First road bike

by Ian S   April 3, 2013  

Hi, I'm about to get my first road bike and looking for some thoughts on the following bikes. I have 3 LBS, I can get the Forme Longcliffe 2 from one of them, a Trek 1.5 or Specialized Allez Elite from another and finally a Claud Butler Vicenza from the third. All the above are priced at around £900. The third shop will also build the following for me, Dolan prefissio frame with Campagnolo Veloce group set, Khamsin cx wheels with either Deda or Cinelli finishing kit for £950. The bike will be mainly for my commute to work. Which represents the best buy/spec? Thanks in advance for the replies.

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The Dolan looks to be good value. Bottom line is which one you feel comfortable on and what ever you buy in six months you'll want to trade up. Second law of road bikes

posted by crash144019 [47 posts]
3rd April 2013 - 18:44

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Every one will be different, as crash said. You'll have to decide what geometry works best for you.

Crash is also right in saying that you'll just want to upgrade and upgrade on it. If I were you, get the best frame possible and you can slowly put better parts on that frame.

I got a Cannondale Synapse Alloy (I want a metal bike) with terrible Sora components with the intention of immediately adding a SRAM Rival groupset. Next is the wheels...

[custom] '12 Cannondale CAAD10 - Rival

badkneestom's picture

posted by badkneestom [129 posts]
3rd April 2013 - 19:37

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My choices were Canondale CAAD (always get a good write-up) Trek 1.5 as you said and a wild card was the MEKK poggio 2.0 which I ended up getting, great bike for the price!

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
3rd April 2013 - 19:54

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The Dolan looks good to me, the Forme's OK too, the others are decent so you can't go too far wrong. How far is the commute and whereabouts is it? Do you think you'll need mudguards? Will you want to fit a rack and panniers? I commute for a couple of hours a day and wouldn't be without the guards and rack.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [318 posts]
3rd April 2013 - 19:55

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Cannondale Synapse. I commute on one and it's perfect. Fast, comfortable and takes full mudguards. From my experience you'll struggle to get proper mudguards on a CAAD model, as good a bike as they are.

posted by Tigerwests [4 posts]
3rd April 2013 - 20:11

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My commute is about 8 miles into Glasgow. Roads are in poor condition, so looking for a robust bike that I can use all year round. At the moment I'm using my 3 year old Boardman hybrid, have not had a road bike since the 80's,due to bad back, have been advised by the dealers that each of these bikes have a fairly relaxed riding position. As for the test rides, the Dolan would be a custom build so would not be able to have a test ride.

posted by Ian S [3 posts]
3rd April 2013 - 21:30

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If you're worried about back, there are road bikes with a more relaxed geometry. They're the frames intended for longer rides, sportives, etc. The manufacturer will generally state it's a relaxed geometry.

Have you looked for a used titanium bike?

[custom] '12 Cannondale CAAD10 - Rival

badkneestom's picture

posted by badkneestom [129 posts]
3rd April 2013 - 22:18

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With dodgy road surfaces and a need to be mindful of your back, why not check out another of your LBS' Trek models, the Domane? If you can stretch to £1,000, the Tiagra-equipped Domane 2.0 is in your budget. I haven't yet ridden one but everything I've heard about them reports unparalleled comfort.

posted by Tigerwests [4 posts]
4th April 2013 - 17:43

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Would you get fitted on a jig before the Dolan is put together? It would make sense for the builder to leave some stack height on the steerer for you so that you can settle in to the slightly more hunched over position. CX wheels are a good idea for the rough roads, handbuilt maybe a worthwhile consideration too on the basis that they are easier to repair. With a custom build you'll get to choose some decent tyres, I like Conti 4Seasons for commuting but I expect you'll have your own favourites. Whatever you get, I hope you're inspired to take that new steed out into some of that fantastic countryside just put of town. Enjoy the new bike.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [318 posts]
4th April 2013 - 22:05

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Thanks for all the replies, I think that I will go for the Dolan and get the bike made to my specifactions and finish. It will be a few weeks before I get it , but I will let you knw how I get on.

posted by Ian S [3 posts]
5th April 2013 - 20:43

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