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£800 max first bike.

mikelskasmikelskas Posts: 57
edited March 2012 in Road buying advice
Hi guys,

I am currently researching and trying to decide on my first ever road bike. The budget is £800 and not a penny over!

Now I have noticed Evans currently have the Specialized elite on sale at the moment: ... e-ec030707

Other contenders include:
The Felt F85: ... e-ec032704

and the Norco Valence A2 ... e-ec031680

My brain is telling me to go with the Specialized as it is tried and tested. As I am sure you are aware it is also highly recommended as one of the best bikes available for under £1000.
Should I be considering any of the other models?

The bike would be used for keeping fit and going for long rides. If I really get into it I can see myself upgrading certain parts of the bike further down the line.
2011 Jamis Ventura Race
2016 BMC TeamMachine SLR02


  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    Giant Defy 2 would be a good option:

    The frameset is great, I've got the Defy 1.. definitely a keeper -> will be putting some fancy wheels on mine next summer.

    The Boardman Comp would be another good option worth considering (especially if you want SRAM at this price level):

    The Allez is going to be a great bike though, worth mentioning that its quite a racy option as you say its just for keeping fit and going on long rides?

    I personally would steer clear of the Norco Valence as I've never heard of it, and I'd want to check out the Microshift shifters on the Felt to see how they compare to Tiagra or 105 shifters.
  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,215
    I've seen the new F85 in the flesh and it's a stunner: photos don't do the two tone blue paint job justice. I ride a 2011 F85 (charcoal, green and white) and absolutley love it. The Allez is a nice enough bike, but it's pretty common and I'm really not a fan of the curved top tube. I would discount the Norco on looks alone, sorry.

    The Felt seems to be a fair bit lighter than the Allez (quoted at 9.08kg w/o pedals on the Felt site) and the frame has a beefy and cool looking tapered head tube lacking in the Allez. The Allez is full 2012 Shimano Tiagra which looks better on paper than the Felt's mix of 105, Microshift and FSA drive train, but the Felt is a better base to upgrade IMO. If you get the bug you could drop on a nice set of wheels and tyres and gradually upgrade the drive train without being limited by the frame.

    I swapped out my F85's Microshift shifters and replaced them with 5700 105s which are smoother and quieter. Front shifting is much better (less throw and quicker), but the MS shifters are on now on my winter bike (Trek 1.5) and they're very precise and comfortable if a little agricultural in feel with distinctive clicks on each shift. I haven't tried the new Tiagra, but the shifters have a gear indicating mechanism which is a bit naff in my book.

    I don't think you'd go wrong with the Felt or the Allez, but I think the Felt frame has better potential and it's not something you'll see every day. I'd urge you to check out one in the flesh if you can.
  • bagz3bagz3 Posts: 253
    Could save yourself £300 if you're prepared to drop a group set. Cannondale Synapse Sora.

    What frame size do you need? 56cm Cannondale CAAD 8 105 on paulscycles in your price range.....
  • sungodsungod Posts: 16,060
    if you know your frame size, consider secondhand

    try cycling weekly classifieds and similar, imho they're likely to have bikes that have been well maintained (and not stolen)
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • ads2kads2k Posts: 135
    My mates just taken delivery of one of these, it's his first road bike and he's over the moon with it.

    But you could also have one of these for your budget.
  • lostboysaintlostboysaint Posts: 4,250
    Or better still you could get proper Italian style.

    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • mikelskasmikelskas Posts: 57
    Thanks for the pointers guys.
    You have certainly given me a lot more to think about.
    I like the look of that 2011 Cannondale CAAD 8 105 at paulscycles.

    I am suited to a 56cm frame after having tried a few in the LBS.
    2011 Jamis Ventura Race
    2016 BMC TeamMachine SLR02
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