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Verdict: 
Solid entry level road bike that performs admirably; real bargain at the current price
Weight: 
9,400g
Contact: 
www.wiggle.co.uk/moser-bikes
Moser Speed road bike
8 10

The Moser Speed is everything you need from an entry-level road bike. It's efficient, quick, not over-heavy and reasonably comfortable too. The full price is nearly £700 but it's currently discounted to just £450 (it's a Wiggle exclusive build) and for that money it's a genuine bargain.

What are you getting for your money? Well, the frameset is 7005 T6 alloy and the tube shapes are unusually angular in the main triangle with more classic profiles towards the rear. Welds can best be described as chunky, and the finish is good quality with red and black decals on the white that are inoffensive, if not exactly stylish.

The fork features carbon blades and an alloy steerer (it's a standard 1 1/8in headset), painted to match the frame. There are no rack mounts or – more surprisingly – mudguard eyelets. If you want to run 'guards you'll need QR adaptors or clip-ons. That seems like a missed opportunity as it'll rule out the Moser as a winter trainer for many.

You get most of a Shimano Sora transmission on the Speed. Shifters, derailleurs and brakes are all from Shimano's fifth-tier groupset which we've reviewed on road.cc and rate very highly (road.cc/content/review/100555-shimano-sora-3500-groupset) as budget running gear. Interestingly it's specced with an 11-25 cassette rather than a 12-27, or an 11-30.

The chainset is an FSA Omega unit which saves a few quid, but it's the MegaExo version, running on external bearings, as opposed to the square-taper one. Fulcrum's entry-level Racing Sport wheels, fitted with Vittoria Zaffiro rubber, do the rolling. Finishing kit is a mix of FSA alloy bits, with a Selle San Marco Ponza saddle. All in the bike weighs an acceptable 9.4kg without pedals.

All in all, this is a bike that looks well specced, with nothing that looks like it needs immediate attention. Well, almost nothing. I changed the saddle out of personal preference, and the bar tape, which has the vibration-damping properties of insulating tape, would be next to go. But that's an issue on bikes costing plenty more than this.

I took the Moser out on a variety of rides from commuting to a big loop South of Bath and it acquitted itself admirably. In a cycling world increasingly dominated by talk of super-light bikes and incremental gains, it's always good to hop on something a bit more budget and remind yourself that it's your legs, and not your bike, that are the real limiting factor.

I wasn't really any slower on the Moser than I had been on the £2.5k Ridley Fenix that was my previous test racer (/content/review/114008-ridley-fenix-classic-ultegra-road-bike); that was 1.6kg lighter and more comfortable and generally classier, but in terms of raw numbers not hugely quicker.

I was still beating the same people up the climbs. And getting dropped by the same people on the climbs. And when you're tucking into a group and hacking along the flat the extra weight isn't really noticeable. Only on the false flats and the stop-starts from junctions does the Moser feel a bit sluggish, taking a few extra turns of the pedals to wind up to speed.

Aside from the dreadful bar tape, the Moser is a reasonably comfortable bike, too. I was riding a 58cm (it appears Wiggle have sold out of the largest size) and turned the stem up to mitigate the fact that I'm not hugely flexible after a recent back injury, but that done the position was good. The 200mm head tube is sportive rather than all-out race but that's sensible for a bike at this price. I was running plenty of the 27.2mm seatpost out of the frame which helped tame the back end bumps a bit. The effective top tube, at 594mm, is longer than you'd expect given the 58cm stated size. Really it's more like a 59/60cm frame, which is worth noting across all the other sizes too.

The frame is stiff enough to deal with some hefty stamping on the pedals without significant deflection, and at the front the fork tracks very well through the corners. It's not in superbike territory, but you wouldn't expect that from a £500 bike and it didn't give me any cause for concern at any point.

The front end can feel a touch bendy if you're sprinting in the drops, but that's more likely to be in the bars and stem than the frame.

Overall, it was very well behaved. Steering is neutral, the bike is stable at speed and easy to move about.

The Shimano Sora gears did their usual trick of being excellent. Okay they're four rungs down the ladder from Dura-Ace and you're a couple of cogs short, but for day-to-day riding it's hard to find fault with them. Shifts are crisp and accurate, they're easy to adjust on the fly thanks to the barrel adjuster on the cable exit, and you can see what gear you're in if you like that kind of thing. Plus, if you need to change your chain and/or cassette you can pick up either for not much more than a tenner.

