First road bike - help please

by z_matt   January 17, 2014  

Hi all,

After years of riding mountain bikes I have just sold my last bike and fancy a change to a road bike as I very rarely now (if ever) venture off road.

I'm on a pretty strict budget of £200 (I know £400-500+ would be much better as a minimum)

So far I have found 3 bikes within my budget and would like opinions from people who have much better knowledge than I do. Here they are:

DBR Pursuit 21 Inch Bike by Raleigh
http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/3176900.htm

Muddyfox Pace Road Bike Mens
http://www.sportsdirect.com/muddyfox-pace-road-bike-mens-933070

Viking Scirocco Alloy 14-Speed 2013
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Viking-Scirocco-Alloy-14-Speed-2013-Mens-Light...

If you have any other suggestions please post a link Smile
The main requirements I have are:
- Lighter the better
- I am 5ft9 so frame size 54 or 56 (I think)
- Not Red in colour!
- Carbon front struts (although unlikely for my budget I think)

Thanks, Matt

33 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

The lads are right, those BSO's are junk and a waste of money.

The Triban is unfortunately red.

You would be best placed looking for a used machine, just beware its not faulty, stolen or badly worn though, as even tyres, a chain and brake blocks all add up if you're on a budget.

£350.00 is usually what I tell people for a bike as a minimum.

Can you get anything on the cycle to work scheme?

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [248 posts]
17th January 2014 - 13:50

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second hand on ebay is where I'd go with a £200 budget..

Unfortunately even second hand bikes sold on forums like this one are likely to be of higher spec and value to be considered for £200..

posted by 700c [485 posts]
17th January 2014 - 13:56

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Yeah - harsh but fair I'm afraid. If you can save up a bit longer and buy something a little more expensive

Your other alternative is to keep an eye out for decent 2nd hand bikes.

Also, I know you're currently bikeless but September to November is a really good time to buy bikes as shops are flogging off that year's models in Sales. Often lots of bargains to be had around then

posted by VeloPeo [182 posts]
17th January 2014 - 13:57

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As much as the triban is a starter bike, I put a full 105 groupo on mine last year and came in 19th in my category at the Manchester Great Cycle last year, and even though I have other "better" bikes its still my favorite....probably because its red Smile

posted by jason.timothy.jones [252 posts]
17th January 2014 - 14:07

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Thanks for all of the replies! I appreciate the honesty and had a feeling my links may provoke some 'harsh' comments, but this is a good thing.

I WAS contemplating one of those 3 bikes, now I am NOT, so thank you.

I'm liking the look of the bike 'Super Domestique' posted: http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_storeId_10001_...

What do the rest of you think of this one? It's not that far above budget, it's in stock in my local store (according to the website). However I'd feel better if it had some more approvals (even with all the good reviews). Maybe if someone could pinpoint what it has over the 3 bikes I posted? I really have very limited knowledge on these bikes, and if I am going to stretch £70 over budget I want to make sure 110% it's the right one.

As for the cycle to work scheme, I work at a school, however unfortunately there is no cycle to work scheme supported at the moment Sad

On the 2nd hand front, I think new is what I'd prefer if I can do it financially as I don't want to have to worry about the bike history (how its been treated, usage etc).

Thanks for all your comments so far, they are very much appreciated!

Matt

posted by z_matt [8 posts]
17th January 2014 - 15:19

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3 things I'd spot at a quick glance.

1) tektro brakes rather than no named brand. Especially if they are the same ones as on the TdF as they have cartridge blocks for improved braking. If you go in store have a look.

2) the sti shifters (as in that they are integrated with brake levers) rather than the horrible looking thumbshifters near the stem on all 3 other bikes.

3) branded tyres rather than nameless rubber that more than likely won't be up to much.

I'd still say the red Triban is better but its another £30 (nothing for getting carbon forks) but its red!

Anyone know why the white triban 3 doesn't have a carbon fork? Or its not listed with one anyway!

posted by Super Domestique [1506 posts]
17th January 2014 - 15:21

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Quick update: I can get the Carrera Zelos for £242 with an additional voucher code, very tempted.

posted by z_matt [8 posts]
17th January 2014 - 15:28

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The Zelos would do a job. It's "ok", nothing more, and unfortunately you should expect that it will require some TLC now and again due to cheap components.

I'd go with a Triban 3 as suggested. Or beg/borrow £100 off my mum and get a 2013 CAAD8 with 2300 or Trek 1.1...

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

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posted by Gizmo_ [642 posts]
17th January 2014 - 15:53

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I ride a carrera during the winter, the virtuoso rather than the zelos, and am very happy with it. Wouldn't have bought a Halfords bike, but my work's cycle2work scheme steered me that way, and i'm glad i did.

Note that I would avoid paying full RRP for Halfords bikes - they regularly put them on sale, which coupled with cycle2work made it a good deal.

