I decided to take advantage of the Cycle To Work scheme, which allows you to pick up a bike and save on the tax. One bike which had caught my eye was the BMC Citystreamer. A traditional style frame, no suspension and a luggage carrier ticked all the boxes for me. With all the paperwork done I had a short wait then I could collect it.
From the outset I found it comfortable to ride, on the road and on tracks. It lends itself to a more upright posture, it’s not a down over the handlebars bike. That’s not to say it’s not capable of doing a decent speed. It’s not an overly heavy bike, and with Schwalbe semi slick tyres I’ve had some reasonable times on it. The availability of 30 gears is a great help when tackling hilly terrain. The gears are Shimano XT. The shifters are thumb operated and I’ve found the gear mechanism to be very reliable, moving up and down easily, even on the uphill stretches when on other bikes I have found it tends to stick or skip.
The disc brakes are hydraulic, the first time I have used this type of brake, and I’ve been really impressed with them. I’ve had no real cause to tinker with them, so I cannot comment as regards maintenance.
Two other features make this interesting. The lights are powered by a dynamo driven from the front hub (a connector cable has to be removed when taking the wheel off), and they provide a really good amount of light, sufficient to see with, not just to be seen. They also remain on for around 10 minutes after pedalling stops, so they will remain lit while stopped at junctions or traffic lights. They have three settings, fully on, fully off or sensor. On the sensor setting the light will come on when the sensor determines that it is required. The rear light is mounted in the other interesting feature, the luggage rack.
The luggage rack is a one piece unit with the LED light built in. While it looks great it has one quite glaring problem- it is so oversized that standard bags will not clip on to it. It is designed to use specific BMC bags. I bought my bike from Evans, who don’t sell the bags. There are workarounds, you can purchase adapters or you can go a bit Heath Robinson. I managed to pick up an Altura bag which has a built in adapter, and I’ve been using that. It’s a fine bag for commuting, but too small for cycle touring.
The one problem I did have with this bike occurred on the second day of use. The rear light packed in, and being an LED sealed unit had to be replaced. Some of the wiring joints for the lights needed a bit of a tidy up, but apart from that this has been a fantastic, practical, comfortable and reliable bike.
With an RRP of £1899 it is not cheap. It regularly sells for less than that, at the time of writing this Evans are selling it for £700 LESS than RRP. I managed to get it even cheaper still, and with the Cycle To Work discount factored in picked it up for well under £1000. If you are looking for a good, reliable hybrid, look no further than this.
Full specifications are available HERE.