Road bike on a budget

Pejsan Posts: 7
edited May 2011 in Road beginners
Hi all this is my first post and hoping to get a little bit of advice.

The company i work for start with the cycle to work scheme next month and I am looking to buy myself a road bike having not had one since i was a kid I am sadly lacking in what to buy.

Although you can borrow between £100 to £600 I am looking for something in the middle range and have only seen a Raleigh Pursuit at £250 or a Carrera TDF at £300.

My ride to work is only 4 miles each way, but am looking at using it to go for the odd evening ride also to try and lose the belly and build up a bit of fitness.

Any knowledge of either bike good or bad would be appreciated or other alternatives available. at a similar or even slightly higher price please.


  • ShutUpLegs
    ShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    The Carrera TDF is a reasonable bike for the money and would meet your cycling requirements.
  • +1 for the Carrera TDF. Great bike for the money and decent components (for the money). Should meet your needs.
  • cyco2
    cyco2 Posts: 593
    Pejsan wrote:
    Hi all this is my first post and hoping to get a little bit of advice.

    My ride to work is only 4 miles each way, but am looking at using it to go for the odd evening ride also to try and lose the belly and build up a bit of fitness.

    Lets say thats 5x8=40 plus the odd ride, say, 20 miles = 60 miles a week. The first 500 miles you'll need to gain saddle comfort and a small bit of leg strength and fitness. If you've measured your belly at the beginning then when you've reached 500 miles, I think you would have found not a lot has happened. Because cycling doesn't exercise the body as other forms of exercise and dieting. To burn fat you have to do an awful lot of exercise over a long period. Anyway, I don't want you to be disappointed if you find the weight is not falling off after 2 months cycling. I have the 'T' shirt.

    If you want to be a strong rider you have to do strong things.
    However if you train like a cart horse you'll race like one.
  • cyberknight
    cyberknight Posts: 1,238
    Given a choice i would go for the virtuosso , i have a tdf as well and the virtuosso is a nicer ride ( for me anyway )
    FCN 3/5/9
  • ShutUpLegs
    ShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    If you want to lose weight then interval training is the quickest method.

    Or stop eating

    Or chop off a leg.
  • Thebigbee
    Thebigbee Posts: 570
    The Carrera seems a good bike for the money and gets good reviews.

    However a 9 speed may be better for you if you decide to do more miles.

    If you are willing to spend £300 it may be more prudent to spend an extra £50 - 100 and get 18 speed.

    Look into it. I knew nothing about all the variations - and still do.

    My situation was different to yours but if I was in your position I would go for a 9 speed double.

  • slowlanejane
    slowlanejane Posts: 312
    Firstly, welcome to the forum and good luck getting into cycling, where you will lose some weight & gain some fitness, especially if you do include those extra weekend miles and watch the calorie input. I must get round to following my own advice at some point.

    I have been looking into the budget entry level bikes for my nephew. I am no great expert or officionado, but I am a few weeks ahead of you in the research stakes.

    When I've found an unfamiliar bike, I've put it in the search box of this website and read up the professional reviews on bikeradar, there's nearly always an article.

    IMO, of the sub-£300 bikes, the carrera TDF seems the best regarded option and very reasonably priced. If you're going to be a relatively light user, then there's no need to spend more, this will do everything you need and be a pleasant ride in the process.

    Your cycle to work scheme might specify where you can source your bike, and the Carrera range are Halfords in-house brand, so if Halfords isn't on your approved supplier list, you need to look elsewhere.

    There aren't many big brand options at £300 (Giant, Trek, Specialized etc all starter models from £550) but there are deals on last year's models to clear stock if you're lucky with sizing. These are mainly online, and your voucher scheme probably woon't cover online purchases. Additionally, with online buying you need to either build the bike or pay a bike shop to do it for you, so add that cost onto your budgeting.

    If you can scrape £200 cash and not use the voucher scheme, I am regularly seeing Giant Defy 4 at £200 2ndhand. Good bike at a good price.

    Other cheaper models are the B'twin range and Viking. They don't have any glamour and are not popular with the forum community, but people who have them swear by them.

    Don't forget to add some basic safety & comfort accessories into your budgeting too: all you need is a helmet £30ish, a high-viz vest £15ish and a lock - allow a fair sum here, £40 -60-odd quid for a bronze! And check if your bike is covered under your house insurance for theft from a site not on the premises and if not, buy some bike insurance. Otherwise, if your bike is nicked you'll be paying the repayments and the buy-off price at the end of he cycle to work scheme for a bike long gone.
  • carbon337
    carbon337 Posts: 414
    Look around - ask friends - ask other road bikers if you see any sitting in a cafe etc etc if they know of a second hand bike for sale. Ask on every forum, mine came from Singletrack.

    I found a 2002 Giant OCR with Tiagra, Sora etc for only £75 needing a few cables and a new shorter stem its champion.

    I commute without the fear of it getting train damage, i lean it against walls without issues. At the same time ive done a 42m club ride and 30m last night at 17.0mph avg. Looking forward to doing some club time trialling and beating some carbon bling too :)

    I will maybe upgrade wheels and a carbon fork at some point again second hand and cheap.

  • Pejsan
    Pejsan Posts: 7
    Thanks for all the advice, going to go and size up and check all the local retailers tomorrow to see what they have on offer.

    Thankfully there are 8 local stores that operate the cycle to work scheme near me so have the choice of most makes available.

    In relation to the Carrera TDF versus the the Virtuoso there is only £50 difference in price with the only difference i can see is the TDF has 6061 tubes and shimano ST2300 and the virtuoso having 7005 tubes and shimano st2200

    the TDF states reduced from £499 to £299 where as the Virtusoso is reduced from £379 to £349

    which is the better spec?