Good road bike ford sportives - any suggestions please

Caprian280
Caprian280 Posts: 2
edited April 2013 in Road general
Hi all
I'm quite new to all this as for years I had a dual suspension mountain bike that I used for work - 2 mile each way and Sunday rides where I hit 20 miles and that was it
I recently (December 2012) started cycling regularly on a Sunday on my trusty mtb but realised it wasn't up to a 20 mile run basically, it's uncomfortable, a struggle on roads.
I'd read great reviews about the boardman bikes in halfords and set about getting one. My wife bought me a hybrid race - the new release in blue at £430 for Christmas. It was a big improvement over the mtb which would not tackle a hill at all and I could get good speed out of it too.
A few Sundays ago a few friends and I went to the spring saddle sportive at Newmarket. I was left for dust by them on the hills, the bike just seeming a real struggle and especially at wooditon hill just before the finish. One had a fuji gran fondo 3, one was a canondale and I forget what the other was.

I am looking for a new bike but not sure what to go for. I'm worried about making the same mistake with the boardman.
I've been to evans cycles and cycle surgery and looked at the cube peloton, a specialized secteur elite 2013, seen the limited edition full carbon boardman just released

The cube peloton I have been told is not a great bike for long distances and sportives.
I am looking to get a bike on the cycle to work scheme so £1000 is my limit I'm afraid.
My friend is pushing towards a ribble bike builder - as its full carbon etc etc but the cycle to work scheme is not good through them - £65 admin fee etc and I am looking for a bike that I can see before hand for size and fit. As ribble are up north - I am in Romford in Essex. Evans, cycle surgery and a couple of others are local so I can pop in to them.

I know there are a lot of things to consider but any advice would be great please.
Cheers
:D

Comments

  • smoggysteve
    smoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    Resist buying anything called "Limited Edition" - Its consumer code for expensive paintjob on bog standard model.

    Go to a bike shop or two and sit on a few bikes to see what you find more comfortable. If you intend doing sportives and Comfort will be whats most important. No need for a super aggressive frame. For the Grand you can spend there are so many to choose from, You should also look at end of line clearance bikes from 2012 of earlier as you will get a better bike for the cash if its in a clearance sale. Look at Wiggle or Evans for some good examples of massive discounts right now.
  • Bookwyse
    Bookwyse Posts: 245
    I am in Kent and have a Ribble R872 if you fancy having a ride on it.
  • davep1
    davep1 Posts: 836
    There are lots of reviews and information on this site and in the magazines. The Giant Defy is always the winner or very near the top of the pack because it manages to be fast and relaxed - or so the reviews say.

    I'd go to a Specialized shop and try an Allez (more racy) and a Secteur (more relaxed) to see the differences, and then make a list of the various rivals and try as many of them as you can.

    Bear in mind that different manufacturers have different ways of making a bike more endurance-able; Spesh use Zertz inserts in the stays; Trek have the Isospeed decoupler; some will spec 25 mm wide tyres. You may get more benefit from one system than the other.
  • Camcycle1974
    Camcycle1974 Posts: 1,356
    Caprian280 wrote:
    Hi all
    I'm quite new to all this as for years I had a dual suspension mountain bike that I used for work - 2 mile each way and Sunday rides where I hit 20 miles and that was it
    I recently (December 2012) started cycling regularly on a Sunday on my trusty mtb but realised it wasn't up to a 20 mile run basically, it's uncomfortable, a struggle on roads.
    I'd read great reviews about the boardman bikes in halfords and set about getting one. My wife bought me a hybrid race - the new release in blue at £430 for Christmas. It was a big improvement over the mtb which would not tackle a hill at all and I could get good speed out of it too.
    A few Sundays ago a few friends and I went to the spring saddle sportive at Newmarket. I was left for dust by them on the hills, the bike just seeming a real struggle and especially at wooditon hill just before the finish. One had a fuji gran fondo 3, one was a canondale and I forget what the other was.

    I am looking for a new bike but not sure what to go for. I'm worried about making the same mistake with the boardman.
    I've been to evans cycles and cycle surgery and looked at the cube peloton, a specialized secteur elite 2013, seen the limited edition full carbon boardman just released

    The cube peloton I have been told is not a great bike for long distances and sportives.
    I am looking to get a bike on the cycle to work scheme so £1000 is my limit I'm afraid.
    My friend is pushing towards a ribble bike builder - as its full carbon etc etc but the cycle to work scheme is not good through them - £65 admin fee etc and I am looking for a bike that I can see before hand for size and fit. As ribble are up north - I am in Romford in Essex. Evans, cycle surgery and a couple of others are local so I can pop in to them.

    I know there are a lot of things to consider but any advice would be great please.
    Cheers
    :D

    Giant Defy gets great reviews in any magazine write ups and I can confirm its a great bike for sportives. Light and fast but also comfortable. I am biased because I have one :D See if you can try one.
  • Treks seem popular bikes for Sportives, and those with baskets on.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • roadiemk
    roadiemk Posts: 19
    Reading your post, unless I've misread, it sounds to me it's more of getting the training in and fitness levels built up, rather than a bike issue.

    I have done a number of hilly sportives - Dorking cycling weekly, Haywards Heath, etc, on my £190 Halfords Apollo bike, without issue.
    Very satisfying overtaking people on more expensive machinery on the hills.
    This comes from a mixture of hill training and heavy squatting/leg training down in the gym.


