Giant Defy 1 or Trek 2.3 or Boardman Team

by paulfitz76   January 26, 2012  

Hi guys, I am a recent convert to the joys of road cycling and want to purchase my first road bike, nothing too aggressive for around £1,000. I have narrowed it down to 3. The Giant Deft 1, Trek 2.3, Boardman Team (alloy).

Would love to hear from anyone who has purchased either and or has had a similar conundrum. Many thanks.

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Hi, I did the same last year and plumped for a defy 1. I love the bike and am very happy with how it rides. My grump would be with the giant shop I bought it from who have little or no Aftersales service. I had a couple of problems with a rogue rear wheel breaking spokes. And some times it took them weeks to fix it.

Cycling plus have just rated the defy 1 best in test.

I think if I had my time again I'd have gone for a Ribble bianco Sportif, worth a look in your list.

Best of luck, whatever you choose it'll be great fun

posted by Andywoo [24 posts]
26th January 2012 - 20:59

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I love my 2010 defy 2, despite it's plug ugly paint job, it's not it's looks that keep me coming back for more.

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posted by the_mikey [146 posts]
26th January 2012 - 21:08

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I was torn between the Giant and the Boardman. I loved both but was convinced by two friends who know a lot more about bikes than me that the Boardman was a lot of bike for the money.

I haven't regretted it - I'm having so much fun with it.

But I really loved the Defy 1 when I tested it and had I read the Cycling Plus article about sub £1000 bikes, I might have gone that way.

Don't think you can really lose out either way. I was told that the Giant had a more comfortable geometry.

I don't know much about the Trek bike - but they don't make bad bikes, do they? All three makes are excellent.

I guess being able to try a bike is the most important factor - and you might struggle there with Halfords, who I feel are the weak link in that particular chain.

But no regrets from me. Hope you have a lot of fun with your new bike.

posted by nudger [4 posts]
27th January 2012 - 16:02

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Like you, I was torn between the Boardman and the Trek. I went for the Trek because of the pre- and post-sales service my LBS could (and did) provide. My LBS took detailed body measurements and fed all the data into a computer, which then worked out all the height settings, etc for bars, saddle and so on. I've had the bike for about 18 months now and have not touched the original settings - they were absolutely spot on. As for the bike itself - superb for the money. Having come from a touring background, getting a decent road bike has transformed my riding. I've never had any doubt at all that I made the right decision in buying the Trek. Great on the hills, corners superbly, a joy on the flat. What more do you want?

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posted by cavasta [202 posts]
27th January 2012 - 20:57

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I'd buy from a LBS that will help you with the setup, so I'd go for whatever they stock at your most helpful LBS admittedly this is probably going to rule the Boardman out of the equation.

I haven't ridden any of them but I would imagine they are all good bikes for the money and if the shop will tweek the setup to fit you I'd buy the one they stock

Oh the Wilier laveredo was my choice 2 years ago when I had your current dilemma it's a good bike for similar money

posted by lazyusername [140 posts]
27th January 2012 - 21:34

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Many thanks guys. I hadn't thought about the Ribble and I must say based on the reviews it certainly is a compelling alternative.

I am new to this but from what I can tell the Boardman Team has slightly better componentry overall on it than both the Trek and Giant. Is this right?

The Ribble when specced with 105 seems to be the knock out choice, do you know of anyone's experiences with the bike - customer service issues aside?

posted by paulfitz76 [2 posts]
29th January 2012 - 17:35

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I'd say customer service issues are pretty important. IMHO it's not worth the hassle.

They're all excellent bikes with lots of R&D in them. It's a competitive market and they are all excellent. Buy the bike you prefer, even if it's down to the looks.

