Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

Halfords Carrera bikes

slunkerslunker Posts: 346
edited March 2009 in Road beginners
Just picked up my new Trek 1400 from the lbs and went for a 35 mile ride on the bike. This bike replace my trusty Carrera Valour which cost œ270 where as the Trek cost œ900. The conclusions I have reached after riding the new bike is so:

1. The difference is negligible, it certainly isn't œ600 better than the carrera.

2. Either we buy bikes (average cyclist) just for show or vanity.

3. Halfords Carrera is the best bargain out there.

Yes I got to admit the newer bike is better finished but it doesn't justify the price difference, not imo anyway. So to all those posts with what to buy for œ1K save your money and buy a less well known brand.
«134

Posts

  • First proper MTB was a carrera, loved it, worth œ250 and it got me into cycling

    Bike Piccies
  • Sound conclusions, I think! And yes, some at least Carreras are indeed excellent vfm in my experience (especially when Merida were supplying the top end stuff, full sus and road).
    And bear in mind that only paying an extra 100 quid or so for a Trek sticker - 3 or 4 times that for the fancy brands (especially Italian!).

    d.j.
    "Like a true nature's child,
    We were born,
    Born to drink mild"
  • halfords wizzkidhalfords wizzkid Posts: 1,387
    i agree halfords carrera road bikes are fantastic value for money, i should know as im on my 3rd one already in 3 years.
    all have been a little bit on the cheap side (components,wheels etc) but the frames are bombproof.
    ive had 2 valours and now a virtuoso (see link below).
    anyone else got one that they would like to show off???

    http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z241 ... 301333.jpg
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    The bike in my pics below was a Carrera from Halfords originally and the frame BB eroded so Merida upgraded frame free of charge to full carbon frame forks and post, I have since replaced the 105 with dura ace, carbon wheels will be next [:D]
    I have to say I also have difficulty noticing the difference between bikes on our censored roads [8D]

    Feel free to browse and donate:
    http://www.justgiving.com/davidbethanmills
    My winter and summer bike pics

    http://oldwelshman.myphotoalbum.com
  • vernonlevyvernonlevy Posts: 969
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by slunker</i>

    Just picked up my new Trek 1400 from the lbs and went for a 35 mile ride on the bike. This bike replace my trusty Carrera Valour which cost œ270 where as the Trek cost œ900. The conclusions I have reached after riding the new bike is so:

    1. The difference is negligible, it certainly isn't œ600 better than the carrera.

    2. Either we buy bikes (average cyclist) just for show or vanity.

    3. Halfords Carrera is the best bargain out there.

    Yes I got to admit the newer bike is better finished but it doesn't justify the price difference, not imo anyway. So to all those posts with what to buy for œ1K save your money and buy a less well known brand.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    many folk rubbish the Carrera range out of hand because of its association with Halfords. I've had nothing but satisfaction with their Kraken and Subway 1 bikes and happily recommend them to all.
  • kev2b3kev2b3 Posts: 159
    just bought a second hand carrera gyphon. all the gears have replaced with 105 and it as mavic wheels on it. its a fantastic bike, i have put mud guards on it so i may think of it now as my new audax bike.
  • I bought a Carrera Valour 06 for œ279 8 weeks ago - took it in for its free 6 week service and asked the dude to true the slight wobble on the back wheel - turns out it was bent beyond repair - got it replaced with a Shimano wheel under guarantee after a bit of haggling. 1 other mod was to up the big chainring from 48T to 52T - apart from that the bike is great and good value.

    If at first you don't succeed - give in and go for a pint!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    If at first you don\'t succeed - give in and go for a pint!
  • alecstilleyedyealecstilleyedye Posts: 1,170
    my virtuoso was bought for œ250 to get me back into cycling. it sure has. it now has a full tiagra groupset and carbon fork so is probably as good as many bikes costing œ600+ (and apparently 6061 heat treated alu is less brittle than 7005).

    all the old groupset has gone onto a steel frame and still makes for a good ride.

    and if i found out that cycling was not for me, i'd only have wasted œ250 instead of œ600.

    get a carrera and, if you need to, upgrade the components. if you want to pay a fortune for badge snobbery you could always get it resprayed and then put the trek/bianchi logo on instead.[;)]

    if i had a better signature, i'd use that instead
    riding on my bicycle, i saw a motorcrash…
  • I have a Carrera Vanquish it is my commuting bike and gets the most mileage of all my bikes. I really enjoy riding it and so far have only changed the saddle. Since it didn't cost me a fortune I was also able to get a new mountain bike this year to keep me happy at the weekends.
  • peejay78peejay78 Posts: 3,378
    kind of disproves the old adage - maybe you can polish a censored after all.

