My new bike, the carrera subway LTD commuter

I wrote before that I was learning to ride a bike again, and even that I’d started tracking my trips by riding with an n810I did cycle to work a couple of times on Kat’s old bike. I even signed up for a bike2work day last week. Unfortunately no sooner had I signed up than disaster struck on my way home.

The peddle came off! And not just ‘oh dear it’s come unscrewed’ but the threads completely sheared off in the crank. So I was faced with a choice, pay to repair the old bike, give up cycling, or buy myself a new bike.



Well I’d been planning to buy a new bike anyway, I just wanted to prove I’d keep at the cycling first. But this forced the issue and so I ordered myself a Carrera subway LTD commuter bike. Fortunately it was 20% off, so at least something good from the accelerated timescale.

It arrived on Tuesday and I had the fun of assembly. I wasn’t sure how hard this would be. I turned out to be pretty easy. The bike arrived with the bike frame and backwheel assembled with gears, chains, derailers etc in place. The controls were attached to the handle bars, which just needed to be bolted onto the mount point. The saddle came separate and needed to be inserted in the frame and tightened at the appropriate height.

Peddles needed to be screwed onto cranks and the front wheel needed to be put in place with its quick release mechanism. All pretty simple stuff. The most complicated bit was checking the settings of the disc breaks. Though really nothing that you wouldn’t need to be able to do in owning the bike anyway.

The quick release wheel is useful as it means I can hang my bike up as I had been with Kat’s old one, but rather than loosening the handle bars to flatten things against the wall, and have to reset it every morning. I can now just whip the wheel off, and it’s easy to replace.



I inflated the tyres and learned that my foot pump has a broken pressure gauge, that tops out at 40psi. I thought it was failing to add more pressure, but when I switched to an electric pump it’s gauge showed pressure was about right, up at 60psi, so just the gauge had been rubbish.

My first ride on Tuesday was great, I took it easy on the way to work; and everything felt good. I particularly like the stopping power of the disc brakes. Good when hurtling down hill, to know you can stop reasonably well.
On the way home I pushed it (in the rain) and was pleased to make it in about 35 minutes.

I’ve continued to track my journeys with my n810, and have seen a peak speed of 34mph and a best average speed of 12.4mph.

After 2 days in a row, I really needed a break to let my body recover. The saddle region in particular needed some respite. But I’m hopeful that I’m still on an improving path. If I can get to work in the morning in 40 mins, and not feel dead at the other end, I’ll be happy. But some serious training required first.

In the time since I got the bike, I’ve added lights, rear mud guard, kick stand, rear pannier rack, panniers, under saddle bag and of course a bike lock.

None of which are cheap. All told I’ve probably spent 40% of the bikes cost again on accessories. I had really better keep at it now!

The mud guard was a faff, I specifically asked if it was ‘compatible with disc brakes’, the pannier explicitly claimed to be. The Halfords bloke said yes, they were the ones to use… Well to be fair I have used the rear one. It just took a lot more fiddling than I expected. The disc brakes get in the way of the metal supports the bolt to the frame and go to the mudguard. However the pannier came with long bolts and shrouds to allow it’s ‘legs’ to come wide of the disc brake mechanism and bolt in.


rear mud guard supports

this meant I could mount the metal mudguard supports similarly wide. but then I had to bend an couple of kinks in it so that it would enter the clips at the correct angle. The instructions do mention needing the wires bit to enter the clips at the right angle, but don’t mention anything about bending to achieve it.

I’ve still not mounted the front mud guard, since I do not have bolts/shrouds that will widen the mount point. I’ll have to figure something out. Though I was more concerned with the rear guard.

The kick stand I’ll have to take back. I hadn’t checked before hand, but the wire that controls the rear derailer passes under the bottom of the frame and up through the hole I’d need to bolt the kickstand through. Nothing to be done there, I didn’t really need a stand, it was just cheap and I was carried away accessorising.

