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Which bike for a newbie roadie?

thegreatsoprendothegreatsoprendo Posts: 52
edited April 2011 in Road beginners
Hello all,

This is my first post in the Road section. I've been mountain biking for many years and my current steed is a 2010 Boardman HT Pro. I also have a 17 year old rigid Kona Fire Mountain with slick tyres which has been on commuting duty for the last few years.

I'm now at the stage where the Kona is a bit tired and probably needs a fair few quid spent on it to continue to use it for the commute. Combine that with the hankering I've had for a road bike for a while and I've reached the conclusion that I'd be better off selling the Kona for whatever I can get for it and getting a road bike for the commute as well as weekend rides.

My commute is about 7 miles each way mostly out of town and I'm lucky enough to have secure storage at both ends.

Despite a reasonable knowledge of the MTB world, I've come to realise that road bikes are a whole different kettle of fish which I know next to nothing about, so I was hoping to get some advice from you wise folk! I have a budget of around £500 which I appreciate is at around the entry level price point but I've found a few reasonable (to my untrained eye) options which I'd appreciate any advice on:

Trek 1.2 Compact 2010 £549.99
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/tre ... e-ec019678

Boardman Comp 2010 £559.99
http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... yId_165710

Ribble 7005 Race Shimano £589.95
http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/specialed ... ERC&bike=1

CANNONDALE CAAD8 SORA £499.99
http://www.paulscycles.co.uk/products.p ... 7b0s6p3114

or, finally, slightly from the left field...

Kona Jake 2010 cyclocross, which I thought may be a good option for the rigours of commuting while not losing too much on my weekend "joyrides"?

http://www.jejamescycles.co.uk/kona-jak ... 56824.html

Any advice very much appreciated... :D

Posts

  • Buckled_RimsBuckled_Rims Posts: 1,648
    I'd buy any one of them, they're all good. Probably the Jake is more of a "Jake of all trades" (urh, not a very good pun). With the Jake you have big options of putting on thin 23mm tyres, 25mm, 28, or 35mm for a more comfortable ride. Also mudguards and rack mounts are there.

    The road bikes will probably be limited to 25mm tyres. The gearing will all be similar. All Aluminium framed. Most Sora.

    It's going to be a case of going and sitting your censored on each bike. From the details you cannot make a choice no matter how hard you look at the specs.
    CAAD9
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Merlin Malt 4
  • chadders81chadders81 Posts: 744
    The Boardman is the best spec. Full 105 for that money is good value.

    Ribble has got nice kit on it as well.

    You should have a look what you can get for £500 second hand. Some hardly-used bargains on eBay.
  • I
    It's going to be a case of going and sitting your censored on each bike. From the details you cannot make a choice no matter how hard you look at the specs.
    You're probably right, but therin lies the rub. The Ribble, Cannondale & Kona are mail order. I went to Halfords and the only Boardman road bike they had in a small was an £1800 2011 carbon jobby (nice and very light) which the guy said "might" have a different geometry to the 2010 Comp. It looks like Evans only have one of the Trek's left and it's in one of their stores (not my local one sadly), although I'd hope they'd be able to get it shipped to my local store for me to try.

    I have also looked on eBay but there seems to be far less choice in terms of road bikes than there is for MTBs and hybrids.

    Thanks for your help so far, the cogitation continues... :)
  • WisePrankerWisePranker Posts: 823
    I was having a similar dilemma over which roadbike to choose and eventually decided on the 2010 Boardman Comp.
    I had a problem getting hold of the Boardman as there was very little stock about due to it being an old model. Thankfully for me, Halfords make a few screw ups along the way and gave me the 2011 version for the same price as the 2010 by way of apology :D

    I'd have no hesitation in getting the 2010 if you can find one in your size.
    Regarding the sizing, I tried one of the 2010 Carbon models for sizing and it felt very similar geometry-wise to the 2010 Comp.
  • Rich HcpRich Hcp Posts: 1,355
    edited March 2011
    Try them all and pick the most suitable and comfortable

    If you can't decide get the coolest looking one 8)

    When I got my roadie, the Trk was the one I hankered after, tried it, hated it, didn't feel comfortable (For me)

    Tried GIANT, the dealer was a censored , trying to sell me stuff I didn't need, like another MTB! (he had a few in stock.)

    In the end I went to the Specialised dealer, didn't really was a Spez, everyone had one. But he was lovely guy, helpful and the bike fitted perfectly and I got a big discount on a Sport instead of the normal Allez :lol:

    Very happy, never regretted it.

    So the best bike is the one that suits you, your pocket and your needs
    Richard

    Giving it Large
  • Steve_FSteve_F Posts: 682
    The Boardman is very hard to look past for VFM. Don't think they've changed the frame very much this year so if a 2011 is comfortable a 2010 is probably going to be too.

