Which bike? Second hand bike wanted for medium / long distance. Budget £800
So I'm looking for a second hand bike for touring, just did London to Brighton on my old Bianchi racer and having picked up my friends Giant TCR (carbon) I was truly amazed at how light it was! I'm looking to do more of these sort of rides (day trips and maybe longer)
I want a light bike, the idea of carbon appeals to me. I will probably fit a pannier rack, and mostly use the bike for longer trips as I have the Bianchi and also an alloy fixie for city riding.
My budget is around £800 and I'm looking for a second hand bike (seems like if I take my time I can find something around half the price of a new model)... Alternatively I could be persuaded to buy new, but it seems like an expensive option (like buying a new car!).
So far the following brands have stood out to me:
Giant - TCR and others
Cannondale - Synapse, CAAD 8 / 10 and others
Focus - Cayo, others
Bianchi - Vertigo, others
Trek- Madone, Domane, others
Cube - Attempt, Agree
You might have guessed that I am fairly new to bikes (at least modern ones)...
I have read this guide: http://road.cc/content/buyers-guide/70802-best-%C2%A31000-%C2%A31500-roa...
which I found useful.
I'm going to try out a few new models at a shop this weekend and get a feel for the various brands and also the difference between carbon and steel frames. So far the things I'm looking for are Shimano 105 groupset (as I believe its better than Tiagra), lightweight frame, not too 'flash looking'.
Any advice is greatly appreciated. Are Tiagra parts really that bad? Am I silly to go after a carbon frame at this price point? Are any of the brands / models I have listed particularly good / bad?