/ What road bike for £1200'ish
Got my bike stolen last week towards the end of a cycling holiday in the south of France, which while annoying and inconvenient has left me with a £1200 insurance payout and the opportunity to get a new bike.
To give some perspective, I'm just an amateur rider really, I can just about avoid embarrassing myself but cycling is just a side hobby to keep fit and do something with my wife who's a pretty able female rider. I ride 90% of the time in the lake district so plenty of steep climbing on a typical ride and usually between 50 and 100km in distance.
My last bike was a Planet X pro carbon with a Tiagra groupset and Vision Team 35 comp wheels. Which, while being nothing special suited my abilities as far as I can tell, but it's all I've known, so maybe don't know what I'm missing performance-wise, weighed just over 8kg with new tyres and carbon seat tube.
Anyway, as I said, I've got about £1200 to use, could stretch a little more if it was for something nice. I want something fairly light with disc breaks and ideally a 105 groupset. Carbon would be nice, although not totally against aluminium if you can convince me.
Has anyone got any recommendations?
There's loads of stuff out there in that price range but the Cannondale CAAD 12 105 Disk looks great for around 1200-1300 and you might get a 2019 Carbon Synapse 105 Disk if you shop around for around 1500 - 1700.
Bad news on the theft! Incidentally what where the circumstances? I'm always interested being in the south of France and all that.
I had a look at the Cannondale CAAD, hence my consideration of and alu frame, also looking at the Giant TCR Advanced 2 and a couple of other options, but would like to hear advice/recommendations from people in the know.
Theft wise, we were parked up in a car park in Grenoble, had two bikes locked onto the bike rack of our camper van. When we got back, we found a tatty mountain bike propped up against the car next to us and the cable lock snipped.
Looks like they were scooting about on their probably already nicked bike, spotted the chance for a quick upgrade and took mine. Didn't even bother taking my wife's Specialised Roubaix off the bike rack, just left it, and thankfully didn't break into the van either.
I'd have a look at the Ribble special edition bikes, some good deals to be had there from time to time!
Another Planet X maybe? https://www.planetx.co.uk/c/q/bikes/road-bikes/rt-80
Canyon Endurace AL 7.0 disc- if you don’t mind buying on line. There are plenty about now so you might find someone with one to try locally. Just bear in mind to AL frames are slightly bigger than the CF frames of the same ‘size’
Have a chat with that guy with the beard and tats who runs the bike shop in Cockermouth. He might have something tucked away that you can get your hands on. He used to do Kuota, but not anymore I don't think, which is a shame.
Just the same recommendation as always, instead of a 1.2k new bike you could buy a used one that cost 4-5k or so a couple of years ago. Used, higher spec road bikes show much more price depreciation than, say, similarly priced mountain bikes, even though they will in most cases have suffered less mechanical damage. Guess there are so many MAMILs with more money than sense. Fine with me, as I am currently shopping around for a bike for my wife.
Not forgetting that a 4-5k bike that doesn’t fit properly is worse than a 1.2k bike that does
I would agree with the CAAD 12 recommendation, if that is within your budget. The ride quality is remarkable.
> Have a chat with that guy with the beard and tats who runs the bike shop in Cockermouth.
Yeah he's a mate of mine and lives just around the corner from me, I'll ask him next time I pass the shop.
> Just the same recommendation as always, instead of a 1.2k new bike you could buy a used one that cost 4-5k or so a couple of years ago.
It's a possibility, but I don't know enough about good bikes to know a good deal or something which is half worn out. Replacing parts on a 4-5k bike is going to be expensive. And as someone else said, getting a good fit is also key.
I have ridden Giant TCR’s of one flavour another for the last 15 years, I would look for a Giant TCR Disc in the sales, should be able to get an £1800 bike for £1200 this time of year, if you don’t want race geometry look at the Defy.
Sure, buying used takes a bit more effort and thought than simply going into a shop and having a bike fitted. I usually view several used bikes, always bringing my own saddle and pedals, most recently when I sold my road bike and bought a used cyclocross bike.
Anyway, if you already had a similar bike you can work from its geometry. Keep what you like, but look for a model that differs in the way you want. You may have to change the stem and saddle, but other than that you should be fine if your initial measurements were not too far off.
