Novice buying advice

fil6s Posts: 4
edited July 2013 in Road beginners
Hello to everyone. I am in the process of reseaching a new road bike.

I am a complete novice to road cycling having never ridden a road bike before, I have however ridden countless mountain bikes.

Having read numerous topics on this and other forums, I have now well and truly confused myself. So I thought it best to ask my own questions.

The budget for my first road bike is upto £600. I would ideally like a new bike, but I am open to second hand (although looking on ebay I cannot find anything within sensible range for the size I need, I am 6.1 so looking at a 58/60cm frame).

The bikes I have been looking at are as follows:

Specialized Allez Compact 2013 - £550 @ Evans Cycles
B'TWIN Triban 3a (would like the 3, but none in stock for my size (60cm) and no second hand ones) - £299 @ Decathlon
B'TWIN Triban 5 (again these are not in stock, anyone know why?) - £429 @ Decathlon

Are there any others that I should be taking note of?

My head is saying B'TWIN Triban 3a, even though the comments are not as good and the Triban 3, is it still a good bike for the money or will I end up regretting it?? Is it be a good bike to start off with and upgrade as I improve?

Many thanks, Phil


  • Shtukka
    Shtukka Posts: 59
    Hi Phil,
    Welcome to the road!

    A decent place to start is the bike radar reviews (updated in April) ... 000-29719/ which shows you a few bikes around your price point, and a few more up to a grand to give you an idea what more you'd get for your money.

    The bikes you mention are fine, but what exactly you should buy depends hugely on what you want: do you want flat out racing performance (skinny 23 tyres, aggressive geometry) or a more relaxed sportive bike (whcih doesn't mean significnatly slower). Perhaps you want something that will last and last (so don't get too worked about not having any carbon which can often only survive for 5 years assuming you don't have even a slight ding).

    Planet X and Ribble are also well worth a look. Ribble offers great value (patchy customer service) and Planet X offer some slick but pricier models.
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    The best advice I can give is spend more than that :).
  • fil6s
    fil6s Posts: 4
    Thanks Shtukka,

    I am definately not looking for the racing type at the moment, so more the 'relaxed' bike will fit the bill.

    When it comes to long lasting, i guess I need a bike that will see me improve fitness, be able to ride 40+ mile sessions. once I hit those goals, I would look to spend more to meet my growing needs.
  • Gizmodo
    Gizmodo Posts: 1,928
    Shtukka has given you some good advice. I would add, go and sit on them. The most important aspects of any bike are:

    1. Fit - it has to fit you, too big or too small and you will be uncomfortable. Search YouTube for "bike fit", there are plenty of videos on how to ensure it is the right size for you. If you can, ask the store to let you test ride the bike, preferably for a few hours. Local Bike Shops will let you try them out or at least have a static turbo trainer you can try them in store for 20 minutes or so.

    2. Which one makes you smile - the other important aspect is your mental attitude to the bike. If you smile every time you look at it you will want to ride it - and that's half the battle.

    So look at the reviews, get yourself a short list, then sit on them for fit and the final decision is up to the heart. :)
  • Shtukka
    Shtukka Posts: 59
    The best advice I can give is spend more than that :).

    Amen to that - lots of manufacturers target the approx £1k cut-off so you'll be grateful if you can stretch a bit more.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I am 6'1" and would not go anywhere near a 60cm :shock:

    Would have thought you would be 58cm max so be careful you do not get a bike that is too big as there will be nothing you can do to make it fit properly.

    I would also say up your budget if you can.
  • fil6s
    fil6s Posts: 4
    Thank you for all your comments.

    So the phrase 'Buy Cheap, Buy Twice' rings true here, in other words move away from the Triban bikes. I will continue to look at bike around my max price range, I don't think I could justify a grand, as the wife see's this as a fad already :)

    @Carbonator - thanks for the heads up on size. I will focus my search on 58 bikes.
  • Shtukka
    Shtukka Posts: 59
    Oh, and every manufacturer will size differently - a 58 ribble will fit differently from a 58 Giant. You should be able to google to find the per-maunfacturer sizings.