Cheap Bike Vs Super Bike | Commuter Challenge

Cheap Bike Vs Super Bike | Commuter Challenge

– [Ollie] We’ve see the difference between riding a cheap bike and a
super bike while cycling. And, well, it’s pretty big. Super bikes allow you to ride
faster for the same effort. And that’s probably why
they feel so much fun. – [Hank] Yeah, but what
about in the real world? What about riding in cities? Riding to and from work? Have you ever wondered how much difference a super bike actually
makes to your commute? (upbeat music) – I wonder what it would be
like commuting on a super bike? – So in this video we
are going to find out by doing an old-fashioned commuter race. (air whooshing) – My weapon of choice is this. The Orbea orca arrow. This is one of the top of the range bikes. I would feel right at home
at the Tour de France. It’s fully carbon fiber and
it’s aerodynamically optimized. It’s got electronic gears from Dura Ace di 2 and to top it all off I’ve gone for aerodynamic carbon-fiber rims from Vision. – Yeah, it’s fair to say Ollie
has absolutely no chance. – I’m not heading to a regular bike shop nor am I going to a
budget Walmart-type store. I’m going to the Bristol Bike Project, which is a nonprofit
initiative set out to help give underprivileged
people access to bikes. They also reuse, recycle
and repair older bikes and sell them at a fraction of the cost of Hank’s super bike. It’s a cheap bike with a conscience. (upbeat music) So this is it in here where they refurbish and repair bikes, and they also got their
fully repaired bikes for sale as well, so
there’s quite a selection. – [Ollie] Right mate. – [Hank] Yeah. – [Ollie] I’ve seen one. – That BMX over there. – Fortunately, I’ve retired from jumping and stunts since Taiwan. (competition music) But the reason why this one caught my eye, which is that rather
smart-looking single speed. It’s also cheap 195 pounds, bargain. (upbeat music) – Right. One bike please. – Okay, 195 pounds, please. (upbeat music) – Yes! (both laughing) – Kid in a candy shop. – I bought a new bike! I’m really pleased with it. It’s the perfect commuter bike. I mean, it’s single speed so, well, it’s really low
maintenance, ideal for commuting. You don’t have to worry about it. We got brakes front and
rear, aluminum frame, again, durable, you know,
pretty light for what it is. And Continental Gatorskin tires. These things are absolutely bomb-proof. They last for ages, ideal for commuting. Right, let’s get to it. (upbeat music) – Now I am really going
to put the hammer down as soon as we go to really
make Ollie work for this one. I think I’ll probably leave
him for dead on the open road. But I’m going to try and make it count through the city streets as well. He’s got no chance. – Right, ready to roll. – Our experiment today is a simple one. We’re doing an old-fashioned race from here in Bristol in the southwest to Bath in the southwest. – Yeah, we’ve plotted the
route on comut and it’s 21 kilometers long and
it begins in urban roads with lots of junctions, lots
of traffic lights, quite busy, but voiding out into some
nice undulating, flowing, sort of, idyllic cycling
roads before the fast run into Bath. – I guess what we’re
trying to find out here is how much faster can we get to work, which means more time
in bed, more time home, I guess and more money saved. – Yeah, well time is money. The smart money as well, and my money. It is on you and your
super bike to beat me. But I want to see how much
time this black beauty, absolute bargain, concedes
to your super bike. – A lot. – Well, hopefully not too much. – Get pedaling mate. – All right, let’s go. (laughing) (upbeat music) – I might not get extra time in bed. But at least when we do get to Bath, unlike James, I’ll be
able to afford a coffee, or probably about 5,000 coffees. – (curses) He keeps sprinting
for every single light. It’s ridiculous. Fortunately, they keep on changing to red, giving me a chance to catch up so I can sort of keep going. Having to constantly accelerate on a slightly heavier bike, it just definitely requires
more effort than Hank’s super light carver ones and it’s hard to quantify, but being aluminum frame
it’s just not quite as stiff and not quite as efficient
when you put the power down, but to be honest, unless if I was just
riding normally to work and I wasn’t racing
against the Duracell bunny I probably wouldn’t notice. There’s not much in it. (upbeat music) – Well this isn’t really
going to plan, is it? It’s like the tortes catching the hare. (inaudible) (upbeat music) (yelling) Oh! He’s done it! He’s done it! (laughing) Not so fast! See you later! Right it’s been about 30
seconds without a traffic light and Ollie’s a speck in the distance. This is when I can gain some
time to get some speed up. Now a good point to make is that riding is also about having fun and enjoying it. So why wouldn’t you want
to be on your best bike? After all that’s what
I’d do on my weekends, so making it count during the week makes sense, doesn’t it? I mean it is great fun riding this. – Right, now I’m plodding along, let’s talk about the benefits
of commuting to work by bike. Now aside from the health
and fitness benefits and also the reduced environmental impact. cycling to work can also save you an absolute fortune and being from Yorkshire
