My first road bike! Need help choosing between 4!

by aarrell   May 14, 2011  

Heya- after many weeks deliberating over which bike to spend my long saved cash on i have shortlisted it to 4! any help on choosing the final one would be appriated, especially if youve ridden one of them! Or if you have any other suggestions please feel free to suggest- Im looking to spend around £1000 and want a Shimano 105 or equivilent groupset, with a part carbon frame/forks Smile thanks! (also i would like to be able to buy it from a local bike store- so though ribble looks good id prefer to try it out before i buy it)

My shortlist is as follows-

Felt Z85 2011 (http://www.evanscycles.com/products/felt/z85-2011-road-bike-ec024380)

Specialized Secteur Elite 2011 (http://www.evanscycles.com/products/specialized/secteur-
elite-2011-road-bike-ec025006)

Trek 2.1 Compact 2011 (http://www.evanscycles.com/products/trek/21-compact-2011-road-bike-ec023946)

Fuji Team 1.0 2011
(http://www.evanscycles.com/products/fuji/team-10-2011-road-bike-ec026236)

Thanks Smile

18 user comments

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From those 4 i would be buying a Felt Z85, but i would be down the local store trying everything and anything that had your specs you want

Make sure you get sized for the right bike aswell, so you know what sort of frame size, stem, crank and other sizes you would be comfortable on

Nothing worse than buying a new bike, then having to go buy other bits because its not fitting you right

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posted by Gkam84 [8639 posts]
15th May 2011 - 11:28

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I'd go for the Specialized. I like its compact drop bars and SRAM Apex gearing.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1321 posts]
16th May 2011 - 11:02

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You're mad not to go to Ribble, you'll get something worth twice as much as any of the others. DO your geometry homework and you'll be laughing for years to come. I just bought a Stealth, and it's incredible...

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posted by Jason Baron [5 posts]
16th May 2011 - 11:48

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They're all great bikes, but the best one for you is the one that fits you best. If you can't sit on it first, best not to buy it.

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posted by simonmb [360 posts]
16th May 2011 - 11:49

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Worth adding the Focus Cayo 105 to that list

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/focus-cayo-105-ltd-2011

full carbon + 105 for £1099, you get a week's free test ride too.

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7227 posts]
16th May 2011 - 11:54

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To counter the last post, I was riding a Look for ten years that was custom-fitted but gave me back/cramp/hip problems on every long ride. I assumed the pains were just something I'd have to put up with in my 40-something life. Then I did some research into geometry. I bought a Ribble Stealth recently and just knocked off two century rides in a week with NO PAIN whatsoever. It's like a new sport. Head-tube length and horizontal top-tube are the two key measurements. You can tweak to mm's with post set-back and stem length.

Go get a Ribble, the New Sportive gets amazing reviews if you think the Stealth is too racy/expensive (I got SRAM Rival for £1200 though!)

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posted by Jason Baron [5 posts]
16th May 2011 - 11:58

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@Jason Baron. I think you've just proved my point about the importance of getting the right fit. Your Look was badly suited to you by the sound of it, and it made every ride a misery. OP here is looking to spend 'long saved cash', and I feel it's important that they sit on the model before they decide. I've never bought a hat without trying it for size, nor would I want to buy a bike blind. Also, buy a bike from your LBS and it COULD be the beginning of a valuable relationship.

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posted by simonmb [360 posts]
16th May 2011 - 12:27

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No, you've misunderstood, my best fit bike came from a blind source, Ribble, and not from sitting on one. A first road bike will feel odd in any case, so you won't know what you're feeling...you've got to trust the numbers rather than feeling in this instance. If one was an experienced rider it'd be different...

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posted by Jason Baron [5 posts]
16th May 2011 - 14:03

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Out of those four, I would probably go for the Felt, it would definately be worth looking at the Boardman team carbon, Planet X Pro Carbon & Ribble though, they all offer a considerably higher spec groupset and better finishing kit for the same money.

You can try the boardman out before you buy.

In terms of fit, surely you can try a couple of frames, decide what style of frame you want, then get a mail-order bike with the same geometry. As Jason says, unless you have previously spent a decent amount of time on a road bike, the fit will feel slightly odd. A good LBS would be able to fit you up correctly if you told them what you were planning on using the bike for.

Avonlea-Treasure Race Team
http://www.altrt.com
twitter:@davidcwhitfield

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posted by roadracedave [75 posts]
16th May 2011 - 14:53

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simonmb wrote:
They're all great bikes, but the best one for you is the one that fits you best. If you can't sit on it first, best not to buy it.

+1 to what he said.

Size and fit is top priority. Buy online only if you're sure the size is right for you.

I'd argue colour and styling is more important than specification. Why? Because you may well change the drivetrain, wheels etc sooner or later but you won't change the colour or frame shape.

