I've been following the Road.cc forums and site for a while now, but only just felt the need to post here and ask for your advice.

A bit of background: I ride both road and MTB, however I would say the majority of my time and money is spent on the road. I'm currently riding my first road bike; a Kuota Korsa Lite ('11 I think); and I'm on to my second 'proper' MTB; Specialized Stumpy Comp Evo, purchased within the last 12 months (owned many cheapo/Halfords MTBs growing up, but not important here.)

For the price, I feel that my Kuota was fairly well specced at around £1200 when I bought it: Shimano 105 group set, Deda and FSA finishing kit, however it's only rolling on standard Shimano R500 wheels and it's alu frame / carbon forks.

When I upgraded to my Spesh from my entry level MTB, it was a real eye-opener to see what difference a more expensive, better specced bike made to my riding. With the novelty of the new MTB wearing off, I'm left with an itch for spending some well earned money on my road bike.

Now, I could go either way: I could go for some nice aero wheels for the Kuota, which I read makes a hell of a difference on the flats, etc. (but not necessarily beneficial on the climbs) however I fear that the rest of the frame will be the bottleneck. My other option is to replace the bike with a more capable frame and components, hence this thread. I've had a good read through the forums and there are a few similar threads, however I didn't want to hijack/dig up those other threads:

So, first things first: budget. I'd love to be able to find something up to £2500 as I feel that's a sensible 'next step' from the Kuota at £1200.

Next: brands. I've a taste for the following, however I'm not limited to these, of course:
- Felt
- Bianchi
- Wilier
- Cervélo
- Canyon

Ideally, I would like to go for something a little more unusual, hence the brand suggestions above. Furthermore, I'd like to try to steer away from the likes of:
- Trek
- Focus
- Cube
- Cannondale
- Scott
- Boardman (of course!)
- Specialized (yes, I'm over the moon with my Spesh MTB, but I don't want to look like a Spesh fan boy  3 so I'm not 100% keen on this option, including just in case)

So, some bikes that I've pencilled in to the short list:
- Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
- Wilier GTR
- Bianchi B4P Sempre Pro
- Felt F3/F4
- Cervélo S2
- Specialized Tarmac Comp (as above, I'm not 100% on sticking with Spesh for road, but willing to consider if worth it)

I'd love to hear some of your opinions on the above. I appreciate that I may sound fussy, but I'm open to almost anything, if it's worth it! If there are any other bikes/brands that I've not mentioned above, please let me know and I'll take a look.

I would also be interested to hear your input on whether anyone feels ot would be worth it / not worth it to upgrade the wheelset on my Kuota as a stop-gap between this and getting a new bike. Wheels-wise, I had one Mavic Cosmics in mind if I went down the aero route, or Campagnolo Shamal Ultra Mega G3 for normal profile 'climbers'.



matthewn5 [1063 posts] 4 years ago

Go round to your local dealer and ride them - it's the best way to find out what you like.

masterroot24 [4 posts] 4 years ago

@drmatthewhardy - thanks.

I appreciate that actually choosing in person is best and it is my intention to visit a few trusted LBSs at the weekend.

I hoped that a few people on here would be able to offer some ideas/advice on what's currently working for them that they would recommend. Anyone?

Super Domestique [1619 posts] 4 years ago

I used to be pretty anti-Spesh, then I tried one. Now I've got....erm....a few!
Tarmac Expert in the sales should suit.  1

masterroot24 [4 posts] 4 years ago


I must admit the more research I do, the more I am coming round to the idea that Spesh may not be as bad as I make out. After all, my Spesh MTB blew me away when I took the plunge on that, so hopefully a road equivalent will do too.

The only thing that niggles me with Spesh Tarmacs is the current (2014) wheel sets - it seems the only way to get decent rims is to fork out for an S-Works Tarmac, which isn't going to happen for me.

The general consensus on Fulcrum Racing 5's is not that great from what I can make out. Is that correct?

badkneestom [135 posts] 4 years ago

I built my bike from scratch, if you buy stock you'll just look at parts to upgrade next before it's a completely different bike. You're already talking about the wheels not being good enough!

I built a CAAD10 SRAM Rival at 7100g. Very happy with every part from stem to wheels.

masterroot24 [4 posts] 4 years ago
badkneestom wrote:

You're already talking about the wheels not being good enough!

Any excuse for being slow  3

Thanks for the suggestion of building from scratch. I'll suggest this at my trusted LBS, see what they can offer.

Stratman [92 posts] 4 years ago

Giant defy advanced with ultegra? Or a Tcr for something more racy. I've got on well with my Defy.

bashthebox [752 posts] 4 years ago

On your list, I'd go for the Canyon every time. It's supposed to be an astonishing machine. It's the only pro-level bike on your shortlist. I'm very tempted to go for one myself, although I'm most likely going down the dark path of an unbranded import frame for my next upgrade.
I believe they have an outlet in Kingston, if that's somewhere you can get to.

masterroot24 [4 posts] 4 years ago

Thanks for the Canyon shout.

Sadly, I'm 'up north' so I'm limited to online ordering. As much as I love the look and specs of the Canyon, I'm not sure I can be doing with the hassle of sending back, waiting, wishing, should something go wrong.

Funnily enough, I'm beginning to be tempted by the Spesh Tarmac Comp '14, however nowhere seems to have stock until jan '14  2

matthewn5 [1063 posts] 3 years ago

+1 for the Canyon. Absolutely no problems with mine. Superb aluminium bike!

Craig0605 [12 posts] 3 years ago

I just bought the new Lapierre Xelius 200 with ultegra 6800 11 speed a few weeks ago and absolutely love it. It's a lovely bike to ride and would recommend them to everyone who is looking around that sort of budget.