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First Road Bike

Hi All

I did the 220 sprint at Dorny last summer (the one when it blew a gale and poured) with rain!!. I used my mountain bike managed 1hr 24min. I'm 44, so no spring chicken and no athlete but it was great fun and I'm keen to do 4/5 more this year culminating with an Olymic distance event late summer.

My budget for a bike is £1K to £1.5K. £2K is out of the question becasue that would feel excessive. Additionally, I will definately get £200 bike fit once purchased. I will use the bike for training and events.

I'm 6 ft/85kg with little legs and a long back.

Spent 3 hours looking though past fourm posts and for some reason Boardman and Planet X have stuck in my mind. Looking on the Planet X website there are a multitude of different options that feels very confusing. :roll:

I have also looked at Bike Radar but there are soooo many bikes it's a nightmare. Anyway of simplifying this decsion?

Many thanks


  • Yeah, go into a GOOD bike shop tell them what you wanna do with the bike and your budget - let them decide!
    Seriously though, I had a rubbish LBS who sold me the completely wrong bike, After a lot of advice on various forums Bridgetown Cycles (Cannock) had good reputation so I went down there last week and they're sorting me out - I'd highly recommend a trip there if it's feasible? (I drove and hour and a half and it was well worth it!)
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Tommo - welcome

    You are doing the right thing getting the benefits of our mistakes. Boardman and PX do indeed rate highly here as does a certain bikeshop which has become the LBS for many people around the country on this forum.

    Good luck.
  • I'm loving my focus Cayo 105 - got the 2009 version in the Wiggle sale, seems awesome value. Carbon with some go faster red!
    It was recommended to me by someone that knows far more than me about these things. The 2010 version is within your budget, but I don't know enough about these things to know what the change in spec on the new one means.
    Another advantage - it came with Haribo ..... or should this be in another thread??????
  • MGMG Posts: 470
    I would second the choice of the Focus range. I had a 2007 Cayo Ultegra which was a fantastic bike, very stiff frame, excellent componantry, superb reviews (dont think I've read a crap one yet) and, as always, brilliant customer service. As long as you give ALL your measurements to the guys at wiggle they will be able to point to to the correct size.

    Out of all the bikes within the £1000-1500 budget I think the Focus has to be given some serious consideration.
  • TommoTommo Posts: 5
    Thanks very much for your thoughts. I will add the Focus to my short list of 3 and just research these 3 .

    Many thanks

  • jrhunt78jrhunt78 Posts: 43
    I can recommend the Boardman Carbon (although I would do cos i've got one!) Well worth getting it propoerly fitted though as Halfords definition of a bike fit was the fella behind the counter standing on his tip toes to peer over and coming back with "That'll do yer mate!"
  • TommoTommo Posts: 5
    What do you think of a Felt Z5? It's 8.5kg, 105 and very enjoyable to ride?????????
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    My advice is to get on the bike you want and see how it feels. Its all well and good us recommending the bikes we have (i have a Viner Gladius which i think it brilliant) but that bike may not be right for you. Get yourself into a bike shop (evans have a lot of bikes) and test ride them. Then make sure you get a good fitting (its possible you may need to go elsewhere for that - depending on the evans branch they can be a bit hit and miss) and get what rides well and that you will want to ride.

    All that said, the Boardman and PX bikes all seem to have great reviews and so do the Focus, a friend on mine has the Variado (alu frame) and really rates that
  • TommoTommo Posts: 5
    I just thought I would update the forum on my quest for my first road bike in the hope that it may be helpful for others who may also be in my situation. My budget was £1K to £1.5K. I did a ton of research online to start with. Hours of searching and reading...............

    I called the Planet X sales line and asked what type of carbon they use in the frame. The chap replied he didn't know. I then asked what their £1.5K bike weighed. Again he said "I don't know." I said please will you find out answers to my questions and call me back. He said he would but never did. So that was the end of Planet X.

    I rode the 2 Boardman’s with SRam Force and SRam Rival and although I found Halfords very helpful I didn't like the feel of the bikes.

    I then rode a Felt Z45 (at £1.2K) with Shimano Tiagra gears (so pretty bottom of the range for Shimano) and I found I preferred these gears to SRam ones. So that was one decision made. I knew I wanted a bike with Shimano gears. I also found this bike to be incredibly comfortable and one I would look forward to cycling on. In the shop I also sat on a Felt Z5 (£1.6K) with Shimano 105 gears. I also felt right.

    I then rode a 09 Scott CR1 Pro on sale at £1.7K (down from £2.4K). This bike was amazingly light and felt so fast. Going up a hill was exhilarating. It was an awesome bike but out of my budget. If the Felt was a BMW, the Scott was a Porsche.

    Finally I rode a 2nd hand 09 Specialized Roubaix Expert in fantastic condition with Shimano Ultegra gears and wheels. Priced at £1.6K (£2.3K new). It was very nice.

    But I couldn't get the Felt out of my head. It just "felt" (excuse the pun) right.

    I didn't want to buy off a web site for my first bike as I wanted to be properly measured and fitted.

    So of my 2 local bike shops that sold Felt bikes, I negotiated a price and chose the one with whom I was most comfortable with, in terms of service and their ability to do a professional bike fit.

    So if you are looking for a first road bike, my advice would be to spend less time searching the internet and more time calling local (ish) bike shops and doing test rides. Figure out what types of gears you feel most comfortable, with and then when you ride the right bike for you, it will just feel right.
    All the best.
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