The Dawes discovery is a good value entry level hybrid bike. Starting from under £260, it offers a basic hybrid bike suitable for light touring on the road and some off road riding. It will suit those looking for an entry level commuting bike, with a bit of flexibility for riding rough tracks. There are different versions of the Dawes Discovery from the 101 (£250) up to a more high end Dawes Discovery 601. (£900)
Dawes Discovery 101
This is the entry level hybrid bike. It is RRP £269, though you may be able to pick up with some discount. For a sub £300 hybrid bike, this will be suitable for many people looking to buy a reliable, but good value hybrid.
The bike frame is a Dawes Discovery 6061 alloy frame. On the 101 version, the forks are steel, which offer a little dampening effect on rough surfaces, helping to give a more comfortable ride. The 6061 alloy frame (mostly aluminium) provides a good basic ride for comfort and touring. It is strong and rigid, yet is a little more forgiving than an aluminium based frame. People buying a Dawes discovery, will not be using it for racing but recreational riding, so the combination of comfort and durability is important.
The bike comes with basic Shimano 18 speed gears. 6 cassette on back and three chainrings. The gears range through
- Cassette 14-28T
- Chainrings 48-38-28T
This gives a huge range of speed for even the hilliest and bumpiest of terrains. The shifters are on the flat handlebars, (there are no drop handlebars like on a road bike). It is not super-fast changing, but it is reliable you just need to anticipate any steep hill coming up.
Tyre width = 35
The wheels are Alloy with CNC sidewall Rims. They are sized 700, the same as a road bike, but a wider giving greater stability and ability to go off road.
It is not a serious off-road bike, but, useful for those farm tracks or canal paths which might link together two remote roads, enabling you to avoid a major road or see some part of the scenery you might not otherwise see. If you intend to do a lot of off-road riding, you could choose the Dawes Discovery Trail, which offers slightly wide 38 tyres. But, the 101 will do a pretty good job off road.
The Dawes Discovery can easily be fitted with panniers to enable carrying a commuting bag. Mudguards are optional.
Other product features
- Dawes Cushioned Discovery saddle
- Alloy V Brakes
- 620mm wide, riser bar
- Quill Stem, Alloy, 90mm reach (18″), 105mm (20 & 22″)
For under £250, it would make a great present for someone looking to get into cycling. It will offer a good solid ride. If you really like the cycling, you may seek to upgrade later to a lighter, more expensive bike. But, for a basic bike, the Dawes Discovery offers great versatility at a good price.
Weight: 12.5 kg
At 12.5 Kg it is what you might expect for a sub £300 bike. It could be worse, but it is a fair weight to be carrying up steel hills.
The first place I would consider upgrading is from the existing tyres. For off-road riding and commuting, I would choose a more expensive tyre which offers better puncture protection. (see puncture proof tyres) However, to keep price below £300 it is inevitable the cheaper components will be used.
Dawes also offer a women’s version of the 101 with a step through frame.
- Dawes Discovery 101 Women’s version
Conclusion Dawes Discovery 101
I would recommend this to my parents, who do little cycling, but want to go out for short rides when the weather was nice. It would also be a good choice for someone on a short commute, but doesn’t want to worry about getting an expensive commuting bike stolen.
At under £300, you can’t expect too much in terms of performance and added extras, but Dawes is a good make, and this is a good starting point for a hybrid bike.
- Dawes Discovery 101 at Evans Cycles 2016
Dawes Discovery Range
The Dawes Discovery range goes from the basic Dawes Discovery 101 at £249.99 to the Dawes Discovery 601 at £899.99 so there are various options depending on the preference of how much you want to spend. For £899.99, the Dawes Discovery 601 comes with Carbon fork, carbon stem, carbon headset and carbon seatpost. This helps reduce the bike to 10.2Kg
Dawes Discovery Trail
The trail version has slightly wider tyres and a slightly more upright riding position, but is based on same frame and groupset.
Dawes Discovery 301
Comes with 24 speed Shimano Alivio Rapidfire gears and suspension seat post. At £350, it makes a very comfortable city bike. Also fine for light touring and riding in the country.
- Dawes Discovery at Evans Cycles