I'm looking at buying a new bike and was looking at either the boardman SLR 8.6 (https://www.halfords.com/bikes/road-bikes/boardman-slr-8.6-mens-road-bike-2021---s-m-l-xl-frames-364926.html) or the Pinnacle Laterite 2 2021 (https://www.evanscycles.com/brand/pinnacle/laterite-2-2021-road-bike-934351#colcode=93435103). I've asked some people online and they basically are saying I'm being a cheapskate and those bikes are gonna screw me over. Are they right and should I spend more or are they just being dramatic? Also if you had to pick which one would you buy?
Depends what you want to do on the bike and how serious you are into cycling. Personally I'd try to find something with Sora at least.
In truth, if you need a bike and can find one in your size you've already won something as bike availability it terrible at the moment.
Depends on what you want from you're bike, I had a laterite for years used for 20km commute each day and occasionall recreational use and it was great until it got stolen. I was commuting through the winter so didn't want anything expensive. The components went amazing but functioned fine. I don't rember having to replace anything more than I did on more expensive bikes. It was however considerably heavier and slower than my wifes bike which cost 3 times as much.
So is weight the main downside to cheaper bikes?
What is Sora?
I wouldn't worry too much about what people say online. I did some research before buying a new bike recently and came to the conclusion that the vast majority of cycling gear talk online is totally irrelevant to someone who just wants a bike to ride. It's all about people spending thousands and fretting over a few grams.
Getting any suitable bike at the moment is a challenge, so if you can find something on a budget that does what you want and fits you I'd grab it. If you ride it for a while and then decide you want to join in the cyclo gear obsession, you can probably sell it for not much less than you paid for it and upgrade.
l’ve ridden thousands of miles on my Boardman road comp over the last five years and it’s never let me down.
Shimano Sora a groupset for the bike. 1 above the Shimano Claris.
Offering affordable performance and value, Shimano Sora offers all mod-cons (Dual control shifters, Hollowtech II bottom bracket etc) as the 4 groupsets above it in the range. Sora offers approximately 80-90% performance of the highest end groupsets, matching many of them visually.
The key difference is the additional weight of a Sora system and the fact that it's a 9-speed - significantly reducing the spread of gears and allowing less customization of cassettes to suit different riding styles/disciplines. That being said, for its target market of sub-£750 road riders, Sora offers good value for money when you consider how much bang you get for your buck.
Claris is the most affordable of the Shimano complete road groupsets, aimed solely at those shopping in entry level, sub-£500 road bike market. Sporting dual-control levers like the Tiagra above, Claris keeps things very simple with a a triple, cyclocross or compact cassette set-up that focuses on low gear ratios to make hills relatively easy.
The older yet still very reliable Octolink bottom bracket is still featured on Claris but considering the huge technology advances of the last couple of years, expect to see the trickle down effect in full force when a new version of the Claris is developed.
Stolen from a bike website.
Out of interest why does the bike have to be new?
Weight, and more importantly if you don't road bike recreationally much how good the components are (gears, breaks, hubs bottom brackets etc..) if you go too cheap these will fall to bits very quickly and it's a false economy. They will also make the bike handle worse and be more 'clunky' Saying that if you just want somthing for pootling around town it really doesn't matter.
I don't think the budget Shimano components that are on the bikes the OP listed are going to fall apart any time soon. They're just not as slick as the higher end stuff. And they'll be cheap to replace when they do wear out.
To the OP, I don't know about road bikes specifically but from the brands, the components and the comments upthread I would say either of those would be fine.
Both of those would be great options for a first road bike - my first road bike was a Pinnacle Dolomite. I guess the main point to make is that whilst these are great bikes for the price, whether they are best for you depends on how keen you are and how much you expect to ride them. More money will buy you either more durability, more comfort/refinement or more speed, or as you start to spend megabucks more of all three, but these bikes will still provide you with a lot of fun - just bear in mind that bikes at this level are probably not worth (in terms of cost benefit) upgrading, so if you do decide you want better you will probably buy twice.
If I were to choose I'd say the Boardman but I'd agree with spending a little bit more for better components as it'll definitely help you in the long run.... Sora, Tiagra or 105 would be my preference.
Decathlon models have a good spec in the sub £1000 market...
Failing that Ribble and Planet X have some great value bikes but you'll probably end up over your budget...
My personal advice would be to have a price in mind you're not willing to go over, go to a shop, try out bikes in your price range and go with what feels good to ride... If you can't find owt in your price range then readjust it...
