First road bike (decision made)

allotropic
allotropic Posts: 33
edited June 2010 in Road beginners
Update 2.... SCR 1 is no longer an option and the nicest ride for me was the Giant Defy 2 so I'm getting it.

Update... I've ridden a few bikes and very much like the Giant Defy and the SCR1 the defy is 2010 stock and the SCR is from 2008. They ride very similar but which is the best to go for?

The Defy 2 is £800 and the SCR1 is £700, any input appreciated.

Original post.....

I’ve been lurking on here for the last two weeks reading lots of posts and would like to ask a couple of questions. But first some background, I'm about to buy my first road bike with an aim to use it for a 13 mile commute to and from work, as a way to get fitter. I’m currently a tab under 16.5 stone, and can happily do about 20km in 40 min’s on a gym bike. My employer runs their own cycle to work scheme so I have the usual £1k to play with, but I also need a number of accessories.

I’m going to an LBS tomorrow, that stocks Trek, Giant, Bianchi, to try a few bikes as the most common advice I’ve seen is to ride the bikes. I’ll also be comparing Sora or Tiagra type shifters to see which feels better for me, as i’m not sure I’ll be able to reach the top switch on the Soras.

There’s another LBS that stocks Specialized that i’ll be visiting over the weekend.

I’m pretty sure I want a bike with a composite fork as some of the roads I’ll be travelling aren’t the smoothest, and I suspect I’ll end up going for Tiagra as a minimum.

So the bikes on my list are (2010 and prices will be close to recommended retail price as they don’t seem to haggle with cycle to work scheme).
Giant Defy 3 or 2
Trek 1.2 or 1.5
Bianchi Via Nirone Tiagra or Xenon
Specialized Allez Sport or Elite
Sepcialized Secteur Sport

Any thought on the pro’s and con’s spec wise would be appreciated.

However, today I found a Giant SCR 1 for £700 which appears to come with a pretty much full 105 spec. If it fits and is comfortable would this be a better buy than any of the above 2010 bikes?

Thanks in advance,
Al

Comments

  • Doombrain
    Doombrain Posts: 360
    in before CAAD 9
    LOL road riding.
  • Philby
    Philby Posts: 328
    One that can easily fit mudguards would be ideal if you are going to commute on it - I think that some of the Giant's and the Trek 1.2 can fit guards.

    Also would be worth looking at the Cannondale CAAD8 , and also lesser known brands such as Cube.

    The Giant SCR seems a very good deal (assuming it fits which is all important) - however you will need to find out whether you can get it on your cycle to work scheme as I believe it is only eligible for bikes at full RRP and not on the sale price (I may be wrong on this so worth checking)
  • night_porter
    night_porter Posts: 888
    Well it seems you have done your homework and selected some very suitable bikes to try out.

    You will undoubtedly get lots of advice from the sales people when you visit the lbs's.

    The only thing I will tell you is that if you are able find someone who gives you confidence that they have your best interests at heart then listen to what they have to say carefully.

    I truly believe that a bike shop with various brands for sale and an experienced sales person are worth their weight in gold. Explain to them your research so far and requirements for your commute and any other riding you may be intending to do and they should have enough knowledge to help you make the right decisions.

    Just remember that none of the bikes you are looking at are bad bikes and they will all suit most of your requirements admirably.

    The one you eventually buy will do all of that and hopefully make you feel really good about owning/riding it. Pride may be one of the "deadly sins" but if it makes you want to ride more and get fitter then I belive it to be a virtue too!

    Enough of my waffling, a few things to also consider are:

    As mentioned above mudguard suitability

    Rack mounts and pannier(s) for carrying clothes and other things to work, backpacks will make you more sweaty and can be quite uncomfortable when it gets hot. Although you can get seat post mounted racks that double up as rear mudguards so not essntial unless you intend to commute all year round.

    Security/locks if you need to leave your bike anywhere, you don't want to spend all this effort choosing a bike then lose it to some theiving so and so.

    Clothes for riding in, the correct bikewear makes riding/commuting so much more enjoyable.

    Footwear and pedals - road SPD-SL's shoes are quite awkward to walk any distance in, I use MTB SPD's on my road bike because the recessed cleats mean it is much easier to walk in. Don't under estimate how much easier it is to ride with clipless footwear.

    Puncture protection tyres or the ability to repair punctures at the side of the road e.g. carrying a spare tube, pump or compressed air tube, repair outfit, etc.

