Newbie looking for advice - It's Done - Photo Added

by tippers_kiwi   January 20, 2013  

Hi All, I have been commuting for some time and since giving up rugby at the end of last season I have finally decided to get myself a road bike and keep fit by cycling.

I have decided to take the plunge and give myself a budget or around GBP 2,000 and I have got my list down to 4 options (based on Reviews, LBS advice and short test rides)

I intend to use the bike to clock up miles on weekends, evenings and holidays and also to enter a few sportives. I don't intend to get into racing of any kind (but I have said things like this before)

Anyway, any feedback or opinions on the below bikes would be welcome,

1. Focus Cayo Evo 3.0

2. Focus Cayo Evo 4.0

3. Trek Domane 4.5

4. Ridley Orion - I am looking at an Ultegra equipped version.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

19 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

No advice, just a bump, cause the boards are so busy with winter/armstrong/newkit/fantasy threads. Hope someone else can suggest.



Suffering from Low Cadence.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1312 posts]
22nd January 2013 - 0:33

20 Likes

Give them a test ride and pick your favourite, you won't go wrong with any of those bikes.

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
22nd January 2013 - 11:44

20 Likes

Canyon Ultimate Al 9.0 Di2 was our bike of the year last year and that's about 2 grand. just to muddy the waters Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7401 posts]
22nd January 2013 - 12:09

23 Likes

Thanks Sammy and Dave,

Muddy waters is a good description. I have read so many good things about Canyon and normally I am all for internet purchases. I do feel more comfortable being able to get on the bike to try it out and being a beginner I am expect I ng I may need some help from the bike shop team to make any adjustments, I'll feel better having bought the bike from them for that purpose and they seem like they are pretty knowledgable where I am looking.

Although the Di2 is very tempting I have pretty much decided I want to go down the carbon route, although I can't give any kind of decent justification for that.

I have tried all 3 bikes and that made the decision harder although my heart originally and still does go towards the Focus offering.

I would be keen to hear if anyone has any input on the SRAM Force vs. Ultegra front. Having never used either the actual shifting method seemed of little consequence on the test rides.

posted by tippers_kiwi [6 posts]
22nd January 2013 - 19:53

17 Likes

SRAM, I prefer shifting with just one lever, and it's lighter. http://www.totalcycling.com/component-weights.html oh and it looks better in my opinion.

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 8:04

23 Likes

A different take on the 'problem' - looking back over my (brief) road affair I would caution against expecting to own just one bike. If expenses have to be passed by an 'executive committee' I would lay expectations out now as 'a bike to train on (lose a bit of weight, get fitter etc.), and for bad weather, and then when I know a bit more about it maybe something nice for sportives etc.'
Otherwise in 6 months time you will have spent your goodwill/cash on one bike and then revert to subfertuge (like the rest of us) in getting another bike in the garage!
How about spending 1k now (great bikes out there for that money) and then 1k+ for your 'special bike'?
Another tip - lose the rugby muscles; great on the beach but crap at getting you up hills! Best of luck!

posted by big shug [40 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 18:32

21 Likes

big shug wrote:
A different take on the 'problem' - looking back over my (brief) road affair I would caution against expecting to own just one bike. If expenses have to be passed by an 'executive committee' I would lay expectations out now as 'a bike to train on (lose a bit of weight, get fitter etc.), and for bad weather, and then when I know a bit more about it maybe something nice for sportives etc.'
Otherwise in 6 months time you will have spent your goodwill/cash on one bike and then revert to subfertuge (like the rest of us) in getting another bike in the garage!
How about spending 1k now (great bikes out there for that money) and then 1k+ for your 'special bike'?
Another tip - lose the rugby muscles; great on the beach but crap at getting you up hills! Best of luck!

