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Currently ride an Arkose 3, looking to get a more road orientated bike to hammer around the roads around kent. Like the idea of doing more long distance rides but realistically I don't have the time, so normally whatever I can fit into 3-4hours on a Sunday. Maybe the odd long ride a few times a year.

 

Budget is 3k, ideal spec would be:

- Discs (hydraulic)

- Ultegra (although new 105 looks almost as good?)

- Proper Mudguards

- Lightweight

- Nice colour

 

I know the Strael and Definition are not exactly whippets in terms of weight, but they tick all the other boxes and look real nice. Rave reviews too seemingly. The mason definition seems to edge it in terms of weight, and I think I prefer the look a little. I also get the feeling that the definition might feel a little more sprightly from what I've read.

 

Other bikes I've been looking at are:

 

CAAD12 Disc Ultegra - Obviously a lot cheaper, is it as good?

Reilly Spectre - Can only afford 105, seemingly unreviewed, don't think it would be lighter than the Strael of Def.

Canyon Endurace CF SL 8.0 - Never ridden a CF bike, would I need to take extra care (I can be a bit clumsy).

Ribble Endurance SL Disc - Seems v similar to the Canyon

 

Go!

23 comments

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sith64 [12 posts] 1 month ago
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I can't tell you much about any of these bikes only about the Canyon, since I own exactly that one (only difference is mine's got rim brakes). Eventhough it's an endurance model it definitely goes fast when you make it. Can't say anything bad about the bike as a whole, really. 

I switched over from a rather heavy (12,5kg) alloy bike to an 8kg carbon frame and I've never had any issues with comfort, handling or whatever. There's really nothing you need to take extra care of. I would advise you to just try out a carbon frame and a similar alloy frame at your LBS, just to get an idea.

Have heard very good things about Ribble, quality/price wise. Can definitely say the same about Canyon though, Cannondale seems a little more expensive for the specs.

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Swiss Tony [5 posts] 1 month ago
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I can't offer much input on the other bikes listed but I have the Reilly Spectre.
I have the R8000 version but if i was buying now (with the slight price increase) I would go with the R7000 as i doubt there is much real world difference.

Its  the best bike i've ever had and i have ridden quite a few bikes over the last 25 years or so.
Its not a full on race bike like the Caad 12 but it ticks all the boxes for me. I no longer race (other thank the odd TT) and its everything i need, comfy, looks awesome, is sprightly enough to keep up on a good burn up and has the abiltly to take larger tyres 38's at least and has mudguard mounts.

If you can get a test ride i would really recommend it..

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Rogybiv [5 posts] 1 month ago
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sith64 wrote:

I can't tell you much about any of these bikes only about the Canyon, since I own exactly that one (only difference is mine's got rim brakes). Eventhough it's an endurance model it definitely goes fast when you make it. Can't say anything bad about the bike as a whole, really. 

I switched over from a rather heavy (12,5kg) alloy bike to an 8kg carbon frame and I've never had any issues with comfort, handling or whatever. There's really nothing you need to take extra care of. I would advise you to just try out a carbon frame and a similar alloy frame at your LBS, just to get an idea.

Have heard very good things about Ribble, quality/price wise. Can definitely say the same about Canyon though, Cannondale seems a little more expensive for the specs.

 

Thanks for the reply! Yes I'm going to try and drop in to the Ribble showroom in Preston next time I'm up north and have a go on one, I think it would be fairly similar to the Canyon as far as I can see... Ribble gets extra points as you can design your own colour scheme using the bike builder which for a tart like me would be v tempting!

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Rogybiv [5 posts] 1 month ago
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Swiss Tony wrote:

I can't offer much input on the other bikes listed but I have the Reilly Spectre.
I have the R8000 version but if i was buying now (with the slight price increase) I would go with the R7000 as i doubt there is much real world difference.

Its  the best bike i've ever had and i have ridden quite a few bikes over the last 25 years or so.
Its not a full on race bike like the Caad 12 but it ticks all the boxes for me. I no longer race (other thank the odd TT) and its everything i need, comfy, looks awesome, is sprightly enough to keep up on a good burn up and has the abiltly to take larger tyres 38's at least and has mudguard mounts.

If you can get a test ride i would really recommend it..

 

That's great to hear, I don't know why there seems to be such a lack of press for the Reilly Spectre but I guess they are probably spending their time on bikes rather than PR which can only be a good thing really. It does look like a thing of beauty, I don't suppose you have a rough on the overall weight? I'm going to try and get up to Brighton to do a test ride, just trying to find an excuse to for a trip up with the fam...

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quiff [91 posts] 1 month ago
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I have a Definition '1' (the main difference from Definition 2 being that the rear has a QR rather than thru-axle, and the rear caliper is not flat mount) with old 105, and it's been great.

