Is there a cheaper Option?

nirurin
nirurin Posts: 34
edited September 2014 in Road buying advice
Hey again guys, I've been narrowing down the things I wanted from a new bike, but have hit a few hurdles... as I'm not sure the bike I'm looking for actually exists haha. Or at least, not within my budget.

What I'm looking for:

- Drop bar road bike

- able to fit a minimum of a 28c tyre (I'd prefer a 32c) *with mudguards fitted* (important)

- prefer disk brakes, but isn't a deal breaker.

Prefer a certain amount of a relaxed geometry, though there is flexibility on that.

I thought this would be a fairly simple thing to look for, but as it turns out I've struggled. I can find flat bar bikes with the right setups, or drop bar bikes with skinny wheels and disks, but there's always a compromise.

The one bike I've found is:
http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/r ... -bike-2014

Which due to a work discount and a membership discount I can get for £500. I was just wondering if there were any other options out there I am Missing?

I've looked into the tribans and the felts, but they can only fit skinny tyres.
The new £300 merlin I have sent an email about, to find out the clearance for wheels and guards, so this is a possibility.

If anyone has any suggestions let me know :) I have considered getting a flat bar and using bar ends, and I have a couple bikes I'm thinking at for that, but thought I'd pursue this option first to see if I'm missing any.

Thanks.

Comments

  • trailflow
    trailflow Posts: 1,311
    edited September 2014
    You wont fit 28c or 32c tyres on a road bike with calipers and mudguards. There just isnt enough clearance. You should be looking at 'cyclocross' bikes or 'road bikes with disk brakes'. The Boardman CX Comp above is one of the best value cyclocross bikes around with the discount you can get. Just buy some faster road tyres for it.
  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412
    trailflow wrote:
    You wont fit 28c or 32c tyres on a road bike with calipers and mudguards. There just isnt enough clearance.

    Simply not true (certainly on the 28mm bit). However, you do need a frameset designed for long-drop calipers.

    There are many options for light touring/audax frames that have this ability as one of their main design criteria.

    I run 28mm and guards on my Condor Fratello, I believe I could manage 32 without guards if I ever fancied it.

    OP - just search for light tourer and/or audax frames - they will hit your criteria perfectly (other than the part about cheaper) and the options with discs are growing quickly.
  • ai_1
    ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    Yep, as above. If you're looking for a "road bike" to fit those criteria you won't find much. Most aren't designed for tyres bigger than 25mm. Some will take 28mm, and maybe one or two might fit 30mm but most won't sdo it with mudguards. There's also a pretty small selection of road bikes with disk brakes. Put the two together and add a <1k budget and you'll find nothing. [Edit: I forgot about touring and Audax bikes per Marcus' post above so add them into your list!]

    A cyclocross bike (CX bike) is definitely what you should be searching for and they're a great choice as a general purpose bike that will also do the job as a road bike for anything short of racing. These will have drop bars and clearance for at least 34mm tyres (often a lot more!) There'll be space for mudguards, some may have mounting points others may need a workaround. The Boardman is probably an excellent choice.

    The selection of cyclocross bikes below 1k isn't huge. But there are some like the one you've found. The Specialised Tricross is another (it's really designed as a general purpose drop bar bike rather than a cyclocross to be honest!). I rode a middle of the range Tricross for more than 3 years before getting a dedicated road bike. Depending on the tyres and how you set up the geometry a Tricross and many other CX bikes can fill differnet roles very well:
    - Light off-road bike for canal paths and gentle off-road trails
    - Commuter bike with comfy tyres and a fairly upright position with mudguards and a rack
    - Road bike with slick tyres and a more aggressive bar position

    Many CX bikes will be equipped with disks but most will cost more than the Boardman.
    Given your criteria, the Boardman is probably the bike I'd suggest. The Tricross will be more expensive for a similar spec.
    Here you go:
    http://www.rutlandcycling.com/151199/pr ... -bike.aspx
    or lower spec with an 8 speed triple and no disk brakes:
    http://www.hargrovescycles.co.uk/specia ... -bike.html

    Have a look and see what Planet X and Ribble do, they may have budget cross bikes in their ranges.
  • bobmcstuff
    bobmcstuff Posts: 11,297
    The Ribble 7005 Audax/Winter Training or Reynolds 525 would fit the bill (both audax/light tourer frames), the 7005 is fairly cheap starting at £550, and gets very well reviewed. You can also customise the build to get what you want. I was recently looking for the same thing and have ended up with a Fratello on order, built with 28c tyres and mudguards, unfortunately more expensive...

