New road bike

by wjputt   August 17, 2012  

I am looking to buy a new bike. I intend, probably being a bit optimistic here, up to £2500. I already have a 20 + year old Brian Rourke 531 frame road bike [it is a tourer really] and a 20 + year old Specialized mountain bike. I prefer the road to the off road. I am cycling to get fit and I hope to cycle to work occasionally [not on the new bike yet though] with a train journey as well. Not sure if now is the time to get the new bike or wait until the spring/summer. I want to have everything included for the £2500 not just frame. My plan is to try and ride as much as possible during the autumn winter and also to get on some sportives next year. Any advice is welcome. Which is a good frame, which is best group set etc please. Thanks in advance for any advice offered.

27 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Great - we love this kind of question: Don't expect a definitive answer, just lots of opinions Smile

I'm a RibbleFan of massive proportions (the fandom, although I am a bit of a chubby) and have recently bought one of their excellent R872 frames (formally known as the Stealth) - I chose a Campagnolo Athena compact groupset and Campagnolo Scirocco wheels. For under £2K I have, what I feel is a perfect, full carbon Sportive machine. I also have a Ribble Audax bike (with Shimano 105) for days where the weather's not so clement.

Wouldn't recommend the Stealth as a year-round bike, though (although I'm inclined to take mine out in all weathers, I guess I'll relent towards October)

For £2.0K you can now get on the electronic shifting bandwaggon with the Canyon AL 90 http://road.cc/content/review/56176-canyon-ultimate-al-90-di2

Probably best to visit you LBS to see what they have on offer as the 'summer' draws to a close: Also check Wiggle and CRC to see what end of season sales are going on. You can get plenty of bang for your buck.

Hope that helps - see below for contradictions and conflicting opinions Smile

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [414 posts]
17th August 2012 - 12:57

2 Likes

As Andy alludes to so well this can be a 'how long is a piece of string' question.

That said, 2 things spring to mind. What frame material do you want/prefer?
Also, do you have any brand that appeals?

I had a slightly higher budget earlier in the year but ended up saving a whole chunk as well as a brand I like, Specialized, so it was win / win in my book.

I did know what brands I liked though and was pretty sure carbon and racy were top priorities. Plus I had an alu frame Spesh already which could do the winter / bad weather thing.

As for groupsets, again like bike brands, everyone has a preference. For me Shimano. It just works. Are you interested in electronic shifting?

Keep us posted whatever you opt for.

posted by Super Domestique [1653 posts]
17th August 2012 - 13:22

1 Like

Advice is the same as for a buyer looking in other price brackets:

Visit a few shops (including Halfords as Boardman range are superb value), have a look and see what they recommend. Choose the one that fits you, that you like best and feel you will enjoy owning and riding. For that kind of money you should find an excellent carbon frame from any number of brands with top quality components.

Don't get too hung up on spec levels, and anyway you may be able to upgrade wheels or swap some parts you're not keen on. Bear in mind that Sram, Campag and Shimano shifters all operate in slightly different ways but in the end most modern bikes are excellent.

If you're looking to ride through the winter you may want to consider something that leans towards comfort rather than racy geometry and will have room for mudguards (or at least be able to fit Crud Roadracers or SKS Raceblade Longs comfortably). You could consider a secondhand bike or something around £500-600 for year-round use then, come the spring, splash out on a more highly specced one for better weather.

If you don't already have any, decent cycling clothing will make as big a difference to the experience as anything, especially at the the contact points.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2055 posts]
17th August 2012 - 17:25

1 Like

Mentioned these before but i love Felt bikes from USA. Pound for pound (money wise) you could do a lot worse. I have a Felt and they are lovely to ride and seem to eat the miles without any problems.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2845 posts]
17th August 2012 - 19:32

1 Like

CERVELO CERVELEO CERVELO

So many options:

1). Alu Aero Road - S1

Want the best aluminium frame money can buy?
The daddy of aero frames. (formerly known as Soloist)
Used in the Pro Peleton until as recently as 2004.
(I've got one).
If you get this, people will give you the recognition that you have taste aplenty.

Frame - Between £800 and £1000 depending on where you buy it and what size you are

Gruppo - You could get some Ui2 off Ribble (full digital ultegra) for another grand.

Wheels and Finishing kit - For £500, some Planet x r50's and 3T Arx Pro. Money left over for saddle and your favourite tyres.

Big Grin

2). Carbon Aero Road - S2

Pretty much the same as the S1 but Carbon.
Used as the Soloist carbon after the S1 was phased out in the WorldTour, and still used as the S2 this year.

