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Cheap Road Bike Advice

ThisissteveThisissteve Posts: 5
edited August 2016 in Road buying advice
Apologies, I'm sure this has been asked many times before…..I want to restart cycling (I have a ridiculously heavy 15 year old mountain bike at the moment). I'm looking to buy a road bike, but I only have about £250 to spare.

To be honest I've spent so much time looking at them I feel like I'm going round in circles...I just wondered if anyone has any suggestions or recommendations about which bike would be best for me. At the moment I've been looking at the following:

I started with Halfords, but have so far found them quite unhelpful, but I've been looking at the Carrera Virtuoso at £240

There's also the B'Twin Tribal 500 at £250

Then there's the Wiggle Road Bike at £250

The advantage of the Halford or Wiggle bikes would be that they'd be built for me, but I don't seem to be able to find many reviews for the Wiggle bike.

If I've missed any contenders, I'd really appreciate any advice…

Best wishes



  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 10,474
    Looks like the halfords offering is the best of the bunch at the budget you've set. Wiggle doesn't really look that good and very little info coming up on searches, Decathlon offering ok but a microshift and a triple not so sure how good they are together, decathlon are normally very good though. The virtuoso aren't to shabby, claris 8 speed with compact chainset should do you for a start. Eldest lad had one for while and did what it was supposed to do. Just check if you have the virtuoso that halfords have assembled and tightened everything up properly, not all their mechanics are good. Bike in question is good for the money. Don't forget you will need padded shorts or similar at some stage as well.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Ascot17Ascot17 Posts: 97
    Don't buy new!
    Get a well-maintained 2nd hand bike from...

    Bike Radar Classifieds
    Pinkbike etc.

    Have a look to see what is available in your price range. Then have a look for reviews for it.
    You will get a much better bike for your money!
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 10,153
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • type:epyttype:epyt Posts: 766
    Beg/steal/borrow another £100 (and hope you're a 56) and buy a caad8 from Pauls Cycles ...
    Life is unfair, kill yourself or get over it.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 10,474
    Paulscycles also does finance I believe on some bikes. Caad8 is a very good starter bike worth gettin if you can stretch the budget a bit.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    250 won't buy you a decent bike brand new I'm afraid.
  • Thanks for the advice everyone….I think I'm as confused as ever!
  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    Can you not get an interest free credit card and spread the cost over a year or more? moving to 350-400 will open your options up a lot
  • figbatfigbat Posts: 680
    Couple of thoughts:

    1) can you do a cycle to work scheme thing?
    2) second hand. I recently bought an alloy Cannondale Synapse with mostly decent components for not much more than you are spending. Sure, it has some marks and rubs but it's a decent enough bike to get me going, and if I decide it's not for me I can sell for little or no loss
    Cube Reaction GTC Pro 29 for the lumpy stuff
    Cannondale Synapse alloy with 'guards for the winter roads
    Fuji Altamira 2.7 for the summer roads
    Trek 830 Mountain Track frame turned into a gravel bike - for anywhere & everywhere
  • SalsaSalsa Posts: 753
    There's nothing wrong with the Virtuoso, for the money it's a great starter bike plus it's as cheap as I've ever seen it. I think I'd pay the small extra for the Vanquish though as it has a carbon fork, FSA chainset and Claris front mech. I can see why the CAAD8 is brought up as it has a nicer frame but ST2300 gearings a step down imo, cables out the side and the thumb down shift lever let those shifters down.
    Even upping your budget a bit is only realistically going to get you a Claris geared bike anyway.
    Trouble with buying second hand is firstly no warranty, secondly unless you know what your buying you may need to factor in the price of replacement parts and servicing costs.
  • Thanks again everyone…I guess I had a few second thoughts about Carreras, partly because I tried to order one from Halfords a few weeks ago and had a bad experience with them, and partly because their cheaper bikes only seem to go up to a 54cm frame size. I'm pretty much 6ft with a 31 inside leg for trousers, so that probably makes me more like a 32 or 33 in inside leg for bikes, which I reckon puts me closer to a 56 cm frame.

    I did have a look at the Caad 8 recommended bytype:epyt - it looks like a good bike and a good price. I could go up to that price just about, but I know once you start looking around at that price there are lots of other good offers and if I'm not careful I'll just keeping looking at more and more pricey bikes. For instance, Rutland Bikes have a Caad 8 Claris 8 2016 bike for £399. Is that going to be much better than the 2013 Caad 8?

    Thanks again everyone…

  • SalsaSalsa Posts: 753
    One thing with Carreras which is silly and not obvious is the 54 is from centre of crank to centre of seat tube, top tube length on a 54 is actually a 56!
  • Ah..thank you. That is a bit odd….
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