First Upgrade

by Dunluce   November 12, 2012  

I have been cycling for about six months now on a cheap 'urban' bike and want to make my first upgrade to a better bike. I commute about seven miles each way and now want to put in a few more miles at the week end and perhaps try some sportives next year. I have been looking at the Raleigh Clubman or the Giant Defy 1. Any advice from anyone?

10 user comments

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What's your budget? If you're looking at doing sportives, would you be prepared to look at road bikes like the Ribble or Planet X range? Tremendous value for money.

posted by ploughclose [19 posts]
12th November 2012 - 11:34


I'll have to keep it to around the £1000 mark. As for the Sportives, I'm just looking to complete them the time is irrelevant. My main thing is that this is going to be my only bike so it will have to cover all the bases.

posted by Dunluce [85 posts]
12th November 2012 - 12:47


Hard to beat Ribble on value but the key is to get it properly fitted so you may be better going to a local shop. Good time of year to buy as last year's models will be reduced. Save some of the budget for decent shoes/pedals and the best shorts you can afford...

posted by jimmo62 [59 posts]
12th November 2012 - 13:03


Are you therefore looking at a commuter/tourer as opposed to a pure road bike? Mudguards and pannier carrying capability?

posted by ploughclose [19 posts]
12th November 2012 - 13:03


Jimmo is talking sense above. Getting the bike properly fitted is a biggie - make sure you feel like the shop give a monkeys before buying, since the different brands/bikes available at that price are mostly quite similar anyway. Assuming you want/have a helmet, some good shorts and pedals/shoes could be had for £150, so take that into account.

I don't know about the Raleigh, but they are generally thought to be hitting the spot with their recent foray back into road bikes. Giant Defy is popular, well-thought-of.

Whereabouts are you?

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3723 posts]
12th November 2012 - 13:30


All bikes at a price point are going to be similar and above £500 all have good frames and kit, don't get sucked in by marketing hype.

As others have said, there's no substitute for visiting shops and trying a few out. A bike that fits you and that you like is more important than anything.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2419 posts]
12th November 2012 - 13:40


I'm in London. I guess I'll have to visit a few shops and look at bikes. I suppose I'm really looking for a few recommendations of bikes/shops as my knowledge is pretty basic. These will give me a start point and then I can take it from there.

posted by Dunluce [85 posts]
12th November 2012 - 14:29


Simon E wrote:
All bikes at a price point are going to be similar and above £500 all have good frames and kit, don't get sucked in by marketing hype.

Or the carbon hype. Carbon frames are great if you spend the money to get a good one but generally under £1000 you'd be better off with a good aluminium bike than a cheap carbon one.

CraigS's picture

posted by CraigS [135 posts]
12th November 2012 - 14:42


Cough, cough.....

AND you have enough change for all the essentials. Big Grin


Trikeman. Wink

Grunt, puff, pant and groan goes the old man - but he gets there in the end. ;o)

trikeman's picture

posted by trikeman [390 posts]
12th November 2012 - 18:04


Just for fun give the Ribble bike builder (on their web page) a go. Play with different configurations of frame and groupset. You'll find the campag groupsets cheaper the shimano and SRAM. So try and balance the cost spread over a good groupset with lowish end ally frame that you can upgrade a couple of years down the line. Planetx and quite good - the team Alu frame is a bargain but look at their clearance section (seriously).
Also don't forget decathlon plus wiggle have a regular stock clear out - I think they're still selling focus bikes. Cheap deals on the specialised/trek may be rare as Europe is the last stop for new models (so sayeth the LBS). Scott and cannondale may be a different story. Last but not least your LBS may have deals on - as its nearly winter and don't be shy of Mekk and Cube.

To slo to live, to slo to die! ::-}

posted by OldnSlo [132 posts]
12th November 2012 - 20:05