    For combination of discs and low price an entry level CX bike is probably a good bet though. One of my colleagues has that exact Boardman and it is a nice bike for sure - if a little heavy.
  • One possible issue with the latest Boardman CX bikes is that they do not come with mudguard eyes on the front fork. You might need to use P clips or similar on the front.
  • bobmcstuff wrote:
    The Ribble 7005 Audax/Winter Training or Reynolds 525 would fit the bill (both audax/light tourer frames), the 7005 is fairly cheap starting at £550, and gets very well reviewed. You can also customise the build to get what you want. I was recently looking for the same thing and have ended up with a Fratello on order, built with 28c tyres and mudguards, unfortunately more expensive...

    For combination of discs and low price an entry level CX bike is probably a good bet though. One of my colleagues has that exact Boardman and it is a nice bike for sure - if a little heavy.


    Yeh anything more than £500 is out of the question I'm afraid, that's already pushing my budget lol.

    I didn't think it was that heavy though,.. its lighter than all the hybrid road bikes I've seen, and it's only 1kg heavier than the triban road bikes. Which makes sense considering the addition of disk brakes and larger tyres. I suppose it is still heavier, but not unnecessarily.

    I didn't know it only had mudguard fittings for the back wheel, I will have to look into that thanks!
  • Well, it's hard to tell from the picture, but according to threads I've found its the cx team 2014 model that has no front mudguard eyelets, the cx comp one does have them. It's something I'll check in person though.
  • nirurin wrote:
    Well, it's hard to tell from the picture, but according to threads I've found its the cx team 2014 model that has no front mudguard eyelets, the cx comp one does have them. It's something I'll check in person though.
    Ah, you might be right about eyes on the Comp, I was thinking of the Team. The Boardman website says the Comp is "fully mudguard and rear rack compatible". Sorry for the confusion.
  • I had looked at the ribble audax bike before (thats how I learnt what an audax bike was haha) but while it *says* it starts at £550, thats without pedals....
    I'm no expert, but I believe I would need some of those :P

    Including pedals and delivery, the base price is over £600. Bit too much.

    So far, the boardman cx comp seems to be the best bet. A lot of bike for £500, and I'm not finding any touring bikes for less than that.

    Actually seems like touring bikes arent very common. I found a few on Evans but they are all more expensive (though they come with mudguards which makes up some of the extra).
    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/cla ... e-ec061590

    I dont know what kind of quality to expect though, I dont know Claud Butler at all.
  • Also found:
    http://www.damianharriscycles.co.uk/pro ... uring-bike

    http://www.damianharriscycles.co.uk/pro ... uring-bike

    Specs seem ok, and come with mudguards. Not sure if they are better than the boardman though, unfortunatly they arent something I can test ride as they're not local at all.

    Advantage of halfords is its nearby at least haha.
  • trailflow
    trailflow Posts: 1,311
    edited September 2014
    Are you planning on doing any touring ? or just general road riding ? Do you really need all those luggage racks ?
    (i know you can take them off but still)

    As for the Claud Butler Regent 2014. Only a size 58cm is in stock , If thats your size ? The groupset on this is Shimano Claris (8 speed). Which is 1 step down from Sora on the Boardman. The rest of the spec doesnt seem too impressive either.

    Dawes Galaxy AL 2013. This has worst derailluers and cranks than the Claud Butler. the spec isnt listed but the shifters look to be shimano 2300 8 speed (old claris). The rest of specs looks basic like the Claud Butler.