Agreed. There's a lot to be said for buying a second hand bike first. It's all about building a good base fitness for cycling as a first step. Once you feel you need to go faster, splash out on the carbon bling machine and you'll then really appreciate the difference. Give first bike some guards and use as a winter bike/hack. Just my two-penneth

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [562 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 18:37

25 Likes

Hmm, more to consider and they sound like wise words (although being wise has never been my strength). I do put in a fair few miles on the hybrid which also serves as my commuting 'hack' which although was at the lower end of the range is still a good bike. The intention was to keep that for the winter rides. The above suggests the thing that has concerned me though and I am sure it is easy to find a reason to need another once you get going.

Thanks for that advice, it really is food for thought.

Sammy, one lever and looks is kind of the reason I am considering passing up for SRAM, sad but true, there's something about the brake levers moving left and right that I seem to struggle with inmy mind.

Thanks for all the feedback, I will be buying in April so loads of time to consider and work on pitching to that 'Executive committee'

posted by tippers_kiwi [6 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 19:24

23 Likes

You are looking at 3 bikes that are very similar and one that is different. The Trek has a longer head tube and a bit more relaxed geometry. It also has suspension within the frame. You have decided how much you want to spend so don't get hung up on components... ultegra vs. force means nothing at the end of the day. What will really matter is how comfortable you are on the bike. If I had to guess I would say the Trek's geometry is a better fit. Do not base your decision on a quick test ride becasue what fits for a 10 minute ride around the shop may not work on a 2 hour ride. Fit is everything when it comes to bike purchases. I would rather ride a lesser bike that fit than a pro level bike that did not. By the way, a bike does not fit right unless you can use the drops and don't have more than 2cm of spacers under the stem. When you see someone on a blinged out carbon wonder bike and they have 3cm of spacers under the stem and never use their drops you gotta wonder why they choose that bike other than they thought it was cool.. becasue it does not fit. Check out Specialized's Roubaix and Bianchi's Infinito... I rode an Infinito for a year and loved it. The only reason I got off it was for a custom Moots.

Bryin

posted by Bryin [19 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 21:45

21 Likes

I'm with Sammy G. Don't take reviews too literally, they're only one person's opinion. It's what suits you best that will bring the most satisfaction.

A thought: if it's a fixed budget I would consider spending a bit less on the bike and buy some good quality clothing, shoes and tools with the balance (unless you have these already).

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1979 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 23:06

27 Likes

I agree with the idea of buying a lesser bike and getting some good shoes, clothing ect. That is a great idea, going 105 instead of Ultegra means a little weight gain but has little other penalty.

Bryin

posted by Bryin [19 posts]
24th January 2013 - 2:04

23 Likes

Interesting article by Ian Cleverly of Rouleur about choosing frame materials.

http://rouleurmagazine.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/a-four-grand-day-out/

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1979 posts]
24th January 2013 - 10:58

25 Likes

Welcome to the forum, tippers_kiwi. There are indeed some wise words here. I'd not cycled for years but decided to get back into it, and spent the budget on the bike. Then came helmet, shoes, pedals, base layers, shorts, tights, rain jacket, summer gloves, winter gloves, overshoes... then I joined a club, they have their own kit; jerseys, shorts, tights, gilet!

Now I'm longing for nicer bike. I should've avoided entry-level carbon last time round and gone with alu, that would have been a better long-term bet to accompany some higher-end carbon, but back then I didn't think I was going to get into it this much.

As mentioned by Bryin, the Domane is quite a different bike, the geometry is slightly more relaxed (still sporty and fast though) and intended for sportive use and long rides. The others seem to be race geometry.

So, question for you - how flexible are you? If you can comfortably touch your toes with your legs straight, then race geometry may be ok. As a rugby player, you've probably got decent neck muscles, but you'll need some flexibility there as well, as your body will be tipped forward but your head back to see the road. Personally, I just couldn't deal with it, so more relaxed geometry makes me "real-world" faster, because I'm more comfortable and can use the drops. Don't under-estimate the value of being fitted to the bike properly, don't settle for someone just adjusting the saddle height.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3232 posts]
24th January 2013 - 12:22

20 Likes

My budget is for the bike and has some flex although seeing that last list of extras I might need to rethink how much I am actually going to need to put on top of it.