    winter: http://tinyurl.com/2xkbbs
    summer: http://tinyurl.com/2hsagv
  • BuggiBuggi Posts: 674
    i have a carrera vengeance and spent far too much on a new bike when i knew nothing about what i was buying. it cost me œ999 (gutted when 3 months later it was in the sale for œ700 [:(!]) BUT i have to say i LOVE my bike [:D]

    it's true, the deciding factor was the colour, but the spec sounded good (even tho i knew nothing about bikes) and i've certainly got my miles out of it. four years old now and still people admire it (mostly i think coz of the colour (silver and dark blue) and they know more about bikes than me. it's got all good parts on it and we have loads of cyclists at work and it's still the smartest bike in the stands. It might only be a carrera, but compared to the other bikes there it looks like a thoroughbred. it's my baby.

    ps. i would post a piccy but i don't know how to do it.

    Buggi
    _____________________________________________

    To infinity... and beyond!
    my epic adventure: www.action.org.uk/~Antonia
  • Rich HcpRich Hcp Posts: 1,355
    so, do I get a Carrera Vanquish, or a Trek 1000 or Pilot 1.0?

    That is the question

    Richard

    Best thing I ever bought for a bike?
    Padded shorts![:D]
    Richard

    Giving it Large
  • alecstilleyedyealecstilleyedye Posts: 1,170
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Rich H</i>

    so, do I get a Carrera Vanquish, or a Trek 1000 or Pilot 1.0?

    That is the question

    Richard

    Best thing I ever bought for a bike?
    Padded shorts![:D]
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    the trek 1000 apparently (was on t'internet so must be true) uses the same frame as the carrera virtuoso (but with better componentry). if the vanquish is the one in halfords with the carbon forks it looks a nice bike.

    if i had a better signature, i'd use that instead
    riding on my bicycle, i saw a motorcrash…
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,878
    I wouldn't touch a Halfords Carrera with a barge pole as I don't think of these as anything approaching a decent bike. Mind you i wouldn't buy a Trek either!


    SIZE IS EVERYTHING! or at least that's what my LBS tells me.
  • alecstilleyedyealecstilleyedye Posts: 1,170
    as most alu frames are made in the far east by only a few (i've heard its 4) different factories then the difference between a carrera/giant/trek/bianchi etc etc will likely only be down to things like componentry (easily upgraded when ever needed) and paint colour/branding (which is what you pay the extra money for).

    in short, if you look down on my tiagra equipped carrera from your tiagra (or campag equivalent) giant/trek/bianchi you have been fooled by clever marketing (i work in advertising so i know what i'm talking about).

    and anyhow, it's all in the legs. i placed 15/120 on the last sportive on my carrera virtuoso in a field full of bike porn that was all "better" than my bike[;)]

    if i had a better signature, i'd use that instead
    riding on my bicycle, i saw a motorcrash…
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by giant man</i>

    I wouldn't touch a Halfords Carrera with a barge pole as I don't think of these as anything approaching a decent bike. Mind you i wouldn't buy a Trek either!


    SIZE IS EVERYTHING! or at least that's what my LBS tells me.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Such blinkered elitism and snobbery is actually simply funny! What pray is "a decent bike"? A bike is a very simple piece of technology, at the top end of the price scale ludicrously over priced (just compare with a GOOD m'cycle) and no amount of marketing hype however much it is believed can alter that fact. Full sus mtbs can just about justify maybe 66% of their cost - at least there is some R&D time and effort involved. A trad rigid road bike is a different matter.

    The makers/builders - especially Campag and Shimano - are simply takin the p^%$.

    d.j.
    "Like a true nature's child,
    We were born,
    Born to drink mild"
  • Adam TranterAdam Tranter Posts: 621
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by alecstilleyedye</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Rich H</i>

    so, do I get a Carrera Vanquish, or a Trek 1000 or Pilot 1.0?

    That is the question

    Richard

    Best thing I ever bought for a bike?
    Padded shorts![:D]
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    the trek 1000 apparently (was on t'internet so must be true) uses the same frame as the carrera virtuoso (but with better componentry). if the vanquish is the one in halfords with the carbon forks it looks a nice bike.

    if i had a better signature, i'd use that instead
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    That is completely untrue, I'm afraid.