I’ve not done a commute yet with the panniers, I’m hoping it will really make things easier. Carrying laptop and stuff in a bag on my back takes its toll over the journey. My posture ends up all wrong and my shoulders/neck were feeling it. I did take the bike into town yesterday just to pick up some shopping, and it did make things nice and easy. So looking forward to Tuesday when I next commute.

Overall I’m really getting into this riding to work thing. I’m still not sure how much I’ll continue if the weather is bad, but in the sunshine it is nice. I also like the mechanics of the bike. Yesterday I adjusted the rear derailer, as it was skipping between the top 2 gears. Basically in the penultimate gear, the chain was skipping between the correct gear and the top gear. Adjustments made I shall see how it goes. But there are loads of bits and bobs to play with, and unlike a modern car, it’s all easy mechanics which are user tweakable and that’s cool.

11 responses to “My new bike, the carrera subway LTD commuter”

  1. I am in the process of buying, through the Bike2Work scheme, a Carrera Subway LTD, the same as yours. However, I’ve been riding a bike again now for 4 years or so. I started back on a Raleigh Chiltern 3-speed, then bought a Carrera Subway 8, which was a complete disaster, Halfords couldn’t maintain it, depite the bikecare plan they sold me with it. To cut a long story short Halfords swapped the Subway 8 for a Subway 1, and I haven’t looked back since, I now commute 40 miles a day roundtrip. Which brings us up to date, and this year’s Bike2Work scheme. I only wanted to get commuting gear, clothes etc., to cope with all weathers, but the scheme insists you have to buy a bike or it’s a non-starter.So I decided to get a backup bike, and because I’ve had no problems with the Subway 1, went for the Subway LTD. The order went into Halfords a good 5 weeks ago, but Halfords have alot of failings, which I’m fully aware of, so I’ve been very patient. Like you I’m having a pannier rack, and mudgaurds fitted, also a Brokes saddle, which is a touch overkill, but my nether regions have been suffering of late, and I hope the Brookes will solve the problem. I’ve got all the gear, clothes, helmet, shoes etc., plus a spare set of pedals.
    You’ve had your LTD for 3 months now how have the tyres been? I had a look at the bike in Halfords today and they dont look very durable. My Subway 1 has had Continental touring tyres fitted, and I’d recommend them to everyone, and I’m wondering should I do the same with the LTD?

  2. hey, yes I’ve had my bike for a few months, but to be honest I’ve not been putting that many miles on it. The tyres are kevlar re-enforced, at least so they say, I can’t say I’ve noticed much wear. But again, I’m not pushing them much. feeling guilty now that I’ve not been commuting on it for ages 🙂

  3. Nice blog, I’ve just ordered a Carrera Subway LTD fro Halfords and i’m anticipating its arrival. I managed to get one for £199 in the ‘less than half price’ january sale. There aren’t many pictures of this bike on the internet, and I have yet to see one in the flesh so it is nice to see lots of pictures on your site. I bought the bike as a cheap commuter bike to ride to work on, I currently spend around £20-£30 a week on petrol driving to work so I figure that it will have paid for itself in 8-10 weeks. I’ve spent some extra money on accessories also, and purchased some SKS Bluemel mudguards in 26″ MTB Trekking 53mm size, also some Knog Frog Strobe lights. The main reason for going for this type of bike was that I already own an expensive mountain bike which I am reluctant to wear out commuting or leaving locked up outside work in the rain or where prying eyes can see it. This bike provides the perfect solution, being cheap but also of good quality. I also expect it to be much more efficient on the road with the skinny tyres.

  4. Thanks for posting the picture and ur review for this bike. It helped alot. Tommorow im going to pick my Carrera LTD (black/green).

  5. Have you managed to fit the front guard yet? I also have a subway ltd edition (the black/green/white one) and sks bluemels. I am currently at a loss for how to fit either of the guards without some fairly unprofessional bodging.

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