Commuter option

by andrewhayward   May 10, 2010  

Hello all. Apologies if this has been asked and answered recently, but I couldn't see anything similar. Currently commuting to work (20-25 miles round trip) and looking for some new wheels to do it on. However, very limited budget (in bike terms) of £500, and that's the absolute max. So was wondering if anyone had any suggestions. Noticed the lower end of the Specialized Sirrus range scrapes in under the mark, but I know next to nothing about road bikes (transferring from MTB) so I don't know if there's better value for money out there. Anything in particular I should be looking for, or avoiding?


- Andrew

9 user comments

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Not much wrong with a Sirrus, or a Trek FX for that matter. The former is a bit of a lower riding position which might suit if your commute is fairly lengthy. You can also get a Specialized Allez for £500 which we haven't tested yet but looks to be super value.

Other options? Giant Rapid 4 or Defy 4, Trek 1.1, I think Land Rover do a decent spec flat bar machine for about £450 too

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7857 posts]
10th May 2010 - 11:15


That new Spesh looks really nice in red.

Looks ace although last years model is the same price but with 9spd but Sora parts.

(Or look for a Trek 1200 2nd hand? although buying new you will get waranty and no hassels usually.)

Zaskar's picture

posted by Zaskar [137 posts]
10th May 2010 - 22:07


Giant defy 4 looks pretty good for the money.

posted by Corporate Ascents [2 posts]
11th May 2010 - 11:33


If your commute isn't too hilly, I'd recommend a single-speed road bike. No gears means four less components to go wrong, two less cables to snap, perfect chainline for much less wear on the chain, and cleaning is just a once-a-month hose-down job instead of half-an-hour per week faffing around with degreasers and tiny brushes. Your 500 quid budget will get you something good, rather than something bottom-of-the-range with Shimano or Campy's cheapest, most plasticy components. If you shop around you might even have some change left from your 500 quid budget to buy accessories (mudguard, lights, bag, etc.) There are loads of choices, but I'd recommend Kona's Paddy Wagon, which is steel for extra comfort, and has the eyelets for full-length mudguards. That said, it has been getting trendier in recent years, to appeal more to the hipster crowd, so there may be better options these days.

posted by handlebarcam [545 posts]
11th May 2010 - 12:34


Thanks for all the input... been chewing it over for a few days. Had a look at a few of them, and finally decided to go slightly over budget (don't tell the missus) with a Giant Defy 3.5.

posted by andrewhayward [36 posts]
17th May 2010 - 10:41


The thing I like about the various Giant Defys is that despite being frighteningly competitively priced they still look cool and funky and there don't appear to be any nasty corners cut. Plus you really can fit a rack and their own clever mudguard set for £30. Best of all no one will ever accuse you of being susceptible to buying a 'cool' brand for its own sake. Rather like driving a plain sensible VW, it neither marks you out as being a flash git, nor a cheapskate who doesn't care about engineering.

posted by nick_rearden [864 posts]
17th May 2010 - 13:34


I'd agree with that. The Giant Defys are pretty good looking for what they are and I've seen a couple of them with the rack and mudguards and it seems to work well.

I just can't get enough of my Turbo Trainer

posted by JustJ [2 posts]
18th May 2010 - 16:14


Did a few miles over the weekend to get used to the narrower bars, and gear changing with break levers (which crazy person came up with that idea!), but first time out in traffic with it today - and it's a pleasure to ride. Not knowing anything much about road bikes, I don't have anything to compare it too, but so far so good!

posted by andrewhayward [36 posts]
24th May 2010 - 10:19


What about the Boardman range - the entry level models are (just) sub 500?

If you can handle single speed - far less stuff to worry about (as was pointed out earlier)


posted by V6matt [6 posts]
28th May 2010 - 18:45