Cassette wise I suffered like a dog on the 20% grind up to King Alfred's Tower, and would have appreciated a couple of extra sprockets. But like I said, changing to a wider cassette won't break the bank. Coming back down the other side the Sora brakes were fine; the scratchy pad material they use isn't the best, though, and that's another quick and effective upgrade you can make for better performance.

Fulcrum's Racing Sport wheels are decent rather than exceptional, but I've seen plenty worse on bikes costing plenty more than this. If I was to pick a budget tyre to stick on a budget bike the Zaffiro would be near the top of the list: good unflustered performance, decent resistance to flats. It's a shame they didn't spec the 25mm version though.

All in all the Moser Speed is exactly what you want from a budget road bike. It's quick, well built with reliable equipment, reasonably comfortable and reasonably light. With a couple of quick tweaks (bar tape, brake pads) it's good to go for most road riding. At £700 it'd be a very decent bike, but at less than £450 you're getting a serious bargain. The only real disappointment is the lack of mudguard mounts, so it's not really suitable as a winter bike. But for fairer-weather beginners and riders on a budget, it's a great buy.

Verdict

Solid entry level road bike that performs admirably; real bargain at the current price.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Moser Speed

Size tested: 57

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

Material Alloy

Cable Routing External

Bottle Cage Mounts Seat tube and down tube

Front Derailleur Mount Braze on front derailleur with clamp

Dropouts Replaceable forged aluminium rear dropout and derailleur hanger

Fork

Blades Carbon Fibre

Wheelset

Fulcrum Racing Sport

Groupset

Speed 18

Brake Levers/Shifters Shimano Sora

Chainset FSA Omega Compact, 50t - 34 tooth

Size 47 and 50: 170mm cranks

Size 52 and 55: 172.5mm cranks

Size 58: 175mm cranks

Bottom Bracket FSA MegaExo

Front Derailleur Shimano Sora

Rear Derailleur Shimano Sora

Brake Calipers Shimano Sora, cartridge type rubber insert

Chain Shimano Sora 9 speed

Cassette Shimano Sora 9 speed 11-25 tooth

Finishing Kit

Handlebar FSA Vero, alloy, compact, 31.8mm

Size 47: 400mm width

Size 50, 52 and 55: 420mm width

Size 58: 44mm width

Bar Tape white

Stem FSA OS-190, alloy

Size 47 and 50: 110mm

Size 52 and 55: 120mm

Size 58: 130mm

Seat Post FSA-SL-280, alloy

Saddle Selle San Marco Ponza

Tyres Vittoria Zaffiro, 700 x 23c

Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

With a light alloy frame, Shimano Sora components and distinctive Italian styling, the Moser Speed is the ideal introduction to performance road bikes. Perfect for ambitious new riders or experienced cyclists looking for an excellent value training bike.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
7/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

Industrial welding and odd tube profiles but well built.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

7005 T6 alloy, carbon fork blades.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

58cm, 594mm effective top tube, 200mm head tube, 73.5° head and seat angles.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

Fitted me very well, 58cm is more like a 59/60 in reality.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

It's firm but comfortable.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

bars/stem a bit flexy under sprint loads, otherwise good.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

No issues with power transfer.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?

Not a problem.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Neutral.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

Generally good at all speeds.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

Bar tape is poor.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

Bars and stem not the stiffest.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
5/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
7/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
10/10

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels and tyres for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for value:
 
9/10

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
6/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
7/10

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes.

Would you consider buying the bike? I'm not in the market for an entry level bike at the moment so no.

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
9/10

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 41  Height: 190cm  Weight: 102kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium 853

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

 

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

5 comments

Avatar
Flying Scot [918 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Bargain, and a prestige name.

Avatar
geargrinderbeard [94 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

This is phenomenal, smashes the uci weigh limit for under 500 notes, how do they do it?!

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Maggers [56 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

guess it's a typo but weight of 9g? seems cheap for the money.

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Nick T [913 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Something, something.. 9g.. Something, something.. Cheap.. Something.

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kie7077 [874 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I've got one, it's held up really well - done a couple of thousand miles on it. The weight of the bike for the price is very good.

Brake pads: I thought the sora ones were a bit pants especially in the wet and they leave black nastiness on the frame.