike recommends a hybrid, for its versatility both on and off the road. "Our bestseller is the Marin Stinson at pounds 345," he said. "Marin makes its own replaceable lightweight components, so you can replace things such as handlebars and seats. The only problem is that the bikes are so popular we have trouble getting our hands on them."
Hardistry Cycles, Newcastle upon Tyne (0191 2658619): "We find the hybrid offers what the customer is looking for - robust build, easy to ride, comfort and value for money," said manager Steve Evans. "Trek is a particularly good make, offering all these qualities - and the finish is good. The average spend is pounds 250-pounds 300, though we can go as low as pounds 200."
Bee Line Bikes, Oxford (01865 246615): Neil Johnson chooses the hybrid. "It's good in traffic," he said. "You need to spend about pounds 200. I like the US bikes a lot better than the UK makes. Trek has a good range, competitively priced. The Trek 700 at pounds 250 would be a sensible choice."Reuse content