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Entry level bike advice

matt86matt86 Posts: 19
edited March 2013 in Road buying advice
Hi,

I am looking to buy my first road bike (my company are part of cycle to work scheme so will get that discount) and after lots of research I was interested in the 2013 models of the trek 1.1 (£550), giant defy 4 (£599), and specialized allez (£550). I am looking for a road bike to use evenings and weekends for fitness and leisure.

Today, I went into the cycle surgery near where I work for some advice and to try and have a look at these bikes. Unfortunately the shop I went to only had the defy 4 in store, does not stock any treks and only had the allez sport.

Spoke to a very knowledgeable chap and when I asked him about the differences between the entry level bikes mentioned above he seemed to think there is very little differences between them. He felt the jump in spec when you spend a couple more hundred pounds was worth it (he used the cube peloton £749 as an example) when you get the upgrade in groupset to sora, shimano wheels and better saddle. He also argued that with the sora groupset the services costs are less.

I'd like to get views on whether people think it's worth jumping up to this next group of bikes or whether this was salesman chat?

I was scepticle and said to him that as newbie to cycling I doubt I would notice the difference. He argued that after cycling for some time I would and that it would not be worth upgrading the kit on the entry level bike (a new bike would be needed).

People may ask about budget - £1000 is the limit for C2W and I don't want to spend over that - In addition to the bike I'll also need to get kitted out with pedals, helmet, shoes and maybe some clothing. Obiously the less I can spend to suit my needs the better!

Any advice welcome!

Thanks.
Orbea Aqua TSR 2012

Posts

  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,701
    IMHO the bit about servicing costs was BS. You may get a slicker shifting if you go to the next model up (essentially it's 1 extra cog on the back) but you should check before you spend your money as the 8 speed shifters work perfectly well and you may not notice any difference. And there's no reason why you can't upgrade components on a £550 bike, the frame is the same as the pricier models. I'd not choose a £750 bike based on its wheels, though the Shimano R501 and the Defy's Giant branded wheelset are decent enough.

    Try to visit other dealers that stock the other models that interest you. They may not let you have a test ride but if you're serious you may at least get a spin on each using a turbo trainer.

    Are you looking to buy SPD cleated shoes and pedals? These needn't cost much. £50 helmets work as well as £120 ones but may have fewer holes (you pay extra for more holes :wink: ). How well it fits your head is more important than anything.

    You might also want a lock, pump, small multitool and jacket.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • matt86matt86 Posts: 19
    Thanks for the reply, really helpful.

    Definitely plan on having a look at my local bike shops (may get some better deals rather than the cycle surgery store in central london) to take a look at the trek 1.1 and allez - any thoughts on the three entry bikes mentioned?

    Yes looking to buy SPD cleated shoes and pedals, and the extras you mentioned - the total price quickly rises when you tot it all up!
    Orbea Aqua TSR 2012
  • I was in the same position as you, but using it for commuting as well. I went to Evans and test rode 4 different bikes from £500 - £1000. I eventually chose a Moda Intro for £700. It had a 10 speed Tiagra group set, and the rest of the kit is very nice. Easy to upgrade the group set piece by piece at a later date if I feel it warrants it.
    Go to a few bike shops and give loads of different stuff a try, there may be a bike out there that you haven't even considered, but feels just right.
    Boardman 8.9 SLR - Summer
    Holdsworth La Quelda - Commuter
    Moda Intro - Winter
    Planet X Stealth - TT
  • I purchased a Specialized Allez back in August last year. I also used the cycle scheme but as you mentioned realised that kitting myself out would take the budget up further. I decided on the Allez because it reviewed well everywhere and at £575 gave me room via the scheme for helmet, spds and shoes. I then spent about £300 on clothing and accessories (pump, tubes, bottle cage etc). I think the Allez is a great bike to get started on, I really enjoyed my time on it. But then you get hooked, turbo trainers, more kit, bike fit follow as you get into things further.

    I would say that the 2013 Allez does not have the carbon fork like the 2012 and on that note I would suggest looking at 2012 bargains. Just be sensible, set your budget, look at the reviews and listen to people on here as generally there is lots of good advice. Search the old threads as there are lots asking the same questions. But make sure you sit on a few bikes if you can because the model that looks good on paper might not suit you. Enjoy!
  • matt86matt86 Posts: 19
    Thanks for the replies - went to another cycle surgery before work today and they had a orbea aqua tsr 2012 in the sale down from £750 to £550. They only have 1 size 57 inthe country and it is in manchester but they said they can transport it down to london if I place a deposit down (this gets repaid if I don't take the bike).

    Supermurph09 - your advice about 2012 models looks to be sound! Seem to be getting a better spec (carbon fork/sora groupset) for the low price.

    Tomh - hadn't even looked into this bike during my research but have to say the spec looks good and the look of the bike is great!

    Just got to decide whether to bite the bullet or not before it gets snapped up....
    Orbea Aqua TSR 2012
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,701
    £200 off an Orbea Aqua is a good price, they are nice bikes. Provided it's the right size and there's no other bike you are sold on then I'd go for it.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • +2 the Orbea...that was my first road bike - that's a great price for a nice bike which you can improve later on if you wish.
    I quite like Cycle Surgery too, they're the best of the chain type LBS's, if you get what I mean...
  • matt86matt86 Posts: 19
    update: I've been decisive and have placed the refundable deposit down to get the orbea bike delivered to london store from manchester - just hope it fits now!

    Thanks for all the help - going to go off now looking for a bundle of kit to complete the C2W purchase!
    Orbea Aqua TSR 2012
  • why not get them to provide you with a couple of bikes for comparision? If their others stores have Treks etc you're interested in then get them to get them in at the same time, then you'll be able to compare properly over a couple of hours.

    +1 for CycleSurgery (at least the ones I've used), they've always given me good service
  • matt86 wrote:
    update: I've been decisive and have placed the refundable deposit down to get the orbea bike delivered to london store from manchester - just hope it fits now!

    Thanks for all the help - going to go off now looking for a bundle of kit to complete the C2W purchase!

    Excellent news Matt, hope the bike suits you. "Bundle of kit", take a deep breath and consider your purchases, on seeing your bike and the thought of getting on it, common sense often stays outside the shop! :P

    Be sure to put some pics up if you get the bike.
  • matt86matt86 Posts: 19

    Excellent news Matt, hope the bike suits you. "Bundle of kit", take a deep breath and consider your purchases, on seeing your bike and the thought of getting on it, common sense often stays outside the shop! :P

    Be sure to put some pics up if you get the bike.

    :D will remember to keep my sensible hat on when completing the CTW order!

    Will definitely upload some pics if I do end up getting it.
    Orbea Aqua TSR 2012
  • matt86matt86 Posts: 19
    So I picked up my new bike up last night after work.

    Haven't got out and ridden it yet due to the weather but thought I'd post a pic up...

    CIMG4597_zpsecf9e7d5.jpg

    May have to tinker with saddle height/bar position to suit me best.

    Have to say, I was very impressed with my experience with cycle surgery - even though I picked up the bike from one of their busy london stores (kings cross) the guys there spent ages with me going over the bike before I left the store even though I wasn't spending huge amounts.

    Can't wait to take it out for a ride! :D
    Orbea Aqua TSR 2012
  • cookeeemonstercookeeemonster Posts: 1,991
    looking good!!

    must be killing you with all this snow coming down ;)
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