    Finally, try to enjoy the experience and choose a bike you can really love to ride and then commuting (losing weight) will be a joy not a chore. My family think I am mad setting out for work in the pouring rain when I have a perfectly good car sitting there but I know riding will make me smile whatever the weather.
  • danowat
    danowat Posts: 2,877
    LBS, Pauls cycles?

    I've got an Allez elite, great first road bike IMO.

    If you fancy an Allez, and you can't find one to sit on, give us a shout, I am only up the road.
  • allotropic
    allotropic Posts: 33
    Thanks for the replies.

    I plan on getting either full or clip on mudguards depending on which bike feels best.

    MTB shoes are definitely on the list, as are some reinforced tyres, spares, tools, pumps etc.

    The LBS's are Pedal Revolution, Pauls Cycles, abd Borwells.

    Any more thoughts on the 2008 Giant SCR 1 over the newer bikes?
  • night_porter
    night_porter Posts: 888
    No matter what the "marketeers" tell us bike technology evolves slowly rather than massive leaps forward, with this in mind a 2008 Giant SCR frame will be reasonably similar to the 2010 Defy range. This is because Giant replaced the SCR with the Defy.

    If you take into account all of the aluminium Defy's frames will be the same (maybe different forks) and the extra you pay for the different models goes onto the components bought in from Shimano, Campag, etc. So the SCR 1 was the top (componentry) model of the aluminium range.

    In my experience rear mechs, front mechs, brifters, etc. work well no matter what ones you use and for us normal cyclists there will be very little difference in use. But we all like a bit of bling and like to upgrade to "better" (more expensive but not neccessarily better) components when we can. Who wouldn't choose an alloy wheeled car over a steel wheel one but it really makes naff all difference.

    In conclusion the SCR must be the better buy, not because the components are better but they are perceived to be better so resale value should be stronger!

    But as everyone says the proof 0of the pudding is in the eating and if you feel better riding it then that is the bike for you. Whether that is because of the bling or comfort or resale value or colour or whatever.

    Also don't forget if you have the right frame size to begin with all of those things can be added or tweaked and it is so much fun tweaking your bike so that it is unique to you and your riding.

    Good luck with the search enjoy it all, even the agonising over which is your favourite.

    Don't forget to post your findings on here so we know what you chose, you never know it might help someone else decide but remember it is all personal.
  • allotropic
    allotropic Posts: 33
    Thanks again for the replies.

    I visited the first LBS today, had a chat with the sales guys about what I wanted a bike and sat on a few to get a feel of them. A few just didn't feel right, the Trek was OK but the Defy felt good.

    So I took a Defy 3 out for a little spin, it felt such fun to ride and really comfortable.

    Tomorrow I get to go an play with a Giant SCR 1, and possibly an Allez.

    I also want to have a go on a Bianch Via Nirone.
  • ilm_zero7
    ilm_zero7 Posts: 2,213
    allotropic
    dont dismiss this bike before you jump...


    http://www.primera-sports.com/Template.aspx?prodID=6035

    a great bike for under £800
    http://veloviewer.com/SigImage.php?a=3370a&r=3&c=5&u=M&g=p&f=abcdefghij&z=a.png
    Wiliers: Cento Uno/Superleggera R and Zero 7. Bianchi Infinito CV and Oltre XR2
  • allotropic
    allotropic Posts: 33
    That's a nice looking bike but I'm not aware of any LBS that stock it and I need to buy from an LBS because of the cycle to work scheme my employer runs.
  • allotropic
    allotropic Posts: 33
    I had a play with the SCR 1 today, it was obvious the Defy is a development from the SCR.
  • stevie63
    stevie63 Posts: 481
    Hi Mate,
    If you go to CyclesUk in Norwich (downstairs in Pilch Sports near Jarrolds) they stock the Wilier range.
  • allotropic
    allotropic Posts: 33
    At the moment the choice for me is between the 2010 Defy 2 and the 2008 SCR 1 very similar bikes.

    Given the ride is so similar what do you folks think of the two, and how would you choose between them?

    Thanks for the tip stevie63 but I did not have a great experience in that shop.
  • night_porter
    night_porter Posts: 888
    Well I have to agree with you choice, I have a Giant in my "4 bike stable" and it feels good to ride it. Also it was riding a friends Defy that convinced me to buy a road bike.

    As far as I can see there are three main differences:

    Tiagra (9spd) v 105 (10 spd) - Should feel the same to use, I have Tiagra 12/25 compact on a bike and it is more than good enough for me. Slightly more range on the 105 but I think Norfolk is pretty flat so no real advantage there just top trump bragging rights.

    Blue v Yellow - So which is your favourite colour?

