Before I really knew what I was looking for I found this bike in Halfords which looked like just the thing for biking into work each day. The comfy saddle and the chain guard both scored greatly. It has since done many miles, at least 50 per week to and from work in all weather, along with a charity night time ride from London to Brighton, plus all the long weekend trips before the event. Even now it is still very comfy to ride, you just sit and peddle.

Reliability has not been great and has made me weary of it. The freewheel on the rear wheel sheared off 10 miles into a 40 mile planned midnight ride which resulted in a 10 mile ride home. It did this just days before the planned organised charity ride from London and so some last minute quick repairs were needed. Before then I had never even thought about the freewheel, but even now I find the replacement slightly wobbly and the whole things fails to fill me with confidence. I have had to tighten the bottom bracket a number of times, and the number of punctures nearly follow the number of weeks.

But put all that aside, it is taking on its first winter commute quite well. There is plenty of tidying up when spring time comes though.

On the back I have a rear rack rated at 35kg which is a bit over the top for carrying my work bag containing my sandwiches each day! This is then a much better built rack than the standard one on the Royal. The rear light is a Cats Eye, automatically comes on when dark and movement detected. It has got a lot of bad reviews, mainly the cover coming off/water getting in. I’ve not had any problems and has been a good buy, it is very bright.

On the front is a basket, not used much these days since I got the rear rack. The idea of the basket was for ease of just chucking your bag in and off you go. I still like that idea, but it does affect the steering and handling and after having the rear pannier (which while riding you don’t notice at all) it has meant I use the basket very rarely. It is still useful though for larger packages, but mostly it is not fitted on the bike. For the lights I have a small 3 LED Halfords own brand which is visible but does not really light the way too well, I found this out coming from London in the middle of the night). To supplement this and to be a light to see by, rather than a light to be seen by, I have a £3 700 lumins torch fitted to the bike by a £1 bracket. It has done well, is super bright and comes at a fraction of the cost of a real bike light.

The Highway is comfy, does the job, and gets me to work and back every day. It has suffered from this over the winter even with keeping under cover, although outside in all weather at work.

For nearly five years the bike served well, but a change in job meant longer distances to bike, from 10 miles a day to 20.  I felt I needed something a bit lighter and better specification, and so the Highway was put to rest in the dry, waiting for that time in the future when it might have another life.

Along came the Marim…


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