I tend to look at a good bike as an investment and if you think you'll probably have it for the next 5-10 years then what difference is a couple of hundred quid more gonna make over that time (between 76p and 38p a week )....
It doesn't have to be new, but I don't know much about bikes and no one I know does. I'd rather not get scammed without me knowing by someone selling me a bike on the verge of breaking. Plus I can't find much that's any better on the second hand websites I've looked on. So I dont know how well it would work out.
Thanks for the links, so whats the advantage of those bikes that aren't present on the cheaper ones?
not a bad review
I don't claim to be much of an authority on bikes, but before I bought my van rysel bike from decathlon last year I decided it would be easier for me to shed 1kg of belly fat than spend another 1000 pounds to get lighter components! If you're buying your first "good " bike then it'll probably feel amazing compared to anything you've ridden before.
I wouldn't bother. I tried looking for a secondhand bike for a while. All could find in my range were people who'd bought in lockdown trying to sell hardly used bikes for almost new prices. It wasn't worth the extra hassle of buying secondhand to save £50 over a new one.
If you don't know much about bikes then a trip to your local bike shop would be a good call. Even if they have nothing suitable in stock (which is quite likely), a decent shop should offer good advice and you'll need them at some point for maintenance.
You don't need to spend oodles of money on a bike. Even if the components do fall apart after 10k miles, you can spend 20 quid to fix them.
If you want to go fast, get a bike with an aggressive riding position, as weight savings are marginal by comparison.
I have 15k miles off a £150 second hand bike. I've probably spent another £100 maintaining it in that time.
The bike has been more than adequate to get scores of KOMs if that is your thing.
If you want to treat yourself to something slick, go for it, but don't feel that you need to.
> What is Sora?
It's the next level up on the Shimano scale. It's 9 speed and has better shifters IMO.
I've used it on a commuting bike for a while and my GF has it on her bike and it's been pretty robust.
> Thanks for the links, so whats the advantage of those bikes that aren't present on the cheaper ones?
As has been said it’s down to the quality of components. The better the components the better the ride basically. For a basic comparison when I had a Claris groupset it was fine if I was shifting unloaded but if I had to shift while hammering up a hill I’d get slippage or miss shifts that could mean the difference between making it up the climb or getting off and walking! The technology tends to trickle down so what was top of the range 5-10 years ago is now in reach of those looking to just get into the sport. Sora now is pretty much what 105 was a decade ago (give or take) and for the money you can’t lose!! No doubt Claris has improved too but if you’re looking to future proof yourself then I’d probably go for something a bit better than the bottom end as even if you end up not enjoying/using your bike as much as you thought you’ll still get a decent return if you sell it.
I personally bought my Planet X pro carbon for just under a grand nearly 10 years ago and have never looked back. I’ve upgraded wheels, tyres, seat, stem and pedals but it’s pretty much the same bike that’s done thousands of miles and given me untold hours of joy (read: pain and suffering 😂)…
If you end up loving cycling you’ll end up with more bikes some possibly worth more than your car. If you have a cycling buddy locally you could look second hand and some of the other links above are good but spending less on a first bike is sensible until you know what you want and like and you will appreciate things if you do upgrade.
Make sure it fits and spend the time setting it up well. This guy on YouTube has a set of vids by a really good bike fitter.
Ahh fair enough. It may be worth shopping around a bit. I got my focus for £250 with full 105 groupset, carbon; bars, seatpost and forks. Its done me well and I've hardly done anything to it.
I bought my roadbike in 2014ish. The price was similar to the bikes you've linked to, and the components are similar too (e.g. 16 gears / Shimano Claris shifters). I don't do thousands of miles every year, but it's been absolutely fine for 60-mile saturday rides, sportives, etc. - both on hilly terrain (though I've never tried it on big climbs) and on the flat.
I do sometimes think about buying a more expensive bike, but my current one is so comfortable that I'm reluctant to change. Plus it's good training when trying to keep up with those on lighter/faster bikes (and even more fun when you overtake them ).
Both Boardman and Pinnacle make good value, well designed bikes. My mountain bike is a Pinnacle, and my partner has a women's hybrid one of theirs, and we have a kids bike from them too. All have been good. My main bike (a gravel bike I use a lot for commuting and other 'fun' riding) is a Boardman. It is great, and I bought it because I had had 8 years of great service from a Boardman CX bike before that - one of my now big kids still uses the CX.
