looking to buy a do-it-all (almost) bike

The Wilch
The Wilch Posts: 38
edited June 2014 in Road buying advice
Hi, this is my first post on here, been visiting the site for about 18 months. I know this has been asked before, but here is my personal dilemma right now; I want a new bike and after 2 days of online research I feel dizzy with information overload.

I've been riding a Triban 3 for the last year, but I'm ready to either upgrade to a better road bike or buy something slightly different and I'd like to take advantage of the CTW Scheme.

I want one bike to use all year round. I don't drive so this is my mode of transport which consists of commuting to work most days (only a few miles) and various journeys of around 30 miles tops (which I intend to take much further in the near future) and I also carry my shopping with me. I actually can't complain too much about the Triban's performance over the last 13 months. It's served me well through all seasons. I came off during one very wet night which led to my rear wheel being bent out of recognition, but I learned a lesson about the limitations of slick tyres. I get a lot of puncture to, but I partly blame myself for this due to lack of experience regarding repairs and tyre PSI etc. It also carries my DIY panniers with my shopping/work stuff.

I want something I can attach mudguards to and maybe my pannier rack, but I can live without the latter. I started my research with the intention of finding something with thicker, more pot-hole friendly tyres, but there's something about the performance of road bikes I'm not sure I can abandon completely.
I've looked at hybrids, but prefer a more aerodynamic posture.
Touring bikes seem ok, but I'm not sure I'd be happy with the speed and they seem heavy. a touring frame may be too much just to carry my shopping every week. And they're not as adventurous as other options.
Cyclocross is tempting. They look fun and would be great for commuting, but I'm not sure they're suitable for long rides. But the clearance would leave me with many options.

The fact is I spend my time riding mainly on roads with the odd stone path. You could argue a road bike is the ultimate commuter simply because it gets you from A to B the quickest and with some common sense one can avoid routes that don't play well with the tyres. But I haven't ruled out using a cyclocross with a selection of tyres for different occasions if I'm not too lazy to change them now and then.

I'd be grateful for any advice from experienced cyclists on bike types or specific models. The Kinesis Racelight T2 Tiagra and Ribble Sportive 365 have both caught my eye for their mudguards as standard, carbon frame and good reviews. I've been drooling over the Boardman Team Carbon, looks like amazing VFM, I'd be very happy if this has the clearance for mudguards. The Planet X Pro Carbon Shimano Ultegra 6800 is £1000 at the moment, is this better than the Boardman? I'll throw in a cyclocross too: Planet X XLS Shimano 105 for similar price.

Thanks for reading and sorry for the long post. Hope someone can help me make up my mind


  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    'Slick' tyres are not the problem...

    You're over-thinking this. Any bike will do for your needs, but in this case yoi just need one with rack and guard eyelets.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • Rod11
    Rod11 Posts: 293
    Personally, just because I think it's a more versatile option, I'd go cyclocross; wider tyres (with a wide range of choices between slick and something all together knobblier), more durable rims, and I doubt you'll notice a performance difference between the two.
  • blu3cat
    blu3cat Posts: 1,016
    Jack93 wrote:
    Personally, just because I think it's a more versatile option, I'd go cyclocross; wider tyres (with a wide range of choices between slick and something all together knobblier), more durable rims, and I doubt you'll notice a performance difference between the two.

    Just gone from a full racer road bike to a crosser, and although the bike is a little heavier, and cosequently a little slower (but nohing really to worry about), the flexibility of taking my slicks of and putting fat tyres and hitting some mud more than make up for this.
    "Bed is for sleepy people.
    Let's get a kebab and go to a disco."

    FCN = 3 - 5
    Colnago World Cup 2
  • MichaelW
    MichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Touring bikes seem ok, ...but they're not as adventurous as other options.
    You need the clearance of long-drop caliper brakes as a bare min for all-weather doitall riding.
    Rack and 'guard eyelets are essential.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    Grill wrote:
    'Slick' tyres are not the problem...

    You're over-thinking this. Any bike will do for your needs, but in this case yoi just need one with rack and guard eyelets.

    left the forum March 2023
  • The Wilch
    The Wilch Posts: 38
    Thanks for your suggestions.
    The Canyon Infinite AL 8.0S looks good, but would be a stretch going over 1K. Would the Boardman CX Team be better value.

    The rack mount isn't essential, but would be a nice bonus all other things being equal. I live close to the supermarket and can carry shopping on my back.

    Cyclocross may be the way to go, although I still feel myself gravitating to pure road bike. I'll continue weighing up my options
  • duckson
    duckson Posts: 961
    Dolan Dual - similar to the Ribble 365 (carbon, mudguard mounts).
    Rose Pro DX - cyclocross but you can order it with a 50/34, mudguard eyelets, well specced and a good price.