    I don't like Halfords, they bring a bad name to the industry I work in, but, the Carrera bikes look good value and their owners seem to be pleased. Which is good, because normally when someone buys a bike from Halfords, they bring it to their LBS moaning it's censored .

    Good review in C+ this month for the Carrera, Trek, Specialized and Giant. Worth a read.
  • peterbrpeterbr Posts: 2,076
    It's absolutely true that the vast majority of mass produced Taiwanese frames are more or less the same - i.e. well finished and of good quality.

    But I'd have to say, surely you must have noticed how much smoother the higher-end components are on the Trek? 105 and Ultegra kit even to the less experienced must clearly be superior?

    <hr noshade size="1">
    Guaranteed elephant free since 1971.
    <hr noshade size="1">
    "Europe\'s nations should be guided towards a superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation"
    Jean Monnet, founding father of the EU.
  • slunkerslunker Posts: 346
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by giant man</i>

    I wouldn't touch a Halfords Carrera with a barge pole as I don't think of these as anything approaching a decent bike. Mind you i wouldn't buy a Trek either!


    SIZE IS EVERYTHING! or at least that's what my LBS tells me.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    So according to your signiture, if a Carrera bike fitted you better you wouldn't buy it?????????????
  • alecstilleyedyealecstilleyedye Posts: 1,170
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Adam Tranter</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by alecstilleyedye</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Rich H</i>

    so, do I get a Carrera Vanquish, or a Trek 1000 or Pilot 1.0?

    That is the question

    Richard

    Best thing I ever bought for a bike?
    Padded shorts![:D]
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    the trek 1000 apparently (was on t'internet so must be true) uses the same frame as the carrera virtuoso (but with better componentry). if the vanquish is the one in halfords with the carbon forks it looks a nice bike.

    if i had a better signature, i'd use that instead
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    That is completely untrue, I'm afraid.

    I don't like Halfords, they bring a bad name to the industry I work in, but, the Carrera bikes look good value and their owners seem to be pleased. Which is good, because normally when someone buys a bike from Halfords, they bring it to their LBS moaning it's censored .

    Good review in C+ this month for the Carrera, Trek, Specialized and Giant. Worth a read.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">my favourite lbs always has a stream of apollo/carrera bikes coming in for servicing as punters seemingly prefer not to send the bike back to halfords when it's been built up by a monkey with a hammer in the first place. actually, in fairness, my viruoso was set up correctly with no teething probs, unlike daughters apollo bike which had the front brake cable routed in such a way that if the handlebars turned right the front brake came on!

    so far from killing off the lbs, halfords seem to provide them with more work which, according to local lbs owner, is what keeps the shop going rather than the profit made on bike sales.

    for the œ250 quid halfords got, i got a bike and the lbs has had itro œ100 off me for servicing, upgrades etc.

    halfords are only a threat to the kind of bike shop that relies on the profits of selling a œ600 trek when you can buy a carrera and spec it up to the same standard and still have change for a load of lycra kit. it's in their intrest to promote the brand snobbery that a minority of people on this site seem to fall prey to.

    if i had a better signature, i'd use that instead
    riding on my bicycle, i saw a motorcrash…
  • pw1brownpw1brown Posts: 243
    So, it's not about the bike - it's the bike shop? And the legs, as you wisely said, alecstilleyedye.
  • Mister PaulMister Paul Posts: 719
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by giant man</i>

    I wouldn't touch a Halfords Carrera with a barge pole as I don't think of these as anything approaching a decent bike. Mind you i wouldn't buy a Trek either!


    SIZE IS EVERYTHING! or at least that's what my LBS tells me.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I'd be interested to know what you base this opinion on.

    Have you ever seen or ridden any of these bikes? If you did you'd see that some of them are very good, and excellent VFM.

    __________________________________________________________
    <font size="1">Road Sweeping Expert</font id="size1">
    __________________________________________________________
    <font>What we need is a new, national <b>White Bicycle Plan</b></font>
  • alecstilleyedyealecstilleyedye Posts: 1,170
    and i should mention the lbs has had over œ150 off me for steel frame and other bits for the original halfords supplied groupset to go on to make a winter bike. so he's made more from my purchase from halfords than they did!

    if i had a better signature, i'd use that instead
    riding on my bicycle, i saw a motorcrash…
  • BuggiBuggi Posts: 674
    so let me get this right... Most people on here are generally happy with their Carrera's (the only one's that aren't are the ones that don't have them[?]) and LBS's are moaning Halfords are a threat?

    then maybe the bikes in the LBS are overpriced [:0]?

