View Full Version : What should I get for under a grand?
6th May 2009, 12:54 PM
For the past few years I've been on a Dawes Giro which it turns out is too big for me. (Can't believe it's taken me this long to suss that out... Probably because I don't ride that much.)I now want to upgrade and increase my mileage. A realistic target is 150-250 miles a week over the summer, tick over during winter, then crank up again in the spring until an attempt at LEJOG (supported) in May/June 2010. The one bike will need to cover all my (fair weather) training miles and the ride itself.My LBS stocks Scott and Giant bikes, put me on a CR1(!) for a test ride and recommends a Speedster S30 because it's the lowest model with 105, which he reckons is worth it for crispness and durability over Tiagra. I currently have Sora and would definitely like to step up from that on the next bike. Unfortunately the S30, nice though it looks on paper, is probably out of my price range. I'd hoped to spend £600-700 but it looks like I will need to stretch this a bit.Other obvious options include Trek 1.7 or the £800 Boardman buying locally; or the Focus Culebro on special offer at Wiggle. Scotts are common on the local club ride but part of me fancies something a bit more exotic. Orbea appeals for some reason.So, questions in view of the above...Is 105 really worth paying the extra for over Tiagra? At 171cm, am I more likely to need a medium than a small?How risky is it to go "off the beaten track" or should I stick to one of the common brands? Likewise, as a relative newbie to bike buying should I rely on the LBS or go for an online retailer?Any other bikes I should be considering in the £800-1000 price range?All opinions gratefully received.
6th May 2009, 3:27 PM
Dave Hinde do the best deal for you.A real quality italian triple butted and double fired after initial forging alu frame, and with an upgrade to mavic Aksiums, you hjave a durab;le bike for around £630.For a grand I'd get a steel framed machine for year round use.
6th May 2009, 4:02 PM
7th May 2009, 9:49 AM
The greatest road test ever, c'est moi....16.5 stone, london roads, nearly three years.
7th May 2009, 9:52 AM
Italian built frame in a £630 bike?Someone has no idea on the labour rates in Italy.Ps Deda stuff is made in CHINA.
7th May 2009, 10:02 AM
It might have been a bit more, but not much.If the frame wasn't the real deal, it wouldn't have lasted.I think colombus only deal with dave hinde and chicken in this country, so there not mass produced.
7th May 2009, 10:14 AM
Are you sure?Major Tube supplier to Cinelli (for example)and many other far eastern frame manufacturers
7th May 2009, 3:29 PM
cycling weekly said it was the best deal, my heavy weight on london's roads seem to back this up.It's true they do cinelli through Chicken, but that's italian. If it was made in taiwan it wouldn't have lasted on 23mm tyres for nearly three years.
John Bradshaw 2
7th May 2009, 8:44 PM
To answer the original questions, yes 105 is a very worthwhile upgrade over Tiagra, although Tiagra is a good group 105 is lighter, with more of Shimano's better technology and an extra gear, nicer finish and feel too. That said, don't avoid Tiagra if you like the rest of the package. On producers, don't get stuck on big brands, Boardman do some exceptional packages, as do Ribble, and the 1K market is so competitive (partly thanks to C2W) most producers do excellent products at that point, brands like Bianchi, Specialized, Focus all do very nice machines at that price point, and a little higher will get you stuff from Colnago and Condor.
John Bradshaw 2
7th May 2009, 8:46 PM
If it was made in taiwan it wouldn't have lasted on 23mm tyres for nearly three years.Why? Is there anything other than prejudice to support that opinion?
7th May 2009, 9:34 PM
eliot coolican wrote (see)... If it was made in taiwan it wouldn't have lasted on 23mm tyres for nearly three years.Nonsense Eliot and you know it.
7th May 2009, 9:37 PM
Andrew, 105 really is much better than Tiagra and Sora. And as John pointed out there is lots of choice in the 1k bracket. Check if your employer does C2W if not get them to sign up. It will either save you a bundle of cash or get you something really nice for the budget.
8th May 2009, 9:20 AM
On topic.Stay away from Carbon frames at this price point. Stick top Aluminium as you WILL get a better ride from it.Cheap carbon frames are actually HEAVIER than aluminium frames at this price point.Recommendations would be Cube Peleton Any SPesh Trek or Giant at about £950
8th May 2009, 9:56 AM
Cube? My Cube alloy frame snapped the chainstay just before the gearhanger, and had also developed cracks on the front of the same chainstay. No crazy stuff, it just snapped one day without warning when 20mi from home on a ride with friends. With the frame only a couple years old I contacted Cube in Germany (as it was bought over there) several times via email but never received a reply. I had to ring five or so times before I could get to speak to the right person as he never did return messages. Only to be told 'tough-you're out of warranty'. On a top bike not even 5 years old a frame that simply snaps is not what I would expect. I will never buy Cube again, not least because of the way my query was dealt with.
