Road bike £1500 1by

Hi all, I have a budget of £1500. I want to get a road bike, steel frame, 1x11.
Any suggestions folks?
Thanks, Paul


  • Hello, Paul and Sarah.

    Type of bike, size, use and why steel?

    PS: welcome to the forum.
    Not a Giro Hero!
  • arlowood
    arlowood Posts: 2,561
    Not steel(carbon frame) but a great spec for the money:-
  • Hi, I think steel because better value for money and more robust? I'm a big heavy lump, 17 stone and 6'2". I ride in the glorious peak district, love going for the climbs. From what I have seen, the new 1x11 seem to score in terms of simplicity and ease of maintenance. I tend to do 20-50 miles, looking for something a bit faster than my trek crossrip. Thanks all!
  • super_davo
    super_davo Posts: 1,164
    If you live in the peaks, I definitely wouldn't be going 1x. Most 1x simply don't have the gear range to get the low gearing you'll want, or if they do there will be massive gaps between gears and / or no top end. There are a lot of 1x fans out there and there is definitely a place for it but I'd argue that place is not riding in the peaks when you're 17 stone!

    I'd also question the "steel is better value" thought; definitely true for aluminium, but decent steel bikes tend to attract a premium, as much for fashion as anything. And your budget can get reasonable carbon as well.

    FWIW for your requirements I'd probably go for a Ribble Endurance AL disc in 105 spec, setting the gearing as 50/34 with an 11-32 cassette. That gives you a long cage mech so you can change to a MTB cassette if you when you have it you find want lower than that (or give them a call & see whether they'll build with 11-34 or lower to start with).
  • edward.s
    edward.s Posts: 222
    I am a total steel fanboi and even I would agree with the above. A good steel frame won't be particularly cheap and a cheap steel frame won't be particularly light.

    That said, a 'last year's' Genesis Croix de fer with the 725 frame might just about be in budget and they are lovely.....
  • I’d agree with the above in regards to 1x. Having used one I found it seriously lacking gears for the flat and downhill. If you’re set on steel this lovely Holdsworth number is in budget if large or xl
  • joe_totale-2
    joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,333
    edited July 2020
    I'd echo the others. 1x is great for cyclocross and mountain bikes, for everything else 2x is better.
    1x on the road is horrible unless you live somewhere flat so you can still use a relatively close cassette.
    Front derailleurs rarely go wrong when set up correctly and shifting is still dead easy.

    One day when 1x14 comes along it may be worth looking at 1x on the road again.
  • Thanks all for advice. I've gone from steel and 1x to something in carbon with a 2x 105 set up....
  • singleton
    singleton Posts: 2,519
    edited July 2020
    I think 1x can be just fine on the road.
    My winter bike setup is a 1x11 with a 42 front and 11-32 rear cassette.
    This gives me a gear range equal to a 50/13 at one end and a 34/26 at the other end with a cassette range that is similar to most modern bikes - so the gaps are not too big.

    I'm not saying it's for everyone, but I do disagree with the "1x on the road is horrible" statement.
  • joe_totale-2
    joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,333
    edited July 2020
    My personal experience was with a 44 chainring and a 10-42 cassette.
    The range was great and the equal of a 2x set up.
    However, the jumps were jarring and I often felt like I wasn't quite in the right gear. I'm quite keen to maintain a steady high cadence when riding. Add to that the 10 tooth sprocket felt horribly inefficient which is understandable given how tightly wrapped the chain would be.

    A smaller cassette like a 11-32 would solve some of these issues but I'm a spinner up hills so the lowest gear wouldn't be low enough for me. It also wouldn't be ideal for the OP in the Peak District with the climbs they have there.