    Dawes Karakum 2012 - First the photo says ''This bike is for store collection only'' - so that might apply to the Dawes Galaxy AL too. As for the spec. It has mostly an old Shimano Deore groupset (mountain bike groupset) similar to the performance of Sora. But the handle bars are just plain naff. It looks like a females bike to me but i could be wrong.

    All 3 bikes you have listed all use rim brakes. The rims will wear out eventually and need replacing. It can be a costly job replacing rims,spokes and getting them rebuilt if you dont know how to build wheels. Where as the Boardman uses disk brakes so the wheels will last alot longer, and the brakes will also be better.

    The Boardman just looks alot nicer with the smooth welds and paintjob aswell. In my view.
  • All very good points, things I wouldn't have necessarily noticed, and I'm grateful you took the time to take a look for me :)

    I'm clearly too tired for this, as I didnt even notice the extra front luggage rack on the Karakum lol, true I could remove it though.

    The boardman is the frontrunner, and at the moment its the one I will buy. I'm currently looking into them though, as apparenlty the rear disk brake commonly has a fault. Apparently they can be a bit of a pain to keep aligned or something, and some people have replaced them with BB7s. This is an extra expense though, and I'm hoping to find out alternatives.

    Otherwise I may end up downgrading to the hybrid comp, and getting some bar ends or butterfly bars with my £80 saving. (http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/h ... -bike-2014)

    I think having the CX would be better though, in the long run. Will wait and see what the owners of them say :)
  • Definitely try the Tricross before you rule it out. I've got 35cc tyres on mine and it's perfect for the winter, forest rides etc while still being a fast commuter. I have had mine for three years now and swapped the canti brakes for mini Vs. Very comfortable bike with good upright position for commuting.
  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Depending on what you are wanting to do with the bike, a full tourer may not be right, so I'd possibly suggest you don't look at the Dawes etc. - nothing wrong with a tourer at all, but not needed if you are using it for just fast, unladen riding. Touring bikes are, generally, heavier with massive load capacity, the steering will generally be very stately and predictable - if you have ambitions to race up the hills, a full tourer isn't going to be the right choice.

    The Ribble winter trainer/audax is a very popular frameset - you won't squeeze 28s and guards in them, and most 25s will be a squeeze I believe. So many people ride these and love them - it's a great frameset. Very common on winter audax/reliability trials etc.

    Don't worry about the lack of pedals - you can get pedals for under a tenner a pair. The Boardman only comes with a pair of cheap Wellgo platform pedals.

    You seem very unsure what you want - you want drop bars, but then you're talking about bar-ends/butterfly bars? Sorry to sound negative, but you've jumped about from Tribans to full on tourers to hybrids to cross bikes!

    What kind of riding are you intending to do?
  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412
    davidmt83 wrote:
    marcusjb wrote:
    You seem very unsure what you want - you want drop bars, but then you're talking about bar-ends/butterfly bars? Sorry to sound negative, but you've jumped about from Tribans to full on tourers to hybrids to cross bikes!

    What kind of riding are you intending to do?

    Discussed a bit further in his first thread:

    viewtopic.php?t=12982416

    Nope - still no idea.

    Get the one you like the colour of. :wink:
  • ai_1
    ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    The Boardman is the best bike and probably the best value of this lot.
    Definitely try the Tricross before you rule it out. I've got 35cc tyres on mine and it's perfect for the winter, forest rides etc while still being a fast commuter. I have had mine for three years now and swapped the canti brakes for mini Vs. Very comfortable bike with good upright position for commuting.
    I agree the Tricross is a worth a try IF it's in budget. I think it would have to be the base model to come close to the Boardman for cost. I think Boardman are typically better value than Specialised.

    Apologies for the slight off topic but which Tricross do you have and what difference did the brake change make?
    Mine is the 2009 Tricross Sport Triple which is very susceptible to brake chatter if you're not careful with the pad alignment. I've recently converted it to a TT bike (nuts I know but it works pretty well!). As I get used to the aero position I may want to drop the bar quite a bit. My prefered way to do this means removing the tapered headset cap/spacer and removing the brake-line hanger. So I'll have to switch to mini-Vs like you.
    Which ones did you use?
  • Yeh I thought I was pretty clear on what I'm doing with it. Riding for fitness and for fun, mostly on roads but where I live some stretches of roads are pretty awful. Theres some nice paths and routes I would also use, but they have gravelly/stony sections.

