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£500-£700 road bike - Boardman, Trek or Giant

neilluxfordneilluxford Posts: 18
edited February 2013 in Road buying advice
Hello all,

I now have a budget of £500-£700 for a new road bike and quite frankly have gone round in circles procrastinating over it. I so far identified the following candidates:

• Boardman Sport £500
• Boardman Racing £660
• Giant Defy 4 or 5
• Trek 1.1
• Trek 1.2
• eddy merckx (currently £300 off in the sale @ £699)

The Boardman bikes seem well regarded in terms of bang for the buck however the new sport is yet to be reviewed so I am unsure how it stacks up vs the Racing. The merckx is the only one I would not be able to try in person so I have almost discounted it for that reason. I am not a serious rider (I may become one) although I am doing a long(ish) charity ride this year, so £500 would be ideal unless there was a really good reason to spend the extra required to say jump from the Trek 1.1 to the 1.2, the Defy 5 to 4 or the Boardman sport to the racing.

Any input greatly appreciated




  • elderoneelderone Posts: 1,410
    Argos are selling a full carbon bike for £699..half price.Must be worth a look.
    Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori
  • Thanks

    Another contender seems to be the Btwin Triban 5 looks good value too.

    Leaning towards the Boardman race or Giant defy 3 over the others as the gears and forks look a step up vs the others. The triban 5 looks ok though not sure how well regarded they are?
  • They are all nice bikes, but have a look at these: ... nsa-bikes/

    They are getting fantastic reviews in the press.

    Good luck
  • 1981miked1981miked Posts: 259
    I am in this situation aswell mate, there is a surprising amount of choice in this price bracket.

    I'm very tempted by this though: ... -2013.html

    Cracking spec for the money and a good quality frame and fork. That's where my money will probably go.. Just waiting to finalise a house deal before I click the buy button..

    Good luck.
  • They look pretty good too, this is hard!

    I also just spotted the Claud Butler Roubaix. £500 on amazon and I have £100 of amazon vouchers, they have the Vicenza too but not in my size.

    I think I am narrowed down to the following in order of my current preference:

    Boardman Race
    Bt win triban 5 - these seem very well regarded and the spec is good for the price.
    Claud Butler Roubaix - Specs look good and with my vouchers just £400
    Boardman sport
    Giant Defy 3,4 or 5
  • I think the Merlin is about the best spec for the money. They have last years model for £499, 3x9 Tiagra, carbon fork, shimano wheels. Also check out the Sensa range. Chain reaction cycles are doing some Be-One road bikes at good prices aswell.

    But if you are unsure of sizing probably best to visit your local shop and see what they say.
  • That Merlin does look very nice, not sure how well regarded they are? I had not heard of them until this thread.

    The Eddy Merckx AMX-1 is still on my mind as whilst £699 is the upper end of what I want to spend it looks like a great bike for the money. The Claud Butler Roubaix at £400 too seems a great deal although I read mixed things re CB bikes.

    The lazy part of me though is just tempted to walk half a mile down the road to Halfords and get a Boardman.
  • I somehow missed that deal on the AMX-1..

    That is a really good bike for £700 mate. They appear to be easier to find reviews etc on and are probably more well known. I reckon either the Merlin or the Eddy Merckx would be a cracking bike for the money. Yes they are at the upper end of our budget but if you were looking to spend up to £700 why not spend the full amount and get something you like and will enjoy riding.

    You may end up always wishing you had spent the extra..

    Good luck whatever you buy, keep us posted... I'm away to consider my options as that Eddy is proper nice!
  • It is tempting although I am kind of leaning towards spending closer to 500 than 700.

    Popped to Halfords at lunchtime and the Boardman sport is a non-starter as it comes no smaller than 53cm and having sat on one it is a tad too big.

  • arlowoodarlowood Posts: 2,502
    How about another option from left field.

    MEKK bikes have recently introduced the MEKK A1 Pinerolo and the Sora equipped version just got 4.5/5 in this month's Cycling +

    Comes in at £700 so top of your budget but worth considering. If you could squeeze up to the £800 mark then IMO I prefer the look of the the Tiagra version.
  • I think I am down to 2 now. It helps that Merlin cycles have Amazon checkout so I can use my vouchers. So....

    Malt-r tiagra or Sensa Umbria tiagra.

    Tricky one...
  • Merlin would be my choice mate, only an aluminium fork on the Sensa.. The Merlin has a carbon one, Deda bars, stem and seatpost on the Merlin aswell.

