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Beginners dilemma on sub £700 bikes.

suffolk-commutersuffolk-commuter Posts: 25
edited October 2011 in Road beginners
I have some money coming my way so planning a return to cycling after 20+ years and have been trawling for ideas (and bargains). The choice is tricky and I would really like your opinions on which of the bikes below would be best suited to a re-beginner. Is it a case of pay as much as you can afford? Does one particular make stand out or is there one that you would sneer at as you scalp past?

Here is the list in (current) order of preference and the lowest price found, what would you choose?

Giant Defy 2 Bike (2011) - £499.00
Alu frame, carbon forks, sora kit, tekto brakes. The only bike I have actually ridden.

Scott Speedster S35 Road Bike 2011 - £649.00
6061 alu fr, carb/alu forks, tiagra/105 kit, scott pro brakes.

BeOne Briza Road Bike 2010 - £599.00
7005 alu frame, carb/alu forks, 105 kit, R450 brakes. This is the best bargain.

Cannondale Synapse Alloy Tiagra Road Bike 2011 - £599.00
6061 alu fr, carbon forks, tiara kit, cannon dale brakes.

Orbea Onix Bira Carbon (2009) - £899.99
Carbon frame & forks, 105 kit, zeus pro brakes. Way above budget but carbon!

BeOne Storm Comp Road bike 2011 - £549.00
7005 alu frame, carb/alu forks, tiagra kit, shim br-560 brakes.

Cannondale CAAD 8 Sora Compact 2011 - £539.99
Alu frame, carbon forks, sora kit, cannondale brakes.

Dawes Giro 500 (2011 i think) - £484.99
6061 alu frame, carbon forks, tiagra/sora kit.

Posts

  • I was in the same boat last week and thankfully a few of the guys in here pointed me to the defy 2 which I just bought today. So looking forward to it.
  • chiarkchiark Posts: 335
    Loads of great bikes there. I plumped for a Synapse alloy, so would naturally recommend that - plus it has tiagra shifters which I prefer to sora.
    Synapse Alloy 105 / Rock Lobster Tig Team Sl
  • mrbezmrbez Posts: 113
    I also bought a Cannondale Synapse on Saturday and I love it!
  • Mrbez & Ciark: I am told that the Cannondales are very comfortable and thinking of elevating them up in my order of preference. How are you getting on with them?


    Orbeaorca: I am in Wickham Market, working in Woodbridge. That is one serious bit of kit you have there.
  • I would ride a few before you plump for one. Bit limited for decent bike shops in the suffolk area though. Good one at Bildeston, not sure what price range his stuff is but I have heard he is very knowledgeble.
    Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals! Except the weasel
  • With £700 to spend I'd get this and then some spd pedals and shoes. http://www.bikeoutlet.co.uk/products/Cl ... 245-0.html
    I have an older verison and love it, the biggest difference being that mine has Campag Xenon and this has Shimano Sora.
  • Mrbez & Ciark: I am told that the Cannondales are very comfortable and thinking of elevating them up in my order of preference. How are you getting on with them?


    Orbeaorca: I am in Wickham Market, working in Woodbridge. That is one serious bit of kit you have there.

    Thanks for the compliment, I would recommend speaking to Steve the owner of Elmy Cycles in Ipswich, he often has crazy deals on Orbeas as well as a good selection of other bikes to.
  • Have been convinced by MrsC and little Misses that a shopping trip in Ipswich is a good idea; I will be visiting Elmy on Saturday morning.

    Thanks for the tip Orca.
  • When I was spending about that much, I went secondhand and picked up a blinged-up Focus Cayo 105 for £700 in immaculate condition and hardly ridden. Carbon bars, carbon bottle carrier, spare tyres, newly serviced, upgraded saddle, Keo peddles - about £1200s worth and, the moment I rode it, you'd never know it was secondhand. Had it for a year now and know it was the right choice.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • I have had the same problem regarding which bike to get as my first road bike. After many hours looking on the Internet and in various bike shops, I decided that I wanted Tiagra over Sora.
    My choices were narrowed down to Cannondales CAAD8 or Synapse as the frames were highly recommended and both had Tiagra gears.
    The CAAD8 was slightly higher priced at £675 compared to £599 of the Synapse but I preferred the colour in Black.
    Yesterday I went to my local Evans cycles to get a bit of advice on frame size and they matched the price of the other retailer. I'm just waiting for it to arrive at the store now but I'm well chuffed with my decision :D
  • woozorwoozor Posts: 117
    I have some money coming my way so planning a return to cycling after 20+ years and have been trawling for ideas (and bargains). The choice is tricky and I would really like your opinions on which of the bikes below would be best suited to a re-beginner. Is it a case of pay as much as you can afford? Does one particular make stand out or is there one that you would sneer at as you scalp past?

