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Road newbie, best 1k bike, Cycle2Work options

gavin66gavin66 Posts: 117
edited June 2017 in Road buying advice
Hi all..Just looking for a bit of advice.
I've been a mountainbiker for over 20 years and never really considered road riding until a few months ago when I was given a Boardman Comp Hybrid bike.
I've been out on it a few times and although the bike is not the right size for me, I've enjoyed riding on the roads for a change, so much so I'm now considering buying a proper allround road bike for getting a fewe miles in and commuting.
I was considering the Planet X Pro Carbon but unfortunately, they don't accept the Cycle2Work scheme vouchers which I can get through work.
Looking at the Cycle2Work website, I can select bikes from Halfords, Tredz and a small selection of some fairly local bike shops. Although none of these have a bike that seems close to competing with the spec of the Pro Carbon, they seem to be my only options.
A short list of some of the bikes I could get.
Cube Attain Race Disc,
Trek Emonda Air 4,
Cannondale Synapse,
Giant Contend SL1.
Scott Speedster 20 disc.
Don't fancy anything from Halfords,
Has anyone got any suggestions or recommendations, thanks in advance.

Posts

  • londoncommuterlondoncommuter Posts: 1,550
    How far is your commute? Will you do it year round? What are the roads like? Busy traffic? Suicidal pedestrians?

    Take some time to think what type of bike will suit rather than specific models. Are mudguards important to you? Pannier mounts? Disc brakes? Will it get battered in the work bike sheds?

    If you're heart was set on the Planet X then don't discount Boardman Team Carbons from Halfords so quickly. They drop to £850 or less quite frequently. Having said that, it makes a rubbish commuter!
  • gavin66gavin66 Posts: 117
    My Commute is 5-6 miles, one leg of my commute will be at 5am each day so traffic/pedestrians no worries.
    Mudguard mounts would be preferable for winter riding.
    The rest of the time I'll be using to ride from home which is on the coast into the countryside.
    I'll hopefully be using it all year round and probably will if I enjoy riding the bike.
    It won't get battered in the bike shed as most of my colleagues are lazy sods so the bike shed is nearly always empty.
  • Hendrix2430Hendrix2430 Posts: 119
    Hi, I was in the same boat not too long ago, but beware it gets really addicting! :shock:

    Anyway, I think you'd be better off getting a bike with a slightly more relaxed geometry.

    My suggestion would be a Giant Defy or Contend. They do everything well, and are super comfortable. Other similar bikes would be the Giant Contend, Spec Roubaix, Trek Domane, Cannondale Synapse.

    You can get a very nice bike and frame for your budget. Good luck!
  • super_davosuper_davo Posts: 562
    My work has just shifted over to Halfords Cycle2work from Cyclescheme. Annoying as Evans take Cyclescheme only and will let you get parts rather than a bike - fancied a set of Magic Cosmic Carbones.

    I have looked around a lot, wasn't sure to give it a miss this year - but decided to get a Dolan RDX 105 at £950. It a proper do it all bike, big clearance for tyres and disc brakes so will probably replace my Ribble winter as my main commuter and winter club run bike. I'll still use my Langster for the worst winter commuting because the maintenance on fixed is so simple. The RDX is not lightweight at all with Aksium disc wheels and R505 hydraulics, and mine will be specced with mudguards. But should be bombproof and very versatile - the sort of bike I can take on family holidays and ride with the kids on a tow path one minute then up and down a mountain pass the next.

    Dolan let you spec stem, bar width, gearing, crank length etc so can dial in the fit to match my other bikes easily. And they don't charge a scheme fee, which is a real bonus vs Planet X, Ribble etc. They've also got the L'Etape for similar money if you wanted a more conventional carbon race bike.
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    Boardman Road Team Carbon is a great bike. Comes in on budget as well.
  • super_davo, have you got the Dolan yet? Interested in your thoughts as this bike is on my radar for next purchase.
  • super_davosuper_davo Posts: 562
    super_davo, have you got the Dolan yet? Interested in your thoughts as this bike is on my radar for next purchase.

    No, not got my Letter of Collection yet so haven't even started the process off properly. Haven't seen any reviews yet so a bit of a step in the dark, but Dolan bikes are generally well rated and someone needs to be the guinea pig! Once I have it I will do a "Your road bikes" review, but I doubt that will be before August.
  • Great, good luck with the purchase and let us know how you get on! Unlike the big manufacturers the new releases from companies like Dolan can be a bit quiet!
  • lakesludditelakesluddite Posts: 1,324
    Boardman Road Team Carbon is a great bike. Comes in on budget as well.

    Exactly - Don't rule out Halfords for Boardman bikes. Always well reviewed for performance and VFM.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,708
    super_davo wrote:
    My work has just shifted over to Halfords Cycle2work from Cyclescheme. Annoying as Evans take Cyclescheme only and will let you get parts rather than a bike - fancied a set of Magic Cosmic Carbones.

    I have looked around a lot, wasn't sure to give it a miss this year - but decided to get a Dolan RDX 105 at £950. It a proper do it all bike, big clearance for tyres and disc brakes so will probably replace my Ribble winter as my main commuter and winter club run bike. I'll still use my Langster for the worst winter commuting because the maintenance on fixed is so simple. The RDX is not lightweight at all with Aksium disc wheels and R505 hydraulics, and mine will be specced with mudguards. But should be bombproof and very versatile - the sort of bike I can take on family holidays and ride with the kids on a tow path one minute then up and down a mountain pass the next.

    Dolan let you spec stem, bar width, gearing, crank length etc so can dial in the fit to match my other bikes easily. And they don't charge a scheme fee, which is a real bonus vs Planet X, Ribble etc. They've also got the L'Etape for similar money if you wanted a more conventional carbon race bike.

    You can use your Halfordscycletowork voucher at Tredz - same parent company, but a MUCH wider range of bikes.
    I advised a mate at work, and he just bought a 1K Cube hybrid for his 2 mile commute, and other riding.
    They were super fast too.

    Don't think that will help you with your parts desire sadly.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • super_davosuper_davo Posts: 562
    Daniel B wrote:

    You can use your Halfordscycletowork voucher at Tredz - same parent company, but a MUCH wider range of bikes.
    I advised a mate at work, and he just bought a 1K Cube hybrid for his 2 mile commute, and other riding.
    They were super fast too.

    Don't think that will help you with your parts desire sadly.

    I took it as a challenge as to who I could spend a Halfords voucher a with through all the normal internet bargain places. You can't use Planet X, Ribble, Merlin, CRC, Wiggle, Evans etc.
    Halfords point you at Tredz as they now own it. But you can also use Wheelbase, Leisure Lakes, J E James, Cycle surgery, Wheelies, Pauls Cycles and quite a few LBS depending on where you are.

    Once I found I could use Dolan, and I saw the RDX it was a no brainer for me. I've wanted a disc winter trainer for a while, but most are either are cable disc, single chainring, or well over the C2W limit. This seems to tick all the boxes for me, at a decent price with a spec I won't need to change at all and all without a scheme fee.
    It also allows me to sell my old Boardman hybrid as I can use it for gravel path rides with the kids, which releases some cash for more bike bits. Win win!
  • mpattsmpatts Posts: 991
    I really can't recommend a proper commuting bike enough - i.e. at least mdguards and possibly a rack. For me there was only one choice - a Genesis Equilibrium. I liked it so much it became my winter bike, and I bought a Genesis Flyer for the comute (single speed)
    Insert bike here:
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