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  • £2k+ all rounder road bike (aka adventure bike)
  • fakiee

    I need a bike that can get keep up with roadies, but keep still get me around londons canal and tow paths, do a london to brighton off road and also on road, etc. So I boiled it down to a few bikes in the “adventure range”

    Norca Search Ultrega
    Jamis Rengarde Ultrega
    Cannondale Slate Ultrega/105

    Would love to hear opinions on those experienced in this field and with some hours put in on similar bikes.

    I really tempted to FI and go with the Slate but is it really worth if for 3cm of travel and an alloy frame? Norco would be my 2nd choice as its on offer at evans. jamis gets the best reviews but I don’t like the look of it

    thanks for your help!

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Cleveland Way a couple of weeks ago;
    Managed to impress a couple of guys riding Santa Cruz FS bikes 😉

    Premier Icon BillOddie

    Only slightly relevant but I really like my (much) cheaper Jamis Renegade Expat (steel frame)

    I have heard VERY good things about the carbon versions.

    Premier Icon jameso

    The lefty on the slate is brilliant. Utter genius that bike. Subtle but so effective, one of those bikes that’s a great sum of parts. I’d buy it over any carbon cxer at that level.


    @trekster – never heard of Ridley before, thanks for the heads up I’ll take a look and do a bit of research.

    @BillOddie – good shout, I ride a Cotic 853 soul and love a bit of steel!! Hadn’t seen the Jamis Expat so this could be a winner!

    @jameso – I would love to buy the Slate, its pretty much exactly what I want BUT I think its more money than sense, half the money is going on that fork – and that is a lot of fork for just 3cm. I’m sure they have done it for a good reason but the alloy frame? If that bike was carbon reckon I would have gone for it. Still want one tho!

    Premier Icon BillOddie

    You have to buy from Evans, they have the (more expensive than mine) steel one at £1250
    and the more expensive carbon bike for £150 more as it’s currently discounted.

    Looking at the specs the only difference is the frame and BB (which is due to the frame).

    Both substantially under your budget.
    Both come with the new 105 and TRP HyRd brakes, both of which are supposed to be nice.

    If you want to strectch to an extra couple of hundred quid you could get the hydro disced Ultegra bike…

    Premier Icon Bez

    but the alloy frame? If that bike was carbon reckon I would have gone for it.

    You can make a good frame or a so-so frame or a bad frame out of any of the four usual materials. Cannondale make good frames.


    @Bez – yeah I noticed a lot of people posted pics of there cannondale leftys and badboys in comparison to the slate. While i was looking at the slate from the side view it started to remind a me a little of a badboy with a drop bar.

    A badboy with Rohloff and drop bar would be sick!

    reason im not building my own bike is I have a C2W discount I need to use.

    Premier Icon spxxky

    Giant Defy


    Genesis Datum?? linky

    Premier Icon zilog6128

    The lefty on the slate is brilliant. Utter genius that bike. Subtle but so effective, one of those bikes that’s a great sum of parts. I’d buy it over any carbon cxer at that level.

    The only thing that puts me off the slate is the potential ballache of servicing the fork, considering it’d be a bike I’d commute on as well as doing longer rides evenings/weekends so (like my current commuter) would get a lot more use than my MTB.

    Anyone know the service interval/cost (or is it something you can easily do yourself)?

    Plus obviously a carbon one would be nice. I’ll check with my mate Paul next year though to see if he can do me a deal; would be very tempted if so!

    Premier Icon Kamakazie

    I have a Search XR (similar to the current spec Ultegra) and think it is an excellent bike. Super stiff around the BB but feels a little compliant at the back end as designed. Forks are probably a bit harsh compared to what I’d expect though.

    I’ve found it very capable on & off road though I’ve not ridden anything similar to compare.

    Don’t think you will be disappointed with any options in that price range.

    Premier Icon Lakes_Puma

    I’ve just bought the Renegade Elite and although I’ve only managed to get a couple of rides on it, it feels great to me, but I don’t have any frame of reference when it comes to road bikes!

    I’ve taken it on a route that included road and dirt tracks and got 8 PBs on a 20 miles ride over my 29er hardtail.

    As for the looks I guess it’s down to personal preference as I think it looks great


    I have a Charge Plug 5 , titanium frame, carbon forks, 1 X 11 gears,

    Really comfortable, wide tyres and disc brakes.

    Rear rack mounts and mudguard eyes.

    Have a look at the Charge website.