    Here is the list in (current) order of preference and the lowest price found, what would you choose?

    Giant Defy 2 Bike (2011) - £499.00
    Alu frame, carbon forks, sora kit, tekto brakes. The only bike I have actually ridden.

    Scott Speedster S35 Road Bike 2011 - £649.00
    6061 alu fr, carb/alu forks, tiagra/105 kit, scott pro brakes.

    BeOne Briza Road Bike 2010 - £599.00
    7005 alu frame, carb/alu forks, 105 kit, R450 brakes. This is the best bargain.

    Cannondale Synapse Alloy Tiagra Road Bike 2011 - £599.00
    6061 alu fr, carbon forks, tiara kit, cannon dale brakes.

    Orbea Onix Bira Carbon (2009) - £899.99
    Carbon frame & forks, 105 kit, zeus pro brakes. Way above budget but carbon!

    BeOne Storm Comp Road bike 2011 - £549.00
    7005 alu frame, carb/alu forks, tiagra kit, shim br-560 brakes.

    Cannondale CAAD 8 Sora Compact 2011 - £539.99
    Alu frame, carbon forks, sora kit, cannondale brakes.

    Dawes Giro 500 (2011 i think) - £484.99
    6061 alu frame, carbon forks, tiagra/sora kit.


    I just got a cannondale synapse tiagra, Really nice bike for the money. Very comfortable.

    I put a pic of it in the show your bikes area.
  • mrbezmrbez Posts: 113
    Mrbez & Ciark: I am told that the Cannondales are very comfortable and thinking of elevating them up in my order of preference. How are you getting on with them?


    Orbeaorca: I am in Wickham Market, working in Woodbridge. That is one serious bit of kit you have there.

    This is my first road bike, and also my first bike in a few years.

    I am extremely happy with it, and I have found it to be very comfortable. Everything is very smooth to use, and so far I have nothing but good things to say about it.

    I had my heart set on a Specialized Allez Sport, but then someone on here pointed me to a place that had the Synapse for £600, one trip to the shop, and I was £900 worse off! Haha.
  • I bought a Defy 2 in July and am extremely happy with it. Having paid £660 for mine I would say £499 is an excellent price even end-of-season.

    Good luck with your decision!!
    Giant Defy 2
    Giant Defy Composite 1
  • g00seg00se Posts: 2,221
    If you can get further afield to Norwich, there are some good shops up there.

    Streetlife Cycles http://www.streetlifecycles.co.uk/ and Pedal Revolution http://www.pedalrevolution.co.uk/ have a wide range, Borwell have some high end bikes and Specialised Cycles - though mainly repairs and aftermarket stuff - do Meridas and exotic stuff... http://www.specialisedcyclesnorwich.co.uk/

    CyclesUK - though a chain - are decent enough too http://www.cyclesuk.com/article/norwich_bike_shop
  • Thank you everyone for your opinions and comments and helping me to change my mind.

    Very exciting morning as I have just taken delivery of a 2011 Cannondale Synapse after comments posted here and elsewhere. Most people agree that it is a decent frame and comfortable, which is what I was looking for. It was also a bargain!

    I was very tempted by an Orbea in Ipswich, I also really like the Bianchi range but ultimately it came down to value for money and with the new 2012 models appearing in the shops, I wanted more for less.

    Not yet had a chance to ride it further than the bottom of the road and back but hoping to venture out further tomorrow night - crikey I might even get up early to have a short ride out before work.

    Right, now lights... helmet... lock... hi-vis... alarm clock...
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