The Definition and the Strael are definitely intended more as year-round bikes - they will score a bit less well than the CAAD12, Canyon and Ribble on your "lightweight" criterion (but still perfectly respectable - the Def is quoted at 8.3kg for a size 54; the Canyon is 8.1 (size unknown)), but better on things like maximum tyre size (somewhere in the 30 - 32mm area) and ability to mount 'proper' mudguards and a rack, should you want to. I don't think the Canyon for example has full mudguard mounts (there's no chainstay bridge, so you would need to use something like Raceblades.  

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Swiss Tony [5 posts] 1 month ago
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Rogybiv wrote:

That's great to hear, I don't know why there seems to be such a lack of press for the Reilly Spectre but I guess they are probably spending their time on bikes rather than PR which can only be a good thing really. It does look like a thing of beauty, I don't suppose you have a rough on the overall weight? I'm going to try and get up to Brighton to do a test ride, just trying to find an excuse to for a trip up with the fam...

There are quite a few reviews for the Gradient and to be honest the Spectre is just a more roadie orientated version of the Gradient.
Not much in it but the Spectre is slightly lighter and nippier than the Grad (but the gradient can take bigger tyres and has rack mounts...)

Can't give you an accurate weight as i don't have a weighing thingy but with the R8000 build that i have (large) I would be surprised if its much over 9kg.

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Joe Totale [159 posts] 1 month ago
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A touch strange that you specify proper mudguards but then list a CAAD 12 and Endurace, both of which can't take them. 

There's nothing to worry about regarding a carbon frame, in fact I've read horror stories about the CAAD 12 and how fragile the top tube can be: 

https://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=147445&sid=...

IMO I'd grab a Boardman, your budget will get you Di2, they meet all your specs including mudguard mounts:

https://www.cyclerepublic.com/boardman-slr-9-4-disc-ultegra-di2-mens-roa...

or

https://www.cyclerepublic.com/boardman-slr-9-6-disc-ultegra-di2-mens-roa...

Don't forget that as Cycle Republic are Halfords in all but name that you get BC discount as well. 

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John_S [94 posts] 1 month ago
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Hi Rogybiv,

If I had the money it would defiitely be the Strael for me because it's my "if money was no object" dream bike.

Whatever bike that you pick from your shortlist I hope that you enjoy it!

John

 

 

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Rogybiv [5 posts] 1 month ago
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@Quiff - Yes I think the ability to use full length guards over a few hundred gram weight reducation seems to be winning for me at the moment (I could just lose a few myself...). V tempted by the Mason although it's just shy of a grand more than the Strael for the same groupset... the frame however does float my boat a bit more from a purely visual point of view. 

 

@SwissTony - Ah yes good point. Not so fussed on a rack as I've got some bikepacking gear that tends to fit all I need. Can't see myself ever needing to go above the stated 35c. 

 

@JoeTotale - Who knew conkers could be so brutal! Good shout on the boardman I hadn't seen that. Not so fussed on electronic shifting though if I'm honest, althought I've never tried it. A quick question on carbon frames (sorry for sounding like a total noob), but would it be risky bike packing on a light carbon frame as it would put more stress on things like the seat tube / front forks if loaded up with a saddle pack / handlebar bag? Not that I do any, but something I'd like to maybe do one day.

 

@John_S - Yes it's very much in the mix, I just can't help thinking the Definition might be that bit more responsive, need to get on one and give it a try really. 

 

Thanks for the replies people, lots to think about! Had originally discounted the Spectre as the Def has a better spec and I reckon a teeny bit lighter, however it's v shiny... The pragmatist inside me is saying go for the Boardman but there is something about the squared downtube that just annoys me a bit for purely aesthetic reasons (hence why the canyon and ribble were further down on my list too). Looks like I really need to test ride some bikes.

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sith64 [12 posts] 1 month ago
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Rogybiv wrote:

@Quiff - Yes I think the ability to use full length guards over a few hundred gram weight reducation seems to be winning for me at the moment (I could just lose a few myself...). V tempted by the Mason although it's just shy of a grand more than the Strael for the same groupset... the frame however does float my boat a bit more from a purely visual point of view. 

 

@SwissTony - Ah yes good point. Not so fussed on a rack as I've got some bikepacking gear that tends to fit all I need. Can't see myself ever needing to go above the stated 35c. 

 

@JoeTotale - Who knew conkers could be so brutal! Good shout on the boardman I hadn't seen that. Not so fussed on electronic shifting though if I'm honest, althought I've never tried it. A quick question on carbon frames (sorry for sounding like a total noob), but would it be risky bike packing on a light carbon frame as it would put more stress on things like the seat tube / front forks if loaded up with a saddle pack / handlebar bag? Not that I do any, but something I'd like to maybe do one day.

 

@John_S - Yes it's very much in the mix, I just can't help thinking the Definition might be that bit more responsive, need to get on one and give it a try really. 

