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Which road bike for a newbie female cyclist with £700?

christiandransfieldchristiandransfield Posts: 127
edited April 2014 in Women's cycling forum
Hey everyone,

I'm posting on behalf of a friend of mine who wants to get into road cycling. She's done off-road cycling before, but wants to move to road cycling instead. She has a budget of upto £700 max, so wondered what you guys would suggest as possible bikes for her. Is it a case of waiting for a bargain on here or eBay etc or would you recommend buying new etc?



  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Depends on what she wants!

    My wife likes new. Ok, doubles the cost but then she gets a bike that she wants.

    Does she need a woman's bike or does she fit a mans bike?
  • jezmojezmo Posts: 21

    I've been doing quite a bit of research into this myself recently, looking for a bike for my wife. She's tried both mens and women's bikes and the women specific bikes do tend to fit her better. The Specialized Dolce's were a good fit, but very expensive for what you get. The best value, fit and all round bike that I've identified so far are the Giant Avail's. You get a full level higher up the Shimano range for any given price with the Giant's over the Specialized bikes and they're based on the very popular Defy range for men, so should be pretty good handling.

    The Avail 2 comes with full Shimano Tiagra at £799 or the Avail 3 comes with Sora for £699. They come as Compact's which I prefer over Triple's and they don't have any of those hideous paint/bar tape colour schemes that most women specific bikes seem to have and no silly flowery graphics like the Trek Lexa's.

    Just my 2p worth..
    Cannondale Supersix 2011
    Cannondale Caad9 2010
    FCN5 (hairy and proud...)
  • CarleyBCarleyB Posts: 475
    I would never recommend buying new on a first bike. You can get more bang for your buck if you buy second hand. However, you need to go and look round the bike shops to see what you like.

    You don't get the best groupsets for your money anymore. You can pay £700 and still only get a sora groupset, however thats not a bad thing.

    I bought an almost new Giant in 2007 and its a WSD on ebay. Ive upgraded bits here and there, bought it new wheels etc and still race on it. It's a bike I love and change wheels over in winter and have carbon wheels for racing on.
    Level 3 Road & Time Trial Coach, Level 2 Track Coach.

    Blackpool Clarion CC

    Blackpool Youth Cycling Association
  • Is she taller than 5'3" ?

    My OH tried a small Giant Avail, and it wasn't small enough... she had a bike pre-fit from the Bike Whisperer; to cut a long story short the only frame that they reckoned would fit was a Canyon XS.

    She ended up with a Roadlite 7.0 AL, XS, which was more than £700 but fits really well, and it's a really smart bike and she loves it.

    Maybe worth ensuring that there's one to fit at any price range, if she's a little on the petite side...
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • CarleyBCarleyB Posts: 475
    I'm 5'3 and have an xs giant.
    Level 3 Road & Time Trial Coach, Level 2 Track Coach.

    Blackpool Clarion CC

    Blackpool Youth Cycling Association
  • bikergirl17bikergirl17 Posts: 344
    If you're ok with aluminium cannondale caads are great as you get the same frame from sora to durace. It was a fabulous first bike for me, springy & zippy. Still ride as my commuter bike. I felt like some of the cheaper carbon frames felt really sluggish. Never did a bike fit -- did test rides on about 10 & this was perfect. Same w current bike.

    And my local bike store was fine with swapping out components (I wanted different gearing). So I wouldn't let that sway you if that's the issue.

    Wsd just means they put on short reach levers & usually shorter cranks. But if she's tall enough for an unisex frame then you can swap all that.

    And I'm a huge (and seems only) advocate for 650c wheels if you're 5'2" and under. The xs frames with 700c wheels have to distort the geometry to fit with sufficient pedal clearance. This relates to tt bikes but holds true for road. ... ists-.html

    As an aside I suspect specialized cost more as technically from the us so there's often a mark up. ... ance-1002/
    You can see the "real" price here -- although not sure what you can do.
  • leedsmjhleedsmjh Posts: 196
    +1 on considering an alloy Cannondale. My first road bike was an alloy synapse and zippy is the perfect description. Still use it 5 yrs on for commuting duties
  • Thanks for all your feedback guys... I'll forward it on to my friend and will let you know how she gets on!
  • nomelettenomelette Posts: 13
    Lots of people seem to suggest second hand is the way to go, but I'm currently struggling looking for a road bike for myself since I'd prefer a WSD bike but I'm 5'10'' so there just doesn't seem to be many out there, just lots with smaller frame sizes. I think I'll just try and find a good deal on a non-WSD and tinker with stem length or something if I feel the need :)
  • Doris DayDoris Day Posts: 83
    Stuff second hand. You never know what has been done to it and sellers tend to lie.
    Go to lots of bike shops and choose the one you respect and doesn't treat you like a numpty.
    Talk about what you wan and need from a bike. If you ever feel like they are taking advantage of you, walk away.

    Cube bikes do great women's bike at a great spec, they can be found at 'Cycle Surgery'.
    You can also buy new, older models of bikes inline at a great price.
  • simonjsimonj Posts: 346
    Try paulscycles or westbrook cycles for some good deals, bought my wife a small mans bike recently cheaper than I could find a women specific one, will use some of the savings to buy a nice seat
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