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I'm looking to spend up to £500 on a new winter/commuter road bike. Currently torn between buying new or buying second hand and potentially getting a better frame but with the knowledge some components might need replaced pretty early on. Mudguard eyelets would be a bonus but not essential. 

Currently leaning towards new Giant Contend 2 2019 at the minute - https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Giant-Contend-2-2019-Road-Bike_200517.htm

Also considered Specialised Allez, Cube Attain, Ribble Audax, Pinnacle Laterite 2 2020. 

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

 

 

18 comments

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CXR94Di2 [2773 posts] 2 months ago
6 likes

Commuter bike for winter should have mudguards, to keep the rider much drier and helps the bikes mechanism from being made filthy from road dirt Buy secondhand, you will get more value, but really any bike after a full winter will need a good deal of servicing to keep it in good order and expect chains to be replaced once a winter

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srchar [1664 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Used Kinesis T2 or T3 should come within budget. A decent ride and has mudguard eyelets.

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kil0ran [1770 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

If you can stretch an extra £30 and have a Decathlon nearby, add the RC500 to your list. Takes wide tyres, has mudguard mounts and disc brakes, high quality components that shouldn't need replacing any time soon.

Alternatively, you'll get a huge amount of bike for that sort of money on eBay, just factor it that it might need a service - fine if you can DIY.

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jononabike [1 post] 2 months ago
1 like

Disk brakes should be considered essential for winter commuting - I've worn through Mavic rims in less than two Birmingham winters, and disks are so much better in the wet

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CyclingInBeastMode [282 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
jononabike wrote:

Disk brakes should be considered essential for winter commuting - I've worn through Mavic rims in less than two Birmingham winters, and disks are so much better in the wet

Cyclists have been doing significantly more than a few seasons without killing the rims for longer than I can remember, I've had a fair few Mavic rims and something like an Ma2 would last you tens of thousands of miles and buying second hand mint/very good wheels means costs are ridiculously low these days if/when you do need to replace.

People who find it hard to brake in time in the wet are going too fast for the conditions, not being observant enough or just not leaving any time/space in hand. Ride what you like but it's costing you more and getting less buying discs and at the OPs budget the disc brakes aren't going to be great are they?

Tricross Comp, one of the best value bikes that does everything well that has been on the market in the last 15 years, can take a tyre up to about a 38 with mudguard, carbon stays to iron out the bumps, carbon forks and this one has a carbon post too, the Comp, Elite and Pro came with the zertz carbon post as standard. Rack and guard mounts plus the rack mounts can take 20kg no bother at all.

They also make disc variants.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Specialized-Tricross-Comp/312787557352?hash=i...

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Tim Walker [2 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

I have a Giant Contend 2 as one of my training/back up bikes. It’s a brilliant bike for the price, the frame is relatively light and comfortable and gives you a good relaxed position but you can also get areo(ish) if you want. It feels fast and it’s fun. However, I don’t recommend it as a winter commuter unless you are willing to change out the brake callipers and wheelset immediately. I found both the original brake callipers and and rims to be very flexy. Fine for light traffic in country lanes but dangerous in heavier city traffic and wet weather - which I discovered to my cost. Once I had upgraded the callipers to Tiagra with swisstop pads and put on a pair of Zondas the braking performance improved dramatically.

Secondly, the FSA chainset used is designed to take up to three rings and is not well optimised to work with the Claris front derailleur and KMC chain. I found overshifting to be a real issue which no adjustments could solve until I installed a dog tooth chain catcher.

Personally, I use a hybrid for commuting for the sake of hydraulic discs and rack/mudguard mounting points. I’ve found even budget hydraulic flat bar discs brakes to be far superior to any expensive road bike versions (larger reservoir maybe). But I’m sure that will change as the technology further improves in time.

If I was gonna do it all again I’d probably buy something like the Alloy Synapse or even a Topstone or Diverge as a do-it-all bike.

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srchar [1664 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
jononabike wrote:

Disk brakes should be considered essential for winter commuting - I've worn through Mavic rims in less than two Birmingham winters, and disks are so much better in the wet

Out of interest, what's your weekly mileage? Because I've had unremarkable rim-braked factory wheelsets from both the Japanese and Italians last 5+ winters.

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ktache [2343 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Rim brakes wear out rims (ceramic/carbide excepted, of course), they just do, it's part of aluminium braking surfaces.  Never used carbon, but I'm guessing that's much more expensive.  I had a set of very precious and rare Mavic 717s eaten in about 11 months, it was a fun and filthy commute, swisstop greens on curve/xt cantis, with a bath in the filth at the start of each end of different routes on the commute.  The noise of the grinding was horrifying.  It was a very wet winter, spring and summer, never truely drying out.  There may have been a couple of days with no mud right in the middle of summer.  Just one of those things.

On other more tarmaccy commutes I must have got years out of some rims.

One of the reasons that I decided to finally retire that bike was when Mavic stopped makng the 26 inch XC717.  It is a consumable.  That and SRAM no longer making their quality 8 speed chains.  And 8 speed XT cassettes getting up to the £80 mark on ebay.

I had to do a shakedown ride yesterday, and I got to ride my ceramic rimmed Good bike,  XTR Vs, Nokon cables and Ti brake booster on the front, and in the pouring rain, I must say they are not quite as good as my new Hope Tech 3 E4s.  Not quite single finger braking, almost but not quite.  Quieter though.  I might go sintered pads for the winter on the disks, maybe less "barking" on the front.

And the ali rims/cantis in the pouring rain, whole different ball game.  At least one full rotaion before there was any bite.  Just have to ride a bit different.  Little slower and with more forward thinking.