Check out Orro. I bought the Orro Terra gravel bike a couple of years ago and love it. They are great value with some really good components for the money.
Personally speaking I do find disc brakes a bit annoying - too much adjustment required. I preferred the old style brakes which required adjustment far less frequently, were simpler, and stopped you perfectly adequately. I can understand disc brakes on mountain bikes, where the wheel can get crudded up, but to me they are overkill on a road bike. But they are fashionable and most road bikes seem to have them now.
You can't beat a Specialized Allez for ride quality and value; they really are excellent bikes. A good quality alloy frame is very nice to ride. Check the Harry Hall Manchester website for some deals going on these now.
Merida reacto 400.
😂😂checking bikes out, always dangerous getting sucked into new MTB browsing 😏
Here's my two cents, in support of aluminium.
1) It's cheaper, you will be able to afford nicer wheels and groupset for the budget. Nicer wheels will make a big difference to how it feels. Getting it under 8kg and without compromising on frame stiffness is possible (though maybe discs change that..).
2) You won't notice the difference performance wise. When I was racing, some of my best results were on a PlanetX aluminium frame. I also did hill and flat TT efforts, and compared my performance on that, and my Giant TCR (carbon), and found no difference. Some people say aluminium gives a "harsh ride feel" whatever that means, but I've never had an issue with it, and suspect it to be bike industry marketing twoddle.
3) As cycling isn't your sole obsession, aluminium has the benefit of being a) more robust to knocks, and b) cheaper to replace if you do crash and destroy the frame.
I got out of the obsessing-about-bikes game about 4 years ago, so this may be out of date, and I have no idea how disc brakes factor into the above (or why they are even necessary on a road bike ). I recall the MODA frames were pretty nice for the money, and stiffer at the back than a PlanetX or similar.
You'll get a better made frame than most of the big brands with the exception of look and time in terms of the bottom bracket at least. I've been watching a load of videos by a guy named hambini on youtube:
He's an aerospace engineer who also does bottom brackets for press fit oddly enough but he did a vid where he measured the tolerances of a lot of frames. The results were disappointing but go a long way to explaining why so many modern bikes creak.
My advice however would be get the best looking/prettiest bike
If it's true that aluminium is harsh, a decent set of cotton-wall tyres like Veloflex Open Corsas or the Vittoria-branded same thing will make it ride nice and smoothly, especially if you fit them with latex inner tubes. Lovely.
I've a friend who has a CAAD 12 - it rides very nicely indeed.
I have an Orro Terra disc as my commuter - I bought it because it's as solid as they come, but it's not something that I'd care to haul up hills on a regular basis. Mine also came with the 3T wheels and I'm about to have a discussion with them as it developed terminal wheel wobble when the cartridge bearings came loose in the rear hub, which should not happen (either bearings too small or hub too big). Newer models have Fulcrum wheels
Mine has the fulcrum wheels, and no problems with them so far. It has been up a lot of hills without an issue, although it is my first road bike so I probably don’t know any different!
Having an aluminium frame with a carbon fork is nice. Means I can lug bags on it if I ever want to. Being a gravel bike it has a bit of clearance if I ever want to fit slightly chunkier tyres for tougher roads/paths. I went up the Thames Sustrans route from Reading to Oxford this week and the option of more substantial tyres is quite desirable when there are quite bumpy sections. And 105 throughout.
But then I’m digressing a bit from the original request for road bike recommendations!
The other one that you should consider is a VAN RYSEL RR 920 AF ROAD BIKE BLUE - ULTEGRA from Decathlon - alloy with a carbon fork, full Ultegra, compact chainset (handy for the Lakes). Mavic Cosmic Elite wheels, which are £400/pair separately.
Hard to beat that
Vitus Zenium CR could maybe be an option. Seems to meet all the requirements in your original post being <£1200, full carbon (including full carbon fork), 105 groupset and hydraulic discs. Might be slightly heavier than you are after at 8.94kg however it would seem that the wheels would offer an easy upgrade route in the future.
Sweden's official high point has had to be revised, after ice loss on the south summit of Kebnekaise. A survey this summer found that the mountain's ice-bound south summit has shrunk to 1.2 metres lower than the rocky north summit, which...