    Spend the extra.. I only charge £50 in amazon vouchers for the advice.. Very fair if say.

    Good choices though. Go for the Merlin then post up pictures and tell me how good it is so I can be jealous until I order mine.
  • I think I have had an 11th hour change of heart and am going to go local with a name I know. These Merlin's seem very well spec'd but I have no idea how good the frame is or how well put together they are. The interweb is full of people praising the specs but no actual reviews.

    I think I am back now to either:

    Boardman Sport - £450 with a 10% discount and I have a halfords within walking distance
    Giant Defy 5
    Something 2nd hand although it seems slim pickings right now. I tried a Specialized Allez yesterday, very nice bike and lovely looking but over-priced IMO vs the Boardman and Defy 5.

    There is still a small part of me considering breaking out the credit card saying sod it and splashing on a Boardman road comp or team or similar :) Probably shouldn't....

    Thanks all, appreciate the advice.
  • me-109me-109 Posts: 1,369
    Getting the Boardman would be a lottery based on the reports of Halfrauds' bike building skills.

    Going secondhand would really require you to go in with eyes wide open and know how to assess component wear for true cost of the purchase - having to get a replacement drivetrain is not cheap.

    Since you appear more ruled by budget and not sure how much you will use it yet, I'd suggest the Sensa Umbria in Sora or Tiagra flavours, depending on how you get on with the shifters (assuming Sora is old-style thumb lever in the photo but this might have changed?). Available in small sizes and under Sora is your £500 budget atm. Both have triples that you may find useful on the hills.
  • Yes I have bee wavering back and forward on the budget, maybe mindful that I may not use it as much as I am planning to. Mostly because I am a little injury prone! Also I have in my mind that if it goes well then this bike may become my winter bike and I'll then buy a better one next year.

    Having looked again today the Boardman sport does not seem to offer (on paper) more than the Btwin triban 3 which opens up a whole new debate and not one that I can be bothered with in truth. You are right re 2nd hand probably not a good idea as I am not qualified to spot issues, I'd just know if it rode ok.

    The Sensa umbria looks good as do the Merlin's. I think I am going to order one tomorrrow. May end up just flipping a coin :D
  • Moda Intro. £700 via Evans. Tiagra 20spd. Carbon Fork. FSA Omega chainset.
  • Go for the Merlin mate. Let us know what u decide and post pics. I'll be very interested to see the Merlin in the cold light of day,

    Can't wait to order mine... Maybe next week!
  • Felt z95 either in (stealth bomber) black, or the f95 in Felt team colours. Right in your budget, Sora throughout and carbon fork.
    Felt z95 - loving my first road bike
  • What bike.. If any did you order OP?
  • None yet! I am though very close.

    I was all set on ordering the Merlin 2012 malt-r however they do not have my size. Then I shifted down in price to the btwin triban 3 but have ended up back to my original budget, I have also decided that buying locally and being able to take it in and or get it setup is a benefit even if it is just Halfords.

    I have arranged for my local Halfords to get in a medium Boardman Sport and Race. I am going down after work today and WILL be buying one of them, probably the race.
  • ShutUpLegsShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
  • Ooohhh the suspense!! :lol:
    B'TWIN Triban 5A
    Ridgeback MX6
  • IrishMacIrishMac Posts: 328
    I've a Trek 1.2 around 4000k has been done on it and it never skipped a beat :)
    Member of Cuchulainn C.C. @badcyclist

    Raleigh SP Race
    Trek 1.2
  • Went to view the sport and race. Ended up with the race, no surprise there.
  • Well you did say the sport was a no go because of the limited sizing :!:

    The race was my first roadbike and it's still going strong 18 months on :) Only issue I had was the rear wheel bearings went after a year and approx 2000 miles. It's now my general hack and still going strong. I had good service from Halfords :)
  • I know :)

    I have tried a lot of bikes this week and whilst a small frame has more clearance I found the mediums more comfortable to ride. Halfords built both the sport and race for me to try and the race just felt like it was worth the extra money. £600 with a10% discount so all good.

    Now for some new pedals.....
  • To the OP - have you been into your local, proper, bike shop? They may be able to knock money off the RRP that you will not get from an online sale. I know I can usually get 10% off RRP by going in.
  • Yes, I went into my local shop and they could not budge on the price. The best they could do was throw in some accessories.
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