    I'm looking for a wet weather bike (and for use in winter) and i'm leaning towards the Ribble 365 as they are highly speccable and priced a bit cheaper than the Dolan (not to mention i live a couple of miles from them).
    Cheers, Stu
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,552
    Disc brakes are well worth it if you are riding in all weathers. Something like the Pinnacle Arkose would be within your budget, there are many other alternatives. I don't have a problem riding my cross bike for longer distances.
  • The Wilch
    The Wilch Posts: 38
    Pinnacle Arkose looks good, definitely on my short-list.
    OK, I've eliminated touring bikes (for now)

    I'm thinking long distance worthy cyclocross or road bike with mudguards.
    And thanks for your suggestions duckson, looks like we're looking for a similar ride. The Ribble 365 looks perfect actually, I'll check the Dolan Dual out also.

    The more I research the larger my 'short'-list becomes. As Grill said, I'm over thinking this, but I can think of worse things to spend my time researching. thanks again for all your suggestions
  • holiver
    holiver Posts: 729
    I've the Kinesis which I use for everything. However, if I were building a do it all type bike now I would definitely go for a disc frame. Disc brakes are so much better and have no downsides really.
  • samsbike
    samsbike Posts: 942
    Other bikes to consider:

    Genesis equlibruim/ croix de fer
    Kaffenback planet x
    Revolution bikes
    Specialized tricross
    Giant revolt/ any road

    The better value is from the Pinnacle/Planet x/ ribble etc.

    I dont think you can get canyon or rose bikes on the CTW scheme.
  • Have a look at the whyte range of road bikes. Three of them at £800, £1000,£1200.
    Road geometry, with fittings for rack and guards.
    They are built for the road, but using cyclo cross standards. They come with 28mm tyres and clearance for much more.
  • The Wilch
    The Wilch Posts: 38
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I read very good things about Whyte when I was looking for a hybrid. I imagine their road bikes are made of tough stuff.

    I'm concentrating my efforts on researching all season road bikes or audax now. I'll leave the off road stuff for my next bike. I'm edging toward the Ribble Sportive 365 custom built, but the options are hurting my cranium. I can live without disc brakes. I had them on my Claud Butler mountain bike that was stolen a couple of years ago and loved them, but I'd rather put the cost towards a better gear system.

    I'll keep researching other options while playing with a Ribble build that stays under 1k 1100 tops. As I'm no expert on the individual parts I'll try and match the group set to a boardman team road or planet x pro carbon
  • passout
    passout Posts: 4,425
    Whyte (Suffolk or Dorset) would be my choice. Many cross bikes would fit the bill too - have a look at Revolution cross bikes from Edinburgh Coop - good value.

    Slicks aren't the problem as knobbly tyres only give more grip where there is something soft to bite into - on tarmac knobbly tyres are often offer less grip than slicks. Of course some slicks are better than others but thats another topic. Also wider slicks - say 32 or 35mm run at the right pressure may improve things for you - the Whyte would accommodate this.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,552
    Spending the money saved from not having discs on a better gear system may prove short sighted. At your budget you can buy a reasonable quality bike with discs and a middling gear system. The Pinnacle has 105 gearset and BB7 brakes, a good spec. If you really want to you could upgrade the gear system as things wear out. If you decide you want discs you'll have to buy a new frame and wheels. For year round use in all weathers discs really are a lot better, the improvement in gear system for the money would be minimal in comparison.
  • me-109
    me-109 Posts: 1,915
    Having just been asked to comment on some CTW options for someone at work, I'd point you at this as well - 105 gears and mechanical discs, fat tyres and 'comfortable' wheels:
  • Slo Mo Jones
    Slo Mo Jones Posts: 272
    Enigma Etape. I'm going to get me one of these.
  • CXrider
    CXrider Posts: 141
    I am very happy to recommend the Boardman Team CX.
    It is indeed Chris Boardman's main runner as it goes everywhere, and fast.
    It is incredible on the canal paths and trails and very good on the road.
    I have had mine for 8 months and it is perfect.

    I fitted full mudguards on mine and it serves as a trusted bike in the damp/rainy days where the extra grip and disc brakes are perhaps even life saving.
    I also happen to LOVE the extra set of brakes on the top bar.

    Its £899 in Halfords but if you join BritishCycling then you get 10% off, and other discounts can be gained if they have a sale of some sort.
    Pedal to Paris blog at http://RideToParis.co.uk
  • The Wilch
    The Wilch Posts: 38
    Thanks again for your suggestions. I'm very much looking at road bikes with carbon frame and clearance now. So either the Dolan Dual or Ribble Sportive 365, which unfortunately won't take disc brakes, but this isn't a deal breaker for me personally. Not sure if Ribble let you take a test ride...