New to road bikes.Which of these would you recommend please?

Ouninpohja75
Ouninpohja75 Posts: 10
edited September 2012 in Road beginners
Hello everyone,

As stated in the title I'm new to this road cycling,and would appreciate some advice on 2 bikes I'm looking at.

I have set myself a budget of £1300 and narrowed it down to 2 cycles,being the Boardman Road Team Carbon (£1300) and the Giant Defy Composite 2 2012 model (Reduced in my local shop to £1200).

What I would like to know is which of these 2 bikes would you all consider to be the better for the money regarding specification,frame and general build quality etc.?

Many thanks again for any help.

Comments

  • Gizmodo
    Gizmodo Posts: 1,928
    The better one for you is the one that is fits your body shape. You don't want to buy a bike on spec alone. If you are going to start riding seriously you will be in the saddle for 4 to 8 hours at a time. You need to get on the bikes and test ride them, hopefully more than just around the car park.

    Ask the shop if you can test ride them for at least a few hours, see which one fits you. If you still can't decide between them, then go for the one you like the look of better.

    Having the best spec bike that you get a bad back riding after 30 minutes is not what you want.
  • Thankyou for the reply Gizmodo.
    I'm not sure if Halfords allow testing of their bicycles,so it may have to come down to the looks department then. :?
  • Gizmodo raises a good point and I agree with him.

    But forget about spec. You're already buying £1000 more bike than any more beginner needs, so choose the one that feels best to you. If you haven't allowed for funds for other kit though (clothing, tools, etc), there is no reason to not opt for a £700 bike; neither option will be with you forever.
  • Mikey41
    Mikey41 Posts: 690
    Absolutely agree.

    If the bike doesn't fit you, you have wasted your money. I would go to the local bike shop first as they are more likely to offer a test ride. Mine did, I was able to try two different frame sizes back to back to see which fitted best. The smaller one was the one and I got a good bike at a good price.

    The one thing I did look at when choosing a shortlist of bikes was their gearing. Around here, we have a lot of hills and I don't have to go far to get to one, and I need all the help I can get at this stage. I looked for bikes with 28 or 30 tooth rear cogs and a compact chainset. That selection got me down to 3 or 4 bikes, only 2 of which were in local shops and affordable.

    I don't think Halfords do test rides (could be wrong) and you can only tell so much by sitting on the bike in the shop, to really find out, you have to ride it. Boardmans do get good reviews, but...

    The Giant I bought has Tiagra components, but if I'm really honest, I doubt I'll ever be at the level to really appreciate the differences between that and the higher spec systems. To me, I press the lever, it changes gear. Press the paddle it changes back. Yay! As long as it keeps doing that reliably, I'm a happy man :)
    Giant Defy 2 (2012)
    Giant Defy Advanced 2 (2013)
    Giant Revel 1 Ltd (2013)
    Strava
  • Sprool
    Sprool Posts: 1,022
    i asked about trying 2 differnt frame size board mans at halfords 3 weeks ago, they promised to get a 54 and a 56 in to try and phone me when available. I got bored of waiting and went down my LBS to get a greta deal on a better spec 2011 bike with £200 off. Boardman get good reviews but my LBS was scathing of them. You pay extra for the name, but 'bikeys' scorn halfords it seems. Do not be prejudiced. Try them out wherever possible and buy the one that feels best to you. If they dont let you try them out then find somewhere that does. As said above, a bike that fits you better is worth more than juggling gear specs
  • dubcat
    dubcat Posts: 737
    Bear in mind thar you can adjust some things too. For example for only £30 I was able to buy a shorter stem so that my reach fit better.
    2010 Specialized Rockhopper
    2012 Bianchi Infinito
  • Drumlin
    Drumlin Posts: 120
    Dubcat wrote:
    Bear in mind thar you can adjust some things too. For example for only £30 I was able to buy a shorter stem so that my reach fit better.

    To say nothing about changing the saddle, moving the saddle up/down/back/forward/changing its angle, or moving the bars up/down/changing their angle. It can take me days to get the position right on a new bike, and part of that is me adapting to the bike rather than vice versa. I'm not sure that a test ride, even of several hours, is going to be a reliable indicator of how comfortable the bike is going to feel after several weeks, especially for someone not used to a road bike in the first place. My advice would be to focus on the shop, find an LBS you can trust and take their advice. A good LBS will also be willing to swap things for you if you don't like the spec as it comes, for example when I bought my last bike the shop swapped the cassette and tyres for me, refunding me the retail price of the ones they had taken off.
    Would welcome company for Sat rides west/south of Edinburgh, up to 3 hrs, 16mph ish. Please PM me if interested/able to help.
  • Get the sizing right as everyone says. However make sure you compare spec. Last thing you want is to get hooked (as you will :-))) and have to start shelling out on upgrades as components on the bike you thought would last or you would live with- they won't last or you will want to switch.
    I made this mistake.