I’m all about that. Once you’ve paid the
upfront cost of a bike, then the annual cost of cycling per year is estimated to be about 200 pounds. And that factors in replacement
parts for wear and tear, things like your chain and maybe a service from a
friendly bike shop as well. And also a few accessories like, waterproof clothing which would of come in handy today. Now if you compare this to
commuting to public transport, well a route like Bath and
Bristol or Bristol to Bath by train is going to cost you
around 2,200 pounds a year. Loads! And then if you drove
to work in a car, well even a small family hatch
back like a Ford Fiesta, that’s going to cost
you about 2,900 pounds a year in running costs. Which is loads! Although this isn’t really a Ford Fiesta it’s more like a Volvo 850 Estate. It’s astonishing though, isn’t it? The amount of money that can be saved, but it is noticeably
slower than my normal bike and I’m finding it even harder than usual to keep up with Hank and that is something that
I do normally struggle with on my best bike, but the bike just feels
a bit more sluggish. I mean, it’s heavier and so consequently every
time the road heads uphill it feels a little bit harder. but you know this could be a good thing, I mean to go the same speed, you have to put in more effort which means you get a
better workout every cloud. There’s another advantage to, which is that right now, while Hank’s riding his best bike mine is safely tucked up at home meaning that after I’ve
ridden this all week, when I get it out and ride it on Saturday it’s going to feel even better! (pants) (bass music) – Well saving your best
bike for the weekend is an interesting one. I mean, how long does it take to ruin your best bike if
you’re riding it everyday? I guess it’s like a car, if you’ve got a car and
you take care of it, you service it regularly, you clean it and you look after it. Well the bills aren’t going to rack up and it’s much the same as a bike. These are made to take punishment, so as long as you service it, clean it,
lube the chain, etcetera. It will last! Then again you will have to
eventually replace brake pads and chain, etcetera and that will be more expensive than Ollie’s cheap project bike, but look how much fun you’re having! Even around the corners and everything. (excited shouting) One of the biggest differences
between our two bikes are the brakes and brakes are essential
when you’re commuting and riding your bike anytime really, but particularly when commuting because of all the hazards and junctions and things that
you often need to stop at in urban environments, but these brakes… they’re a low cost break, but event if they’re properly maintained they can work really well. Not as well as Hank’s super expensive hydraulic disk breaks, but well enough to stop me should I need them. (upbeat music) – Right, here he is. – Oh god, how long you been here? – Well, I had half my hot chocolate so I would say around seven… seven and a half minutes. – Seven minutes? Pfft, that’s not too bad. – [Ollie] Hank completed
the 22.8 kilometer route in 41 minutes 18 seconds with an average speed of
33.1 kilometers per hour. He did have to stop for
quite a few traffic lights out of Bristol. I managed it around 7 minutes slower, 48 minutes 42 seconds around 28 kilometers per hour. Although admittedly had I
also been on a super bike Hank probably still would’ve beaten me just by a smaller margin. – One thing I did do mate,
is order you a coffee – Aw, thanks mate… – and a waffle. – A half eaten strut waffle (laughter) – Yeah… about that. – Thanks mate, thanks for that. Well I’ll tell you what right, the cheap bike does have a big advantage
over the super bike right now, and that is… it’s a far less attractive
target to thieves than your super bike and no bike lock in the world is going to stop a determined thief from nicking your bike, it’s so nice. And I think it just
makes it less practical, like if I want to stop off
at the shops on the way home, you can’t really do that with yours. – It’s by no coincidence
that we’re sitting outside and I’ve got a good view of of my bike, but for riding purposes the super bike is a far better bike to ride and far more fun, but it’s not that much quicker and yeah, I can’t just roll up to a cafe and leave it out of sight or even a pub. – Yeah.. but I think if your commute is over a few kilometers then there’s no reason
why you shouldn’t do it on a really nice bike like that as well, you’ll get your destination quicker, you’ll save more time… there’s more time you can have you know.. back home. It’s not dead time or you can use it to ride further and you’ll probably enjoy
your riding more as well. – Even a bike that costs a few thousand
pounds can be cheaper than commuting by train or by car making it economical justifiable – Yeah! Right mate.. I’ve got to go. – Where you off to? – Oh I’ve got a flight to catch, business class. Flying to the Maldives for a cruise. Putting all that money that I saved not buying a decadent
super bike to good use. See yea! (chuckling) – Well I guess that ends our experiment. If you did enjoy this video then make sure you give it a big thumbs up and for more cheap bike versus super bike why don’t you click over there. I’ve got home vacation… (cursing) He’s got my bike!

