Winter commuting bike

I'm looking at adding a winter commuting bike to my collection. I currently have two road bikes, one of which is a good weather bike, and a heavy mountain bike. With winter closing in I'd like something a bit more robust than my road bike with wider tyres. It also gives my commuting road bike some time off the road (I've done 4,000 miles on it and it needs some tlc).

I'm able to get a new bike on my employer's cycle to work scheme and I've been trying to narrow my choices down. I did consider a single speed at first but after having tried single speeding for a week I was well and truly fed up with it. It's often windy here by the coast and you either want to shift up all the time with a tail wind or shift down with a head wind. Single speed is not for me.

My dilemma seems to be that I want durability, quality and simplicity. I'm not sure if hub gears are the answer or not as I've no experience with them. I've narrowed my choices down to three categories; Cyclocross / Flat bar road bike / Hub geared hybrid. Whichever bike I choose would need mudguard fittings. Some of the bikes I've found come with mudguards already fitted. If I choose one of the top end bikes then I wouldn't be able to get mudgaurds or any other accessories as there is a £1100 limit. I have to buy the bike from as that's who my employer uses for its cycle to work scheme.

I'm a very indecisive person and like all the bike listed in one way or another. PLEASE HELP!

Giant Seek 0 2012
Pros: 8 speed Alfine hub, Hollowtech II bottom bracket, Hydraulic disc brakes
Cons: colour

Giant Seek 0 2011
Pros: 8 speed Alfine hub, Hollowtech II bottom bracket, Hydraulic disc brakes
Cons: Only £5 cheaper than 2012 model

Scott Sub 10 2011
Pros: 8 speed Alfine hub, Hydraulic disc brakes
Cons: 37mm tires

Scott Sub 10 2012
Pros: 8 speed Alfine hub, Hydraulic disc brakes, belt drive
Cons: 37mm tires, £100 more expensive than 2011 model

Specialized Sirrus Comp 2012
Pros: lightweight, SRAM X7 easy clean dérailleur and cassette, internal cables
Cons: 11-36t cassette

Moda Chord 2011
Pros: Look awesome, carbon fork
Cons: v brakes

Ridgeback Flight 04 2011
Pros: Carbon fork, Alfine 8 speed hub gears, hydraulic disc brakes
Cons: External alfine chain tensioner

Charge Mixer Eight 2011
Pros: Alfine 8 speed hub gears, mudguards fitted, hydraulic disc brakes, Hollowtech II BB
Cons: Heavy, looks a little old fashioned

Lapierre Speed 400 2011
Pros: Alfine 11 speed hub gears, Mechanical disc brakes, mudguards, lights
Cons: Looks a little old fashioned, 38mm tyres

Specialized Tricross Sport Disc 2012
Pros: Mechanical disc brakes, internal cable routing
Cons: Triple chainset

Cannondale CAADX Tiagra 2011
Pros: Carbon fork
Cons: 9 speed Tiagra

Cannondale CAADX Tiagra 2012
Pros: Carbon fork, 10 speed Tiagra, BB30
Cons: £50 more than 2011 model

Genesis Day 01 Alfine 8 2012
Pros: Alfine 8 speed hub gears, mechanical disc brakes, steel frame, colour
Cons: Heavy

Genesis Croix De Fer 2012
Pros: Hollowtech II BB, mechanical disc brakes, steel frame


  1. Cannondale CAADX every time mate they are an awesome machine. I've been on one and loved it. October's Cycling Plus also wrote a very favourable article about them. The Specialized Tricross is also highly thought off, although I think this year they may have dropped the carbon forks making it very overpriced. Looking forward to the final outcome!

  2. Have to say but that MODA is a crackin looking machine...

  3. Hi,
    I got a 2011 Specialized Tricross Sport with the carbon forks, seems an excellent machine for the weather. The tyres are 32mm and I've been riding it through the Summer and Autumn but feel confident it will be good for the Winter period also.

    (if going for one of these be aware of the 'fork problem'


  4. The Moda and the Genesis both look beautiful. I'm a sucker for a good-looking bike.

  5. What's the weather like through the winter down there? I bought the base model Sirrus last year - bought the base model on purpose as I didn't want anything at all fancy (carbon etc). Wore out the cheap chainset last Winter and now have Deore stuff - I wanted the very low gearing - with ice tyres ready to go on in a few weeks.

    Flat bars are good as they give more space for lights - I have 3 on the front - and you can't be too visible. Also, several miles of my commute are on unlit cycle track so I need to light up the path.

    Do you need reliability or pretty?

  6. I went with Tiagra for my winter ride as once you step up beyond that bits get dear to replace... just a wee thought - CAADX 2012 with BB30 its a no brainer ;-)

  7. Simples...

    I would go...Genesis Day 01 Alfine 8 2012

    and my reason is...

