What Road bike for £1500

by markkdonnelly   June 17, 2011  


I am looking to get a new road bike. Im fairly new to cycling although have become hooked since starting 9 months ago. Every penny and spare minute has become cycling!

I bought a Genesis Aether 10. I use it for my commute and my runs on my days off; around 25-60 mile (depending on weather, time etc)

I'm now aiming to get a new road bike and relegate the Genesis to my Winter/Glasgow-pot-hole-avoiding-bike.

I cycle between 75-150 miles per week (50 commute) and this is likely to only increase.

I'm looking in the region of £1500 and at this price im lost. Too much choice and too many components to understand for a newbie!! Any advice would help...what to avoid? Value for money? Etc etc

From a purely aesthetic principle i love bikes with a curved top bar and in particular De Rosa, Ribble and Wilier. I will be joining a club and becoming more involved and serious so this bike is intended to last through a more demanding use.

Many thanks for your time.

19 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Right, i'm gonna be brutally honest here, i really dont see the point in these posts, because everyone has a different opinion on whats good and whats not, Also everyone is an individual, you need what works for you, if that wasn't the case, everyone would have the same bike

Get yourself along to the Evans in Glasgow and get trying some bikes

I would say that i would not be using a 1500 quid bike for daily commute in the first place, but if you are going to, make sure you get some decent insurance

If you are going to go for the commute option on it, you dont want one that looks hugely expensive or eye catching, thats just going to attract thieves

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9289 posts]
17th June 2011 - 23:58


Given the amount of cycling you do, do you have any idea of what sort of components you want on your bike? Start with that and find a bike that suits your budget.

the_mikey's picture

posted by the_mikey [153 posts]
18th June 2011 - 0:31


Firstly if you don't see the point in these posts then why bother commenting?!

You clearly missed the point of my post clearly stating I was relegating my Genesis to my commuter/winter bike. I was not spending 1500 on a commuter. And yes I do have insurance regardless.

This bike is intended for a serious bike for sportives and club runs as I progress. All I was after was a bit of advice from fellow experienced cyclists as I am lost when it comes to compinents and perhaps a bit of advice on what would be good value for money etc etc. I have been to many cycling shops for some advice and thought a forum like this might also help. Clearly I was wrong. I'm well aware of taste differs as does purpose. Consider this post removed in due course.


posted by markkdonnelly [4 posts]
18th June 2011 - 0:42


Mark, don't give up on the forum so easily.

Firstly, fit is everything. Go around LBS's trying bikes and seeing what fits, and try to grab a shop assistant who knows his/her arse from his/her elbow to fit a bike for you.

Components - everything is about the same at that price bracket, and anything you particularly don't like can be changed for a small sacrifice of ££ in a few months.

I would say go and get a fitting and some recommendations from various LBSs, and then post links to the recommended bikes on here. Some people will chuck advice out from there based on componentry and experience with the brands and specific bikes involved.


posted by stewieatb [299 posts]
18th June 2011 - 1:23


Mark, sorry if it sounded offence, i guess i just read it wrong

I'm now aiming to get a new road bike and relegate the Genesis to my Winter/Glasgow-pot-hole-avoiding-bike.

I cycle between 75-150 miles per week (50 commute) and this is likely to only increase.

I took at bit as you were going to use your Genesis as a winter bike, i did see the pot hole bit, but then when you listed the mileage and included the commute, i got the impression that you were going to use your new bike to commute

Sorry, i take back what i said whole heartily, dont give up on the forums just cause i got something wrong

I have been looking at new bikes this year, but because i'm in no hurry, i'm going to leave it till next years bikes come out and the ones i'm looking at become cheaper

I have been looking around the same budget as you and cant decide between Shimano and Camp, but i have been looking at BMC Streetracer SR01 and Wilier Izoard Xenon

But apart from what advice you may get on here, you best bet is still to go round shops and have rides on the bikes your thinking about. If your also not in a huge hurry, hold off until the end of the year when the new 2012 bikes get put out and you may just get a bargain Thinking

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9289 posts]
18th June 2011 - 3:06


Hi Mark, I recommend that you get the best components for that price range. For example, I bought a Univega (German brand) aluminium bike in 2009 for just shy of £1,000 mainly because it had Shimano Ultegra components! At the time I could not find the same components for that price point anywhere else. I also bought this at Evans annual sale around September time (best time to buy a decent bike at a decent price from Evans) - always ask for a discount from Evans too, they tend to be flexible!!.... So I suggest you look for the best components for your price point and not worry about the make of the frame etc so much because at £1,500 you are not going to get a Carbon frame and most, if not all the frames you will look at will be aluminium or similar. I also recommend you aim for high end SRAM, from my experience much crispier change on the gears! Hope that helps.

posted by No1 [22 posts]
18th June 2011 - 7:53


If I had £1500 to spend on a bike I'd be very tempted by a Boardman Team Carbon it's an incredibly good bike for the money and you'd have enough of your budget left over to put towards a set of lighter wheels - not that's there much wrong with the Aksiums http://www.boardmanbikes.com/road/road_team_carbon.html

Or, looking to stretch my budget a bit the other way the Cannondale SuperSix 105 again an absolute stonker for the money at £1799. You can read our review here http://road.cc/content/review/29511-cannondale-supersix-105.