    You might still want to keep your old bike though for the wet/snowy/icy days to keep your road bike nice! I've resurected my old mtb to use on those type of days when I don't want any of my other road or mtbs out. Can't believe how much more destructive the salty winter roads were compared to trail riding. Seemed the drive train on my mtb was rusting away every single day it was out.
    Current steed is a '07 Carrera Banshee X
    + cheap road/commuting bike
  • I had the same dilema recently - what to get for my first road bike. In the end, and with advice from on here I went for a Giant Defy 3.5. As people say bikes at this range are much of the same, just try and see what 'fits' best. Relatively a basic shimano spec, but I don't think I'm in a position to appreciate anything more sophisticated just yet! I'm really enjoying riding it!
  • mattshropsmattshrops Posts: 1,158
    unless you really fit into "average" sizing i.e. leg length ,arm length, body length. then trying them out is definitely the way to go. if youre still left with a shorlist go for the one which gives you strange fantasies of being chased down the street by screaming women desperate to admire your quads. ( did i just say that out loud :oops: )
    Death or Glory- Just another Story
  • Mister WMister W Posts: 853
    At the risk of repeating what everyone else is saying (but it is very important so I will say it again)..... try them all and pick the one you like the best. My bike wasn't the best value one in the shop but it was the most comfortable and the one I liked riding the best. I still love it, 4 years later, and wouldn't change it.
  • ShutUpLegsShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    I
    It's going to be a case of going and sitting your censored on each bike. From the details you cannot make a choice no matter how hard you look at the specs.
    You're probably right, but therin lies the rub. The Ribble, Cannondale & Kona are mail order. I went to Halfords and the only Boardman road bike they had in a small was an £1800 2011 carbon jobby (nice and very light) which the guy said "might" have a different geometry to the 2010 Comp. It looks like Evans only have one of the Trek's left and it's in one of their stores (not my local one sadly), although I'd hope they'd be able to get it shipped to my local store for me to try.

    I have also looked on eBay but there seems to be far less choice in terms of road bikes than there is for MTBs and hybrids.

    Thanks for your help so far, the cogitation continues... :)

    Kona & Cannondale have dealers in just about every town, as do Trek.
    As someone else said, the three above a LBS will let you ride all of them. Pick from the best fitting one.
  • Thanks folks! I went back to my local Evans last night (top marks to them for good advice and general helpfullness by the way) and they're getting the Trek and a 2011 Kona Jake in my size for me to try next week (the 2010 Jake now seems to be available in every size except my size - typical!). They don't have the particular Cannondale I linked in my OP though, and a quick Google tells me that they're the only dealer in my area.

    I'm also going to head to another branch of Halfords this weekend to see what they have Boardman-wise.
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,549
    Thanks folks! I went back to my local Evans last night (top marks to them for good advice and general helpfullness by the way) and they're getting the Trek and a 2011 Kona Jake in my size for me to try next week (the 2010 Jake now seems to be available in every size except my size - typical!). They don't have the particular Cannondale I linked in my OP though, and a quick Google tells me that they're the only dealer in my area.

    I'm also going to head to another branch of Halfords this weekend to see what they have Boardman-wise.

    Get them to order in the Cannondale, that's where I got mine from :D (and very lovely it is too)

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • secretsam wrote:
    Get them to order in the Cannondale, that's where I got mine from :D (and very lovely it is too)
    Sadly they have no stocks of the 2010 bike left and the 2011 is £200 more.
  • Buckled_RimsBuckled_Rims Posts: 1,648
    secretsam wrote:
    Get them to order in the Cannondale, that's where I got mine from :D (and very lovely it is too)
    Sadly they have no stocks of the 2010 bike left and the 2011 is £200 more.

    Yeah, but the frame will probably be the same. manufacturers generally tweek things to make them look as though they've improved the product. There's nothing to stop you trying a 2011 bike, then looking for a 2010 on the internet if the frame is the same and it fits perfectly.
    CAAD9
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Merlin Malt 4
  • Cheers for the assistance everyone. I test rode the Trek first and liked it, but wasn't keen on the Sora shifters. I then tested the Kona Jake straight afterwards and much preferred the Tiagra shifters, but wasn't really taken with the rest of the bike.

    The guy at Evans then had a root around on the website and suggested this with a full Tiagra groupset for £599 which seeemed like a bargain. So I got them to order one in...

    There then followed a bit of a delay as I had my arm in a sling following a mountain biking accident! :oops:
    But undeterred, I went along to Evans again this morning and test rode the GT and really liked it. It fits perfectly, has a great spec for the price and some interesting hydroformed tubing.

    So the beast is now mine and makes a perfect accompaniment to my Boardman Pro MTB. I haven't ridden it properly yet as my shoulder is still not fully functional, but I'm have a week off next week, so I'm hoping to get plenty of use out of it then....

    Some gratuitous pics:

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    206419_10150273609872501_753872500_9376494_1135601_n.jpg

    205663_10150273610427501_753872500_9376500_1524955_n.jpg

    207181_10150273611807501_753872500_9376526_2122053_n.jpg
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