    now i'm the first to admit i knew nothing about bikes when i bought my carrera (not sure i know much more now, except how to change an inner tube ha ha), but i took the book detailing the spec of the Halfords Carrera into my LBS and the only way they could match the bike spec was to give me a discount on one of theirs. which was fine, i was happy to have a discount, and they were prepared to match the spec for the price, but i didn't like the colour of their bike so i went and bought the Halfords one (so in the end, not a hard choice, i am a girl, you understand, and things have to match).

    the LBS have had plenty of business out of me since (in fact, i think i positively annoy them [:D]) and not because my bike keeps going wrong, but just because i needed to get new saddle and stem, get sized etc, servicing, new tyres and just because sometimes i like to pop in for a cuppa and see what clothes i can buy.

    Buggi
    _____________________________________________

    To infinity... and beyond!
    my epic adventure: www.action.org.uk/~Antonia
  • dunkiedunkdunkiedunk Posts: 7
    I have a carrera subway 8 and I love it

    the best commuting bike for me [:D]

    Added a rack and bags so can carry my laptop and it may weight a ton now but I love my 5 mile ride each morning with it!

    was gonna buy a very expensive commuter and to be honest I am glad I didnt!
  • alecstilleyedyealecstilleyedye Posts: 1,170
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Buggi</i>

    so let me get this right... Most people on here are generally happy with their Carrera's (the only one's that aren't are the ones that don't have them[?]) and LBS's are moaning Halfords are a threat?

    then maybe the bikes in the LBS are overpriced [:0]?

    now i'm the first to admit i knew nothing about bikes when i bought my carrera (not sure i know much more now, except how to change an inner tube ha ha), but i took the book detailing the spec of the Halfords Carrera into my LBS and the only way they could match the bike spec was to give me a discount on one of theirs. which was fine, i was happy to have a discount, and they were prepared to match the spec for the price, but i didn't like the colour of their bike so i went and bought the Halfords one (so in the end, not a hard choice, i am a girl, you understand, and things have to match).

    the LBS have had plenty of business out of me since (in fact, i think i positively annoy them [:D]) and not because my bike keeps going wrong, but just because i needed to get new saddle and stem, get sized etc, servicing, new tyres and just because sometimes i like to pop in for a cuppa and see what clothes i can buy.

    Buggi
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">indeed. same lbs has a nice looking massi 7005 framed bike for over œ600. as it was only sora equipped lbs owner admitted he also thought it a bit overpriced (although by whom i don't know).

    if i had a better signature, i'd use that instead
    riding on my bicycle, i saw a motorcrash…
  • DavidTQDavidTQ Posts: 943
    Hmm Will have to look into carrera bikes when I look to get a road bike then, I avoided halfords on the grounds that a lot of their stuff is censored and their staff are generally on a par with dixons staff...

    I can however get a discount through my sisters boyfriend who's staff there (and unfortunately does nothing to improve my perceptions of a stereotypical halfords staff...)

    if their bikes with similair components come in far cheaper than elsewhere then I may well pick a bike up there. Just wouldnt take it back there for servicing.
  • gandalfcpgandalfcp Posts: 220
    I bought a Carrera Kraken in the alleged 'half price' sale in January, saw them on sale a while later for œ360. For œ199 it was an absolute bargain and just cheap enough for me to get under the SWMBO radar.

    More importantly from my viewpoint it got me back in the saddle again after a very long time. Of course I would have preferred to have gone to my LBS with enough dosh to buy a 'proper' road bike, but that's life. I don't think I would have got far with œ199 in my LBS.

    The review on MBUK was very favourable and for a Halfords bike it isn't bad looking either. It will certainly do me until such time as I get fitter and can afford to buy a road bike.
  • BuggiBuggi Posts: 674
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by DavidTQ</i>

    Hmm Will have to look into carrera bikes when I look to get a road bike then, I avoided halfords on the grounds that a lot of their stuff is censored and their staff are generally on a par with dixons staff...

    I can however get a discount through my sisters boyfriend who's staff there (and unfortunately does nothing to improve my perceptions of a stereotypical halfords staff...)

    if their bikes with similair components come in far cheaper than elsewhere then I may well pick a bike up there. Just wouldnt take it back there for servicing.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    if you do, go for a carrera rather than another make (is it apollo that they do?), which i have heard bad things about from their owners, but in general i think carrera owners are quite happy.

    Buggi
    _____________________________________________

    To infinity... and beyond!
    my epic adventure: www.action.org.uk/~Antonia
Sign In or Register to comment.