The good old "what bike for a grand" debate...

Having £1000 to spend on a bicycle seems like a dream come true. But I am finding ways to make it usual.

by jimmythecuckoo   April 29, 2014  


At the risk of abusing my position as a blogger to start a “what bike for £1000” thread... here is a blog post about “what bike for £1000”...sorry!

With all the excitement of a two year old getting the lid off a Fruit Shoot, I am at the sweetie counter and looking for new wheels.

The trusty Bianchi has served me with great distinction over 6 years, with the original wheels and group set still performing despite it having had a £600 price tag.

We have gone up hill and down dale, both in the UK and on the mountains of mainland Europe. But the time has come to move on and create new memories, on a new bike.

I am keen to keep to a budget though and having peered at pictures of the alloy Venge with a coat hanger grin on my face, I have scaled back the spend to a level befitting my current liquidity. So sorry Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative, I can’t buy from you

There is still some massive value to be had at this point of the market though. I bought a Rose SL 2000 a couple of years ago and the spec and quality at the £800 mark blew me away. That bike is now solely focused on time trial duty leaving the sportive slot to be filled! Kind of decadent but that’s cycling!

Would I want another Rose or Bianchi though?

It’s a question that, along with our newborn baby, has been keeping me awake at night. I am close to 40 and have only used about 5 bikes brands in 20 years of cycling such is my desire to get the most out of my bikes lifespan.

So, should I branch out and look at Wilier, Specialized and others rather than stick to what I know, but with upgraded components and a higher number hanging on a ticket from the bars?

 My thought process to date started with the Planet –X pro carbon. The group set on it was incredible for the price, but for many years now I have been hanging my nose over a Scott.

Of course its branding and marketing and I am being sold a dream by adverts but I just want one. However once I did my research I couldn’t justify the similar cost for much lesser spec.

I was grumpy, but my mind was made up. For the money I have, there is better available.

Next up was a Giant, but it just didn’t feel sexy enough. I didn’t connect with it at all, which is frankly ridiculous thing to say about a bike. It just didn’t feel right. And I know some people find the aesthetic of Giants most pleasurable and racy.

There are a couple of Bianchi models which have turned my head and made me think Celeste thoughts. All perfectly practical and actually on the better side of spec at the price points so they still hold a place in the driving seat.

In recent days I have been looking at the Specialized Roubaix SL4. There are some good offers at the moment on that model and it has a really nice appearance. As with Scott though we are back in Sora territory, which is a perfectly good set of equipment, it’s just in my head if I am spending a grand I want to see all internal cabling from my gear levers.

Snobbish, I agree.

When I have seen forum threads and discussions on this great website (and a multitude of others) I have sniffed at the original poster for not being clear in their own mind about what they want.

But now. Well, I can have some level of sympathy. It’s a real tipping point on price. You can go either alloy with better bits on it or bottom carbon with cheaper kit and a long term opportunity to upgrade.

I know I need to make a decision soon, or my next thought process will be to wait until the 2014 models come down in price as the next seasons colours and models are launched... although to be fair that isn’t a bad idea.

Please someone take me into a shop and not let me leave without a bicycle...


23 user comments

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Funnily enough, I thought this blog was actually going to be a rant about the number of "what bike to buy?" posts we've had on here lately, but it turned out to be another one... Wink

Good luck with the search.

posted by parksey [205 posts]
29th April 2014 - 14:13

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Is there any scope for going for one of the interest-free credit deals available? £1000 deposit and maybe £30 a month for 3 years would put you on a £2k bike.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3067 posts]
29th April 2014 - 14:42

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parksey wrote:
Funnily enough, I thought this blog was actually going to be a rant about the number of "what bike to buy?" posts we've had on here lately, but it turned out to be another one... Wink


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posted by jimmythecuckoo [1238 posts]
29th April 2014 - 14:48

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While I really do wish you the best for finding the right bike for you (and what an enviable issue to be dealing with), surely it is just that - what is right for you, not what anyone else tells you to get (I realise you may merely be looking for hints/ideas here, not a specific model). Consider what kind of riding do you do, and what factors are important to you - it's your money after all. You mentioned aesthetics and 'feeling right' - these are absolutely as valid as any other reason for choosing a bike, so why not go with what you feel, try to test ride maybe 3 different ones, and then dive the f*ck in headfirst?! As they say, there's only one way to find out....

