[This article was last updated on April 3, 2018]
Outdoor sports retailer GO Outdoors first started producing road bikes under the Calibre brand name in 2014. Starting out with three aluminium bikes, the range has since expanded to include two more expensive carbon-fibre models as well.
Prices range from £349 for the Calibre Rivelin and Loxley up to £999.99 for the Calibre Nibiru 2.0. Prices are higher if you don’t have a GO Outdoors discount card, but being as it only costs a fiver, we’re assuming that you’d make the investment.
GO Outdoors also sells bikes by other manufacturers, including Raleigh, Viking and Orbea, but for the purposes of this guide we’re just going to look at its own Calibre offering.
GO Outdoors initially dabbled in sub-£300 road bikes, but the entry-level bike is now this very well-specced sportive bike. The hydroformed aluminium frame is hung with Shimano's eight-speed Claris groupset, which is decent entry-level stuff. The fork has carbon fibre blades, the Schwalbe Lugano tyres are a sensible 25mm width and there's a decent gear range from the 50/34 FSA chainset.
The women's version of the Rivelin actually has a frame with women-specific geometry that's different from the men's bike, which is almost unheard-of at this price. The stem is also shorter for a given bike size, catering to women's general preference for a more upright position.
The Lost Lad is a new endurance model with disc brakes, and Shimano's Claris components. As well as the different brakes, there's a bit more room in the frame than the Rivelin, so you could fit fatter tyres than the stock 25mm Schwalbe Luganos to improve comfort and roadholding. There's room for mudguards too, so as well as its main billing as a countryside explorer, the Lost Lad would make a good fast commuter.
The women's version of the Lost Lad, the Lost Lass has the same spec, but with a female-specific geometry.
Arguably the best value proposition in the Calibre range, the Rivelin 2.0 benefits from an upgrade to butted tubing that's thinner-walled in the middle to reduce weight, and Shimano's excellent midrange 10-speed Tiagra groupset.
There aren't many bikes well under £1,000 with carbon fibre frames, but the Nibiru 1.0 pulls it off with a Shimano Sora nine-speed groupset, 50/34T chainset and an 11-32 cassette. Wheelwise, it has Mavic CXP-22 rims on Formula 32 hubs and comes with Continental Ultrasport 25mm tyres. Handlebars, stem and seatpost are from Ritchey and there’s a Selle Royal Seta saddle to finish things off.
The range-topping 8kg Calibre Nibiru 2.0 comes with a Shimano 105 11-speed groupset with a compact 50/34T RS500 chainset and an 11-28t cassette. This time you get Shimano RS11 wheels together with Continental Ultrasport 25mm tyres. As with the Nibiru 1.0, handlebars, stem and seatpost are all Ritchey and there’s the same Selle Royal Seta saddle.