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Giant, Specialized or Ribble - Help!

samhedgessamhedges Posts: 83
edited June 2012 in Road buying advice
I'm buying a road bike for under £700 and I've narrowed it down to a few possibilities. The Ribble Sportive 7005 (link below), a Giant Defy or a Specialized Secteur. I'm looking at bikes with a more relaxed geo as they suit my long legs/short torso but if you have any suggestions for other bikes at this price point please suggest them!

So which of the three would you recommend? Also, is it worth the extra £100 stepping up from Defy 4 to 3?

My main doubts about the Ribble is that I wouldn't be able to give it a go before buying.. On the other hand it would save talking to the guys in my local shop who were largely interested in selling me the most expensive bike they could regardless of quality.

The Ribble Sportive 7005 - ... =conf_SERC


  • Contact your local Spesh Concept Store - arrange a test ride on a Sectuer - fall in love with it and buy one :D


    Joking aside don't buy without a test ride it's not worth it.
  • samhedgessamhedges Posts: 83
    edited June 2012
    It's a shame because the Ribble looks like a lovely bike but what you're saying makes sense I guess!
  • Ribbles do look great and seem good value (at least in terms of component qualities) but I would never buy a bike that I hadn't ridden on a good long test ride. If that means I will always be a bit limited in the brands available to me I can acccept that as least worse option over buying a bike I had never ridden or just ridden round an LBS car park.

    I had a test Sectuer for a week before I bought one from a Spesh Concept Store. I think EPIC cycles are good for test ride options as well. For me if I was paying £1k plus for a bike I would think nothing of travelling for a test ride (but £1k is a lot of money for me - get the impression its chump change for some on here so maybe that's why some wouldn't be as concerned about getting it right first time).
  • samhedgessamhedges Posts: 83
    Well I guess my LBS sells both the Giants and the Specialized and they'll be more than happy to put shorter stem/bars on it for me but on the other hand they're not Tiagra equipped. I guess I could do the Competitive Fit and see if the geometry suits me. What sort of things would you be worried about when not being able to test a bike? Asides from components and geo, what differences are there between bikes?
  • SamHedges wrote:
    What sort of things would you be worried about when not being able to test a bike? Asides from components and geo, what differences are there between bikes?

    Sorry I don't know.

    I look at geometry tables or diagrams and while I can make basic sense of what I see I can't read these to be able to work out how any bike will feel. It seems to me there is quite a complex relationship between angles lengths etc of various part of the frame which adds up to how a bike feels. It may well be more than the sum of it's parts so I am back to my original feeling - don't buy until you try.

    There are plenty wiser heads on here so maybe someone can give you some tips on how to read geometry in that way though.
  • centimanicentimani Posts: 467
    I do think people get a bit too wrapped up in riding before buying in some cases...
    My experience...
    I already have a roadbike that fits me well. Its the perfect benchmark.
    I wanted a Ribble, but obviously am not going to be able to test ride. Read the geometry charts, compare compare compare...i came up with the closest i could to matching what i already have. The only possible mistake i made was choosing a very short stem to keep my saddle nose to handlebar distance. I say mistake because the bike is very very comfortable...but with such a short stem (70mm), it does seem a bit twitchy.

    Anyway...what constitutes a test ride to most people ? 15 minutes ride up and hour maybe ? means nothing when you spend maybe 4 or 5 hours on a bike on a good ride.

    Dont get me wrong, a test rides better than nothing, even a short one....but it doesnt mean disaster if you dont...just do the homework (mind, it meant about 2 hours of measuring and comparing when i did mine)
  • samhedgessamhedges Posts: 83
    Which Ribble did you go for? I expect you could even test others with similar geos if it mattered that much! I guess I'm new to road biking so I'd happy with whatever I got and if it was more uncomfortable than other bikes when I get my next one it'll seem all the better. How long was the waiting time to get yours?
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I also have long legs, short torso. It makes finding a bike that fits at all pretty tricky - and you are basically looking at the Sportive geometries. I ended up with a Look 585 that was professionally fitted for me and then bought a Ribble Gran Fondo as a commuter which has very similar geometry to the Look. Helps a lot does that. When I bought the Look, I test rode one (and a Scott CR1) for about 45 miles and the bikes were set up to give a harsh ride so it felt more like a longer ride than it was. That's about as good as you are likely to get.

    Check the geometries - I think that the Ribble may be shorter than the other two which may be a good thing. It's a fine balance between getting the reach right (ie close enough) and not hitting the bars with your knees when out of the saddle.

    You also asked what to be worried about. One thing about the Scott I could never have guessed at without riding it was that the combination of my narrow hips and the bizarrely wide top tube on the Scott (a regretable fad of the moment) meant my knees tended to clout it........
    Faster than a tent.......
  • antonyfromozantonyfromoz Posts: 482
    I have to admit that I have even found the short test ride around the lbs to be of assistance when choosing a bike. Prior to buying my bianchi I tried several bikes including a Scott, which totally felt wrong to me, and a Specialized which felt superb but was ultimately more than I wanted to pay. The Scott's frame was in the right size so perhaps, with some alteration of the stem, bars etc it could have been tailored to suit me better but I found that it was better to get a bike that felt right for me from the outset.
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