Affordable road bike for a small-size beginner?

Tom Mountford
Tom Mountford Posts: 3
edited August 2009 in Road buying advice
Hi, I was the victim of crime last week when some loser sliced my lock and nicked my mountain bike. However, I have recently begun a much more active lifestyle and had been considering buying a lighter more sporty road bike for some fast weekend rides in the Suffolk countryside (I bought the mountain bike on a whim four years ago because it looked cool, but in retrospect it was slightly oversize for me and too heavy). I now have a fortuitous insurance payout to add to my fund and am ideally looking to stay within a £400 budget. So far on the shortlist:

Raleigh Airlite 100/200 (I liked the look of this, but both the shops I went to for insurance quotes had nothing good to say about them).
Claud Butler Criterium
Dawes Giro 300 (top of budget, but looks like quality kit)

I know nothing about proper bikes but I am small-build and 5’4” tall... does my shortlist so far look like I’m heading in the right direction?



  • skyd0g
    skyd0g Posts: 2,540
    edited August 2009
    If you could push your budget up by £100 or so, it would then offer you a significantly larger range of bikes of far better long-term quality. :wink:

    The Specialized Allez (double) 09 springs to mind @ around £530
    Cycling weakly
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I'd consider sizing & geometry first - you're probably looking for a frame with a 51-52cm toptube length (horizontal or 'virtual' distance) - some small frames have 'stupidly' long TTs as much as 54cm which are way out of proportion. I'd steer clear of Claud Butler and go for something at the lower end of someone's range rather than a top-end of a cheap range. dealers are shortly going to be clearing 2009 models at discounted prices to make way for 2010 stock - might be worth hanging on for a few weeks, bike sales often start at the end of August.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Cheers... I hadn't thought about getting something from last year's stock and I'm happy to wait a few weeks - thanks for the pointer on the size of tube too, I'm keen to make this one a good fit for me.

  • I was going to buy this bike below until i saw it's sizes. They are geared towards the shorter folk but for the money the spec is great. It's from the womens range but all you'd need to do is replace the seat?? Tiagra groupset for £480! ... m1b0s134p0
    Account requested to be deleted