 

Thanks for the replies people, lots to think about! Had originally discounted the Spectre as the Def has a better spec and I reckon a teeny bit lighter, however it's v shiny... The pragmatist inside me is saying go for the Boardman but there is something about the squared downtube that just annoys me a bit for purely aesthetic reasons (hence why the canyon and ribble were further down on my list too). Looks like I really need to test ride some bikes.

It's a hard choice, to make a bike upgrade, I know. It's taken me a while as well, and it's definitely okay to take your time and weigh in all the options. Good luck making your choice, a bike upgrade is about the best thing a man can get, right!

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ricardito [36 posts] 1 month ago
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Can't make comparisons as I only have experience of the Strael 2, which I bought last summer and have not regretted for a second. It's a lovely bike to ride.

I don't obsess over weight or speed, but the stats say I'm at least as quick on it as I was on my old CAAD8*. And you say you want a nice colour - in my opinion it looks very fine in putty (though the new dark grey is nice too...)

*aside: fs, one 54cm CAAD8, made in USA. PM me if interested  3

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kil0ran [1510 posts] 1 month ago
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Seeing as you're in Kent, maybe consider a Bowman Pilgrims? Designed in and inspired by Kent

https://bowman-cycles.com/products/pilgrims-disc

Would have to be a self-build (or get an LBS to do it for you) but they're a well-respected frame.

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StoopidUserName [653 posts] 1 month ago
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kil0ran wrote:

Seeing as you're in Kent, maybe consider a Bowman Pilgrims? Designed in and inspired by Kent

https://bowman-cycles.com/products/pilgrims-disc

Would have to be a self-build (or get an LBS to do it for you) but they're a well-respected frame.

Was just about to post that!! They look great in the teal colour, and you could spec it exactly as you want...could have a very, very, nice bike for your budget.

I've got a caad12 disc and it's great but yeah, no proper mounts. Also got a canyon ultimate, a racier version of the endurance if you like. Also great bike. Tbh none of your options are bad, enjoy the decision making process!

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Daveyraveygravey [691 posts] 1 month ago
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I'd have a look at a Kinesis, but they may be a bit too "all road" rather than road specific?  Designed in the UK for UK roads has a lot of appeal to me.

I'd want full mudguards - I have a Propel which is an aero bike and have spent a lot on maintenance having ridden it through the winter.  I don't mind getting wet myself, but it knackers chains and cogs and rims.  For that reason, I would probably choose 105 over Ultegra, it is cheaper to replace parts, and it works almost as well.

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Joe Totale [159 posts] 1 month ago
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StoopidUserName wrote:
kil0ran wrote:

Seeing as you're in Kent, maybe consider a Bowman Pilgrims? Designed in and inspired by Kent

https://bowman-cycles.com/products/pilgrims-disc

Would have to be a self-build (or get an LBS to do it for you) but they're a well-respected frame.

Was just about to post that!! They look great in the teal colour, and you could spec it exactly as you want...could have a very, very, nice bike for your budget.

If you don't mind some second hand parts then some savvy use of eBay and classified pages means you can have a fantastic bike specced exactly how you want it for far cheaper then if you bought a new bike. 

If you're mechanically minded as well then you can build the bike up yourself and gain the skills meaning that you should be able to service and repair it yourself in the future.  

With regards to bike packing and carbon, there are no more issues with a carbon frame then steel or aluminium (You should see how thin some of those alloy or steel tubes are to keep weight down). Just be aware that the frame or wheels may only be rated to carry a certain weight which will include yourself, your bikepacking gear and the bike itself. 

Remember that all of the bikes you've linked to have full carbon forks. 

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srchar [1392 posts] 1 month ago
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Kinesis 4S disc.

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Rogybiv [5 posts] 1 month ago
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@sith64 - I know right! It's a lovely problem to have really.

 

@ricardito - Yes from what I've read everyone is a v happy customer, I do like it in putty and would probs go with the hope upgrades too for that lovely flash of orange... My only slight niggle with the Strael is that according to my size, I should be on a 54T and I find the long headtube a little off putting visually (which I know really shouldn't be an issue). I've actually tried both the 54T and 54R at swift (quite hard to get a feel for the bike in central london though), however the 54R they had didn't have any spacers in so was quite a brutal comparison. The 54T was definately v close to what I ride now but I guess the point of getting a more road focussed bike was to be a little more aggressive. The mason seems to sit inbetween the two in terms or GEO from what I can gather (I'm a total noob at this). Gonna have to sort a trip to brighton to try out the definition and reilly spectre I think.

 

@kil0ran - Yes I had seen the V good reviews of this, however I'm not into the black bike thing and the teal just isn't doing it for me. Very arbitary I know, but if I'm gonna spend the cash I may as wel enjoy looking at it. Didn't  know it was inspired by the kent countryside though!  