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posted by Simon E [1946 posts]
29th January 2012 - 21:34

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I have to agree with Simon E - customer service is very important. If something goes wrong with Ri(si)bble you are very much on your own.
Don't underestimate the value of buying from a good LBS - you will need their help in the years to come and they will take great care in putting your bike together which is something the chain stores and box shifters are very unlikely to do. It's well worth paying a little extra for the good care and attention of a quality LBS.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [309 posts]
30th January 2012 - 0:30

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Have had the Defy 1 for the last 4 months and having a ball. The thing that I can't get over is the lack of wear and tear compared to MTB! I have only changed the tyres to Gatorskins in 2000km (as the glass in Canberra on the roads gave me 5 punctures in 4 days - went with the recommendations of the peleton!)
The main reasons I went with the Defy was the test ride, but more importantly the relationship that I already had with the LBS. Very useful for help in the future - if you have a good lbs they will look after you as they know it will only be a matter of time before you are back for a new bike for you (or your wife/son/daughter/friends…!)

posted by tegski [4 posts]
31st January 2012 - 7:12

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Andywoo wrote:
...Cycling plus have just rated the defy 1 best in test...

Yeah, WONDERFUL, until you realise they don't make one for anyone taller than ~5'6".

The largest frame size is something like 58 cm, although there's no hint of that in the C+ review.

I'm quite amazed that at 6' plus, I can't seem to buy a bike 'off the peg', but must go 'bespoke', with all the cost & delay that entails. Specialized claim to make larger frames, but amazingly can't supply.

What is this, a sport for pygmies?

Another one off the list: I just wish they wouldn't waste my time having to read worthless reviews....

posted by Riggers [4 posts]
27th May 2012 - 21:23

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I have a boardman and the initial setup was not perfect but I did learn how to setup my Rival gears change break cables etc etc.

I have taken it into the store recently as I couldnt get my rear derailleur to shift properly and they changed the cable and sorted it for me. Seems to be running smooth.

I guess I'm saying it's good to learn how to repair and setup your bike but also that some of the folks at halfords know their stuff.

But anyway, had my boardman for 18 months and i'm still happy with it.

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
27th May 2012 - 21:45

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Riggers wrote:
I'm quite amazed that at 6' plus, I can't seem to buy a bike 'off the peg', but must go 'bespoke', with all the cost & delay that entails.

Rubbish. Giant frames use what they term 'compact' geometry, take a look at this chart:
http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-gb/technology/compactroad/45/
A decent shop will do a bikefit on every sale - check saddle height & setback, swap the stem if necessary and so on.

As for Specialized, sales apparently went through the roof with the warm weather in March/April and I was told that they can't keep up with demand for the most popular models.

If you think you're hard done by I guarantee that you wouldn't want to be 5'4" and hoping for a range of road bikes to choose from Plain Face

Riggers wrote:
I just wish they wouldn't waste my time having to read worthless reviews....

It's easy - don't buy it. In my experience C+ reviews are long on enthusiasm and short on nitty-gritty. Their 'best on test' means nothing, it'll probably come in 3rd and "disappointing" or "unremarkable" next time around, and to be honest today's bikes are so good anyway you'd struggle to unearth a lemon.

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posted by Simon E [1946 posts]
27th May 2012 - 22:24

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Andywoo wrote:

What is this, a sport for pygmies?

Ma-ate.

A few names for you:

Johan Van Summeren 6 foot 6
David Millar 6 foot 4
Olivier Kaisen 6 foot 5
Ryder Hesjedal 6 foot 2
Tyler Farrar 6 foot
Thomas Dekker 6 foot 2

So basically, get a Cervelo.

Even Wiggins is 6 foot 3!

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
28th May 2012 - 17:10

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How tall is Vandeburgh? Tallest pro I seem to remember? Thinking

Although Pozzovivo is 4'4!! Big Grin

I have a Boardman as my winter hack. The front wheel's spokes were not under any tension so needed a rebuild to stop them touching both brake blocks when I put the power down. Really good bike now!

posted by veseunr [281 posts]
28th May 2012 - 17:16

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vandenbergh is 6'6" too, big lad...

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7317 posts]
28th May 2012 - 17:32

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Feel a new thread coming on ....

Stijn is 199cm and Van Summeren is 198cm. (source: Wikipedia ...and that never lies Liar )

Does anyone know of a taller pro rider?! Thinking

posted by veseunr [281 posts]
28th May 2012 - 18:09

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Not taller, but Axel Merckx and Ale Ballan are quite tall.