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Nice video. I bike to work with paniers but quite like the look of the bags you guys are using. Can you tell me the maker please?

  2. You know you can commute on bikes with gears. They don't cost any more than a single speed. And for those of us carrying shoes, laptops, clothes (especially in fall and spring with jackets) the super bike doesn't offer mount point for bags and racks, nor handle the extra weight… And don't forget a good chain

  3. Cheap bike. One gear chain is a 10 euro maybe, and what u think, 11 speed chain? 😉 drivetrain and more? So yes, if u not a billioner, use cheap bike to commuting.

  4. For urban commuting you should be comparing super bike with cheapish e-bike. I would guess e-bike wins hands down.

  5. When factoring in the cost of using vehicles like cars. You cant factor in the price of gas if you are going to ignore the cost of extra food you will need to ride your bike. Its still "fuel." So that 200 probably turns to 500-600 with the extra food you need to eat a year.

  6. I would love to have one bike like that. I have one MTB for like 100 pounds :D… I freaking love your videos and road bikes

  7. Great to see some love for the singlespeed commuter. Been riding my fixed to work everyday for the last 9 years, about 25000km, so far it's only needed a new set of rims, 1 set of tires, some brake pads and a £5 chain each year. Cogs are 1/8" steel so will never wear out! Bargain!

  8. Cheap bikes = JUNK, nothing good about them, you'll tire yourself out before you even get to work, and things will start to go wrong with them in very short order, that's why they're Cheap.
    A Super bike is just waiting to be stolen the minute you take your eyes off it, it will be noticed and it will disappear unless you chain it to yourself and carry a handgun or perhaps a shotgun.)
    Don't be a sucker…for commuting get something somewhere in between these two extremes……save the Big bucks for a exercise/pleasure ride bike.

  9. Where do you people leave your 10k bikes…Jesus……I ride and I leave it in my office… chance being stolen


  11. I'd only commute on a superbike if it was in my sights at all times. That means don't lock it outside or leave it unattended like an idiot.

  12. Single speed might be good for short commutes inside a city, but I would want gears for 20km commutes. Even on a cheap bike.

  13. I cycle to work on a 14 yo mid range bike. Anything else would get nicked in no time. My avg speed is no-where near you guys either thru London. Usually around 15-17km/h.

    Still – quicker than driving ehh?

  14. I dont understand why people talk about the fear of having your bike stolen,at least for my bike I have one of those huge motorcycle chains that are imposible to cut and a small chain and padlock for my wheels,and with that I know that it will never get stolen,unless they cut the small chain for the wheels,steal the wheels and leave the frame where it is.