    1) Drop bars - essential for getting out of the wind, and reducing the chances of Ulner Tunnel syndrome.

    2) Disk brakes - Essential stopping power in the wet - I wish they did disk brakes when I bought my CX - Canti brakes are pants! and normal blocks dissolve in the rain!

    3) Hub gears - Reduce maintenance, normal chain derailer systems as you know require a fair bit of TLC over the wet/salty/icy winter - best bet is to enclose it all in a hub :-)

    My only concern is I cant see any mudguard mounts in the photy...Mudguards are essential!

  8. What JB said mate. Disc brakes, hub gears and mudguards. As for lack of mudguard mounts, my singlespeed Genesis IO hasn't got them but they're easy enough to knock up to fit mudguards.

  9. I've no experience of hub gears or disc brakes on road bikes. The arguments for them however make a lot of sense. I guess they might make the bike heavy but then that has its plus points too. Good luck & looking forward to hearing the final decision.

  10. My heart is with the Genesis Day 01 Alfine and it's a great looking bike. However it does come with the cheapest disc brakes you can get. I have the same on my mtb and they seized up. My only concern is that I've not ridden a hub geared bike and getting to ride the Day 01 or something similar before purchase isn't going to be easy.

    I emailed Genesis about the mudguards and a rack and here's what they said,

    "It has all the bosses/mounts, but with a cross style tyre its tight for clearance on the fork crown. If used with a Road/slick tyre then it allows more clearance. It would be worth visiting your local Genesis dealer as they will be aware of the variety of mudguards available and which models offer the closest fit.

    The mudguard on the rear end will require a 20mm+ spacer on the disc side to allow clearance for the brake calliper, and a compatible rack would be an M:Part Ridge."

  11. I went to my nearest Genesis dealer on Saturday. He was singing the praises of the Day 01 Alfine 8. However, he'd not got one in stock, had nothing similar and no hub geared bikes I could try. He didn't know which size would fit me and Genesis don't publish standover height data.

    I then went to the Giant Concept store which is a short drive down the road from the Genesis dealer. The Giant store had the both this years and last years Seek 0 on display and sized me up to a medium frame. I then got to ride the Alfine hub for the first time.

    The hub is quick and responsive and felt good compared to standard gears. I was impressed.

    Having not been able to try, see or touch the Day 01 was a little disappointing. I wanted to touch it hoping I'd fall in love with it there and then. However my head is now trying to weigh up the two instead.

    Here's my comparison of the two;
    Colour: The Day 01 has such a striking colour making the flat paint on the Seek 0 seem boring (Day 01: 1 point)

    Gears: The Seek 0 has front ring with 45T and rear with 20t. The Day 01 is lower gear with 40T/20t. You can buy a rear 18t sprocket though. (Seek 0: 1 point)

    Brakes: The Day 01 has mechanical Avid BB5 disc brakes. These are a bit rubbish and my rear one on my mtb has just needed replacing as it seized up. The Seek 0 comes with Avid Elixir Hydraulic brakes which are of course better. (Seek 0: 1 point)

    Weight: The Seek 0 has an aluminium frame and fork and weighs in at around 10kg. The Day 01 has a steel frame and a cro-mo fork. Although there is no weight data for the Day 01, it apparently weighs around 14.5kg. (Seek 0: 1 point)

    Price: The Seek 0 is £899.00. The Day 01 is £1099.99. (Seek 0: 1 point)

    Bottom bracket: The Seek 0 comes with the easily serviceable Hollowtech II bottom bracket. The Day 01 come with a conventional square taper cartridge type. (Seek 0: 1 point)

    Riding position: The Day 01 has drop handlebars which allow for a faster riding position. It also has secondary cyclocross style brake levers which rising off the drops. The Seek 0 is a slightly more relaxed position that will also allow me a more conventional riding position when riding with my family. (Seek 0: 1 point. Day 01: 1 point)

    Day 01: 2 points
    Seek 0: 6 points

    So on paper the Seek 0 wins but my heart is still telling me I should go with the Day 01. I really think I need to see one in the flesh before I make up my mind. Can anyone help me?

  12. A concern I forgotten to mention regarding hub geared bike is that they come without quick release wheels as they are not designed to come of quickly. Changing an inner tube on a dark rainy commute home might prove to be a right pain!

  13. Just made the same decision, just got a 2011 Seek 0 for less than £600 which made it a bit easier.
    The Genesis is still a better looking bike though, the alfine 11 version's even nicer but the price... ouch$!£

  14. I went with the Genesis Day One Alfine. Write up to follow.

  15. Hi Toby, been looking for a new bike and didn't consider the Genesis till I saw one in the shop. How are you getting on with it?

    1. The Genesis is awesome. Definitely the perfect bike for the job.


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