Not to mention Magnus B. Surprise

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
28th May 2012 - 20:32

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I've got a boardman just now and its awesome (can't recommend it enough). I also know people who have Giant bikes and they are well happy with them too. Always had good service at Halfords, can't knock the guys. Some of my local bike shops are good too (some are not - bit of a mith that the LBS is always good in my opinion). Big Grin

posted by JLoSenior [1 posts]
29th May 2012 - 20:42

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Raleigh wrote:
Andywoo wrote:

What is this, a sport for pygmies?

Ma-ate.

A few names for you:

Johan Van Summeren 6 foot 6
David Millar 6 foot 4
Olivier Kaisen 6 foot 5
Ryder Hesjedal 6 foot 2
Tyler Farrar 6 foot
Thomas Dekker 6 foot 2

So basically, get a Cervelo.

Even Wiggins is 6 foot 3!

Ryder Hesjedal's seatpost was probably longer than his seat tube though...

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

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posted by Cooks [483 posts]
29th May 2012 - 22:11

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CC Folk,

Thanks for the advice & encouragement - especially the list of 'normal' (ie over 6' 4"!) riders who've succeeded in cycling.

I'm doing a 5-day 510 mile charity ride in September and currently have only a 1978 Holdsworth I bought new to train on. I hadn't used it for at least 20 years, but it's been fettled and now doing runs with my local club. Combined age of rider & machine: 94!

I've 'bombed' so far in finding a 62cm or better frame size with Cube, Giant, (bit of a misnomer there!), Specialized and yesterday Cannondale, whose CAAD10 was received very well in the reviews I read. Even the importers can't help. How can they run out - it's only JUST June! The 2013 C range is mooted for release in July, but that's far from guaranteed.

I like titanium and approached Enigma, but they can't fit their build time into the time available. I'm enquiring about Van Nicholas this weekend at 'Fat Birds' in Hunstanton.

posted by Riggers [4 posts]
1st June 2012 - 8:05

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Maybe take a look at Trek? From what I remember when I was buying mine most models come in a 62 with occasional ones coming in a 64. For what it's worth I've got a 64 cm Trek 1.5 which I reckon is a tad too big for me on reflection (I'm 6' 4")

posted by pirnie [184 posts]
1st June 2012 - 9:32

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Riggers wrote:
How can they run out - it's only JUST June! The 2013 C range is mooted for release in July, but that's far from guaranteed.

Dealers and importers won't want loads of unsold 2012 bikes knocking around. Giant, Kona and others have found this happen before and discounting hits both margins and brand value.

Have you thought of Condor? Their frames go to 64cm: http://www.condorcycles.com/our-bike
One of the RCS team riders, Luke Grivell-Mellor, is 6'5" and runs huuuge frames.

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posted by Simon E [1946 posts]
1st June 2012 - 12:56

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Simon:

I can understand the desire not to want 'leftovers', but in June???

Apologies, but the Condor link doesn't work for me.

My regular dealer advised today that Peugot may be introducing a new range. Anyone know anything about that?

posted by Riggers [4 posts]
1st June 2012 - 20:20

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Riggers wrote:
I can understand the desire not to want 'leftovers', but in June???

Hey, don't look at me! All I know is that it has been an uncommonly busy spring at the LBS and they were told popular models & sizes were very low or sold out in March.

Someone or something ate the trailing 's' from the Condor link. Grrr.

http://www.condorcycles.com/our-bikes

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posted by Simon E [1946 posts]
1st June 2012 - 21:46

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Simon:

1. Link now works fine: thanks.

2. Probably stoopid question, I know, BUT 'LBS'? 'Local Bike Shop', perhaps, or is it a brand name? As I said, STOOPID. Sad

posted by Riggers [4 posts]
1st June 2012 - 21:58

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LBS is widely used as shorthand for one's local bike shop.

It's not a stupid question - you either know or you don't. And now you know it too Smile

I see it is even mentioned on Wikipedia, citing the glossary of the hugely respected Sheldon Brown:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_bike_shop

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posted by Simon E [1946 posts]
1st June 2012 - 22:34

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