  15. I live in a small city and most days I commute on a single-speed much like Ollie's. It's surprisingly pleasant for stop and go traffic, since I can focus entirely on my surroundings instead of faffing with gears. I'm much, much more comfortable leaving it unattended too, with its bolt-on wheels, low profile, and the Abus u-lock I do not leave home without.

  16. Thanks, I have been wondering what my $120 12 speed Schwinn bicycle cannot do that a super bike can. But really, could you not have used two similarly geared bikes?

  17. Imagine parking a $15000 road racer in front of your work building and locking it up and doing an 8 hour shift. Okaaaayyyyy

  18. A Fluffing single speed for a race? I eat single speeds for breakfast with my work bike that's probably 60kg loaded with tools . This video is a joke.

  19. love the ending! hahaha.. greetings from Indonesia. I was looking for a new bike and GCN is really helpful for me to decide which bike I should get. Really fun videos, informative and thorough explanations about all the things I need to know. Super nice channel!

  20. Improper race. Could have atleast gotten a geared bike so that itd been a proper race and ylu can see that super expensive superbikes dont really needed for anyone except professi9nals or uber rich. If he was guven a proper geared cheap9 aluminum bike. Hed have like literally jusr 2 minutes of something lesser than that superbike. Which is perfect. I eam it really is perfect. If only the over rich minority cycling elites would stop their efforts to make this simple sport into GOLF !

  21. Why pay £195 for a used fixed gear bike when you could buy a brand new Giant hybrid alloy frame 21-speed for under £300 which would be more efficient and more comfortable for commuting?

  22. Biggest point right on the head … a bike so expensive you cannot do anything but go to and from work with it … ofcourse that is assuming a thief is camping exactly where you go on the day you choose to stop.. if you don't do so regularly you are probably still plenty safe … its totally sad you have to work so hard to protect something you work so hard to pay for from someone who would rather take yours than get their own! … i feel that way with my ebike i just bought … its a premium model $$$ but i love it and the 20 minutes each way it takes off my average 40 mile pedal commute

  23. Single Speed; Absolutely worst decision ever for a commuter bike with a lot of stop & go traffic. It's not an apples to apples comparison. Even an older 10 speed bike with downtube shifters would've been eons better and a more even comparison. In this test, money played no part when the single speed crippled the rider. It's like comparing flat shoes to clip-in cycling shoes. Come on guys…you should do this one over.

  24. well l m pretty sure Olly s bike is still lite enough but depending on the ride to work not sure single speed is a good idea .l live in a very flat area and the wind can beat you down to a crawl even with gears !! SO l suggest getting at least rear gearing 🙂

  25. Just a quick question would Teflon pipe tape on the rims make it stop a little better I know Rubber and Teflon don't tend to work together too well in dry condition I know wet doll slide like slick glass

  26. I have a cheap aluminium single speed bike that was bought brand new 10 months ago mainly to commute. I've been improving it over time by replacing the flat bar with drop bars, putting a 50 teeth chain ring with a 17 teeth sprocket, and a pair of 23mm Vittoria Zaffiro Pro tires and proper lubrication. The results are amazing, and now I'm able to ride between 85 and 110 Km every Sunday. 
    My objective is to have two bikes: the cheap one I mentioned before for everyday use, and a BMC TimeMachine road 02 or aTeammachine ALR 02 Tiagra for longer rides because, if I've been able to pedal those distances on a cheap but pretty bike, I'm wondering about how much I will be able to ride on a very decent one.

  27. The speed difference is about 10-15% for expensive bikes, based on the same Watt consumption – tested during 4 Km and 400 Watt continuous

  28. Don't forget the mental health benefits of cycling to work. fresh airexcercise and a nice view contribute to your mental health in a positive way and its just less stressful than driving a car.

  29. He's got your bike AND he's going on vacation! Honestly, I did it like Ollie did for years. A 32 lb mountain bike during the week and then on the weekends, went racing or riding the trails on my 24lb fancy bike. Pedalling the fancy bike was like being on vacation!

  30. Why does every bike shop dude around the world look exactly like that guy, only with variances in the size of their gauges?

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