Halfords launch sub-£1,000 Carrera carbon racer

But there will only be 50 units before Christmas, it seems

by nick_rearden   November 24, 2011  

Carrera-2012-Virago

Superstore retailer Halfords launched on their webshop this morning a budget racer under their Carrera brand offering, as they put it, "unbeatable specification and value at under £1,000."

The new bike which carries the long-running Virago name for the Carrera brand is evidently a bit of a toe-in-the-water for Halfords who hitherto reserved the Boardman brand for the performance benefits of carbon fibre  with 'just 50 bikes available pre-Christmas' in four sizes; 52, 56, 58 and 60cm.

Carbon fibre is not unprecedented at the vital £999.99 price point but the trend has been for carbon bikes equipped with the Shimano 105 10-speed drivetrain that the Virago features to drift rewards the £1,100 - £1,200 area as prices have generally increased for the 2012 model year.

There are club specialists such as Ribble and Planet X offering well put-together carbon bikes under the grand but the Halfords presence in the retail parks and the previous success with Boardman at these sorts of prices clearly carries weight which warrants having a good look at the specs.

The monocoque frame appears to tick most of the boxes with a good part-visible-carbon paintjob and de rigeur BB30 bottom bracket to plant the FSA chainset very firmly in relation to the steerey and drivey bits. Apart from the mentioned 105 gears, there are pukka Mavic CXP-22 rims with Conti tyres and a respectable weight of 8.6Kg or just under 19 pounds.

Details: www.halfords.com

5 user comments

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Looks like it could be a good value/good bike, that is just so long as it's not set-up by the average Halfords' bike dept. monkey. And before anyone says anything, I am an ex-Halfords employee and I've seen what some of the staff are capable of doing to a bike! Angry

posted by one_bad_mofo [31 posts]
24th November 2011 - 14:44

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one_bad_mofo wrote:
Looks like it could be a good value/good bike, that is just so long as it's not set-up by the average Halfords' bike dept. monkey. And before anyone says anything, I am an ex-Halfords employee and I've seen what some of the staff are capable of doing to a bike! Angry

+1

I bought my carbon/SRAM Apex bike from Graham Weigh (think it used to be Deeside Cycles) for 1k. If this was on sale now, then on paper I'd be looking towards this, but in practice mine was set up quite nicely and I wouldn't be confident of the same from Halfords - I'm no grease monkey so that good set-up by the shop is worth something to me.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2948 posts]
24th November 2011 - 15:01

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I don't think the monkeys are in just the bike dept... The 'Features and Benefits' from their own website state 'Carbon fibre super-lightweight frame with smooth welding'!!! Does anyone know of a CF welder?! Confused

posted by GrahamF [11 posts]
24th November 2011 - 16:56

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The Carrera brand had a carbon road bike (can't remember the model) a couple of years ago, from memory it was 105 equipped for the £999.99 price.

onward ever onward

bikecellar's picture

posted by bikecellar [224 posts]
24th November 2011 - 20:45

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Is that 50 of each size or 12.5 ?????

posted by petescales [32 posts]
25th November 2011 - 14:39

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