Or, just get the Triban Smile

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posted by PJ McNally [560 posts]
17th January 2014 - 17:14

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I have a 2012 specialized allez with new wheels,new shimano claris groupset.its just been totally serviced and cost £400 to be done.i'd accept £300 for it

posted by Shanefutcher [103 posts]
17th January 2014 - 18:27

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I know I've mentioned this before (apologies), but the Forme Longcliffe 5.0 I bought from Rutland Cycling for £300 is also excellent value (they recently also had a basic Genesis for around that price). To be honest, when I bought the Forme, I also looked at Halford's Carerra TdF which is often discounted to around £250 (and if you loin British Cycling you can get another 10% off), so that might be worth looking at, too.
here's the review of the Forme I wrote for by blog in case you're interested:
http://fortywheels.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/review-forme-longcliffe-50.html

posted by dafyddp [85 posts]
17th January 2014 - 18:41

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My first road bike was a TdF which is now only used as a winter ride and has been bomb proof despite being ridden almost exclusively on wet muddy country lanes.

I've done about 4k miles without it needing any attention - apart from regular cleaning and lubing - so the 'cheap components' have not been a problem.

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posted by Crosshouses [142 posts]
17th January 2014 - 20:36

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I don't know about harsh, all the comments appear to be constructive and supportive. The fact is that £200 doesn't buy you a decent bicycle, it's not 1990 any more.

Smartphone tariffs are £20-40 per month and petrol is £1.30 per litre so money doesn't go very far. Spending a bit more for a 'proper' bike will pay off in the long term, of that I am convinced.

The Forme looks good but I like Genesis so the Volant 00 would get a look, Rutland still have the 54cm in stock at the moment. But it has no mudguard mounts so you'll need Raceblades if you want to keep dry. A Carrera Virtuoso or TdF from Halfords is a safe option, see if you can get that BC 10% deal.

Bikeradar's classifieds might yield something, alternatively if you list the ebay category 'bikes' then filter <£400 and sort by distance you see the bikes nearest your location.

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posted by Simon E [1778 posts]
17th January 2014 - 20:48

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You can pick up a real bargain on eBay. It's where I got my current bike, a GT GTR Series 3 (2010 model) in pristine condition for £255. I can't afford a more expensive bike at the moment, but it does what I want it to and I can upgrade components (new wheelset this year! Drooling )

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posted by lisa76uk [19 posts]
19th January 2014 - 23:44

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Thanks everyone for your suggestions and opinions. I visited Halfords yesterday and ended up going for the Carrera Zelos Limited Edition Blue, here: http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_storeId_10001_... which with the voucher code came to £242.

With it being my first road bike and quite a large expense for me personally the whole visit to the store to actually sit on the bike and see it in the flesh swung the decision. I originally thought the 54 frame would be the one for me, however after trying both I went for the 51 frame as this was comfortable, where as on the 54 I felt stretched and uncomfortable.

I'm not usually a fan of Halfords but the guy that helped me was very helpful, answered quite a few questions I had and only gave opinions when I asked for them. I ordered there and then and saw that he was taking great care building the bike and double checking everything.

I have only had a chance to ride it once so far and that was the short ride home. Initial impressions are that it rides well and isn't as bumpy as I thought it might be without the carbon forks. Only thing I want to change soon are the pedals (like a lot of the reviews said) as they are clip ins.

That leads me to ask if anyone can recommend some good non-clip in pedals?

posted by z_matt [8 posts]
20th January 2014 - 14:04

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Congrats Matt!

Enjoy the new bike.

When you say non-clip pedals, do you mean with toe clips and straps like this:

http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/products/budget-r-road-pedal-and-toeclip

Or complete flat pedals? (Not that I'd recommend that on a road bike tbh)

posted by Super Domestique [1506 posts]
20th January 2014 - 14:58

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Thanks, looking forward to riding it more, thanks for suggesting it in the first place Smile

The current pedals have a metal clip AND toe clips/straps and are to be honest a bit awkward.

I would like some complete flat pedals initially just while I get to grips with the bike (I won't be fully pushing it yet). Going to take it easy for a while, get used to a new riding position, the new gear shifters, handle position etc so won't be going too fast or massive distances. Eventually I think I'll be aiming for some of the Shimano SPD's (I think?) combined with some proper clip in cycling shoes.

Do you know of any well priced all flat pedals? Or should I just go for some cheap MTB ones from Sports Direct for now as they aren't needed for a long time?

posted by z_matt [8 posts]
20th January 2014 - 15:49

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I know a few riders who were nervous of clips that have bought the Shimano touring pedals so flat one side but have a clip the other and then can get used to SPD in time.

Something like these:

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/shimano/oe-a530-touring-pedals-ec050...

Admittedly most have then gone on to SPD SL etc

posted by Super Domestique [1506 posts]
20th January 2014 - 15:56

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What ever bike you get you'll start looking for the next one pretty soon.

In my world I can do hills.

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posted by divingrob [17 posts]
20th January 2014 - 16:04

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divingrob wrote:
What ever bike you get you'll start looking for the next one pretty soon.

