Insurance replacement at wheelies around £5-600?

Thebigbee
Thebigbee Posts: 570
edited April 2011 in Road buying advice
Hi,
I have had an insurance claim validated and have been informed that I have £470 to spend at Wheelies direct.
I can afford to go up to about £600 at a stretch.

There is a bit of a long story behind this so don't bother if too long or just skip to the last couple of paragraphs:}

Riding history - a Burner then shop bought MTBs to get about as a youngster, Diamond Back, Carrera etc. Then got a car and cycling took a back seat for a long time.

Circumstances changed - driving ban through bad choices about 5 years ago.
So I bought a second hand Specialized Hard Rock pro - great bike although i never really rode off rode so put slicks on it. I got my license back about 3 years ago but have never been that bothered about getting back on the road - only for shopping and in winter and rain!

That got nicked so just bought a tatty old Trek 600 and did that up for road. I had just bought an old 80's mint Raleigh racer with 105 and was planning to change that into a flat handlebar road. Before I got the chance that got nicked - along with my Trek - garage got broken into!

Desperate for a new "semi decent" road bike I scoured Gumtree and found a mint Scott Sportster P6 2010. It was like new - guy said he had only done about 50 miles on it - gave me the receipt and everything - and I managed to get it off him for the bargain price of £170!

About a month after that and keeping my bike in my flat instead of the garage - I got burgled and funnily enough the only thing that got nicked was that!! Apparently a load of scroats had been picked up "going equipped" a few weeks later the police said.

I now have a Scott Sub 30 2010 - another "as new" bike that I managed to get off Ebay for £300. The difference in ride and quality shifting etc is so much more noticeable over the Sportster. I love this bike and don't "need" anything else.

However I went on a 45 mile ride the other day and admit I was more than a little gutted to get overtaken cruising at about 20MPH by a woman in a proper road bike. She flew out of sight but about a mile later I caught her and she was about 500m in front of me for about 5 miles. I could have probably caught up but couldn't be bothered. It all seemed so effortless to her.

But after getting inspired by the "39 Stone cyclist" - They should make a film about that guy - what an achievement!!

I have got the cycling bug and want to push myself too. What bike would you get if you had to purchase from that site and with the budget I have?

This Specialized http://www.wheelies.co.uk/p37625/Specia ... -2011.aspx is the one I am tempted by possibly because it is the only brand i have any experience with at that price.

Any suggestions or ideas?

Sorry this post is so darn long and dull - just thought I would set my exact situation out to get some decent advice from the wealth of experience on these boards.

Thanks in advance for any advice,

Cheers

Comments

  • TimB34
    TimB34 Posts: 316
    From that site, the ones that stand out (apart from the Allez) are these

    http://www.wheelies.co.uk/p39408/Giant-Defy-3-2011.aspx

    http://www.wheelies.co.uk/p37651/Specia ... -2011.aspx

    (There's a GT as well, but I don't know anything about that model)

    The Allez that you linked to is the alu version of the Specialized Tarmac, so it has a "racy" geometry (low front end). The Secteur is the alu version of the Roubaix, with a longer wheelbase and longer headtube, so a more upright position.

    You need to at least throw a leg over them. If you are flexible enough and want to go as fast as possible, then it's the Allez.

    If you can't get comfortable on an Allez, then it's the Sectuer (or Defy).
  • Thebigbee
    Thebigbee Posts: 570
    Tim - thanks a lot for your reply. I didn't notice either of them - I guess I stopped taking an interest as soon as I saw the Allez and the prices were rapidly going up.

    Interesting to note the difference in the "lengths" or "height" - am not sure which is the correct terminology - of the bikes too. As I said I am pretty new to taking cycling a bit more seriously than a short commute or popping down the shops.

    It is a bit of a shame that I am tied to this site due to the insurance but I guess this is standard practice? I don't know - have never claimed before.

    Because other sites like Tredz and Evans have, what appear to be pretty well specced road bikes starting at quite a bit less.

    You are right though - I need to try one out for size.

    The Scott Sub 30 I am riding now fits me perfectly and I bought it blind based on the geometry and frame size of the one that got nicked - Scott Sportster P6 in large.

    Various sites say that this is 20.5" or 55cm so these meaurements don't equal each other anyway!.

    I am 6'1" tall but with 32" inseam. Would it be better to go for a "shorter" or "longer" bike?

    It is such a vast subject I appreciate any help from experienced cyclists.

    I guess I am going to have to go to a LBS to try some out. Am going to find that quite hard in itself because I am forced to buy from the retailer mentioned - I am not sure how to get round that?!

    Thanks for your suggestions.
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,522
    my insurer tried to get me to use wheelies, i politely explained how that was never happening, they gave me the money

    read your policy wording, if it doesn't state you must get replacement from a supplier of their choice there's no reason to accept it
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • Thebigbee
    Thebigbee Posts: 570
    Sungod thanks for the response,

    Like I outlined earlier - I have never claimed for a bike, let alone got paid out for one so I really am wet behind the ears about how this all works.

    "read your policy wording, if it doesn't state you must get replacement from a supplier of their choice there's no reason to accept it"

    I tried reading the T&Cs before I put in the claim. The 8+ pages of small, and I mean real small, and I have 20/20 vision, put me off so I phoned em.