 

@StoopidUserName - See above regarding the teal... however I'm not against building up a bike, I'm not just sure what I would be looking for when it comes down to all the bits apart from weight,  but I'm sure there is more to it than that...

 

@Daveyraveygravey - Yes I've heard very good things about the GF_TI, which in disc mode is now seemingly the GTD. Quite a pricey frame though so would be blowing the budget building that up. Not the lightest thing in the world either. Also I think the strael or mason beats the 4S for me.

 

@JoeTotale - As ever the voice of reason! As I mentioned above I'm not too sure on what I'd be looking out for regarding individual specs for bike parts unless it's just weight?? Would love to be able to build one up myself for sure, however it feels like that could take me countless hours of tinkering, and the very few hours of free time I do have I'd rather be on the bike! (I'm a new dad, so cycling time is squeezed into 3 short and sweaty hours at the weekend).

 

@srchar - If I were to go with kinesis it would be the GTD but that blows my budget... not keen on the 4s colours (yes, I know).

 

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Strathbean [38 posts] 1 month ago
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You could have a look at a kinesis RTD, paint job is a bit marmite but it looks better in the flesh than on the screen and its a well made frame with some nice details, I had a very similar wish list to yourself and i’ve had one since october, very pleased with it as a winter road bike.

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Bob F [53 posts] 1 month ago
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I have a CAAD12 [rim brake] Ultegra and a Definition 2. Different bikes, geometry on the CAAD is almost identical to my Supersix Evo, but rides a fraction more harshly.  So its a racy thing, good when you're giving it the beans and lovely handling. UCI approved too if you need that. The Def2 though is amazingly sublime. I bought  mine as a long distance machine, but it is so much more. The reviews are real. I thought I'd notice the the weight, but with a few Strava PB's obviously not. Mine is set up etap, so that'll blow the budget, but the Def would still be a star with 105. 

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Rogybiv [5 posts] 1 month ago
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@strathbean - Yes I've just been looking at this and agree about the marmite paintjob! I read that it's designed like that so the paintwork doesn't get scuffed with bike packing which is pretty cool. Interesting you mention it as a winter road bike, how would you feel if it was your summer road bike too?. Don't have the space for three (I will be keeping my current arkose 3 for commuting).

 

@BobF - You have some very nice bikes sir! Interesting about the supersix evo being the smoother of the two. So this is kind of my dillema at the moment, I'm coming from the Arkose 3 which is in the 'adventure bike' category and I want something road orientated as that's what I really enjoy (the more hills the better). The reason I've been looking at the Strael / Def 2 / Spectre is that I'm a little hesistant about getting an all out road race bike coming from the Arkose as I might not get on with it especially for the odd longer ride (although most will be 30-50). Everyone seems to talk about the Strael / Def as winter bikes or long distance bikes etc... is there a noticable difference in terms of overall speed when going out and giving it your all for 50 miles on a Sunday? Or are we talking maginal gains??

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StoopidUserName [653 posts] 1 month ago
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I think if you're looking for something different then get something different. It seems you're looking for a halfway house between your current bike and a proper race bike - you could probably get the same effect by changing your current wheels/tyres and lowering your stem.

I say go all out on a race bike - doesn't have to be super aggressive, but something lighter and stiffer would put a big smile on your face, especially for the mileage you are doing.

My canyon ultimate is as comfortable as any bike I've ridden btw (I've had various cx/endurance type bikes too), race bikes don't have to be harsh these days

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Daveyraveygravey [691 posts] 4 weeks ago
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Following on from what Stoopid says, have you thought about a Kinesis Aithein?  Much more of a racer but if you like going up hills...don't know if you can have discs or mudguards but they are light and a lot of fun to ride.  Keep the Arkose for winter riding, or longer rides when you want an armchair.  I last bought a bike four years ago, and the whole endurance bike thing was gaining momentum.  The difference between endurance and racy is very minimal in a lot of cases, can you actually feel the difference in a 5 mm longer stem or 2 mm wider tyres?

 I tried endurance bikes and more racy bikes, and without a doubt, I preferred the way the racy bikes rode.  I then looked at my riding, the vast majority of which was between 1 and 2 hours, with maybe a 4 hour ride once a month, and an 8 hour ride 2-3 times a year.  I decided that comfort wasn't much of a priority for me, so bought a Giant Propel.  I still pine for it when I haven't ridden it for a few days, and the comfort can't be too bad because I did an Everesting on it that lasted 27 hours...

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zero_trooper [321 posts] 4 weeks ago
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So you want a bike to ride for 3-4 hours, once a week (family commitments allowing)?

And a £3K budget?

Get something half decent offa Ebay for £750. Spend £250 doing it up, or splash out on some new wheels.

Spend the rest on your new family.

Re-read this post in 5 years time and think zero_trooper is the shit