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Which first bike?

J13MEXJ13MEX Posts: 7
edited March 2014 in Road buying advice
Hey guys. This is probably going to sound a bit stupid and I know I will be advised not to do it as big as I am but.. Only live once! Haha

I'm looking for a road bike. I have never ridden one, only sat on one once for sizing but it's something I really want to take up! I have a budget of £1500 but I REALLY do not want to spend over £1300 so I can have spare for my riding great, helmet etc!

I will ride mainly flat road, looking to do long distance once I'm into it too rather than short distance sprinting!

I want carbon, I believe I know the pro's and cons and cons and believe I'm going in at a high enough spec bike to make sure I'm getting good carbon.

The bikes..

First up is the Giant TCR composite 32, I believe it's a good spec (105's all round etc) I know the wheels, bars, seat etc lack but that's something I could upgrade and will happily do so in the future. ... 14-p232666

Next up is the Giant Defy composite 2. Again, good spec with the 105's but wheels etc lack. ... 14-p232651

I was also looking at the 2013 models which are a lot cheaper?

What's the pro' sand cons of the TCR vs Defy?
Any advice anyone please?


  • UTFS
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • w00dsterw00dster Posts: 880
    Welcome to the forum and to the world of cycling.
    Firstly, don't be put off by aluminium frames, a lot of people believe a good aluminium frame is as good as an entry level carbon. A fair few people on this forum speak very highly about canyon ultimate al's.
    You've mentioned two bikes that are by the same manufacturer but are built for two slightly different purposes, the defy is regarded as being a supportive bike, so has a slightly relaxed geometry whilst the TCR is more racy.
    I was an owner of the TCR 1. Personally I wasn't massively impressed with it and got rid of it after a month, it wasn't a bad bike, just I personally think there are better bikes about.
    The best advice you can get is to visit a bike shop, try and get a test ride on both bikes you mentioned. Try ride on some other bikes, chat to guy in shop and explain what your short and medium term goals are, the amount of riding you can do and want to progress to. Much better to do this than pick two bikes from the internet.
    Apologies for poor grammar and typos sent from phone.
  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,213
    The TCR is a performance race bike, shorter wheelbase lower front end (handlebars), the Defy is a performance endurance bike, longer wheelbase, higher front end. Look at the Giant website

    Also as suggested, use the search facility at the top of the forum, type in the bike model you are interested in and hit the search button, you should see previous posts relating to these bikes. If it is your first road bike, you really need to visit a bike shop to be sized for the correct frame and sit on a few bikes and test ride if possible to see which you prefer.
  • pianomanpianoman Posts: 706
    If you consider options other than Giant there's a world out there. How about the Tarmac SL4 Sora? It's the same frame DNA as has been used in the pro peloton for years and now available for just £1300.

    I'm buying the next model up (the Sport for £1600) simply because I like the Ferrari colours and have got 10% of the bike back in free Specialized goodies including their Turbo Race tyres - to go on my TT bike that is. If you get a similar deal you could buy a helmet and shoes with the £130 allocation then spend your remaining £200 on pedals, pump, bottle cages, saddle bag and computer. You might even have enough left over for your first cafe stop!
  • jim55jim55 Posts: 93
    cube agree gtc
  • J13MEXJ13MEX Posts: 7
    Thanks a lot for the (mainly) helpful posts. I'm sure even if I searched I could find re comparisons for a "first" bike in thus budget with the same uses as mine. Also, I'm sure that's what this sub forum is for?

    Will check out the Tarmac and Cube.

    Thanks again
  • pianomanpianoman Posts: 706
    Well I responded as soon as the £1300 jumped at me off the screen :D

    The reason I went for the 10-speed is because my other bikes all run ten gears (and Ferrari red seriosuly appeals to me), if you're looking for a first road bike with no need to worry about compatibility or wheel-switching then 9 gears will suffice. I mean, it's not like they can squeeze an elevnth sprocket in is it. Oh wait a minute........
  • J13MEXJ13MEX Posts: 7
    Just had a look, while I like the look of the Tarmac, I can't help but like the defy a lot more!

    Now I'm in a tough situation, while people are saying the Tarmac is possibly better, I much prefer the look of the defy. I have seen people say that liking the look of the bike is very important as it makes you want to ride it more.

    I went to my local bike shop today and they don't have the defy composite in stock, could I try the defy1 (which they do have) and use that to size? Isit literally the same frame just carbon?

  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,726
    Just go riding them, get one that fits you and make sure you are convinced if nothing else that the people selling it to you will fit it to you properly. Don't worry about being sucked in by one bike as against another at that price, giant, spesh and cube don't do bad bikes at that price, so go with fit. (if you get the bug then chances are you will end up relegating the bike to winter bike duties in a year or two or sell it on and buy another one).

    Above all, don't listen to people who rate one bike just cos they bought it, there are people all over this forum that will wax lyrical about the bike they bought and then replace it and immediately wax lyrical about how much better the new one they bought is.
  • mat1971mat1971 Posts: 7
    That was the best have to sit on the bike at least..most shops will let you test ride too..but if you dont have a lot of time, sit on the bike, you'd be surprised how different each can feel,this is YOUR CASH find a bike you like the feel of, and you wont want to get off it..
  • JMcP92JMcP92 Posts: 339
    As many have said, sitting on it certainly helps, however I am quite aware that this isn't always possible as I don't have a lot of suppliers in shops up here (A shop for Trek, a shop for Specialized, nothing else).
    Personally I just got myself a Defy 1 (alu) and am awaiting delivery, decided this partly because I hear great things about it, and the amount of bike you get for the money is great!
    Personally, I wouldn't have the Tarmac, you're paying the same money for a bike with Sora over 105? I know I'll likely get called out within seconds to the point it's not all about spec, and of course, it is not. However, I'd prefer a nice starting drivetrain, and upgrade the cockpit and wheels at a later date than the other way around. In addition, and ultimately more importantly, I think the Giant is better value than the Specialized with a nicer looking, and more comfortable endurance frame.
  • iron-cloveriron-clover Posts: 737
    For your first bike, I would take a look around a few bike shops and see what you can get for your money, and then have a go on the the ones you like the look of.

    I still only have my first road bike, and also hold my own in TTs and 4th Cat races on it- a 2011 Trek 1.1 with alloy fork to boot, and only set me back £400 in a sale. I find it comfortable enough, and don't feel it holds me back too much (although I am looking to buy an all singing race machine soon :p )
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