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Hey im currently looking to buy my first road bike, whilst flicking through a copy of 220 i saw the Boardman bike range so i had a little look see down at Halfords and to my unknowing glance the £599 entry level steed looked like a good buy ok gear set brakes etc any opinions anyone or should i spend elsewhere.

or can anyone answer the mecca of all newbie questions what is the best entry level priced bike.

thanks in awe of your wisdom guys.




  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    I cant say I know too much about boardman bikes, but i thought I would give my opinion anyway!

    My first road bike was a trek 1000, I still own it actually! I use if for a winter training and turbo bike! I got it second hand, but it was in absolutely mint condition, cos apparently the guy who bought it soon decided he wanted a full carbon frame. got it from a shop who gave me a yr warrenty but i didnt need it, cost me 250.

    It has carbon forks and seat post and all the parts work well, (mostly shimano tiagra groupset).

    So my overall opinion is for your first road bike have a look and see if you can get one second hand. There are a fair amount of similar priced bikes to the trek 1000 out there.

    Also if you do want to spend about 500 you will get a really good bike for the money 2nd hand.

    Because these bike are often owned by people who care for their bikes, and because road bikes dont have to endure the constant battering that mountain bikes are subjected to they are often in better condition for their age.

  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    Boardman bikes are good, CB would not lend his name to a crap product, but I doubt if he'll ever ride one (in reality) and I dare say that the GB wome who are "riding" them are on re-badged bikes (it happens all the time in cycling). The problem with Boardman bikes is that Halfords sell them and you really lose out on the value added that you get at a Local Bike Shop - the deals ,the advice, the personal service. Plus you will have ZERO credibility from experienced cyclists let alone bike snobs like me! Ultimately they are good bikes but support your LBS
  • starcherstarcher Posts: 126

    Id have to agree with you Tommmi i'd love to put the money to a better quality second hand bike but im struggling to find any good one for sale except on ebay and id like to get my butt on the seat before parting with money in an over priced ebay auction.

    As for bike snobbery if i had a boardman bike then obviously id paint it black and stick a felt sticker on it.

    Any good recomendations for where to find second hand

  • LindsLinds Posts: 124
    Well at least you're in a better position thean I was.

    I had max a budget of £200 and my only option was ebay - and realistically to get a decent spec bike I was only going to be able to afford a Carrera (Halfords).

    And guess what - that's exactly what I got - and I bloody love it. I managed to get a £450 bike for less than £200, it's about a year old, has hardly been used and is in great condition.

    It's my first road bike (in fact it's my first bike for 15 years), it looks great, goes well (enough for me) and is so easy to ride. And as for bike/kit snobs who look down their noses at "inferior" kit - sod 'em - I'm happy so why should I care what they think?

  • starcherstarcher Posts: 126
    well said Linds which carrera do you have before the boardman bike i was looking at a carrera valour which to me seem more than enough for me at the mo.

    if i can save some money then alls the better .

  • LindsLinds Posts: 124
    I am the proud owner of a Carrera Vanquish.

    Its got the super duper "flappy paddle" (tektro) brake/gear levers (105 rear mech and tiagra front mech) which are brilliant.

    And it's even helped me whizz past a couple of other cyclists on my first few outings!

  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    Re Carrera. The "real" Carrera is an Italian company, who supplied the bikes for a couple of pro teams a few years ago. These bikes had an eagle's head as their badge and were of very high quality - although Pantani used a re-badged Pegoretti (allegedly). Anyway needless to say there were some legal wranglings with Halfords over the name "Carrera", I forget how it was resolved if at all, but Carrera Italy were not best pleased with a company like Halfords using the monicker. This has probably had something to do with the GB sponsorship deal and the Boardman bikes. This has not constructively added to the thread but iI thought it was interesting point to throw into the mix
  • pacmanpacman Posts: 109
    For what it's worth I agree with Tommi tri I got a trek 1000 4 years ago and I think it's the best all rounder at the price range. The Tiagra components are excellent, the set up is good and it gets a great review from all the bike mags.
  • jon_gjon_g Posts: 318
    Thought i'd throw myself in too. I also have a Trek 1000, it's over 3 years old now, has taken me through more than 1500 miles of training and racing and not had any problems with it and not even had to adjust anything on it, brakes and gears are all as i bought it. All i've had to do is clean and oil the chain and lower the handlebars (had an embarrassing amount of spacers[&:]) and my faithfull steed is taking me to Ironman UK this year (although i might upgrade the wheels by then-think i deserve it!)
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    I hear on good authority that the re badging thing is whats going on with the British team...altho I do not know what they are using..
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    just a little note on the bike snobbery here. I'm going to tell you a story.