    Ps if you have the magic 1k mark you could get a Planet X pro carbon and have some cash left :-)))
  • Many thanks for all your replies,it's very much appreciated.

    The reason I was focusing on spec as well is because I'm looking on purchasing for the long term and getting the best I can afford,rather than double dipping at a later date.

    As someone has mentioned,my budget is probably at least £1000 more than my current requirement needs though :D
  • fatdaz
    fatdaz Posts: 348
    Ah but if you have the budget then "needs" doesn't matter, it's then about "wants" or "likes". I have 2 carbon bikes which are both much more bike than I can properly use but I wanted, and could afford, them at the time so i got them and continue to do hundreds of happy miles on them. Incidently the plan was to sell the first when I bought the second but I just can't seem to do it - reducing the size of the collection doesn't seem to compute somehow
  • I was in the same boat as you and thought I was limited to Halfords due to the cycle to work scheme they run.

    Best thing you can do is email Halfords and ask them which LBS accept the voucher if that is the reason you are buying from them.

    Eventually I went to cyclesuk. Tested a few bikes and narrowed down my choice from that. Pretty much anything can be upgraded if you needed to, so its more the ride position and frame that means anything.

    Both the above bikes have good reviews. I have 2 friends with the Carbon Boardman and they both rate it highly.

    Good luck with your choice.
  • Just been to my 2 closest LBS (non Halfords) and mentioned the bikes stated here and got 2 very different opinions.

    Both praised thd Giant defy model (both had them for sale) but regarding the Team Carbon I got one telling me "The frame and specs are one of the best range for the money,multi winning olympic frame etc. etc." and the other saying "The specs are very good for the price,but the frames are cheap quality in comparison to the rest as Boardman don't manufacture or do any of their own R&D" :?
  • Using the Halfords scheme I narrowed my options down to:

    Giant defy 1
    Felt F6 2012 model
    Cannondale Caad10
    Boardman Team

    Really liked and wanted the Felt but Halfords could no longer source the bike (outgoing model). The Boardman is a good bike but were just far too many of them on the road and although it shows it must be a good bike(plus the glowing reviews), for some reason it put me off. So I was down to 2 bikes with Boardman plan B. rode both bikes through Cycles UK and the Giant store close to home and felt at ease with the Cannondale straight away.
  • stueys
    stueys Posts: 1,332
    Boardman are great bikes for the money. Don't ge too hung up on components, the differences are breaking performance and weight. The weight is fairly marginal. On all those bikes if you swap the wheels for some krysrium elites after a few months you've got a very good bike.

    It takes me about 3 weeks to get a new bike setup right. I'm not sure 30 mins in a car park would tell me anything more than a 20 second sit on the bike. When I bought my good bike I took the geo to a bike fitter to get final advice on frame size. Found that helped me a lot and is worth doing. Once you've been measured properly and know your inseam size, etc it becomes much easier to get the right frame size (I tried to do my own measurements and was out).
  • Get the sizing right as everyone says. However make sure you compare spec. Last thing you want is to get hooked (as you will :-))) and have to start shelling out on upgrades as components on the bike you thought would last or you would live with- they won't last or you will want to switch.
    I made this mistake.

    Ps if you have the magic 1k mark you could get a Planet X pro carbon and have some cash left :-)))

    But nothing you buy at this level is actually worth making the upgrades on. If you become obsessed enough to 'need' the enhancements and feel the inclination to spend money on it, you will want to replace any entry-level aluminium bike you buy with a fancy carbon fibre one.

    There's really no more point in putting an expensive groupset or transmission on a cheap bike than there is in putting a cheap one on an expensive bike. The premium in cycling is in weight and we are talking about simple mechanical parts (eg. derailleurs; there's only so much difference between them). A Sora transmission won't break and it will work as well as it is maintained; equally the brakes will be perfectly adequate (try some cheap vintage ones!). Even the wheels should be fine; they won't be any 'better' than the rest of the bike.

    Therefore, beginners need not worry about spec. Even if you buy the lowest spec on a carbon fibre bike, you can worry about it later!