Thanks for the comments on the differwnces between the Domane and the others. My flexibility is similar to that of a fence post so I am actually starting to see that the Cayo and the Orion are potentially a little too aggressive for what I am looking to do. Also weight is not something I am hung up on, I sit around thw 18 stone mark so a few grams here or there won't make a huge difference. I guess that brings steel back into the equation.

And I thought you would all make it easier Big Grin

You might all be assisting me in collecting many brownie points at home. Thanks for the advice, it is making me see tha I was possibly more concerned about the visuals.

posted by tippers_kiwi [6 posts]
24th January 2013 - 19:04

21 Likes

tippers_kiwi wrote:
And I thought you would all make it easier Big Grin

Nah, most of us are facilitators - we pounce on an unsuspecting window shopper and do our best to convert him/her into a hardcore cycling nut Wink

Good luck with your bike hunting, let us know how you get on.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1979 posts]
24th January 2013 - 20:18

24 Likes

Oh, and think about consumables. I'd love an ultegra-spec bike, but a slow, minor crash has required a new rear mech, mech hanger, chain rings and cassette. Add the annual new bottom bracket and I might plump for 105-level-spec next time and focus the funds on bits that will hopefully last a bit longer like frame and wheels.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3232 posts]
24th January 2013 - 22:06

17 Likes

Been away for a few days and just gone through the posts from start to finish again. I think looking into this a few months before I am actually ready to buy was a very good move.

The head is slowly starting to win and I am starting to see that the Domane is probably going to be the best option for me to go for. Having some one actually explain that adding spec (gruppo etc) does not automatically make the bike better and it really is the frame I need to be looking at.

Still mulling over all the other good advice above!!

Thanks again and I'll drop an update at some stage in March once I make that final decision.

posted by tippers_kiwi [6 posts]
27th January 2013 - 23:23

24 Likes

Oh, and following on from my comments about my minor (but costly) crash, one other thing I'm thinking (for me personally); you may have seen some content on this site about disc brakes and how they are starting to trickle into the road bike market. Now despite a lot of people taking a love/hate stance on the matter, I don't have a particular leaning towards either conventional caliper rim brakes or discs. However, I am drawn to the fact that with discs, the wheel rim is no longer the braking surface. This raises the possibility of wheels lasting much longer due to less wear and tear, providing they don't implode in a pothole somewhere. Add to that the fact that wheels probably make the biggest difference to performance, and it becomes clear why spending money in this area may reap rewards.

Hence, my thinking for my next bike is:
Nice frame, properly fitted to me and my lack of flexibility - this may end up being a custom size, so perhaps Ti or steel as carbon gets £££££ for custom. Fair amount spent here.
Nice wheels with disc brakes - something like Dura-Ace C24s, expensive but hopefully last some time.
Replaceable (i.e. not too expensive) groupset - Shimano 105 or equivalent.

Regarding the domane, they do look to be very good bikes, but that's become a hotly-contested part of the bike market these days. Check out the Specialised Roubaix as an example or indeed the 'sportive offering' of most of the other manufacturers.

Good luck!

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3232 posts]
28th January 2013 - 11:02

23 Likes

Well folks it is done. I have ended up going for the Trek Domane 4.3.

Thanks for all the advice above, it was all considered in the process. I ended up taling test rides of about 10 miles on each bike over 3 different days. It was very close between the Cayo Evo and the Domane but I felt much more comfortable in the drops with the Domane and for my limited experience in road bikes I really felt no big reduction in performance for the extra comfort. I have booked the full BG fit for when I pick up the bike so will get all the finetuning done to get the best start possible.

Thanks again for all the tips and advice!

posted by tippers_kiwi [6 posts]
10th March 2013 - 0:27

20 Likes