    I was at an athletics meet about 6 or so years ago. I was running in the 100metres and was wearing my shiney new pair of silver spikes, that I think I had paid around 100 pounds for. They were guaranteed to make me win, with go faster stripes and everything. In the next lane to me was a guy wearing his red and gold spikes, and in the lane next to him was a guy in bright white spikes. In fact, all but one of the sprinters were waring brightly coloured spikes, and looking around at what each other was wearing, all hoping he had the most expensive and fast looking spikes, so all the others would envy him.

    But there was one guy, his spikes were black, they looked a good 10 years old, not made out of synthetics like all ours were and definitely no go faster stripes. Everyone had noticed that he didnt have the latest superfast spikes, such was the snobbery.

    When the race started I got out of the blocks well, but as we got to about 50 metres one runner streaked past all of us, and ended up winning the race by a mile. I have never seen anyone at that age run so fast. It was the guy with the black spikes.

    He knew it didnt matter that he didnt have the best gold spikes out there, because he knew he didnt need the brightly coloured spikes to impress people, his incredible speed would do that on its own.

    Its the rider that makes the most difference, not the bike.
  • KiwiPaulKiwiPaul Posts: 46
    Oh darn, cheers for that Tommi - you've just shattered my dreams of new found speed afforded me by simply swinging my leg over my new bike - so what you're saying is I still need to train harder... [:@] [;)]
  • A good tale - and although I do appreciate the sentiments expressed - the bike is different though because not even a world champ on a halfords 'full suspension' MTB - weighing in at around 30lbs with super nobbly tyres is going to beat a solid cyclist on a decent road race bike over any tri bike course. All I mean to say is that it is important to get a decent bike to obtain a fair result...if you don't (and it is OK - it may be you rfirst tri or you don't have the finance or you just don't care) then you will not be able to really compete with the athlete with the (rellatively) expensive kit.

    Yes, I am lucky - I got a great bike at a bargain price the day before my first tri - I honestly walked into my mate's local shop as I was passing and they had a Felt S22 on a massive discount - they spent 3 hours measuring me and every bike they stocked which was a race/tri bike and came up with nothing better suited than the S22.

    The next day I cycled 3miles an hour faster than ever before (27lb mtb with skinny tyres)...If I hadn't I would have been slower but don't see that I would have enjoyed it all any less...doing UK 70.3 this year...and yep - I'm glad I have got the dedicated bike as it is more efficient..and that makes me faster and that is what I am trying to achieve..to go as fast as I can....others can so what they want..I'll think no more or no less of them if they are faster or slower than me...if they go as fast as they can on the day and strive achieve then we have all suceeded...


  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    I think you may have missed my point,

    If i can backtrack, and alter my story based on what your interpretation of it was then I could say that the guy who won was wearing wellys when we were all wearing spikes.

    What I meant by my story was that you shouldn't worry about how your stuff looks, or what other people think of it, i.e. snobbery against a certain make of bike.

    As long as the kit does its job thats the most important thing.
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    I once won a major race in a battered old boat.... and when I got into a new boat it allowed me to go even faster. Also my new bike is a faster bike than my old bike, why - because it is lighter, stiffer, has better geometry, has a better cockpit and it was about 3 grand more expensive than my old one. Having said that on my old bike I was able to beat loads of people, so the moral of the story is better kit (which is more expensive) will allow you to go even faster but if there is someone who is very gifted he might beat you even if he is using crap kit, but his margin of victory will not be as much if you have the better kit.
  • In reply to TommyTri,

    Yes - agree with you entirely (also agree with TreeFrogs sentiments).

  • legalbeaglelegalbeagle Posts: 208
    Reading that story reminds me of one about a local guy here:-

    He travels everywhere on his bike, which at the time this tale took place, was a knackered old MTB.

    During a long bike event, it was noted by many that he went sailing past them on their fancy new machines - one rider said at the end - " did you see that old guy on that knackered bike? When he passed me he was sitting upright, peeling and orange!"

    I have had the pleaseure in competing with him in a sprint tri here in Wales and he got in the water, not in a nice slick tri suit but in a pair of baggy shorts, he threw an old T-shirt on the top of that when he exited the pool and - no guesses here - he beat me in every discipline. I dread the day he discovers Lycra and Carbon!!

    I agree that kit can help but it's the person wearing it that really makes the difference - all that fancy stuff won't get far on its own. At my sort of level, a few seconds (minutes even) really won't matter much in the grand scheme of things!

    On the bike front, I got mine nearly 10 years ago, it's a Peugot and is fully equipped with Campagnolo gears, in fact Campagnolo eveything. I got it really cheap as it is a team Festina replica and it's from the year that Richard Vironque was done for drugs - somehow the bikes just wouldn't sell after that! I got a great bargin and, it might be a bit old but I love it! Have definately had my monies worth out of it. If like me you haven't got the budget to change your bike every season (or twenty) buy something that you know is going to last you! I agree with the second hand route - you often get a lot more for your money.

