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First road bike £800 to spend

fwgxfwgx Posts: 114
edited July 2013 in Road buying advice
So I've finally decided it's time to get a proper road bike to compliment my hybrid commuter. I plan to use it in the evenings and at weekends and for general keep fit. I don't want to be upgrading all the time, so something that'll last me 10 years so the cost is amortised nicely. Something that's nicer to ride, faster, lighter (my fully winter-proof and decked out hybrid is quite heavy!) and more fun is what I'm after really.

Budget is £800 tops including pedals (I'm assuming most shops will do deals on an £800 bike to throw in some pedals too (I have shoes)). I want to be able to try it out first so not mail order (hence local Tredz and Evans are where I'm mostly looking)

I am wanting a compact / triple as there are some bad-censored hills here (and the wind, oh my, the WIND - ever had to shift down several cogs to get down a hill? Yeah :/ ) and I'm not yet that fit.

I've been warned off bikes with Sora shifters because of the thumb switching gears on them - are they all like that in the Sora range though? From what I've been able to gather from the pictures on the intarwebs some have the index finger triggers (I don't know all the terminology, but hopefully you understand what I mean here). e.g.: ... _57441.htm looks like it doesn't have thumb switches.

So I was ideally looking for a bike with Tiagra kit on it, although this is likely far better than I am using now.

So far I have come up with this list of possibilities and I don't really know what to really go try out:

Felt Z95 £650: ... _57441.htm
Felt F85 £800: ... nfoReviews
Felt F95 £650: Lower spec, but looks nice in green ... _57370.htm
Specialised Secteur £650: Them thumb switches ... _55000.htm
Scott 40 Compact £800 : ... 9#features
Specialised Allex Sport £725: Seems pricy for the spec ... 5#features
Cube Peloton Pro Triple £795: ... _49469.htm

There's so much choice and so little on information on different spec stuff, I'm learning as I go and need all the help I can get.

So help, suggestions, comments and encouragement welcome!!

Thank you


  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    I bought one of these
    It's inside your budget plus you get 105 kit, also have a look at Cannondale CAAD 8
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,425
    These bikes seem to get a good reaction from owners on here & did well in review a while back. Also merlin are good to deal with. Within budget & with 105 - stonking value: ... -2013.html

    There is also this: ... ecial.html although personally I'd go for the first one.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • neilhannamneilhannam Posts: 58
    I have the Felt F95 (the more subtle grey colour scheme). The Sora is perfectly fine for an entry level bike in my opinion and the 2013 model doesn't have the thumb shifter on them. My mate liked my F95 so much he went out and bought himself the F85 as he didn't want the exact same bike but wanted a Felt based on it's looks and ride. His does look better as I prefer the black and red colour scheme but having ridden the two the difference between the groupset is minor at best. What it did mean though was he didn't have the cash to upgrade the tyres and saddle right away where as I did.

    I know how you're feeling, so much choice and just subtle or aesthetic differences between brands with a bike in that price range. If you are going to order over the net and aren't able to try them for sizing first then I suggest you at least phone and talk to someone about sizing and your options. I was originally looking for a 2012 model in the sales last year. One of the independent shops I called spent 40 minutes talking me through sizing options, what kind of experience I had on the road, how many miles i'd be doing, alternative brands with similar spec bikes at the same kind of price etc etc. However when he checked to see what stock they had he didn't have my size and said Felt distribution centre was out. He then offered me the new 2013 model at the 2012 model sale price and I bit his hand off. In all honesty though he was that helpful, knowledgeable and patient with my questions i'd have happily paid full price for the 2013.

    Moral of the story, at that price range specs won't be hugely different so buy what you best like the look of if you're not going to judge them by feel and fit. Also don't be mistaken in thinking the big guys will be better for discounts, it's worth talking to the independent guys as well who will probably be willing to spend more time talking to you.
  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,215
    You'll go faster on a good looking bike, and for my money the best looking bike in your range is the Felt F95 Team
    which can be picked up for £650. 2013 Sora has the same ergonomics as the rest of the Shimano range so I wouldn't be too bothered about 9 speed Sora versus 10 speed Tiagra. Cracking frame which will not let you down on future component upgrades.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123

    bargaintastic mainly 105 equipped bike

    I know you said you didn't want to do online shopping, but with Wiggle you can send it back if you don't like it...
  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,215
    keef66 wrote:

    bargaintastic mainly 105 equipped bike

    I know you said you didn't want to do online shopping, but with Wiggle you can send it back if you don't like it...
    Horrible looking frame with made up brand and ugly welds. Merlin Sensa is a bit better looking but who the f*ck are Sensa?
  • Phil_DPhil_D Posts: 467
    The Defy 2 comes in a triple.

    10 speed tiagra.
  • fwgxfwgx Posts: 114
    Thanks for the help everyone. Went to try some out today, the Giant Defy 2 didn't really fit but the Felt felt good so will probably be getting the F85 next week if they can get it in.

    Quite looking forward to it. Went for a 21 mile ride today today on my hybrid so I'll see how it feels on a much lighter and racier bike next week :D
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Tifosi ck7 is a good all rounder and has mudguard which can come off in summer. -wheel building and other stuff.
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