    There's nothing wrong with 2x set ups in most situations, I feel 1x on the road is a solution looking for a problem.
  • janwal
    janwal Posts: 489
    I live in and cycle around the Pennine hills around Huddersfield. I have been running 1x on both my bikes for a couple of years now. A Domane disc for winter ( which is also now flat bar) and a Bianchi Infinito for summer. I have Sram 40 tooth front, 11-42 rear. I find they do everything I want especially climbing as it gives me about a 34 rear . Useful for 66 year old legs but then I do only weigh 67kilos! I’m not bothered about a high top speed but I can easily lead out mates with no problems if needed. And downhills are for freewheeling! Don’t fret over gaps in gears it just isn’t a problem and after a couple of rides I never noticed it at all. In fact when I hire bikes in Majorca I find 2x annoying as the gaps are small and there seem little resistance which I normally get on 1x if that makes sense.
    So make sure to try both before you decide a lot of nay sayers re the gear gaps haven’t ridden them.
  • singleton
    singleton Posts: 2,519
    @Joe, was your 10-42 an 11 speed or 12 speed cassette?

    I would consider a 44 front with a 10-36 12 speed cassette as a viable option for my next summer bike - but the 10 speed inefficiency is a point to consider.
  • joe_totale-2
    joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,333
    edited July 2020
    It was an 11 speed cassette so the gaps are understandable. There isn't a 12 speed 10-42 cassette available yet which seems to be a glaring omission by SRAM.

    I tried it all last winter as I used my 1x CX bike on the road but this winter I've decided to go all n+1 and get a new winter/endurance bike as I want to go back to a 2x set up and don't want to use the summer bike on the winter roads.
  • singleton
    singleton Posts: 2,519
    Okay thanks - for me I was thinking of even getting a 10-33 12 speed to keep the gaps closer. With a 44 front it would give a range equal to a 52/12 at one end and 36/27 at the other end.
    I'm quite happy to climb out of the saddle for extended periods so a 0.75 granny ratio is okay for me around Oxfordshire.
    Enjoy your new winter bike.
  • mankybianchi
    mankybianchi Posts: 117
    1x like and dislike is obviously to do with each person's own riding style and terrain. I'm with Jamaal on this in hat 1x is perfect for me.

    I find that I use the whole cassette on rides with no thinking involved whereas on a double setup it felt like I was constantly needing the ratios either side of the crossover.

    I don't find a problem with gaps although I thought I would as I did on a double setup. I've been riding fixed for years and find the 1x a perfect compliment.
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437

    I don't find a problem with gaps although I thought I would as I did on a double setup. I've been riding fixed for years and find the 1x a perfect compliment.

    That's the reason why then. If you're used to riding fixed then you'll have a far wider range of cadence you're happy riding at.

    I used to love fixed for the winter - only problem for me was having to brake on fast downhills as I couldn't do the really fast spinning. Great for climbing and everything else though.
  • When I bought my Planet X RTD80 two years ago, I managed to do a deal as the road 2X version was on sale alongside a gravel 1X bike - can't remember which. Anyway, I had to pay a little extra above the sale price to swap to the 1X SRAM Rival drive train instead of the 2X version. That came with a 42 tooth chainring and an 11-42 cassette, which looks like a dinner plate. I found that, on the rolling roads near Aberdeen, I wasn't using the 36 and 42 tooth rings on the cassette, so I swapped to an 11-32 so that there were smaller gaps between the ratios. I started venturing a little farther afield and hit some steeper hills, so added a 11-36 cassette, which seems to be a good compromise. Yes, the gaps are a little bigger but nothing that involves a dip in cadence below 80 rpm from my normal 90. I did think that a 42T front ring would hold back top speed but I'm quite happy with 60 km/h at 120 rpm downhill. There's no way I can spin out on the flat at the age of 75!

    Why 1X? I actually started out hating climbing and using a triple for the granny gears but hated having to change both the front and rear derailleurs at the same time to try to avoid the jump in ratios. Of course nowadays with electronic gears you can set the system to do it for you but that's outside my price range. When compact chainsets appeared, I went to a double chainring and that made things easier, but I still found it difficult to figure out where to change. The 1X set up simplifies things completely - when my power climbs over 200W, I change down, increasing my cadence if it's a big jump. It would be nice to have a twelfth ratio but again not worth the expense as that involves going electronic, and in that case it would probably be better to opt for the 2X set up as it costs little more than 1X.

    A lot of bike for you money, you can also fit up to 50mm tyres if your ride takes you off road at any point.
    Trek Domane SL5
    Giant Defy - upgraded
    Leisure cyclist