    Hour long phone "interview" a few hours proving that I had bought the bike legally and providing all reciepts, pictures and crime numbers and I got a call within a week to say that it had all been accepted and passed off.

    They couldn't of had more detailed record of me owning the bike and proving I bought everything.

    Sungod - I am guessing your company name ended in L?

    Financially and realistically then a cheque for almost £500 would make more sense. Better go and read the bloody small print - I know an excess was already being taken out...

    As Partridge would say about the small print - "I got the bit where you said I was covered - the rest of it - it's just a noise"!!!
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,522
    my insurer is m&s (so axa is the underlying insurer)

    they were really ok about it in the end, just stuck to my guns, and i was 100% happy with their service

    btw i do recommend m&s insurance, good price, good cover, minimum of small print!
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • Thebigbee
    Thebigbee Posts: 570


    btw i do recommend m&s insurance, good price, good cover, minimum of small print!

    seems like a good idea! This claim was under house insurance so I guess they cover every eventuality, Floods, Thefts, Tsunamis, etc!!

    Any opinion on the bikes mentioned?
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,522
    tbh unless you really need the low gears, i'd look for something with a double or compact chainset rather than a triple, and certainly try to get something with a 9-speed rather than 8-speed drivetrain

    under 600:

    double and 9-speed...

    http://www.wheelies.co.uk/p34245/Claud- ... -2010.aspx

    ...didn't see any compacts with 9-speed in the range, so really depends how fit you are vs. the hills you need to get up, if a 39-26 lowest gear is ok, then it'll be fine

    you could even get it, and if the gearing is too high for you, buy a sora compact crankset and fit it, you can probably pick one up for under 50 quid, then ebay the original one

    otherwise, this is still a triple, but 9-speed, so gets my vote vs. all the 8-speed stuff...

    http://www.wheelies.co.uk/p41580/Forme-Joule-2011.aspx

    if you can get your hands on the money, go for secondhand, you should be able to get a much better bike for the money than wheelies' for a new bike

    with those measurements you probably want around a 58cm/59cm frame, leg length can be accommodated by adjusting the saddle height, so it's mainly a matter of getting something sized so that you aren't stretched/cramped
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • Thebigbee
    Thebigbee Posts: 570
    Cheers sun,

    you have made some very valid points there that I had never considered.

    Interesting. I have 27 gears at the moment and is the best bike I have ever owned but in reality do I need that small chainring?

    I do challenge myself to some very steep hills at the moment and I guess that is the only time I am ever in the small ring. And I seriously do need it for them, but if I got "road fit" then my whole technique would change, I'm guessing?

    Food for thought - thanks for chucking that in the mix.

    Naive newbie cylclist thinks more gears are better - not necessarily.

    Cheers
  • Thebigbee
    Thebigbee Posts: 570
    That Claud Butler you mentioned is £100 less here
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Claud-Butler-Ro ... B003XICN24

    I may try and get the money
  • MichaelW
    MichaelW Posts: 2,164
    I hope you claimed for all your accessories inc brackets, lights, computer and other bits and bobs.
    The insurance companies like issuing vouchers because they get hefty discounts from the major dealers. If you feel that the replacement is not of suitable grade you can negotiate. You can demand cash settlement if you cant get the exact available model from their supplier BUT they would rather upgrade the model with a voucher than give you the cheque.
    I'm not sure from your post what model of bike was stolen and what style of bike you want to replace.
  • Thebigbee
    Thebigbee Posts: 570
    MichaelW wrote:
    I hope you claimed for all your accessories inc brackets, lights, computer and other bits and bobs.
    The insurance companies like issuing vouchers because they get hefty discounts from the major dealers. If you feel that the replacement is not of suitable grade you can negotiate. You can demand cash settlement if you cant get the exact available model from their supplier BUT they would rather upgrade the model with a voucher than give you the cheque.
    I'm not sure from your post what model of bike was stolen and what style of bike you want to replace.

    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for the reply. I did include all additions like the ones you mentioned and new tyres, bottle cage, bar ends etc.

    Thee bike was a Scott Sportster P6 2010 which I picked up 2nd hand for £170 but it was basically new - the guy had only done 40 miles on it! It was my first foray into hybrids and I loved its speed compared to mountain bikes with slicks I used to ride.

    Since I got burgled I have bought another "as new" Scott sub 2010 which I picked up for £300. The difference in quality and speed between that and the Sportster is immense.

    I want to go faster still though! I think the Scott is a great bike for what it is and I could make do. TBH I could do with the cash and have asked them about that - I thought they may have some deal with the company which costs them less.

    But this is an opportunity to get a road bike and properly get into cycling and distances. I am not convinced by the choice and prices they offer on that site.

    I am tempted to go for the Specialized Allez triple - my payout is £470 at that shop so I would have to fork out another £130 or so.

    And the only real reason I would go for that is because I think the range of gears is enough and also they seem to hold their value more than the alternative Claud Butler that sun pointed out.

    What do you think?

    If the insurance company returns my call and says that it will send me a cheque for that amount I will bite their hand off - but I am not sure they will.

    Cheers