A racey bike for a grand, new or 2nd hand?

by acjim   January 28, 2012  

Hi, I'm hoping to get some advice, I'm looking to splash around a grand on a road bike for Summer use. I already have a cx / tour bike for my year round commute and the occasional cx race, what I want is something racey for Summer weekend rides, longer stuff (centuries etc) and perhaps even a beginners road race / TT.

What I don't want is a long headtube'd "cruisey" bike (seem to be all the rage) and it seems that most entry level frames go for this style. I also have no requirement for mudguards, racks or anything other than a couple of bottles.

I want something sharp, zippy and tending to the aggressive, i can use my commuter if i want a comfy armchair

So should I go new or get something a few years old?

I'm also a bit fussy about style and would prefer something colourful - not too keen on the monochrome trend.

If I had a ton of cash my money would go on something like a De-Rosa king.

So any ideas?


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you can get something very nice new for £1k

in that price range i looked at:

Cannondale Caad8 -> got a great review recently http://road.cc/content/review/50515-cannondale-caad8-tiagra
Boardman Team alloy
Specialized Allez
Giant TCR (2011 models)

i ended up getting the 2012 Giant Defy which is great -> although it doesn't really fit your brief. Would have gone for the Caad8 if it had fitted better though.

Might also be worth looking into Ribble and Planet-X

Second hand you can get a decent spec carbon bike like a Giant TCR advanced, Boardman Team Carbon, Kuota Kharma etc. for £800-£1000 on Ebay

You're basically looking at the next step up if you go second hand -> similar finishing kit just with a carbon frame.

posted by ALIHISGREAT [111 posts]
28th January 2012 - 17:50

1 Like

If you go Ribble, you can get an alloy-framed road bike based on their Carbon Sportive Bianco with full Shimano 105 (compact or triple) in this price range.

You can get the Sportive Bianco itself with Tiagra for a smidge under the magic £1K


Another one to consider, if you want a bit of class is a Cinelli Experience - Wiggle's doing them for under £1000 with Campag Veloce

Cut price De Rosa? Same frame (allegedly) as the R838 on the Ribble Stealth...

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [412 posts]
28th January 2012 - 18:26


Thanks chaps, the CAAD8 and CAAD10 are on my list, although cannondale's colours on their entry level bikes are a little dull. Is the Ribble Sportive quite racey then? Anything that says sportive worries me that the geometry is relaxed (naive I know).

actually, just read the cycling plus review online and it sounds pretty sorted.

I had looked at the planet x alu team as it seems to be marketed as a race bike - I've got on well with on-one mtb's in the past so that's definitely in the mix.

2nd hand wise I had my eye on a BH G4 with Ultegra but it's sold Sad Bit of an unknown (for me at least) too.

posted by acjim [29 posts]
28th January 2012 - 19:52


If your going second hand, you can get something much better spec'd for £1000

But at the moment, something like this is nice BMC Streetracer 2011


Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8865 posts]
28th January 2012 - 20:18


We've got a Carrera Virago in at the mo. £999 for a full carbon frame and 105 groupset. test coming soon...

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7386 posts]
28th January 2012 - 20:29


Is that the new Limited Edition one Dave? I can see it being a popular C2W one this year

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8865 posts]
28th January 2012 - 20:43


I ride a Felt z85 and its lush, but if you have a grand to spend look at the z75 which is the next model up.

Personally for what you get for your money it knocks the spots off a Specialized.

‘It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing.’

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posted by stumps [2762 posts]
28th January 2012 - 21:50


dave_atkinson wrote:
We've got a Carrera Virago in at the mo. £999 for a full carbon frame and 105 groupset. test coming soon...

You beat me to it Dave. Race geometry, lighweight and great finishing kit, the Virago is where I'd spend my money.

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posted by stuke [313 posts]
28th January 2012 - 22:38

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According to the Cycling Plus February edition Road Test the Carrera scored 3 and a half stars.

Highs = Impressively light, smooth riding and future proofed carbon frame and fork considering the price and the complete component package.

Lows = The heavy wheels and soft frame build mean a hint of hesitation when you put down the power.

Buy If = You're after a smooth riding but traditionally positioned bike with great kit on a lightweight, up to date chassis.

Verdict = Impressively light and well equipped, but lacking a little spark when you push it.

The bike they recommended for the Grand mark was the Giant Defy 1 which scored 4 and half stars.

Highs = Superb chassis creates a responsive but flowing ride backed up by a balanced handlingand excellent components for the money.

Lows = The wheels are okay for now but te frame and component quality mean it's worth upgrading to somethin glighter.

Buy If = You want the best riding bike we know of for £1000

Verdict = Superbly responsive yet fluid ride backed up with an excellent spec for the money.

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posted by Darrenm72 [5 posts]
28th January 2012 - 23:27


Yeah I seen that to, haven't ridden the Giant so can't comment but in terms of acceleration and top end speed the only limiting factor with the Carrera is the compact gearing. On a spirited chaingang last weekend the Virago held its own no problem, even at 40+mph on the flat (tailwind admittedly Smile ), plus its very, very comfortable for four to five hour rides

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posted by stuke [313 posts]
28th January 2012 - 23:45

Darrenm72's picture

posted by Darrenm72 [5 posts]
28th January 2012 - 23:49


My wife bought herself a 2011 model Cannondale caad 8 105 for £750 yesterday. There are some great deals out there.

I'm not jealous at all Liar

posted by FMOAB [233 posts]
29th January 2012 - 12:43


Planet X Pro Carbons are often listed at £999 and I have never found anyone who complained, I love mine with Ultegra.

Never ridden SRAM so can't comment but this is the current offer. Worth keeping an eye on though as it seems to change frequently and is customisable:


Downhill bikes don't make you cool.


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posted by charliemac74 [169 posts]
29th January 2012 - 18:19


Being a bit of tart for spec the following 2nd hand bikes have caught my eye, any opinions?

Wilier Izoard

Older Felt F3

The F3 is pretty high spec but I can't find any reviews, the Wilier seems well regarded.

posted by acjim [29 posts]
29th January 2012 - 23:03


That Felt F3 looks decent, but dont touch the Wilier with a barge pole, any carbon thats had a break, even with professional repair is never as strong and he's asking well over the odds considering

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8865 posts]
29th January 2012 - 23:59


Caad10 if you can get one still in a sale. I've got the ultegra version and it really is awesome, and much less worrying than second hand carbon!

posted by MattT53 [127 posts]
30th January 2012 - 12:20