First Road Bike

by malps04   June 19, 2012  

Hi Guys,
Can anyone give me some advice? I have been riding a hybrid to work for the past year and want to upgrade to a road bike to avoid the constant overtaking I am suffering! I have a budget of around £400, what is the best option for me to go for?
Many thanks
Chris

22 user comments

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Specialized Allez is always popular and a reasonable price for beginners. Aluminium frame with a carbon fork (absorbs some vibration off the road) is about standard entry level for most road bike companies. Go to the LBS im sure they'll be able to help. Theres a wealth of bike companies out there all offering similar bikes for that price with similar level kit/componentry, so shopping around could get confusing. Entry level generally up to about £600 for all brands. Hope thats helpful Smile Thats how I see it anyway - I bought my first road bike two and a half years ago for what its worth.

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posted by samjackson54 [60 posts]
19th June 2012 - 16:30

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Whereabouts do you live? The Edinburgh Bicycle Company do a very good, affordable range of bikes. Failing that my advice would be, in your budget range, look out for last year models. Winstanleys in Wigan have some very good reductions on older models - but to be honest you may even struggle with £400. For an extra £100 you will be able to start to afford a half decent bike as opposed to a very average one.

posted by Some Fella [722 posts]
19th June 2012 - 16:34

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Can't you ask me something easier like what is the meaning of life? Or what is at the bottom of a black hole? There are a lot of bikes out there! Generally people are likely to want to upgrade after a while. So get the best frame you can afford; that way you can upgrade the components without ending up with expensive components on a cheap frame. Ask yourself questions like, "do I want mudguards?" If yes, get a frame with mudguard eyes. "Am I going to tackle steep hills?" If yes, then think about gearing (triple v. compact v. standard v. fixed etc)+ lots of other factors; Good luck!

posted by SideBurn [765 posts]
19th June 2012 - 16:34

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If you've got a Decathlon near you take a look at the Triban 3. I've seen good reviews from cyclists using them for commuting and at £300 well inside your budget.

Road Bike Recommendation

www.roadbikerecommendation.co.uk

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posted by RoadBikeRecomme... [4 posts]
19th June 2012 - 16:42

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You will get plenty of makes mentioned tbh. Carrera do good entry level bikes too.
Do you want new or second hand?

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
19th June 2012 - 16:48

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Allez or decathlon.

Or Raleigh Airlite 100, CRACKING BIKE!

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
19th June 2012 - 17:29

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I'm pondering the same decision wanting to upgrade from my old mountain bike. I like the look of the Ribble Winter Trainer which is set up as a winter bike/commuter with mud guards etc and is less racy than an Allez or similar, for me I'd rather have comfort than speed at that price point and be more likely to put the miles in.

The 'quality' brands all seem to start out at around the £500-£600 mark. At £400 you're more likely to have to pick something up which is older, second hand or from a smaller or less well known brand.

Alternatively, if you can wait till the end of July-early September places like Evans start trying to clear out this year's stock ahead of bringing in the new ranges, you can get a heavy discount on these bikes if you time it right although I'm always getting emails from Evans advertising 30% discounts or more on some brands.

Oh, and Halfords always seem to try and push their Carrera and Boardman bikes during the Tour de France in July so you might find a good deal on one of them in a few weeks.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
19th June 2012 - 18:34

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Bought my first road bike earlier this year. Sought advice from a local bike shop (Dave Mellors in Shrewsbury) and ended up with a Compact Allez after considering Boardman, Raleigh and a Giant.

Seems a great bike for the money (around £550 on a bike scheme but have seen them cheaper). Good range of gears, very comfy for a newbie to road cycles, responsive and light.