For what it's worth, I'm sure all the big brands will be much of a muchness in terms of weight (if that bothers you)/ride quality/longevity of parts etc. so you may as well go for 'what feels right' - in putting that phrase in inverted commas my intention is not to mock - rather to support you! Good luck, but don't stress over it for too long - just buy a bloody bike and ride it!

posted by jellysticks [80 posts]
29th April 2014 - 15:01

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Pick up a 2013 CAAD10 with 105 for £1100 or so. Magic.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [804 posts]
29th April 2014 - 15:17

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Get a red one.

posted by Dapper Giles [47 posts]
29th April 2014 - 15:20

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You want sexy for £1000? Cinelli Experience with full Campag Veloce on Wiggle...

posted by Yennings [210 posts]
29th April 2014 - 18:00

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Ask yourself a question standing in front of a trusted person, be it your partner or your mirror, do you need a new bike? not want, need and by new I mean a 2014/15 model. I've always spent the money on the frame first, then spec it as needed/possible. I'd want a custom frame, made to my measurments and then I'd use any damm kit I had lying about. The secrets in the frame, not the shiny bits hanging off it!

posted by Mr Mike [13 posts]
29th April 2014 - 22:56

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being very lucky to fit a manufacturers "standard" setup I
went Ti with whatever I had at the time upgrading as I go. As
said - the secrets' in the frame Smile

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [697 posts]
30th April 2014 - 9:21

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I bought secondhand and got a lynskey titanium bike with ultegra that someone no longer wanted - replaced the wheels when they needed replacing but everything else was great.
Cost £1200 - the same as the frame alone cost new. There is always value out there if you look.

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posted by richdirector [53 posts]
1st May 2014 - 11:52

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That Planet-x pro-carbon with full Ultegra for £999.99 looks damn hard to beat.

posted by sq225917 [18 posts]
1st May 2014 - 19:37

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MEKK MEKK MEKK MEKK MEKK MEKK MEKK MEKK MEKKKKK. Theyve got internal cable routing and easily upgraded frames for around the £1000 mark, look on wiggle for them! (Currently a few deals on at the moment). Plus they are British which is always a good thing.

Did I mention Mekk?

Pffft Gears, who needs them

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posted by JackBuxton [38 posts]
6th May 2014 - 7:03

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Kinesis 4S

posted by VeloPeo [218 posts]
6th May 2014 - 8:57

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Ribble cycles, choose your frame then your parts on the bike builder page


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posted by Beefy [111 posts]
6th May 2014 - 9:16

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Went for the Planet X Pro Carbon earlier this year, my only regret is that they've since started speccing it with 11 speed Ultegra 6800 rather than the 10 speed 6700. It's a beautiful ride, accelerates like a cheetah on heat. The biggest decision at the time was colour and in the end I settled on the light 'guru' blue with white trimmings - definitely ticks the sexy box.

My second choices would have been the B'twin Alur 700 (105, internal cable routing, only £750; was put off by the chainstay brakes in the end though) and the Canyon Roadlite AL (105, Mavic wheels, carbon chainstays, ~£900).

It's not a simple decision though, there's a lot of value around in this price bracket.

posted by Cantab [58 posts]
7th May 2014 - 8:59

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Gizmo_ wrote:
Pick up a 2013 CAAD10 with 105 for £1100 or so. Magic.


We have a winner Smile

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posted by jimmythecuckoo [1238 posts]
8th May 2014 - 12:44

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There's always the Steel option Wink

posted by VeNT [37 posts]
8th May 2014 - 18:44

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Your desire to own a great bike is quite evident from your post. You’ve been putting up with your Bianchi from the last six years with its original wheels and group set still performing, it’s more likely that you’ll take great care of your next bike too. So, when you’re planning to keep the same bike for over many years, it’s very important that you carefully analyze your requirements with the bike – yes, you need to answer why do you need a new bike? Once you know your expectations from a bike, you’ll know which one to spend your money on. Waiting Waiting

posted by AdamJackson [3 posts]
9th May 2014 - 0:27

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I wouldn't say I have put up with my Bianchi as it has been a dream to ride Smile

But I haven't upgraded the parts as I haven't needed to.

Someone is going to get a bargain if I ever sell that one.

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posted by jimmythecuckoo [1238 posts]
12th May 2014 - 17:00

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What about keeping the Bianchi and treating it to a £1k upgrade?

posted by Al__S [510 posts]
13th May 2014 - 10:00

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Last year I bought the Boardman Team Carbon, which has been renamed this year as the Road Pro Carbon. At the time, the British Cycling membership voucher brought it down to £1052 (regular price £1300). The spec is superb (105, Askium wheels, BB30, etc). The two downsides are a) Boardman are perhaps a bit 'soulless' compared to racier Italian breeds and b) you can't try before you buy - you check it over in-store and make do with riding it up and down the tool isle.
I'd definitely choose one again over the homogenised US brand options, though.

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posted by dafyddp [145 posts]
14th May 2014 - 10:37

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I can't fault my Ribble R872 after nearly two years - I went high with the spec and got Campag Athena, but if you like Veloce you can squeeze in just above your cap on this or the new Sporting Azzurro or the 365 on their Special Editions, less if you go for the Shimano option.

The R872 is a same frame to the De Rosa R838 apparently.

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posted by andylul [412 posts]
28th May 2014 - 9:42

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Interesting blog and I was in exactly the same place only a few weeks ago. I ended up with a 2013 Bianchi Impulso 105 heavily discounted from Wiggle (other online bike shops are available). I found it was simply a waiting game to get the best bike for me at the right price.

posted by jgmacca [10 posts]
5th June 2014 - 6:32

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