The frame is about £1500, so you wouldn't be able to afford as good a gruppo, wheels and f-kit.

This frame would guarantee you a lot of taste, perhaps more than the S1 would.

Perhaps.

3). Carbon 'normal' road R3

Errm, you'd have to get a 2010 model, but this is well known for being the best bike in the world that's not in the S series, or an R5 or a P5 or 4.

It's pretty good really.

1500 squidz, same story as the S2 in terms of other components.

4). Get something else.

Not recommended.

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1733 posts]
17th August 2012 - 20:48

1 Like

Oh yeah, I forgot:

It's a well known fact that Ui2 is the only recommended shimano groupset.

Never buy Campagnolo, be careful as it's often market as "Campag," or "Campy." Beware that these are all the same thing, and if anyone speaks recommends it, then they clearly know nothing about anything and should be ignored.

All SRAM groupsets are fantastic, however Rival and Force offer the best value/performance/weight/longevity ratios.

That is all.

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1733 posts]
17th August 2012 - 20:53

1 Like

Raleigh wrote:
Never buy Campagnolo, be careful as it's often market as "Campag," or "Campy." Beware that these are all the same thing, and if anyone speaks recommends it, then they clearly know nothing about anything and should be ignored.

That's me, that is Wink

Though you won't ever find me shortening it to "Campy". Yuck!

The only experience I have of the Italian marque is that a friend has 9 speed Campagnolo on his old bike and hates it, and neither of us likes the thumbshifters (Shimano Sora does this too). Camapgnolo is still revered by equipment snobs and old(er) blokes who remember when it probably was the best.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2055 posts]
17th August 2012 - 21:37

1 Like

I thought that Shimano's joke was that Sora was basically the same as Super Record.

Devil

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1733 posts]
17th August 2012 - 21:40

0 Likes

I have a 2011 framed 62cm Canyon CF SLX with full brand new Ultegra 6700 that will be for sale very soon. You'll have a job finding a better bike for less than £3k and I won't be asking for over £2k. Interested parties should pm.

posted by veseunr [282 posts]
18th August 2012 - 7:57

1 Like

Many thanks for all this advice folks. Please keep thoughts & ideas coming. I shall be visiting as many bike shops as possible. I like the look of the Ribbles & the Cervélos also. Decisions! Decisions!

posted by wjputt [44 posts]
18th August 2012 - 8:55

1 Like

Raleigh wrote:
I thought that Shimano's joke was that Sora was basically the same as Super Record.

Devil

I use 2300 on my allez and its my only gripe really. When I bought the bike I never thought I would even touch the drops so it seemed far from an issue.

That said, my dad has same allez bar size / colour / couple of upgrades and he likes it due to not using the drops. In fact he keeps saying his next bike may well have campagnolo for that reason. He is tempted with Van Nic Mistral.

posted by Super Domestique [1653 posts]
18th August 2012 - 9:08

1 Like

Don't forget Dolan too.

Is second hand a route you'd consider? In all honesty it wasn't for me but everyone is different. Spotted this here which is the same as what I ride:
http://m.road.cc/content/forum/62728-fs-specialized-tarmac-expert-56cm-l

Although, I didn't pay much different for new so I am well happy.

posted by Super Domestique [1653 posts]
18th August 2012 - 9:13

1 Like

When it comes to Cervelo, I'm afraid I agree with this guy:
http://roguemechanic.typepad.com/roguemechanic/2010/12/whats-the-differe...
To me Cervelo seem like the Apple of the bike world.

posted by imaca [46 posts]
18th August 2012 - 21:25

1 Like

Thanks Andy. What about going to get a technical 'fit' in order to get the right size etc. If one goes somewhere is one obliged to buy from the 'fit' folk or can one take the measurements elsewhere?

I like the look of the Audax and I'm tempted to get that through C2W [Planning this for a couple of days a week - we'll see] and then something 'nice' for a significant birthday.

I certainly intend spending some time looking & trying out bikes!!

Looking forward to some more hints, tips & advice from you and others. Cheers John

posted by wjputt [44 posts]
20th August 2012 - 6:33

1 Like

That sounds like a very good offer. I am keen to get a new one though as my current bike is second hand. Why are you selling?

posted by wjputt [44 posts]
20th August 2012 - 6:35

1 Like

Which stores are the best for Cervélo please?

posted by wjputt [44 posts]
20th August 2012 - 6:39

1 Like

Online?

