First Road Bike - Trek Madone/Orbea Orca/Canyon SLX

LeighM Posts: 156
edited October 2013 in Road buying advice
Hi folks, I'm in the market for my first road bike and have spent the last few weeks researching the plethora of options available to me.

I'm looking for something suitable for general 60-70km rides and plus 20-40km Triathlon bike stages, with a budget of c.£2,500.

I've narrowed my options down to the following, based mainly on the various online reviews, finishing kit and the cosmetics.

Trek Madone 4.7

Orbea Orca M50

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 7.0

The stand-out one from a value perspective is the Canyon, however I'm a little worried about not having a shop to go back to. The Orbea is a little exotic, but the standard of wheelset doesn't match up to the Canyon. The Trek is a great frame, but the stock wheelset is not the lightest and I'm not sure I want/need Di2 either. I could Project One the Madone, but to get near the Canyon spec I'd have to spend an extra £600.

I appreciate opinion will be subjective, but was wondering if anyone had any comments about any of the above bikes, in particular any bad experiences with them or the manufacturers.
2014 Trek Madone 4.7 | 2009 Trek Fuel EX7 | Planet X Pro Carbon Track Elite


  • Go for the canyon, it's worth it for the spec alone, but the frame is excellent as well. The ride quality of the orbea is pretty good too, but maybe not quite as comfortable as the canyon. The Trek is a good bike, but you take a real step down in the quality of the wheels compared to the Canyon.

    I think Canyon have a UK service centre now. Not sure if it's any good or not, but you can always take it to the local shop if you need to service it etc.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    £2500 on a first road bike! :shock: Nice dilemma to have.

    If I was contemplating spending that kind of money on a first bike I'd be buying from a bike shop who could make sure I got the right bike, the right size, and have it properly fitted to me. Which, unless you already know the requisite dimensions, probably rules out the Canyon. Of the 2 you link to I'd probably choose the Orca

    My first road bike (well, after a couple of decades absence anyway) came from Epic Cycles. I got pretty impartial advice about which bike would suit my needs, a decent fitting session, and lengthy test rides both on candidate bikes and on the final bike once it was built up 2 weeks later. I also got to choose each component, so no money wasted on 'upgrades' in the 6 subsequent years. All in it was a very pleasant buying experience, and at no point was I pressured into buying anything I didn't want / need.
  • Hi LeighM,

    I agree with what keef66 said regarding the support & service of your LBS can offer you, especially if its your first road bike. It wouldn't be such a big issue if you know what you're looking for & needing in terms of size & fit, getting a bike the right size for you is essential in my opinion!

    For the record, I have the Canyon in question & it's a great bike! I love it!
    If you're also using this bike for Triathlon, then maybe the Orbea - with it's more "aero" profile tubes would probably suit your need just a bit better. The CF SLX is designed more of a climbing rig with its low weight & stiff BB/head tube, than a flat-land high speed machine.

    Have you look at the Canyon "Aeroad"

    Save a few hundred pounds & helps towards getting an extra set of medium/deep section carbon tubs wheelset (Planet-X) & clip-on bars for your Triathlon needs & you'll be flying. :-)

    Hope that helps.