Road bike conundrum, time to lower the bar!

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  • Road bike conundrum, time to lower the bar!
  • JohnJohn

    You’ve advised on £3k & £2k budgets, mine is a bit lower.
    I have permission to get my first road bike in 30+ years and have about £1k to spend.
    I know the received wisdom is to get on as many bike as possible before making a decision and I’ve had a 10 min spin on a Felt Z85 and it seemed ok. I quite like the look of the Planet-X Pro Carbon, but how do I get to try one?
    What else I should consider?

    Premier Icon bikebouy

    Ask Hora about the Planet X 😉

    DOnt know the Felt at all, what about Dolan/Ribble and or etc..


    Alloy: CAAD8 105. Superb frame. Looks a lot more expensive.
    Carbon: Defy Composite 2

    Both are great bikes (we have derivatives of both). The CAAD8 is a little more racey, but has a nice long head tube. The Defy comes with a less nice groupset, but a fine carbon frame.


    i like the look of the Ribble Sportive but i have the same problem as the Planet-X, how do i try one for fit?

    Premier Icon muddydwarf

    Dolan L’etape?

    You can build up to your own price point & if you are close enough they have a showroom in Ormskirk.
    I have one built up with 105 groupset & Cero AR30 wheels, lovely thing.


    I’d go with TiRed. Properly sorted frames. Go to a decent shop that knows road bikes and get a proper test ride, not just a spin around the block. If they don’t have those exact versions they’ll at least be able to get something very similar to sort out size.


    I’d go with something off of Paulscycles. PlanetX are quoting a long delay. My bike took over 4 weeks and that was ordered in April so you’d be missing out on good weather riding time waiting IMO.


    At that price point, aluminum and a lot of carbon frames are going to be very harsh rides. If it’s your first bike in 30 years then you won’t have much to compare that too, but if you do end up on cheap carbon or alloy then you could be missing out on something more comfortable.

    I’m guessing your the other side of 40? And if you’ve not been on a road bike for 30 years comfort of ride and set up will be paramount to having fun.

    I would put a high value on service and fit from a shop in that situation. Sure online discounters and mail order will get you more bike, but a good fit and set up will get you more ‘ride’.

    For your budget, you’re squarely in the sights of the Genesis brand and their range of Equilibrium bikes.

    These are steel and very well made. They will be heavier than an equivalent alloy or carbon (probably even at the same price) but any one of them will be considerably more comfortable and better suited to your return to road riding.

    This comes in at £1099 but if you shop around a bit you’ll likely find it cheaper. I have had one myself before moving up a gear to a ti race bike but now have another one as my commuter/winter training bike.


    Hora, are you seriously offering road bike advice? 🙂


    If you are confident on what you want then you will get a better deal via mail order.

    However, if like me you don’t really know what you want, and would like to try it first, go to a shop.
    I picked up a Giant Defy 1 on Saturday from our local Giant Store – it is a thing of beauty, and well regarded as one of the best £1k bikes out there.

    At £1k you are on the cusp between the better alloy frames, and entry level carbon. As i’m a 100kg lump I decided alloy was preferable to cheaper carbon.
    The Ribble Grand Fondo also looks good for around £1k…

    Cube Peloton?
    Full 105 groupset-even the brake callipers & front mech, carbon fork, decent wheels & £999


    Hora, are you seriously offering road bike advice?

    Buy something in stock and available now 🙂

    Even a 3 week wait for a direct-brand mail order bike means three weeks of beautiful weather lost…

    Thats priceless 8)

    Premier Icon Bregante

    Buy something in stock your size and available now



    At that price point, aluminum and a lot of carbon frames are going to be very harsh rides.

    My experience of carbon frames in that price bracket is that they have a tendency to be quite comfortable but a bit sloppy in the BB. Although not necessarily enough to cause issues.

    A couple of my riding buddies have Ribbles – a Sportive Bianco and a Grand Fondo (good value, comfortable, come with terrible wheels and tyres but serviceable finishing kit) and the Ribble R872 (excellent frame, slightly more aggressive, not overly harsh, stiff in the BB)…

    You can spec any of these with full 105 at around your budget, but I’d put a bit more in to get better wheels and tyres.

    TBH, you’re shopping in the most competitive price bracket due to C2W scheme, so in terms of VFM, you’re spoilt for choice.

    People don’t seem to recommend Boardman any more, not sure why. Excellent frame and great value…


    I’d always recommend buying used. That way, if you don’t get on with it you can sell it on without making a huge loss, and try something else.


    Freeagent, great choice! I’d still get an alu defy on that budget. Properly sorted frame, comfy for long rides, you could happily race on it, it’s got guard mounts for winter training. And is easily a good enough frame to benefit from some quality wheels and componentry upgrades if you really get into it. And Giant are excellent at sorting out any problems too.

    All too easy to be swayed by a cheap carbon frame and an upgraded groupset from one of the mail order lot though.

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