Tristore is quite good, a little expensive, and you have to deal with triathletes.

Just type in the frame you want on googleshopping and it should come up with a list of responses.

Actual shops?

Condor in London (they don't sell the S1 but could probably get one in)

Elmy cycles in Ipswich. IMO, this is the best local bike shop in te world, and worth a trip up to from London.

There's also a place in Fincheley, and Norwich off the top of my head

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1733 posts]
20th August 2012 - 7:30

1 Like

£2500 budget is very nice; and you could get yourself a very nice top end bike if you shop around.

Canyon do some very nice frames; and personally; I'd buy shimano groupset before any other (Tried and tested) G/Set

A complete bike purchase, I'd suggest looking at the Cube Range or maybe Ridley. Hey, what-ever you decide, just enjoy the search.

posted by Mostyn [407 posts]
20th August 2012 - 9:01

1 Like

Been 'shopping' today & had a look at Cannondale, Giant & Cervélo carbon bikes. Going for a test ride later this week. Advice suggested maxing on the frame as this is the deal breaker rather than the group set, wheels and equipment. I'd appreciate folks' thoughts on that.

posted by wjputt [44 posts]
20th August 2012 - 19:21

2 Likes

A lot of money to play with there...

I've just bought a Giant TCR comp 1. I can recommend it for the type of riding I do, being club rides of 60 miles or so and thrice weekly blasts usually lasting about 2 hours. Occasional sportives thrown in the mix too. RRP £1800 but bargains can be found.

If I were in your position Id buy a £2k bike and spend £500 on some nice shoes/bibs/jersey/jacket etc Comfort on a bike is about more than just a comfortable bike!

posted by meehaja [27 posts]
20th August 2012 - 20:18

1 Like

Do get a decent frame that fits you, get 105 or ultegra as a groupset, buy some nicer wheels later. I bought a 2010 CAAD10, with 105 and added some nice wheels (seeing a pattern) it's lovely and it fits me well. Wheels are the easiest and quickest way to get a big upgrade to a bike, I took 700g off my bike through changing wheels and tyres.

Once you get your first thousand odd miles done you'll work out which bits of you need some work, for me it's inflexible lower back and hyper flexible upper back. So money is now going on physio and not kit, but that's all part of the joy of cycling.

Investing in a decent frame that fits is key though, mid or low-end models like the 105 CAAD10 which also comes in a dura-ace version do this well.

Make sure you like the look of the bike too, it's annoying to think after buying that you don't like the paintwork. =)

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

zzgavin's picture

posted by zzgavin [208 posts]
20th August 2012 - 20:30

1 Like

Looking to test ride the following today:
Cervélo RS
Cannondale High Modular Synapse
Giant Advanced
Any thoughts? The RS is a 2011 bike. Should I get a reduction on that? Cheers John

posted by wjputt [44 posts]
23rd August 2012 - 3:57

1 Like

sounds like a tough day Wink

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7503 posts]
23rd August 2012 - 6:30

1 Like

With 2012 bikes in the sales already the 2011 should definitely have something off.

Enjoy the test rides.

posted by Super Domestique [1653 posts]
23rd August 2012 - 8:08

1 Like

Klier said something like:

The RS is the very very very very very best bike Ive ever ridden.

And Klier IS a beast.

I've heard they're pretty good at descending.

May be a little late, but see if you can try an S series just for comparison (S1 or 2 in your price range).

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1733 posts]
23rd August 2012 - 8:22

2 Likes

wjputt wrote:
Been 'shopping' today & had a look at Cannondale, Giant & Cervélo carbon bikes. Going for a test ride later this week. Advice suggested maxing on the frame as this is the deal breaker rather than the group set, wheels and equipment. I'd appreciate folks' thoughts on that.

2.5 big ones should be plenty to get a top frame along with a great groupset and everything else. The idea of spending that kind of money and still have to upgrade later sounds like a salesman seeing pound signs when you walk in.
Keeping in perspective the bikes you're coming from and that you're looking at sportives and audax rather than cat 1/2 racing then any upgrades to a 2.5k bike is more likely to be bling than anything that contributes to a better ride.
Nothing wrong with bling of course - I've spent silly money placing an order for titanium skewers oblivious to the irony that I was eating a mars bar as I typed in my credit card info (and in doing so more than negating the weight saving of the skewers).

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
23rd August 2012 - 11:32

0 Likes

Thanks for the advice folks - going for the Cervélo! Aaargh! Decisions.

posted by wjputt [44 posts]
23rd August 2012 - 19:40

5 Likes