  • hbhb Posts: 22

    the other otion you have is go to your local bike shop and get them to build one and you will be able to put what ever you want on it
  • legalbeaglelegalbeagle Posts: 208
    hey conehead - don't forget the colour - isn't that the most importatnt thing of all!
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Everybody knows that red is quickest, and conehead is correct about basing a decision purely on cost, too. The inevitable conclusion we're coming to is to buy an expensive red bike. Easy. [:D]

    Back to reality: Have to agree with you, treefrog, but I would point out that the expensive boat made a difference when you were at race-winning form. Given that starcher doesn't actually have a bike at the moment, I'd say that anything in budget (even if it's a uni-cycle with a square wheel) is better than nothing.

    If somebody has £200 to spend, and that's a hard limit, then the options are a) buy a £200 bike, or b) Don't do triathlon until you've spent another year saving up. Personally, I bought a Carrera Valour, based on it being a good deal at the time (£300 for 7005 frame, tiagra & sora kit) with £100 of extras bunged in free. However, I did know what I was looking for, and knew how to ensure it fitted me.

    For a couple of years I knew the bike was still better than me. Now I've stuck some Planet-x carbon forks on the front to make it more comfy and speed up the steering. I've also changed the wheels for slightly better (but still 'budget') ones. Only now am I getting suspicious that I should be looking at a better bike.

    What's my summary? As a total beginner, spend whatever you can: even a £200 bike will be better than you. The more you spend, the longer before you get better than the bike. £600 is a good budget: You bike will probably last you 3 years, then you'll be after something really special! [8D]

    A few of the squad have Cannondale 3.0s. Pretty nice for £500. Boardman bikes look nice, too. Also see wiggle for some great bargains in the 'Focus' range. I think there was recent review in 220 for bikes in this price segment.

    Enjoy your shopping!
  • BARNYBARNY Posts: 157

    Please buy a rubbish bike from Halfords – I love whizzing past you suckers! And telling you 6 months down the line that cheap bikes are fine for light use / summer but if you want more you have to pay more and you will save in the long run.

    Never spend more than £200 in Halfords – just to have someone who isn’t a chav set your bike up is justification enough – justify the extra money by cycling to work a few times a week over the summer – me cycling to work just 2 times a week saves me about £50 a month!

  • sfullersfuller Posts: 628
    Just thought Id add this


    I know they might not know much about anything (lets be honest the mag is abit poor) but still its related to this thread.

    Personally i believe you get what you pay for, so if you are in it for the long haul then spend abit more (if you can). I love the Focus bikes.
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    I'll say it agin - All you people out there who want to buy good & competitive equipment but don't want to spend more than 500 on a bike, 50 on running shoes, 100 on a wet suit and then buy all the other kit, then realise that you will buy sub-standard crap and that you would be far better off saving your money and getting lendage of something decent. Boardman bikes are good, Halfords are not, support your local bike shop, train to race and race to win, get as skinny as possible, shave off all your hair get off your fat behinds and do some proper training. Right I'm off to put away my P3C and to take out my Gel Kayano XIV's for my 20km run tomorrow!
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    treefrog... sorry mate, but you just **annoyed** a lot of people with your uncompromising 'spend money to go faster or get lost' attitude. Me included.

    I don't have a fortune to spend on kit, just like many of the people who have participated in this thread. It doesn't mean I am a weaker competitor, or that I don't take it seriously, or that I need to get off my arse more. I'm sitting here barely able to type because my arms are **really jolly tired** from a swimming session which followed a bike/run brick.

    Barney commented earlier that he loves to go past 'suckers' on cheap bikes. I think what he really meant was that he loves to overtake beginners. Well done, Barney. I spent £300 in Halfords. I could've gone to my LBS and spent £450 on a Giant with exactly the same spec. So I'm a sucker for spending less? Am I a sucker for passing an un-prepared idiot on a P3 in last years' London Tri, while I was riding my sucker's bike? No.

    You, treefrog, on the other hand, are telling beginners to our sport that if they don't buy a P3C or DA they are wasting their time and money. You are boasting about your kit when some of us would rather boast about how HARD we trained, or about how much BETTER we did than last time.

    When I first started doing tri I always loved the pioneering, inclusive and all-together attitude that people had. Now, I'm getting really disillusioned by the kit snobbery. I put a huge amount of effort, planning and science into my hobby. Whether it is training time or money spent, I have a very small budget for each. I do not waste either of them lightly.