    Thanks for all of the suggestions guys. I’ve dropped down in to the sub £2000 bracket and will then make the rest up in accessories. If I was still gogin for the +2K i thin it would have been the Norca search Ultrega. The Jamis Elite is lush but just too good looking for Londons daily commute!!

    I think its gonna be the Jamis Renegade Expert, hopefully the mid season version is available as it has full hydros.

    I will also test the Norco Search C 105 – this would a 100% purchase if it had a rack mount option.


    Shand Stoater £1950


    plus one

    I’m surprised at the cost/weight of these bikes around the £2000 mark 😯

    I know weight isn’t the be all and end all .. I reckon you could build something way cheaper/lighter ..

    As an example I built up a Chinese Carbon cx frame a couple of years ago(singlespeed) for racing .. No longer racing so I picked up a set of aksium disc wheels/fitted rotors from spares box/new tyres set up 1×10 (got round local chaingang on Saturday morning)

    Popped cx wheels on Sunday morning and had blast round my local trails 🙂

    £1400 or so inc extra parts to run 1×10

    It’s running trp hylex(fully hydraulic) and trouble free so didn’t want to ditch them to fit gears .. Fitted bar end shifter/44t nw chainring and 10 speed mtb cassette on rear(cx wheels)

    Sold my winter road bike as its now redundant and my rigid mtb is going too 🙂

    19lbs with pedals


    @plus one – I see what your saying but the Jamis Renegade Expert is currently on offer at £1400. I need to buy brand new from shop for C2W scheme hence not building my own.

    @shandcycles Nice looking ride!

    Premier Icon teadrinker

    I’ve just brought a Niner RLT9 frame and I am building it up with Ultegra and I just gone with the Kysrium all road wheelset. It comes in above your budget but you could build a nice bike for your budget. It’s a lovely frame.

    Premier Icon cloudnine

    With some careful shopping around and using discount codes and cashback (Topcashback), BC discount on CRC etc you could build up a Ti Tripster with Ultegra, hydros and some nice bits for £2k

    Premier Icon fatmax

    Shand Stoater or Stooshie – hoping for a Stooshie next year…

    Premier Icon edhornby


    or self build a niner RLT with 105 hydro from merlin and whatever wheels you can stretch budget to (finishing kit from the classifieds), or a pickenflick with properly nice wheels


    thanks fior the help and suggestions.

    Went for the Jamis Renegade Expert. Carbon frame with full 105 groupset including disc brakes (full hydro not cable acto), not bad for 1400. Made up the rest in accesories

    Premier Icon Lakes_Puma

    Nice one, good timing with the disk brake upgrade, at the start of the season they were cable operated, but have made the switch now.

    Have fun riding it.


    I too am interested in this thread. Currently have a full on racer (Argon 18 Gallium Pro) with 25c tyres and whilst I love the bike, I feel battered after long rides. I think this is down to the knackered roads.

    So I am contemplating a gravel bike and am undecided between the Cannondale Slate and the Jamis Renegade Elite. After something that can handle gravel trailways, knackered back country roads and will happily take mud guards for use over the winter.

    Would appreciate if anyone has tried either of the models and can provide feedback on how well they absorb road vibration from peeling off road surface and small pot holes.



    I went for the Renegade Expert from Evans, at £1400 it was a no brainer for me -its an amazing bike. The Jamis Renegade Elite i’m sure would not disappoint.

    One thing I will say is the 15mm front and 12×142 rear axles on the Jamis make the bike incredibly stiff which is great, but don’t expect a softer ride just because the bike can handle gravel, you’ll need to get your tires & pressure dialled for comfort/speed. I installed gel under my grips and ride padded gloves to take the edge off. But if you are coming from a road bike you might see a bigger difference in comfort.

    I still love the Slate and wish I had the cash for one but its just too niche for me. It runs 42mm 650b tires, this is to make up a bigger overall wheel diameter by running large tires on a 650b rim, I wanted the option to run normal 25c tires but this setup could mess with the bikes ride too much? And with the slate you may be limited for tire choice. It was just a bit too far from road bike that put me off.

    The slate could be the perfect bike for you though? Read the review here:

    Last years Elite review

    Premier Icon nedrapier

    Depending on which shops you can use to supply the bike, you might be able to find one who could build you up one of these:

    Premier Icon paul4stones

    Should have got one of these , my Pact Reiver that Brant made for me 😉 Pretty similar to an Alpkit Camino I think but Brant may be along to correct me if I’m wrong. The beauty of it is being able to swap wheels and swap purpose, it’s like having two bikes in one. I haven’t tried slicker 650b tyres yet but that might make it even more versatile, like ‘road plus’ 🙂

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