    £825 v £700 - Only really £60 difference because the other half is paid via the scheme

    So there you have it, all that research and testing and it comes down to which colour you like best :lol:
  • carl_p
    carl_p Posts: 989
    I've got an SCR2. Lovely bike and I would have no hesitation in buying another Giant.

    How come you are still able to get a 2008 bike? Presumably it is new and not secondhand?

    Slightly off topic, but nice to see a few Norfolk boys on this thread. Where are you all based?
    Specialized Venge S Works
    Cannondale Synapse
    Enigma Etape
    Genesis Flyer Single Speed


    Turn the corner, rub my eyes and hope the world will last...
  • allotropic
    allotropic Posts: 33
    Hi Carl, Thanks for your reply.

    Pauls cycles in Dereham still has a couple of new 2008 SCR 1's in stock, they also have deals across the Scott range of bikes.
  • I have a 2008 SCR 1, it is a really nice bike. I have ridden a friends Defy 2, and it was a similar ride. However, I think that the biggest difference is probably the groupset. I think the 105 groupset would swing it for me to get the SCR.
  • night_porter
    night_porter Posts: 888
    Just got to work so I just had a closer look at the specs of the 2 bikes and to be honest I would choose the SCR1. But of course I have not ridden the SCR like you have but I will list why I would choose it below.

    I love to get a bargain and because it is old stock the price you have been offered is a real steal!

    I think it looks prettier, because I like the yellow.

    It has a carbon seat post and more expensive groupset, pure bling for bragging rights but I am shallow like that :oops:

    It was the top of the SCR aluminium bike range at the time it was built.

    The only one of my bikes that I bought brand new was also 2 years out of production and I got a bargain too. All of the others were 2nd hand ( a couple of hundred miles on the clock) or I built up from parts. I am 54, overweight and unfit but getting better every day. I have been commuting for the last 15 months and got my road bike 3 weeks ago I was going to buy the Defy 2 until my 60 mile used "bargain" came up.

    Kind of explains my views huh?

    Dave
  • carl_p
    carl_p Posts: 989
    allotropic wrote:
    Hi Carl, Thanks for your reply.

    Pauls cycles in Dereham still has a couple of new 2008 SCR 1's in stock, they also have deals across the Scott range of bikes.

    If you are happy the SCR1 is new and unused and not a bike returned under warranty then get it.

    The groupset is slightly better and probably more durable and the bike has a nice colour scheme. Go for it I'm sure you'll love it.
    Specialized Venge S Works
    Cannondale Synapse
    Enigma Etape
    Genesis Flyer Single Speed


    Turn the corner, rub my eyes and hope the world will last...
  • allotropic
    allotropic Posts: 33
    Dave, thanks for your honest views, bragging rights are very important :D

    Carl, I'm sure the bike is new as they had to put it together for me.
  • allotropic
    allotropic Posts: 33
    Right the decision has been made, the SCR 1 is no longer an option.

    Since my last post i've tested:
    - Specialized Allez, nice bike
    - Specialized Secteur, didn't feel right
    - Bianchi Via Nirone Tiagra, sexy but not as comfortable as the Defy 2

    So the outcome is I'm getting the Defy 2, and the LBS have given me some nice discount :D
  • allotropic
    allotropic Posts: 33
    Right, now the bike is sorted it's onto all the other stuff I need......
  • For what its worth, I have a 2007 Giant SCR Ltd and it really is a fantastic bike for the money (I paid £450 in 2008). Tiagra groupset, lovely comfortable frame and rides extremely well. I also tested a similar spec Trek & a Scott but the SCR was head and shoulders above both others.

    Most important thing is to ride until your heart tells you which bike it likes best (and hopefully your head will agree)!!
    2017 YT Jeffsy 27 AL Comp
    2016 Specialized Allez Elite DSW
    2014 Specialized Roubaix SL4 Sport Compact
  • coopster_the_1st
    coopster_the_1st Posts: 5,158
    allotropic wrote:
    Right the decision has been made, the SCR 1 is no longer an option.

    Since my last post i've tested:
    - Specialized Allez, nice bike
    - Specialized Secteur, didn't feel right
    - Bianchi Via Nirone Tiagra, sexy but not as comfortable as the Defy 2

    So the outcome is I'm getting the Defy 2, and the LBS have given me some nice discount :D

    Good choice.

    I brought a Defy 2 earlier this year. It was the only bike that made me feel as if it wanted to be ridden faster no matter how hard I pushed :)
  • allotropic
    allotropic Posts: 33
    Great news, well for me that is, my bike will be ready for fitting and collection tomorrow.