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Buying British


I am looking to get my first triathlon specific bike and am looking for some advise/ views.
I want to buy British and am looking at 3 main bikes: -

Ribble Ultra Carbon TT
Boardman AiR/TT9.0
Planet-X Stealth Pro Carbon Dura Ace Elite



  • Rob what distance are you intending to race, what type of courses, and how good a bike handler are you?

    One point is that none of the frames would be made in Britain so what do you define as British. I saw the Ribble prototype of the Ultra in the store about 6 months back. I now see it will be available soon at a very competitive price. At the time I asked the staff what the ride charecteristics would be like of the new frameset and they couldn't tell me, they asked me what I wanted it for, my response was you go first as I wanted to know would it be too harsh for an Ironman event for example. I am not trying to say the Ribble is worse value rather to use the story to highlight the following point. They would say it was excellent for whatever I had said and this obviously can't be the case, I drive a sports car which is great fun, but it ain't the best for going on a family camping holiday in.

    There are a lot of framesets out there manufactured in the far east and brought in under a franchise operation and badged up for a company in this country. The big question is what where they originaly designed for? A fast 25 mile road time trial or 5+ hours in the saddle allowing a set up to run off? What is the weight, on the flat this is not that critical, try climbing on a heavy bike on the drops of a TT set up and its another story. We have now entred a Tri specific design era with the major brands, Trek, Specialized etc.. plus brands that only ever designed for Tri Quntana Roo, Ceepo, Blue etc... are going strong.

    I know people who own one of these, the Planet-X will come on and say it is fantastic, but how many TT bikes have they ridden and what are its strengths and what are its weaknesses? A design which has been around a while and has sold a lot hence it respects a number of reviews, mostly from the States, will be easier to pass a judjement on (the slowtwitch website is great in this respect).

    I am in a similar position in trying to decide on a first serious triathlon TT machine. If price is everything, can't afford anything more expensive than this take your pick and don't look back it will be faster than your road bike. If you know exactly what you want the bike for then go for a bike fit and come away with a set of geometries which are suitable for your build, cycling style and look at the technical data for these and other bikes. It might be the case that none of the bikes are particulary suitable for you and if budget is limited a second hand machine from another brand might be the way forwards.

    I respect your sentiments regarding buying British, but I would say the first priority is getting something which works well for you. Even though these machines offer good value it is still a lot of cash to lay out.

    Hope this helps a little and people come forwards with their own opinions.
  • Lancsrider,
    Thanks for your view and comments and that is why i am looking for some independent views rather than from the suppliers themselves as you point out in your Ribble example.

    I am looking to make the purchase in line with entering my first Ironman. I've completed sprints, standard distance and half's on road bike and now I am looking at taking the next step.
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  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Or sit tight until Graeme Obree brings out his bike range which will be made in Britain - then the UCI will ban them
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