Because they are brands attached to shops (Pinnacle is Evan's Bikes own brand, Boardman sells mainly through the Halfords group except their most expensive bikes I believe. You get gear snobs in cycling just like in climbing who are just very brand loyal!
> Plus it's good training when trying to keep up with those on lighter/faster bikes (and even more fun when you overtake them ).
Yes its worth re-iterating how fast you go will always be 99.9% in the legs!
The only time I feel I really need my expensive carbon bike is when I am riding with my cycling club, most of whom are a) stronger than me, and b) are all riding £4k+ carbon aero machines themselves - I recently rode a 100 mile sportive with them and due to the forecast of rain turned up on my none-to-shabby titanium winter bike (albeit fitted with mudguards and not particularly light or aero), and spent the day blowing chunks and getting dropped - one of my clubmates suggested I should not have brought a knife to a gunfight!
+1 on that. I've had a Pinnacle Borealis 4.0 for a decade now, road-oriented hybrid Tiagra, carbon forks and seat stays. Excellent bike, even though it's one size too big for me. I have used it for everything, >100 mile rides, hills, gravel, even abused it on MTB terrain because I'm stupid. Still unscathed, still working fine. I have now replaced it with a full carbon endurance road bike for most uses but still ride it if I deem the terrain to be... let's just say sub par for an expensive bike. Similarly, I've heard great things about the value of Boardman bikes.
> So is weight the main downside to cheaper bikes?
If you're buying on to get fit, then a bit of extra weight is a bit of extra training on every trip.
The biggest problem with both is not the bikes: it's the shops.
In both cases I'd buy from them only if was something I'd not need help with, clothes, spares things like that. I'd just not trust them if I needed warranty support or that the PDI was done correctly.
> I've asked some people online and they basically are saying I'm being a cheapskate and those bikes are gonna screw me over.
They definitely won't screw you over. Absolutely fine to get you started, then if you do end up doing a lot of cycling you could upgrade the components.
In normal times I might say shop around and look for a higher specced bike in a sale, but looks like new bike are rare as rocking horse shit at the moment.
Just to add to this, the current generation of Sora is identical to the 9-speed Tiagra from a decade ago. Albeit not in any way cutting edge, it's a very decent group set. I have no experience with Claris, so I can't really comment on that beyond the fact that the last time Shimano introduced an 8-speed group set at the Sora level or above was 20 years ago.
20 years ago I bought a Raleigh R100, which is an aluminium entry level road bike.
10 years ago I bought a Ribble Sportive Bianco which is a carbon road bike.
The Raleigh is still my goto bike
An entry level bike can last if you take care of it and treat her well
Just my 2p
> So is weight the main downside to cheaper bikes?
again it comes down to what you want to do with it.
If you are using it to get fit, then a bit more weight, is just a bit more effort. I use my bike for this, so getting to a certain place at a certain time, doesn't matter to me, likewise getting anywhere the quickest doesn't matter.
If I was so worried about a couple of extra pounds, I'd start with myself!!
Edit: ha ha I see I've already said this, over a month ago!!
I have a Boardman mountain bike. (Cycle to work limitations) Its a decent build, with ok components. One annoying feature is that is says Boardman on every tube, nook and flat surface. It must say it 10 times on the bike. Just in case you didnt notice it the first 9 times.
Also, if you fancy yourself strutting about in Lycra with other roadies, they can be a bit snobbish about brands. You can be back of the pack on your bike made of nothing but laser beams and you'll be a king. You can lead the tour de France on your Raleigh chopper, and you'll be shunned.
> Also, if you fancy yourself strutting about in Lycra with other roadies, they can be a bit snobbish about brands. You can be back of the pack on your bike made of nothing but laser beams and you'll be a king. You can lead the tour de France on your Raleigh chopper, and you'll be shunned.
Really? I always play a game with myself when I’m out riding - how many £’000s worth of bikes can I pass.
It’s a nice feeling passing Mamils on Pinarellos.
I’d much rather have a 5 W/KG FTP than a 10 grand bike.
Second that. Went to get a start up road bike for my wife and most of the big brands were looking at 2022 for delivery.
> Really? I always play a game with myself when I’m out riding - how many £’000s worth of bikes can I pass.
> It’s a nice feeling passing Mamils on Pinarellos.
> I’d much rather have a 5 W/KG FTP than a 10 grand bike.
It's called "The Game" you get point for passing something above you in the tree.
Obviously it just for a laugh as you could be straight out of the house passing someone on their 100th mile.