Oh, and a note for anyone else wanting bike buying advice PLEASE ASK FOR IT, lots of people around here are happy to share their knowledge and we certainly are.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4199 posts]
18th June 2011 - 9:43


Gkam84 wrote:
Right, i'm gonna be brutally honest here, i really dont see the point in these posts, because everyone has a different opinion on whats good and whats not, Also everyone is an individual, you need what works for you, if that wasn't the case, everyone would have the same bike

I agree, but too many people don't want to be individuals and want to be told what to buy.

My recommendation is what I put in another thread on Thursday:


And I'm confident it's the right answer.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2294 posts]
18th June 2011 - 10:30


I saty in Kirkcaldy. They have a Boardman carbon pro which they have lost the wheels for for £650, which you might get dor £600 with negotiation, not sure of the size. All you need is a cassette, wheels and tyers, and you are away for way under £1500. Give them a ring.

posted by thefatcyclist [584 posts]
18th June 2011 - 10:52


the boardman in Halfords kirkcaldy is a team carbon with SRAM Rival. large frame size.

posted by thefatcyclist [584 posts]
18th June 2011 - 12:10


As No1 said, if you can wait a couple of months till September and you're not itching to get your hands on the most up-to-date model, you can get some really good deals on the outgoing year's models.

I got my Colnago Arte three years ago that way, back when they were equipped with Ultegra SL, a third off the list price brought it well under £1,500 and into my price range.

So holding on for a couple of months could reap dividends and leave you some spare £££s to spend on other kit, or bring a bike that might currently be beyond your reach into your price bracket.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [9229 posts]
18th June 2011 - 13:55


Thanks everyone for your comments and time.

Seems to be the advice is get out there and try as many bikes as i can which i will do. I tried a Cannondale Caad10 today which i really liked. It was coming in at £1200 and the suggestion was to spend the rest of my budget upgrading the wheels. It was shimano 105 and the advice from the sales guy seemed to be not to concern myself too much with the extra ££ for the Ultegra for my personal needs.

i will of course get out and try more and more bikes before committing any ££ .. and get a proper fitting.

If i can hold off September i will do! I'm not in too much of a hurry but would like to treat myself for this summmer .... I'm a little impatient so we'll see Smile



posted by markkdonnelly [4 posts]
19th June 2011 - 0:25


Mkk, further to my previous comment, if you are using the bike for mainly commuting, then I would change what I said earlier and recommend not going for high end components eg Shimano Ultegra, mainly because from my experience, I had to change the cassette, chain etc as it got worn badly during the winter months (didn't clean it as often as I should have!)... it cost a mint for the new high end stuff. So if you get lower end components then changing it later will be cheaper (also clean it weekly in winter!!). If you intend on racing, doing TT's or just getting into some competition then it's worth going for the higher end stuff. Which is why I made my choice with the Ultegra as I race/ride with Addiscombe CC.

Once you get into it, you will realise you want a carbon frame with top end stuff (the stage I am at, but waiting for the sales in September!)

Also, good advice from others here re wheels, they make a massive difference.... I got new ones and I felt the difference immediately.

and also, as Simon_MacMichael said, if you can wait until September sales at Evans cycle, they reduce their bikes by decent margins, go in, ask for an extra 10% to 15% (if you don't ask, you don't get!) and then pay over 12 to 18 months interest free! too easy geeza! Big Grin

posted by No1 [22 posts]
19th June 2011 - 9:48


I'd been looking at bikes around/below the L1200 range so can share a few generic models but they may not suite you since I was looking mostly at more 'comfortable' sportive bikes.