    Maybe you have more money than sense, or maybe you just have more money than others. Whatever, get over it, try to offer a bit of encouragement to people who ask beginner questions instead of saying spend £loads or forget it.

    And yes. I'm really **jolly angry**.
  • jon_gjon_g Posts: 318
    well said Bopomofo, totally agree with you. my 'cheap' bike still takes me past loads of people on much more expensive bikes at every tiathlon i compete in. i long for a fancy carbon everything bike, but i'm sensible with my money and know that my cheap bike only weighs 2 kg's more that their supposedly featherweight options. i just train a little harder and try lose a little more weight and i love this sport which has so consumed my life. and i love sharing my sport with newcomers, so treefrog, drop the attitude
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Wow, some anger working out there...I read treefrog as irony..oh well. That said there is a reason for 'all the gear, no idea' stereotype, I do look longingly at the hyperlight expensive bikes, but I know it will not make me appreciably faster, I but my run shoes at end of season because I cannot bear to buy shoes for £100 one month that are sold (presumably at a profit still ) for half or less later on in the year, I buy run kit when & where I see it at a good price (TKMaxx rules). The only stuff I pay full wack for is club kit..no choice there, swim kit see above, end of season (by that I mean spring /summer season). So I am busy looking for winter cycle & run tights for next year as the shops unload them now..and 'cos I was typing/reading this I am too late to swim...bum!
  • legalbeaglelegalbeagle Posts: 208
    Hi Guys - well there are some opinions here aren't there!

    At our club, we have got some seriously seriously good performers, several off to represent their age group in Canada and they have some great kit BUT what I love... they never ever make people like me feel that I am too rubbish to take part, they encourage me loads and never take the p*** out of my kit. If it wasn't for thier attitude, I would probably not have stuck with it. Like many, I have not got en enless amount of money to spend so I get what I can and make do with it. I hope that friends see that you don't have to be skinny and have lots of flashy kit to take part in this sport and join in the fun!

  • BARNYBARNY Posts: 157
    Well my main motivation in this sport is bettering myself and the feeling that I am doing something that my coleauge freinds and aquaintances could never do (although to fear many wouldn't WANT to do ;o) . I also get a greatsense of satisfcation and accomplishment from competing, taking part and finishing races.

    I have recently downgraded my car and bought a small ultra economical model - because I now realise that cars bring me no real joy. Can you belive that some poeple think my car show me to be a loser?..... I think they are funny to want to spend their money on petrol!

    I have also recently spent £1000+ upgrading my bike - This does bring me imense joy.

    SO - we all have money, we all have prioritys;- act on your priorities and don't be sensitive to other poeple having other priorities.

    I suspect its just as fun passing a good bike on a 'crap' bike as it is, humping a 'crap' bike on a good bike. I doubt that any of us would tell that person the joy it is giving them as they pass them - thats just not british.

    So whoever started this thread - buy what you can, accept that it will never be enough.

    p.s. this is coming from the owner of the most pimped up Guess RB1 (a <£500 bike) on the planet - Treefog will be turning in his ,, urm golden throne.
  • dee999dee999 Posts: 41
    hi guys!!!

    i have to say that i was always told, "it doesnt matter how expensive or how many gears your bike has-its how you ride it"- so if you are crap on a more affordable bike, you will still be crap on a ££££ bike!! i do find it quite annoying when people say that their bike cost as much as a car.....and their top of the range gear cost as much as a month in the maldives!!-who cares? does it really make that much difference to their times?

    like many, my hubby and i do tris for fun, and are more than happy with our sub £500 giant scr3 bikes (which we bought last year at the end of the season, for £130 cheaper than when they were at the start of the season!)-how can you enjoy a sport when you are constantly worring about having the best gear and bikes that your hard earned cash can buy, and stressing about how you are going to pay off your next credit card bill because of the snobbery and pose value?[:'(]

    its a shame, but i think all sports are turning this way- i used to show- jump horses, and i constantly saw individuals who had more money than sense, with the most expensive horses that you could imagine, and all the flash gear-making a pigs ear of jumping......pure and simply because they thought that money could buy them success....and it doesnt!- u need lots of blood, sweat and tears to succeed in life! (enuf of the lecture!!- get out and enjoy ure sport!!!)[;)]
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Don'y drink, don't smoke..what do you do?..Triathlon!

    I get the 'HOW MUCH???' all the time with my bike expenditure..but I don't drive even, so my bike still costs less than a years petrol, insurance, tax etc..and I still get to work on time & I'm not getting fatter!

    Like all sports Tri has fads & fashions..and you can spend or not, I love anyone who takes part, boneshaker bike to carbon stealth bike...what you can or will afford is it, run what you brung & have fun.
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