    I could just stay on the main road and ride up and down it, and then a 23c tyre would be fine. But I'd also get bored and probably stop wanting to ride the bike, which kind of negates the whole point. I want to be able to take different routes, as well as take the bike to other places to ride in future.

    As it is, going through even mildly rough terrain on a 23c is not a comfortable or fun way to get around. At least not for me, maybe you enjoy it.

    The reason I kept having to change between tribans/hybrids/etc (like I said in my original post in fact) is because I couldn't find a bike that had the combination of things I wanted in my price bracket, and so I had to keep making fairly large compromises.
    eg. Triban = Light, cheap, and good on roads. But skinny tyres so not good on rough ground.
    Subway = Good all rounder with good brakes, but heavy and slow tyres for road use.

    etc etc.

    If you read my post you'd also see that I would prefer drop bars, as it gives me all the options for upright riding as well as being able to drop down if im riding in windy weather etc. All built in. However, I *could* get a flat bar bike and get ends/butterfly bars fitted easily, which would also give me some of the same options. It is yet another compromise, as they may not be quite as good as proper drops, but it would do the job.

    I'm not entering a competition, I'm not racing, so if my compromise loses me an average of 1mph or something, I'm personally not going to care.

    Hopefully this has made things clearer anyway lol.
    Definitely try the Tricross before you rule it out. I've got 35cc tyres on mine and it's perfect for the winter, forest rides etc while still being a fast commuter. I have had mine for three years now and swapped the canti brakes for mini Vs. Very comfortable bike with good upright position for commuting.

    As far as the Tricross goes, it looks great, but the cheaper model is still almost £200 more than the boardman, and I really cant justify the expense. Even the CX Comp is pushing my limit, hence trying to make sure there isnt a cheaper option that will do the job.

    Surprises me that they dont make a road bike with comfortable tyres, especially considering how bad the roads are in this country. Unless its just where I live. The only bikes I've found that run 28c's in my price range have been hybrids, which is why the bar ends or butterfly option is in my head as a cheaper alternative.

    Long post, tiring day at work so I may have rambled somewhat, hope it all made sense this time anyway :)
  • http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/product ... n-cross-14

    The disk version is £600, but this is the downgraded rim brake version... Saves me £150, but tourney components are the cheapest shimano's I believe..
  • Haha im 5'9, maybe 5'10 in decent trainers :P

    I've mostly been looking at the 18"/19" , 53/54cm sizes. I believe that's right for my height.
  • bobmcstuff
    bobmcstuff Posts: 11,297
    Is there any reason it has to be brand new? You may be able to pick up something better specced second hand at that price.
  • The bike I'm most drawn to at the moment is the Pinnacle Arkose Two 2014, for its (full, not hybrid?) Hylex hydraulic brakes and the high-vis frame for the winter months...
    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/pin ... e-ec054865

    The sale price helps too. ;)

    The biggest thing that concerns me is some reviews talk of bottom bracket flex (although some user reports say they could not feel this), while I've never ridden a bike with bar end shifters before.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
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  • trailflow
    trailflow Posts: 1,311
    edit
  • passout
    passout Posts: 4,425
    Revolution cross bikes from the Ediburgh Coop.

    One of the cheaper (& discounted) Whyte road bikes perhaps?
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • How about this? Charge Plug 2, single speed bike with 32c tyres.
    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/cha ... e-ec053633
  • I have just ordered a bike,, through a halfords flash sale. so im getting almost 30% off in total, which is nice :P

    I decided that the CX wasnt worth the extra money, so I went for the Hybrid Comp instead. Similar spec, more reliable brakes, only slight downside is its a flat bar but its what im used to anyway and if i decide in future to get bar ends I can. Saved myself £100 which i spent on mudguards and lights :)