    But if you are on the market for a bike, I think it is better to try a few bikes in your price range first, since bike geometries/people come in different sizes, so you want to end up on a bike that you feel comfortable on.
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    Cannondale Synapse Carbon (Apex) £1,099
    http://www.paulscycles.co.uk/m7b0s6p451 ... %282012%29

    Has 25mm tyres and an 11-32 cassette so should be easier to climb with. Its also lovely to look at with a slightly aero look to it. They do them in alloy for slightly less, but the carbon frame is totally different to alloy. Only means 99 of your hard earned on top (plus the cycle to work fee).

    I also agree with the others about training and fitness. With some slick/xc tyres there is no reason I can think of why your MTB can't do the job, unless its one of those supermarket 99 quid mtbs?
  • It's difficult to be objective, but I bought a Defy 1 last month and its a really nice bike. Did my longest ride on it on Saturday (70miles) and had no issues whatsoever. My other bike is a Carrera TDF, and the difference between the two is very noticable on long rides, however that is the only comparison I make between two bikes as the Defy was the only bike I tried at my LBS. If it helps, I've read that the Cannondales are also excellent around that price point.
  • roadiemk wrote:
    Reading your post, unless I've misread, it sounds to me it's more of getting the training in and fitness levels built up, rather than a bike issue.

    I have done a number of hilly sportives - Dorking cycling weekly, Haywards Heath, etc, on my £190 Halfords Apollo bike, without issue.
    Very satisfying overtaking people on more expensive machinery on the hills.
    This comes from a mixture of hill training and heavy squatting/leg training down in the gym.


    But if you are on the market for a bike, I think it is better to try a few bikes in your price range first, since bike geometries/people come in different sizes, so you want to end up on a bike that you feel comfortable on.
    +1 to this.

    Generally speaking an expensive bike is nicer to ride than a cheap one. It will feel livlier and more enjoyable to ride but the reason you're being dropped on hills is because your mates are fitter. A better bike might make you a little quicker up the hills but it's probably negligible.

    You'll see plenty of people on sportives riding £3k bikes not because they're good cyclists but because they can afford them. The reverse is also true.

    Having said all of that if you can afford a nice bike and you think you’ll use it then you’ll soon have the fitness you need to keep up with your mates. Go for it!
  • Headhuunter
    Headhuunter Posts: 6,494
    roadiemk wrote:
    Reading your post, unless I've misread, it sounds to me it's more of getting the training in and fitness levels built up, rather than a bike issue.

    I have done a number of hilly sportives - Dorking cycling weekly, Haywards Heath, etc, on my £190 Halfords Apollo bike, without issue.
    Very satisfying overtaking people on more expensive machinery on the hills.
    This comes from a mixture of hill training and heavy squatting/leg training down in the gym.


    But if you are on the market for a bike, I think it is better to try a few bikes in your price range first, since bike geometries/people come in different sizes, so you want to end up on a bike that you feel comfortable on.
    +1 to this.

    Generally speaking an expensive bike is nicer to ride than a cheap one. It will feel livlier and more enjoyable to ride but the reason you're being dropped on hills is because your mates are fitter. A better bike might make you a little quicker up the hills but it's probably negligible.

    You'll see plenty of people on sportives riding £3k bikes not because they're good cyclists but because they can afford them. The reverse is also true.

    Having said all of that if you can afford a nice bike and you think you’ll use it then you’ll soon have the fitness you need to keep up with your mates. Go for it!

    I was thinking the same. The difference between riding a chunky MTB on the road and a skinny tyred bike is noticeable but beyond that, the difference between riding a race hybrid with skinny tyres and a full road bike is fairly negligible if you're a beginner. Unless you have money to burn I'd stick with what you've got, especially as it sounds very new, focus on getting miles in and getting your fitness up. Ultimately the bike will only go as fast as you're able to push it
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • Mikey41
    Mikey41 Posts: 690
    Generally speaking an expensive bike is nicer to ride than a cheap one. It will feel livlier and more enjoyable to ride but the reason you're being dropped on hills is because your mates are fitter. A better bike might make you a little quicker up the hills but it's probably negligible.

    You'll see plenty of people on sportives riding £3k bikes not because they're good cyclists but because they can afford them. The reverse is also true.

    Having said all of that if you can afford a nice bike and you think you’ll use it then you’ll soon have the fitness you need to keep up with your mates. Go for it!
    +1 to this.

    You'll notice a big difference between an MTB and a Road bike and you'll go a bit faster straight away. Then it's up to you to get your fitness levels up.

    I also can only speak about what I bought, but the Giant Defy's are indeed comfortable on long distances and still manage to be responsive and turn well. The Defy 1 is £1000 (handy that) and is very popular.

    Having said that, the only Sportive I've been on so far had a massive range of bikes being used. From the cheapest to some pretty expensive looking Road bikes, MTB's, Hybrids, a few Road bikes that looked 20-30 years old. All range of ages from young chargers to guys (and girls) at the far end of their 60's. Everyone had a jolly good time (despite it being bloody freezing!) :lol:
    Giant Defy 2 (2012)
    Giant Defy Advanced 2 (2013)
    Giant Revel 1 Ltd (2013)
    Strava
  • Mikey41 wrote:
    Having said that, the only Sportive I've been on so far had a massive range of bikes being used. From the cheapest to some pretty expensive looking Road bikes, MTB's, Hybrids, a few Road bikes that looked 20-30 years old.

    ...And there seems to be no correlation between the price of the bike and the effectiveness of it's rider. I rode a sportive this weekend with a mate who was on a £400 road bike. He finished well inside the top 10% and I was about 8 minutes behind him on my £2k carbon jobby! Lance was right about one thing - "It's not about the bike"