If you are prepared to do a fair bit of research and self build then I can highly recommend the Gianni Motta frames from merlin as a starting point. I built one up for a round £800 using Chinese carbon bits. Research is essential.
Many folks would recommend a decent second hand bike. For that sort of money you would pick up something with ultegra and half decent wheels.
As for new stuff the 2014 bikes are coming out so there should be plenty of 2013’s being discounted.
Personally I would not get hung up on a carbon frame as cheap carbon is no better than a half decent ALU most of the time. Except nothing less than 105 and keep an eye on what wheels come with the bike. I would rather have a good pair of wheels than save a few grams on a carbon frame.Posted 4 years agomboySubscriber
Ok cheers guys, what’s wrong with tiagra and sora both are sti?
Nothing at all… Too many people get far too hung up on what groupset the bike has, and that it has a carbon frame, hence the proliferation of cheap nasty Carbon frames often with a couple of 105 trinkets coming in at the £1k mark. I’d rather ride a better overall package, with a frame worthwhile of future upgrades and a Tiagra groupset.
For £7-800, there’s loads of good bikes out there. All the usual Suspects (Trek, Specialized, Giant, Cannondale etc.) have worthwhile bikes in that price bracket, but then also check out the likes of the new Raleigh Revenio range, and Forme’s Longcliffe range and Moda’s Intro for a few worthwhile homegrown alternatives.
Couple of words of advice if you’re going to ride through the winter though (given you’re asking this at the end of October)… Firstly, buy a bike with clearance for mudguards of some sort when used with 25c tyres. Secondly, buy a decent pair of 25c tyres that are both grippy and have some sort of puncture protection, they won’t be cheap but they will be very worthwhile. Come spring you’ll thank me on both counts!Posted 4 years ago
Nothing wrong with Tiagra at all, but I’d buy 2013 year bike with 105 over 2014 with Tiagra. And We have two bikes with Tiagra and two with Ultegra. The wheels on the CAAD8 are rather gash, but will see you to your first upgrade next year.
The CAAD8 is a very fine frame and has eyelets for full mudguards. Teen2’s is running 23c tyres with them at the moment and it is a superb ride. I’ve raced Cat4 on it (sans guards) and the Tiagra shifted just fine.Posted 4 years agofunkrodentSubscriber
First thing is what do you want the bike for. Commute? Racing? Sportif type disances? Touring? Mix of all of the above? Horses for courses.
Unless you’re aiming tp be the fastest guy in the peleton, you would be advised to go for a bike that is an all rounder. By this I mean a bike that is comfortable yet quick, that has the fittings (and clearance) for racks and mudguards (after all this is GB not California) and that has a good frame that will last and be worth upgrading.
The frame is critical. There are many cheap (and quite a few expensive) carbon frames out there that aren’t a patch on the better made and engineeredd aluminium ones. I know a couple of serious roadies and they both have Kinesis Racelight bikes as their winter bikes. They take up to 28 tyres with mudguards and a rack, are comfortable and light and both reckon that they’re almost a match for their £4k supersteeds. Whilst the full build (with Tiagra) is £1,100 on the Kinesis website, you can buy the T2 frame and carbon forks for £380 and a full Tiagra build kit off Chain Reaction for £360 (incl mudguards). That’s £740 + the cost of getting it built up. It’s what I’ve done (having perviously had a Cannondale and a Specialised) and I’m loving itPosted 4 years agowobbliscottMember
Sora is fine and is effectively the previous years Tiagra as they flow it down year on year. I’ve recently had a Sora equipped bike, Tiagra and now a 105. Sora and Tiagra are identical really – apart from the fact the sora I had was 9 spd and the Tiagra 10 spd but was effectively the same kit and you’d struggle to tell the difference, the 105 is noticeably nicer. All are very good and slick – i wouldn’t get hung up on it at all and go for whatever has the best frame and wheelset combo. Its the frame that defines how the bike rides.Posted 4 years ago
“We” is myself and two teenage sons. Between us we have (ahem) a few road bikes. And since Teen1 is now fully grown, we can swap bikes. Hence today I commuted on his Tiagra CAAD8 with full mudguards. Teen2 has an alloy XS Giant Defy (actually an Avail), also with Tiagra.
Tiagra 10spd shifts lighter than 105 and Ultegra because it still retains the external cables. It is an excellent groupset.
If you can find a Defy, I’d take that over the CAAD8 as a first road bike because it doesn’t have the troublesome BB30 bottom bracket, and I like compact frames. I’ve raced this season on both a CAAD8 and a (top end) Giant Defy. Both are fine bikes.Posted 4 years agomarmadukeMember
I wouldn’t get too hung up on the groupset, always remember to check which “non-headline” components are being used, I seem to see a lot of bikes with a fair frame and groupset but naff saddle, crap brakes, cheap finishing kit (outers, cables etc) and terrible tyres.Posted 4 years agoRogan JoshMember
Cannondale CAAD 8 DEFINITELY.
You don’t want carbon at that price point, and don’t waste your time looking around for eBay special carbon stuff from Far East, I know production quality is high on many nothing’s in the Far East so don’t start (please) but just get a cannondale.
Their alloy technology and development is MILES ahead of anyone else.
Not a boardman.Posted 4 years agodeviantMember
My Specialized Allez was £600, apart from an overly harsh/stiff seat post that seemed to be made from scaffold pole, i cant really fault it….obviously at that price the wheels are heavier than i’d like but i havent had any reason to change the bars, stem, saddle etc….all items i usually incessantly swap around when i first get a bike.
I’m only changing now to get an overall better package, the new bike has lighter everything including frame, wheels, 105 groupset instead of Sora etc etc.Posted 4 years ago
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