Beginner roadie, purely for pleasure. Loving those Shropshire lanes Smile Riding from London to Brussels via Amsterdam for charity in May. 2013

posted by lob [18 posts]
19th June 2012 - 18:42

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Thanks guys, I will be buying through the cycle scheme at work which does restrict things slightly, but i think I may hold on as suggested to see what deals can be had when the new models come out. I'll keep posted on what I eventually go for.
Thanks again.
Chris

posted by malps04 [5 posts]
20th June 2012 - 12:17

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Just looked at the Triban 3, looks cracking value for money, may have a winner....

posted by malps04 [5 posts]
20th June 2012 - 14:34

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+1 for Airlite and they can often be had on a deal although maybe not on the C2W.
Stretch that budget if you can - you are making a long term investment and as a commuter you are saving money on public transport or a car. You really do get a lot more for your money if you can aim for the higher end of the C2W scheme. If you can get a bike with half decent wheels and a groupset that isn't 2300 or Sora you'll love the easier operation and extra speed. Good luck with the search.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [307 posts]
20th June 2012 - 15:11

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For that money, I would go second hand.

In the car world, new Kia or second hand Merc?

There are some excellent Boardman's for £400 second hand.

posted by veseunr [279 posts]
20th June 2012 - 15:31

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veseunr wrote:
For that money, I would go second hand.

In the car world, new Kia or second hand Merc?

There are some excellent Boardman's for £400 second hand.

Good advice, but that wouldn't work on the C2W scheme. Although, the savings offered through C2W aren't as much as they used to be and you may be just as well getting a cheap sale or 2nd hand bike outside of C2W on a 0% credit card or short term interest free loan and paying it off over 12-24 months.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
20th June 2012 - 16:22

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I was going to say the same as drheaton. The really good bikes start above £500. If you're paying over several months you should be able to find the extra.

I'm not trying to say an Airlite or Dawes Giro is rubbish, but in terms of the overall package you usually get what you pay for. Wheels and drivetrain are where the biggest compromises are made and, while even cheap hoops aren't made of cheese, most people can feel the difference. Good stuff lasts longer too.

Don't forget a decent lock and insurance (household contents should be sufficient but check the small print). And take any overtime that's offered because once you're bitten by the bug you'll be spending plenty more - pumps, tools, clothing, upgrades, gadgets...

Wink

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posted by Simon E [1916 posts]
20th June 2012 - 16:47

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I think you should reset your expectations about a change of bike stopping the overtaking though. Unless you're a young racer you'll always be getting overtaken by those that are. What you never see are the people who are behind you and slower. They just get further away.

posted by robert_obrien [117 posts]
20th June 2012 - 16:59

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Just for info, I used the cycle-to-work scheme a few years ago and three shops I went into would not offer their discounts when they found out I wanted to use the scheme to buy. They all said they needed to charge the "initial full/ book" price, I imagine its still the same but check first.

I ended up buying a higher spec than I would have if I were paying directly myself!

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posted by Comrade [135 posts]
22nd June 2012 - 12:56

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After much thought, I have decided I may well push the boat a bit more and am looking at the Giant Defy 5 Compact. Had a test today and fits really well, hopefully this is a good choice?
Thanks to all for your input.

posted by malps04 [5 posts]
22nd June 2012 - 16:46

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In my experience Giant road bikes are excellent value and hopefully you will get good support from the shop where you buy it from.

Hope you enjoy riding it, let us know how you get on.

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posted by Simon E [1916 posts]
23rd June 2012 - 17:53

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Congrats. Welcome to the slippery slope lol.

I have seen Giant do very well in tests recently so you should be fine.

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
23rd June 2012 - 19:38

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Ok, I have narrowed down to 4 bikes that I like the look of and fall into my price range.
Giant Defy 4/5, GT GTR Series 5 and the Specialized Allez Compact. Any advice/input will be very much appreciated. Thanks

posted by malps04 [5 posts]
25th June 2012 - 15:31

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I am spesh biased so will avoid commenting on makes but what I would say is all should be available for test riding from those brands so ride and decide.

Remember many shops have offers on at 'tour' time, for eg 10% of price in freebies, etc.

They also sell out of popular sizes at this time too so I would get those test rides in as soon as you can.

Whatever you get I am sure you'll enjoy.

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
25th June 2012 - 15:54

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Don't forget that through the C2W scheme you can also buy safety and security kit (helmet, locks etc) and clothing (including shoes and stuff like that) which you might not already have.

Could be worth factoring some of those into your plans if you want to make the most of C2W.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
25th June 2012 - 16:37

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