 

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Boatsie [539 posts] 2 months ago
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Surely you guys north have similar budget bikes that will handle the winter.
Down here we have loads of new bikes made of alloy, will clear stays easily with 35mm tyres and brake via discs on double walled alloy rims to withstand bumps and abuse. Tripping weight totals at about 11kg and using economically ideal shifter systems that don't get to hurt by awful weathers. Plus they're capable of mounting both guards and panniers.
Eg. 99bikes at $550 (275 quid) with an alloy frame/fork disc brake 7or 8 speed double ring.
Reids at $500(250 quid) ditto 7 speed.

I'd love a bike like that although I'm really happy with a system that maxs at 32 between the stays via a 9 speed choice of ratios and rim brakes but I keep dreaming.  1

Having been lucky to ride around a hilly city of eastern Europe lately. That city's different to where I live. Our winter lows are near zero and my ride is flat. There is minus 20 and often steep. I'd rather something wide with discs. I'm used to less performance but even here I'd rather one of those bikes above and useage wise? Low count cassettes are easy to use, the windage isn't huge on dropbars and 7-8 speed cassettes are about 10 quid when they do wear out. I don't think 9 speed cassettes are huge priced neither. I bought mine at 10quid a set. Deliberately targeting 9 or less as a system because of chain strength, teeth ratio throw and hence less wear.
I'm sure the 10-11-12? speeds would be nicer systems to use but commuting, I know I'm as happy as fly lips on ships reducing torque, shifting ratios and torquing when engaged with alignment.
I don't know your traders. We're headed at summer. Just had a quick browse and seen a 20speed alloy Tiagra at 300 quid on one of the big trader sites. Wow.. Way better than my rides but contains carbon and isn't needed. Darn wants.
Winter/commuter bikes I adore large throw cassettes but I've never used 10+ speed. Maybe they're easy too?
The hub gear bike is different to ride but really safe if you want to forget about maintenance and corner slower.

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Dowenn [1 post] 1 month ago
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Thanks for your help everyone. Just trawling through second hand sites just now as I would get much better value for money as pointed out.

I'm living in North West England just now but travel to Central Scotland often with work so if anyone sees a good deal in those areas let me know. Looking for 54cm/medium frame, Tiagra or above groupset if possible, mudguard fittings. Disc still not essential in my opinion for the riding I'd do but would be a nice bonus.

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gmac101 [243 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

I have a Kinesis T2 that I bought as a frame in a sale  and built up with the latest tiagra groupset and PDW full metal fenders.  Its a great commuter and light tourer with a tortec velocity rack on the back  

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IanEdward [386 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
Quote:

Disk brakes should be considered essential for winter commuting

Because the noise they make in the wet attracts driver's attentions?

I've commuted through three winters and numerous weather warnings on rim brakes, never occurred to me to 'upgrade' to discs.

Any discs you get at £500 will be a massive compromise.

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Nick T [1359 posts] 1 month ago
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Tyre grip is always the limiting factor, if it's possible to lock up a rim brake (it is) then any extra stopping power is surplus. The only real benefit of discs on the road is not killing your rims in winter, but you'll be spending a lorra dorra on decent ones

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StuInNorway [335 posts] 1 month ago
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Nick T wrote:

Tyre grip is always the limiting factor, if it's possible to lock up a rim brake (it is) then any extra stopping power is surplus. The only real benefit of discs on the road is not killing your rims in winter, but you'll be spending a lorra dorra on decent ones

There is also the fact that in the wet, discs degrade less in performance by being further from the source of the water. Should be riding to the conditions, if it's wet enough to easily lock up, I'm going to be taking it a big gentler anyway, not least because I'm going to be moving around more to avoid the puddles all over the place. 

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Nick T [1359 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

I never said you shouldn't ride to the conditions. A rim brake caliper is further from a puddle than a disc caliper btw

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Boatsie [539 posts] 1 month ago
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Nick T wrote:

I never said you shouldn't ride to the conditions. A rim brake caliper is further from a puddle than a disc caliper btw

The rim cops it tho whereas a disc might be damp but will dry faster. Hence after passing through the clamp, the disc is ready to load hold whereas a rim will do another near ground pass prior to clamp, sometimes passing through another puddle. Torque advantage of radius can be a win sometimes, a loss other times.

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CyclingInBeastMode [282 posts] 1 month ago
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Boatsie wrote:
Nick T wrote:

I never said you shouldn't ride to the conditions. A rim brake caliper is further from a puddle than a disc caliper btw

The rim cops it tho whereas a disc might be damp but will dry faster. Hence after passing through the clamp, the disc is ready to load hold whereas a rim will do another near ground pass prior to clamp, sometimes passing through another puddle. Torque advantage of radius can be a win sometimes, a loss other times.

How much have you actually ridden on rim brakes in wet conditions? I've been doing it since 1983, haven't crashed yet due to lack of braking.

But please let us know how many fewer c=incidents there are with commuters using discs, oh wait, the number of serious injuries in the UK have been going up with no rise in cycling for transport! People like you talk about something that you don't even understand at its most basic point and ignore what's already been said in the thread, bother to read and understand it!

People who understand safety and consider road conditions will ALWAYS be safer road users than those that think they can brake later, easier with their so called better brakes. If you can't brake in good time on rim brakes in the wet then you don't understand cycling/road safety at all!

 

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srchar [1664 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
gmac101 wrote:

I have a Kinesis T2 that I bought as a frame in a sale  and built up with the latest tiagra groupset and PDW full metal fenders.  Its a great commuter and light tourer with a tortec velocity rack on the back  

Pretty similar commuter build here - T3 with Veloce. Upgraditis means I keep looking at discs, then we get some rain and the noise of wet disc brakes on other bikes puts me right off.