Good God!

bice Posts: 772
edited August 2008 in Road beginners
I've been riding bikes around London for 20 years. My Trek Hybrid broke its frame a month ago and I have been commuting on a brilliant old Claud Butler ladies racer: lovely retro lives, 531 steel, 5-speed. I disliked going back to drop handlebars at first, but now I have fitted my own saddle I can see the point of them again, though not as safe for London commuting as flats, IMHO.

Anway I went up the hill to West Hampstead to the dentist today and decided to try a road bike, just to see whether it would be much different to the Claud Butler. I tried a Specialized Allez 18, Tiagra/Sora for £450.

I am absolutely blown away: it's featherweight and so smooth compared with the cheap stuff I'm used to. And this is an entry level road bike!

Trek are replacing my Hybrid with a new one, but I don't want it. I will stick with the Claud Butler for some commuting and leaving around town, and get a road bike instead.

I can get a Specialised Allez Sport for £550, which is Tiagra throughout. But how would these compare with Ribble. And is there anywhere you can feel one in London without going to Lancashire?


  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    Not sure how the Allez sport compares to the Ribble but the Allez is a good bike.

    My suggestion, any bike shop you see (DeVer cycles in Norbury, Edwards in Camberwell, Evans all over London, Brixton Cycles, Herne Hill cycles to name a few) around London go in and ask. You can get a deal on '08 models as shops are trying to clear stock. But most shops are running out of '08 models fast and the manufacturers seem to have stopped making '08 early - eager to bring out the new '09 models, which more than one bike shop is telling me will be slightly more expensive.

    However, I've seen the '09 Allez (not sport) and it is one damn nice looking bike! It has a seat post wraped in carbon fibre and a top tube like the Specialized Robaix and Tarmac and its paint job is all black and white - seriously good looking can't wait to see the rest of the range. The guy said it cost £500 - £550. on the strength of how the Allez looked I'd say wait for the '09 model (if you have the probable £600 - £650 its likely to cost).
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • acorn_user
    acorn_user Posts: 1,137
    Could you get Trek to put the hybrid replacement towards one of their road bikes? Btw, there are plenty of good entry level road bikes around, so don't limit yourself to one brand. Really, you should buy the shop i.e. buy a bike that is good from the shop that will help you most.
  • I am absolutely blown away: it's featherweight and so smooth compared with the cheap stuff I'm used to. And this is an entry level road bike!

    I was the same when I tried a friend's SCR3, having been riding around on a 25 yr old Dawes. It's amazing how bike technology has advanced in that time!
  • il_principe
    il_principe Posts: 9,155
    Welcome to our world. And if you thought the Allez was good you should come and have a go on my Pinarello*

    *please note this is not a genuine offer. :D
  • unclemalc
    unclemalc Posts: 563
    When I started back in cycling some years ago I was given an old Raleigh of some kind to use. I loved it and, at the time, knew little about bike tech so what I didn't know didn't worry me..
    I took it into work one day and one of the studnets saw it and laughed long and hard at it."You use THAT?" he guffawed. :shock:
    So I went to my LBS and got myself a new Dawes - it had 16 speeds, the words 'Shimano' in places and went like a rocket, even under my poundage.
    I was so happy :D
    Couple of years back I bought a 'cheap' Bianchi. It couldn't get any better could it...?. 8)

    A few months back I played around with a friend's carbon thing. Now I'm messed up and unfulfilled and thinking about long-term interest and down-payments. :(
    I hate bike technology.
    Singlespeeds in town rule.