What makes you say that?

Those pedals looks perfect, thanks! Will be good for the initial transition when I move over to clip in cycling shoes too.

posted by z_matt [8 posts]
20th January 2014 - 16:15

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z_matt wrote:

What makes you say that?

its in the rulez http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/#12

posted by jason.timothy.jones [252 posts]
20th January 2014 - 16:28

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z_matt wrote:
divingrob wrote:
What ever bike you get you'll start looking for the next one pretty soon.

What makes you say that?

In 12 months time you will revisit that comment and chortle, understandingly.

Of and don't be afraid of clipless pedals. Shimano M520s are dirt cheap, bullet proof and easy to maintain.

You will fall off at lights when forgetting that you're clipped in in the beginning. It's a mistake you make once. Maybe twice. Wink

posted by VeloPeo [182 posts]
20th January 2014 - 16:30

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VeloPeo wrote:
z_matt wrote:
divingrob wrote:
What ever bike you get you'll start looking for the next one pretty soon.

What makes you say that?

In 12 months time you will revisit that comment and chortle, understandingly.

Of and don't be afraid of clipless pedals. Shimano M520s are dirt cheap, bullet proof and easy to maintain.

You will fall off at lights when forgetting that you're clipped in in the beginning. It's a mistake you make once. Maybe twice. Wink

They do look good value. Got any example shoes I'd need to go with them? I really don't have a clue what I'm looking at just yet. I have already had visions of falling off just thinking about it

posted by z_matt [8 posts]
20th January 2014 - 17:32

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z_matt wrote:

They do look good value. Got any example shoes I'd need to go with them? I really don't have a clue what I'm looking at just yet. I have already had visions of falling off just thinking about it

Not really looked at MTB compatible shoes for 4 or 5 years. Use Speedplay pedals now but started on SPD with M520 pedals. The DHB shoes on Wiggle are meant to be pretty good entry level

I would suggest though that clipless pedals and shows will cost you £70-80 minimum and that you'd be better off adding that to your bike budget if you can

posted by VeloPeo [182 posts]
20th January 2014 - 17:49

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I've got some dhb shoes (SPD SL) version which I use in winter / bad weather.

I like them a lot.

posted by Super Domestique [1506 posts]
20th January 2014 - 17:50

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If you're not going to race or be desperate to save a few grammes then MTB pedals/shoes are the way to go.

The roadies may sneer at you but at least you'll have shoes you can walk in and you'll be able to ride your bike in trainers or ordinary shoes if need be.

Also you can get used to being clipped in by wearing 1 trainer and 1 cleated shoe, that way you'll have 1 foot free to put down in an emergency. This tip worked for me.

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posted by Crosshouses [142 posts]
20th January 2014 - 20:55

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Crosshouses wrote:
If you're not going to race or be desperate to save a few grammes then MTB pedals/shoes are the way to go.

The roadies may sneer at you but at least you'll have shoes you can walk in and you'll be able to ride your bike in trainers or ordinary shoes if need be.

Also you can get used to being clipped in by wearing 1 trainer and 1 cleated shoe, that way you'll have 1 foot free to put down in an emergency. This tip worked for me.

I think this may be the way to go for now as I've already stretched over my initial £200 budget and still need to get a helmet. Just need to decide now whether to go for cheap MTB pedals at £5-10 or the half flat, half clip Shimano pedals mentioned earlier for around £30

posted by z_matt [8 posts]
21st January 2014 - 9:32

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+1 for the second hand on ebay recommendation.

I got a lovely bike for my mate off ebay, a BH with carbon forks and seatstays, and full 105 groupset (except cranks), for £250. Took a few weeks though!

posted by drmatthewhardy [222 posts]
21st January 2014 - 14:52

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Shanefutcher wrote:
I have a 2012 specialized allez with new wheels,new shimano claris groupset.its just been totally serviced and cost £400 to be done.i'd accept £300 for it

That's a bargain... I'm commuting on my brother's Allez atm whilst I fit a new groupset to the Triban. I love it!

posted by robertoegg [5 posts]
19th March 2014 - 9:04

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Hi, I have read this with much interest I'm looking to get my son a bike for his 10th birthday he's about 5'2" we just been on holiday and a 51cm Planet X was too big for him

I was thinking either the

Carerra Zelos Ladies 43cm @£250

http://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-3-red-road-bike-id_8274036.html 45 or 48cm @£250

(Sounds like good value but My worry with the Triban is having 650mm wheels and spares being expensive)

http://www.acycles.co.uk/route-66-rl01-road-bike-white-3397.html 47cm @£309

Or possibly the

Mekk Pinerolo AL ZR (47cm) or

http://www.winstanleysbikes.co.uk/product/61078/Raleigh_Revenio_1_2013_Bike

that I have seen for £400 but

Maybe even the Felt z95 but that really is getting expensive for a 10 year old

Any thoughts on size, suppliers and the bikes most welcome

posted by Richyh [1 posts]
13th April 2014 - 20:40

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