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which sub 1000 bike?

chigwellbenchigwellben Posts: 15
edited October 2019 in Road buying advice
Hi all,

My company is participating in the cycle to work scheme and i can choose a bike up to 1000 quid (bike plus basic equipment, helmet etc will be needed)
I have looked at the website they have said is our local registered dealer (cycles uk romford)
Based on nothing but price point and zero knowledge of what i need ive narrowed it down to
1) Specialized allez sport 2019
2)Cannondale synapse Al disc SORA 2019
3)Specialized diverge E5 2019 road bike
4) Trek Domane AL3

I quite like the look of the Boardman SLR8 Carbon which is 999 but our LBS doesn't sell it and i need to buy it from there due to the ride to work scheme

Any recommendations? I will literally be cycling 7 miles to work and back all road (No gravel riding etc)
And i hope to take part in the london to southend cycle ride in july which is 60 miles all road too (If i can get fit enough to ride more than 5 minutes at a time without stopping :D )


  • I currently have a carrera TDF ltd edition but I am told that a better bike will be the way to go rather than modding what i have. I believe it may be too small for me anyway as i think the frame size should be for a guy of 5'8 and i am 6'0 but the fact is i am a complete novice at this
    Reviews of my bike suggests its a heavy bike but i'd imagine its still a better bike than i am a rider
  • All much of a much, I take it they are pretty much all similarly spec'ed? If so, go for one you like look of the most
  • I am new to all this so it's the spec of the bikes that I don't get. What makes one good and another bad?
    Do any of the above have a better spec than the others?
  • The Allez has the best frame and would be the most upgradable if you find you enjoy cycling. If you can stretch to the Allez Elite with it's 105 groupset and better wheels I'd do so.

    The Diverge and Synapse come with mechanical disc brakes. I have no personal experience of them but many people aren't that keen on them as they require more maintenance and add more weight.
  • If you are allowed to buy one of their discounted bikes I would consider that as a possibility as you'll get both that discount and the tax discount for a pretty great price assuming their is a discounted bike you like and it is genuinely a very good price discounted. I'm a big Giant fan but sadly they don't sell those so the next best volume frame builder in Taiwan is Merida, the shop seems to sell Merida too plus Specialized is jointly owned by Merida so I'd probably put Merida and Specialized to the top of the list before other factors. Many of the big brands are just importers nowadays, Cannondale, Trek, GT etc they don't make the frames themselves they buy them from other factories in the far east and quality is variable especially at sub £1500 prices. In the past production has moved from Taiwan to mainland China and now countries like Cambodia and Bangladesh.

    Don't assume the newer the frame the better it is because I would say there has been a downgrade in quality slightly as production has moved to Bangladesh and Cambodia that's why personally I'd try to keep to the Merida manufactured frames which are more likely made in Taiwan or mainland China. Ultimately all frames are tested and certified but there are always a small percentage of poor frames and the manufacturing technology at least in Bangladesh can be a bit more basic. 7005 frames are no longer manufactured by Giant and Merida for example as more brittle and less resistant to fatigue but a huge number are still made in Bangladesh and Cambodia.
  • Regarding the 'spec' that you might not be up to speed with - there are three main component manufacturers, those being Shimano, Sram and Campagnolo. The most common being Shimano, and any bike you are likely to go for will most likely have a Shimano 'groupset' on it. Groupset is - brakes, brake/gear shifting lever, crankset, front and rear shifters (derailleurs), cassette and chain along with the cabling.

    There is a hierarchy of Shimano groupset, based mainly on weight, quality of material and number of 'speeds'
    From low to high there is:
    Claris - basic 8 speed
    Sora - again failry basic, but reliable groupset, with 9 speed cassettes
    Tiagra - middling groupset with 10 speed cassettes
    105 - One of the most popular choices on bikes around the £1k mark - jumps to 11 speed
    Ultegra - again 11 speed, but lighter than 105. Is also available in an electronic version with subsequent price increase.
    Dura-Ace - top dog - 11 speed and lighter still, with a price to reflect this. Again available with electronic shifting at a premium.

    At the price you are looking at, you would be looking at anything from Sora to 105.

    Another thing to look at are the wheels - weight, quality of the hubs etc. This is probably the first place many people who are advancing with their cycling go to make an upgrade - usually to lighter, or more aero, wheels.

    My advice would be to use as much of the £1k on the bike (don't worry too much about accessories), in that way you are getting as much tax advantage as possible on the best frame, wheels and components as possible. I started my 'cycling journey' via the C2W scheme about 10 years ago, so have fun choosing!
  • I'm surprised by some of the comments on here - they are very different bikes, the Allez and Domaine are race geometry, the Diverge is a road/gravel bike and the Synapse a more relaxed road bike.
    To the OP - sounds like you're new to cycling or not done any for a while, from what you've described I'd be looking at the Diverge or the Synapse, probably the latter.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 10,455
    Nice bike, you won't go far wrong with this one.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Klaus BKlaus B Posts: 63
    Like Arthur said above they are different bikes in geometry and use . If you enjoy pushing yourself and going fast then the allez is the one to go as the most aggressive. The new model has got a less racy geometry than the old one but it still hasn't the upright position than the others in your list. Trek and synapse are upright position road bikes so you're getting more air on your chest when riding and thus they're pushing you for a more relaxed style than the allez. Synapse can take bigger tire than the trek due to its disc brake setup. Diverge is an upright position road bike with room for big touring/off road tires (it comes with large road bike tires though) and it's good enough for light touring.
    They are all good bikes IMO it's all up to your preference in riding position and if you like skinny or wide tire with their pro and cons. I think they can all take full mudguards + rack ideal for commuting in the UK, for me at least. Another good advise above is to use all your money just for the bike. As long as you ride with tight clothes that'll be fine, you don't need cycle's specific ones. The right accessories for me are a helmet and a bottle of water. Clip pedals helps you a lot too(Shimano click'r are good for beginners and riding in the traffic). You can wait November for the mudguards

  • How have you got on with the Allez? Considering this as an option for myself. How have the brakes been in the rain? Have you managed to fit mudguards?
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