Under L1200, I looked at:
1. Cannondale Synapse (sportive geometry, most likely buying this after converting to triple)
2. Specialized Secteur Elite (sportive geometry w/ apex)
3. Cannondale CAAD8 (race geometry)
4. Bianchi VIA Nirone 7 (marketed as sportive/C2C but I found it to be more race geometry)
5. Wilier Triestina (race)
6. Scott Speedster S20 (race)

Between 1201 & 1500:
1. Cube Streamer
2. Specialized Allez Comp (race - really liked this!)
3. Genesis Equilibrium 20 (sportive - best of lot if you like steel)
4. Specialized Secteur Comp (sportive - my erstwhile top favourite)
5. Pearson Pave (sportive)
7. Scott CR1 Comp (race - really liked this one too but both wallet & back couldn't afford it)
8. Cube Agree GTC Pro

L1501 - 1700
1. Specialized Roubaix Elite SL2 (sportive - best bike for money!)
2. Cannondale Synapse Carbon SR (sportive)
3. Eddy Merckx EMX 1
4. Pearson Audax (sportive / audax)

Other than these, I also looked at / test rode a couple of Treks - 2.1, 2.3 & a 2.5 - all were good and racy but not really comfortable for me.

One thing I did observe while looking around was that this year's Specialized alu-alloy models cost a bit more than their equivalents from most other competitors. I felt (the harder to find) Giant, Scott & Cannondale to be the more price competitive on a like-to-like basis but then they are harder to find while a Trek or Specialized are stocked by pretty much everyone.

On components, in that range, I'd suggest go with 105 or equivalent from Campy/SRAM. The range of gears and compact v/s double v/s triple depends on your riding prowess and where you'll be riding.

On frame material, not sure if bikes with good carbon frames and a 105 or eqvlt that would come under 1500, so I'd still suggest go for an alu frame.

Other than frame & groupset, the most important thing to look at would be wheels but that again depends on whether you are looking at hard climbing sportives or fast races & club rides.

Finally, as most people will tell you - your budget, your preference of top tube shape or brand, your choice of groupset and frame material will help you make a shortlist. Which one to buy should come on which feels like 'your bike' when you take out on a test ride Smile

Good Luck.


rbx's picture

posted by rbx [243 posts]
19th June 2011 - 12:27


No1 wrote:

Once you get into it, you will realise you want a carbon frame with top end stuff

I agree with the top end stuff, but not the carbon frame, as everyone has different riding styles, carbon is not for everyone, i stay well clear of it because it just doesn't work for me at all

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9289 posts]
19th June 2011 - 19:51


Wink I have a willer la triestina and when I was choosing what frame material to go for I wanted originally carbon after most people were saying you get a softer ride.when I test rode the willer which is Alu frame but with carbon seat stay I loved the ride and fit,it just goes to show that you need to test the bikes yourself and take advise but listen to your own heart.Oh and I tested a few bikes that I shortlisted.All the best finding your new bike

posted by marriott [6 posts]
19th June 2011 - 19:53


Yea the Wililer Triestina is def on my shortlist! Not found any LBS nearby stocking one though!

No1.. the bike wont be used at all for commuting. I am keeping my Genesis Aether 10 for commuting and winter bike. Does the job nicely on my 10mile return work commute..although i am upgrading the brake pads on it this week!

With regards to Carbon frame, i think i'm swaying towards an alu frame rather than an entry level carbon frame. Advice in the LBS was ££ are better spent on the alu fram and better components than giving extra towards the entry level carbon.

I'm off work next week and i will be getting out and about and trying as many bikes as i can. I would like to hold off for the sales but i as i am ready to buy and the nice weather is just around the corner (hopefully) then i fear impulse will get the better of me Smile

I consider myslef relatively new to cycle so many thanks for your advice an comments! I will probably be back on another thread when i've perhaps narrowed it down for some more thoughts Smile



posted by markkdonnelly [4 posts]
19th June 2011 - 20:49


My first road bike was an alu Wilier Lavaredo with carbon fork and stays and I loved it-really light, comfy ride but someone tried to nick it and buckled the top tube so I went to a less flashy steel frame.

My second proper road bike was an entry level carbon Wilier Mortirolo that I picked up second hand but in as new condition for about half what your budget is and it was amazingly stiff and with full Veloce so reasonable components too. I would definitely recommend it for comfortable but sporty feeling.

Whether you go for alu/carbon I'd try a few out to know what size and style you want and then keep your eye out on Bikeradar classifieds/Gumtree/Ebay for a few weeks as you could get a lot more bang for your buck that way (providing you don't get mown down by a BMW after a few days of owning it like me) Another alu bike I've heard people praise is the Cannondale CAAD bikes and you seem to be able to pick them up pretty cheap too.

...  Soyez Realiste-Demandez L'impossible ...

posted by Gregoire500 [138 posts]
19th June 2011 - 21:25


If you can make the journey I think the bike shop in Bridge of Allen sells weilliers but id ring ahead. Also I would recomend getting properly fitted, again a trek but Edinburgh tri shop seem to do a good fitting service for £30 and you get the money back if you buy from them. More locally dales seems to have some sort of bike fitting set up but dunno how it works.

posted by miffed [168 posts]
20th June 2011 - 22:02