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posted by Simon E [1880 posts]
16th May 2011 - 14:59

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@Jason Baron. I do understand that, but perhaps you were just lucky. Since this is a first road bike I'm assuming the OP has no 'numbers' to work from, (are you going to tell him what to start measuring?) making sitting on one the most accurate way of assessing the fit. I really can't see the sense in advocating a purchase of a thousand pound first bike without sitting on it first!

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posted by simonmb [360 posts]
16th May 2011 - 15:06

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simonmb wrote:
I really can't see the sense in advocating a purchase of a thousand pound first bike without sitting on it first!

OTOH some folk don't mind trying a £1,000 gamble based on what a few "internet forum people" say. Easy come, easy go Wink

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posted by Simon E [1880 posts]
16th May 2011 - 16:10

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I'd also recommend having a look at Planet X and Ribble. The Cube's over at Chain reaction are also pretty nice.

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posted by mr-andrew [294 posts]
16th May 2011 - 16:35

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Go second hand and get yourself something amazing, only a couple of years old, at the same price. Buying new is a fool's game Cool

-Bike Cru-

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posted by shuttie92 [4 posts]
17th May 2011 - 2:58

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shuttie92 wrote:
Go second hand and get yourself something amazing, only a couple of years old, at the same price. Buying new is a fool's game Cool

Why would you say that? Unless your after a specific bike that you cannot get new anymore, go new

Yes 2nd hand can save you a bit of money, BUT if you buy local or from a decent company, you get guarantees and warranty, so anything goes wrong, take it to them and sort it

Where as with 2nd hand, something goes wrong, like say the hub or gearing goes, then it might make up the difference to what a new bike would have cost

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posted by Gkam84 [8639 posts]
17th May 2011 - 4:12

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shuttie92 wrote:
Go second hand

Not a bad idea. Particularly for a first bike. There's nothing in the bike-world quite as seductive as a brand new bike, but so many fancy new bikes are bought with good intentions of future rides, and then sit unused for a variety of reasons. Often they can be picked up for a bargain. Unless what you're buying is REALLY old and shows signs of having been badly cared for any repairs that might need to be made are unlikely to cost a significant amount. Bikes are simple, and repairs are relatively inexpensive - it's when you start to upgrade that the bills rack-up! You're also guaranteed to be able to ride before you buy.

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posted by simonmb [360 posts]
17th May 2011 - 7:19

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I spent 30 miles on the fuji, it was fun, but the fat seatpost gave me a bit of a battering and the frame i was on was too small a 58 and I'm 193cm.
Look at the various fit calculators
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=FIT_CALCULATOR_INTRO
http://www.canyon.com/_uk/roadbikes/bike.html?b=2114
etc

Get a sense of top tube length, as that is the one that is hard to fit. Most online retailers have a 30 day return policy and maybe get some rollers to test out the bike on?

I'm in a similar place and look and pretty much the same bikes, maybe stretching up to the cube agree gtc, though the cube attempt looks great for 1000 too

cheers Gavin

Cannondale CAAD10, Condor Terra-X and an orange Brompton.
Ride for East London Velo

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posted by zzgavin [204 posts]
17th May 2011 - 22:12

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Simon E wrote:
simonmb wrote:
I really can't see the sense in advocating a purchase of a thousand pound first bike without sitting on it first!

OTOH some folk don't mind trying a £1,000 gamble based on what a few "internet forum people" say. Easy come, easy go Wink

... we have all been through the process... decided on one thing and then bought another, in a cyclists lifetime we will hopefully end up buying everything from from superbikes off the internet in a heart-beat - but we will all go through the process of annoying the crap out of LBS staff, forums and friends for weeks in the process... Smile ... and then buyt something different

1) the stealth looks great value and well worth considering

2) as does the focus

3) use the LBS experience more to see what you like and do not like, i.e. do you like shimano or sram, tarmac or secteur, short drop or other, and if something sets your heart on fire buy it. I would also use that experience to look at lower price products (see points 4 and 5)

4) I have a a top of the range tarmac and a bottom of the range allez, they are both great, the only difference is that the s-works just needed the tyres changing, the allez i would ideally upgrade the wheels as well, and maybe the odd groupset element (taper crank is just wrong, as is tiagra gears!)

5) i could quite happily live with something like the secteur you mention or its tarmac equivalent, eventually upgrading the wheels like everybody eventually ends up doing anyway, so you have to ask yourself is it worth the extra over the basic secteur and upgrading what is important to you???

now just go and buy what takes your fancy within your budget just because it looks nice, you like the paint or brand or something and get out and ride!

roadie come mountain biker come single speeder and back again

posted by cborrman [84 posts]
18th May 2011 - 18:29

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