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Bike for £300


Tri virgin here so be gentle! [:)]

I know you experienced guys would have seen hundreds of the "I am new to tri please help me...." type posts but....

I have recently lost 13st and have set my target to become a Tri-athlete. Training going well so far feeling better than ever. I am doing my first sprint tri at Rother Valley in June (set myself a top 50 finish as a target)

I have no equipment (apart from a trail/hybred bike which I use to cycle to work)

I figure my best investment (after a pair of trainiers - gone for Saucony) is a bike. What should I go for in the £300ish range. Considering a Giant OCR 3, what do we all think? I will have to do for commuting and Training and Racing....

Any other advice would be greatfully recieved.


  • graham33graham33 Posts: 265
    Welcome to the forum, and well done for loosing so much weight! - makes my 1 stone look rubbish!

    I bought the Giant SCR3 last year and it's a great bike with no problems at all for me. That trouble is the bike envy come and you start upgrading.....

    But for £300 you won't get much more - also consider the carrea range from Halfords.

    Another thing to think about is the TRI UK packages : http://triuk.com/web/index.php/Triathlon-Packages/TRIATHLON-BIKE-PACKAGE-1/flypage-ask.tpl.html

    £574 but it'll include pretty much everything you need and you do save a fair bit of money. I just bought my bike from there and they are pretty knowledgable and helpful.

    Good luck!
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    I have recently lost 13st and have set my target to become a Tri-athlete.

    Bloody hell... where's the "We are not worthy" smiley? You win before you have even crossed the start line.[8D]

    A Giant OCR 3 is a great choice for £300, and will be more than adequate for your first few seasons. There are a couple of other choices in that price range - as Graham33 says there's always Halfords: people knock them but for that price you'll probably get an 18-speed alloy framed bike running their usual mix of Tiagra cogs, Sora shifters and RPM crankset or similar. I went for years on a Carrera Valour.

    However.... at that price range every £50 or £100 extra that you can beg, steal or borrow will make a big difference (if spent wisely), so have a good think about it.

    If £300 is your budget, final answer, then stick with it and enjoy your new toy. I know 3 beginners who have been chuffed to bits with their OCR3s.

    Don't forget to budget for a few other bike related bits... bike clothing (you'll at least need padded shorts), drinks cages and bottles etc. The most important extra will be some proper pedals and shoes. Post separately if you need advice on this, after doing a bit of forum searching - it has come up before.

    Welcome to triathlon. That has to be the most inspirational first post I've read in a long time! [:D]

    *EDIT* Just had a look at that package Graham suggested. That Giant Defy 4 has quite a nice frame - fancy tube profiles etc though the welding is ugly, but I wasn't impressed with the bottom end pick 'n' mix 16 speed compact set-up. Some of the bike experts can probably comment further but basically it looks like it isn't upgradeable without replacing the entire groupset. Pricey.
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    Reward yourself for the weight loss go buy a Cervelo P4C
  • Speaking from experience, I bought a £300 Carrera (reduced to £220, which was nice), and it did a great job for my first season. A few upgrades here and there kept me happy.

    However, having bought the bike at a bargain price, I then spent a fortune of other bits to get me going, and looking back, I really wish I had bought a starter package.

    But I have to agree with the other posts - Halfords can be ok!
  • GGBGGB Posts: 482
    Hello and welcome :D - congrats on the wieght loss ... major achievement

    I don't know much about bikes but was in the same situation money wise as you regarding bikes a month or so back. Ended up getting a Carrera Virtuoso from halfords - reduced from about £400 to £250. The bike isn't expensively wonderful but certainly does the job - I upgaded the pedals to clipless and later this year, money dependant, will upgrade the chainset and a few other bits. But do remember, as said above, you will also need - Cycling shorts, spare tubes, bottles, cages, helmet etc etc ... also if going from a non road bike to a road bike then make sure your cycle pump is the correct type.

    good luck :D

  • Xyzee_ukXyzee_uk Posts: 100
    Thanks all for the advice. I'll take a look at Halfords too.

    Graham33 - Thanks for the info, not really considered wetsuits yet...maybe an ebay special?

    Bopomofo - thanks for the kind words about the post. Will get some more advice on the package

    Treefrog - ha ha I had to look it up! I think it might be a tad above my budget? Not to mention how ridiculous i'd look cycling at about 10mph on a bike this good. I often use the term AGNI (All the Gear No Idea)

    heymonkey & GGB - Halfords here I come - who would have thought it?

    Thanks for all the extra advice too.
  • I'm surprised treefrog didn't give you a mouthful of abuse, he doesn't like athletes who buy cheap kit...
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Ignore treefrog. The P4C is a butt-ugly marketing exercise and only an idiot would buy one.

  • All good advice.

    I just wanted to say a big congrats on a sterling effort, i have an ocr3 and its spot on until i get stronger bike legs and can justify an upgrade.

    Good luck fella and we'll look forward to seeing your progress in future.
  • I bought a £270 bike from the inlaws catalogue. It's a road bike with 14 gears, skinny tyres and arazor blade seat. It should do me okay for my first couple of tri's. I was fotunate enought ot pick up an older Giant half carbon bike with Brake Shifters and decent gear set-up. I will strip this bike down and replace the parts, re-spray it etc until i get a nice bike form it.
  • GHarvGHarv Posts: 456
    First thinng you need to remember whilst tri is great it's not always for everyone.

    Are you happy to blow £300 on a bike you may use once?

    You mention you have a hybrid? Some hybrids are based on racing bike frames just have fatter tyres and flat handle bars. A simple starting point for your first tri could be to swap the tyres which will probably 28mms for a set of 23mms. This will cost you £20 ish and will knock loads of time of your time. You could then whack on a pair of £30 clip on aero bars and save a bit more time. Remove then all the crap like bells and reflectors that you wan't need for tri and you'll be away.

    Look up tri UK and you can hire a wetsuit for £50 for the season, ring em up and they;ll size you on the phone - they are good at this - very good.

    If you do want to buy do look at the packages i bought all my stuff seperatly and one of the tri uk packages would have saved a lot of money in my first year.

    As the guys say new bike also equals aero bars £30, Clipless pedals £40, Shoes £50, Bike computer £30 and the list goes on as you add helmet, wet suit, tri suit, race belt, swim cap, swim mask..............

    This ain't a cheap sport.

    You'll be fine though!


  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Jasoncull... buying a 14-speed shitter from a catalogue is exactly the wrong thing to do. Skinny tyres and a razor seat do not make it suitable for competitions. More specifically, they do not make it suitable for all the miles you will have to put in to train for a competition.

    What's this Giant bike you're talking about? can you really transfer the parts? Also, how did you manage to get a 14-speed bike for £270 (should be 16-18 for that money) in this day and age?

    Sorry mate, I suspect you landed on the downside of the value-for-money curve.

    ...Unless you're a 15-ish teenager and are paying for it yourself, in which case well done. Or you can only get a bike if you do it on payments... again, well done, but it would be better next time to save up first.

  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    Hear hear Bopomofo! That bike might even be dangerous
  • Xyzee_ukXyzee_uk Posts: 100
    terryandrewsmall - Thanks, but losing the weight is the easy bit!!...will keep you up to date with my progress.

    Gharv - I cycle to work so will always find a use for the bike (my current one is a bit pants and wanted to upgrade anyway!) If I can get one second hand even better. Unfortunately my bike is a chunky more MB than road bike. Hiring a wetsuit, pure genius, I think I'll do just that! Thanks for the tip.
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