Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

Which Comfort Road bike for £800

phillarrowphillarrow Posts: 23
edited July 2008 in Road beginners
Hi everyone,

I have recently got back on my back after a few years out and have started commuting. I am currently trying to persuade my employers to set up a Cycle2Work scheme and have begun researching in the hope that they say yes. I have decided on a road bike, but one which is a bit more comfortable than an all out racing bike. My budget for bike is around £800 (leaving me enough to buy shoes, pedals, lights etc).
I think I have narrowed it down to 3 bikes:

Specialized Allez Elite
Trek 1.7
Felt Z70

My questions are:

a) Is there anything, other than personal preferences that separates these bikes?
b) Is there a better value/better specced bike out there that I have missed?

This will be my first ever road bike after nearly 18 years of mountain biking, touring and commuting on a Rigid Saracen MTB. Is there anything I desparately need to know about this style of riding? (I don't even know how to change the gears on a road bike!)

Posts

  • Steve_FSteve_F Posts: 682
    Giant SCR range is meant to be quite a relaxed riding position. Can't fault my 1.5 so far!
    Current steed is a '07 Carrera Banshee X
    + cheap road/commuting bike
  • Focus Ergoride from wiggle?
  • boyse7enboyse7en Posts: 66
    You sound like you are in a similar position to me - except I'm trying to replace a stolen Orange P7 MTB

    I tried the Giant SR2 at my LBS and didn't like it very much, I'm 5'10" and tried a M frame size, and found it a bit to short. Maybe a longer stem would help.

    I also tried a Trek Pilot 2.1 which was great, except it was £1100 and the staff knew my budget was £6-700. grrrr. I believe that the Pilot is a 'comfort' road bike, and a bit of research has thrown up the Focus Ergoride ST and the Specialized Sequoia as being similar layouts.

    I'm going to try and find some to test ride, but I'm down in Devon and there aren't a whole lot of bike shops to go to.
  • meanwhilemeanwhile Posts: 392
    phillarrow wrote:
    Hi everyone,

    I have recently got back on my back after a few years out and have started commuting. I am currently trying to persuade my employers to set up a Cycle2Work scheme and have begun researching in the hope that they say yes. I have decided on a road bike, but one which is a bit more comfortable than an all out racing bike. My budget for bike is around £800 (leaving me enough to buy shoes, pedals, lights etc).
    I think I have narrowed it down to 3 bikes:

    Specialized Allez Elite

    Lots of acceleration, but at the price of ride quality.

    I'd look for a bike that's designed as a sports tourer. For £800, with your priorities, I'd look at a Surly Crosscheck or LHT. The Spec Tricross is worth a look too - tougher, better stopping and more versatile than an Allez; just change the tyres to road only.

    Oh - big hint: make sure what ever bike you get can take decently wide tyres! Good 38mm tyres like Marathon Supremes can be fast and give excellent ride quality.
  • ParkeyParkey Posts: 303
    If you're able to get to London easily the Condor Agio might be worth a look. They build them to order so the lead time is a bit longer than for an off the shelf bike, but it's worth it for a bike built specifically for your body geometry.

    It wins as a commuter or light touring bike because unlike most £800 road bikes it's designed to take a rack. They'll fit one for you at a discount rate if you buy it with the bike.

    I have an Agio Tiagra and I'm very happy with it.
    "A recent study has found that, at the current rate of usage, the word 'sustainable' will be worn out by the year 2015"
  • alanmcn1alanmcn1 Posts: 531
    Just faced the very same scenario last week.

    test rode all the bikes you did, and have no regrest whatsoever in my Felt Z70. Completed 100 mile rid eon it last weekend and could not have asked for a better bike. Spec for price is better than both the allez elite and Trek, and it is oh so comfy geometry. Would recommend it to anyone, at least test it
    Robert Millar for knighthood
  • phillarrowphillarrow Posts: 23
    Thanks for the replies. Since posting the question I found Ribble's website and was really taken with both the way they go about things and the prices - e.g. Winter training/Audax bike with full Shimano Ultegra for just over £800. However, when I contacted them about the Cycle to Work scheme they said that they charge the customer a £50 admin fee. That seems a bit excessive when they are getting the full price for the bike. Is it standard practice? (To be fair to them the bike still comes out a lot cheaper than similarly specced off the shelf bikes)
  • phillarrowphillarrow Posts: 23
    Got a nice email today from Ribble explaining that the £50 is to cover the charge that they get from Cyclescheme. They said that their profit margins are too low to absorb it and they'd rather add it on to each purchase than increase overall prices to absorb it. That's good enough for me and they will be getting my money - even with the £50 they represent much better value for money than everything else I've seen.
  • meanwhilemeanwhile Posts: 392
    An Audax bike is a very smart choice, and Ribble have a good rep for value.
Sign In or Register to comment.