8th May 2009, 10:01 AM
Another vote for Ali. Had my Vitus for 10yrs now, it's about to be replaced with a Ti, but it's been a great bike, and not heavy. (Weighed yesterday, about 23lbs with Spinachi's, pump, tools, Mirage with triple chainset, Rolls saddle and Camp. Khamsin? wheels). And still looks good!
8th May 2009, 11:20 AM
Thanks for all the advice so far - and don't stop! The two bike shops I've visited so far both recommended 105 and alu so those look like a no-brainer. I'm hoping to arrange test rides on a Spesh Allez Elite and a Bianchi Nirone 7 105 Compact - is there any product out there with a longer name?!I'm not so keen on the Giant (strange shaped tubes!) and have been told the Trek geometry may not suit me as well as some others although I'll still see if I can get a ride on one. Ribble and Focus also merit further investigation, I think.My employer does have a C2W scheme but I don't qualify at the moment.One small correction to my original post: I'm actually 174cm which I think puts me firmly on the medium in most bike ranges.
8th May 2009, 11:34 AM
Rubbish about taiwan am I. Two trek hybrids, alpha frame, cracked twice in only a few months.New bike, made in Taiwan, the L/H crank comes loose after two weeks.Wild horses would not make me purchase any frame made in taiwan. Budget treks have alpha frames, sounds like a nice word doesn't it, alpha mmmmm. It's masss produced in taoiwan, it is cardboard. Beware the trek 1.5, 1.7 and any budget bike with this sobriquet.
8th May 2009, 11:36 AM
Definately consider the Focus option: I have two (Variado Expert and Mares).Both are aluminium and have repectively Ultegra and 105 and cost <£1000. I have no complaints about either and would buy them again.
8th May 2009, 12:48 PM
Eliot, a left crank arm coming loose has nothing to do with the frame, everything with the bolt securing it. And you know that too. I don't think the problem of cracking frames has anything to do with Taiwan, but everything to do with cheap mass production. As above I had a German built Cube frame not just crack but snap on me. The Taiwan made MTB I owned for years and which saw more abuse than any of my other bikes ever, stayed in one piece and I only got rid of it because I bought something better and lighter.
Over The Hill
8th May 2009, 1:26 PM
ALMAC wrote (see)On topic.Stay away from Carbon frames at this price point. Stick top Aluminium as you WILL get a better ride from it.Cheap carbon frames are actually HEAVIER than aluminium frames at this price point.Recommendations would be Cube Peleton Any SPesh Trek or Giant at about £950 At what price do carbon frames generally start to have an advantage, please?Presumably steel is no longer a sensible option, as so little is on offer by the major manufacturers?
8th May 2009, 5:16 PM
My next bike would be a steel frame, as I want a racer full time and not just for the weekeknds.Roberts do a nice frame, and they are much better than the steel frames of the 70's 80's.Definately worth considering if you want to use the bike full time.I agree with you Jorrin, it's mass production, and thats exactly what trek do with thier 1.5 and 1.7 models, with no care about how the frames are made, or post firing after initial forging.
John Bradshaw 2
8th May 2009, 9:02 PM
Cheap carbon frames are actually HEAVIER than aluminium frames at this price point.Evidence please. The Boardman team carbon for £1k is 8Kg, can you provide weights of Alu bikes at that price? And lest anybody think the Boardman is down specced to squeeze in a carbon frame the components are excellent for the price point, arguably class leading, with SRAM Rival gearing and Ritchey finishing kit and wheels. Handling is first class too according to everything I've heard.On steel, steel is definitely not dead, it's now a niche product and far from the mainstream bikes stacked high and sold cheap with same old same old carbon and alu frames from the same OEM suppliers (and believe it or not I don't say that as an insult as it's brought fantastic quality down to amazing prices) but there are still people who prize the ride quality and feel of steel above it's relatively poor acceleration and a bit of extra weight. For £1k you may be struggling to get a good steel bike though, although a Condor Accaio is almost in reach with Tiagra or Fratello can be had with 105 or Rival for an extra hundred quid, both superb bikes.On Taiwan, anybody questioning the quality of made in Taiwan bikes is clutching at the same straws you used to hear from Europeans and Americans who dismissed Japanese cars as junk as the Japanese urinated all over these rivals in car manufacturing.
Over The Hill
8th May 2009, 10:56 PM
Agreed. Roberts and Condor are both very nice - but these are only realistically available to those who live in/near London. Is there an equivalent in the southwest?The majority of us seem to only have access to Trek, Specialized or Giant, all offering aluminium or carbon. As they are all large manufacturers competing against one another, presumably they are producing what have become the best options.
John Bradshaw 2
9th May 2009, 5:41 AM
There are a lot of options, if you can't access the smaller suppliers then the Internet is a good option if you know what size you need, Focus offer way more for your money than Specialized, Trek etc. as do Ribble, and Wiggle and Ribble are both reputable and reliable shops offering good service on-line.
11th May 2009, 10:54 AM
I havn't had to have my dave hinde serviced once in nearly 3 years.
11th May 2009, 10:59 AM
I haven't had my Trek serviced in 4 years, and I'm willing to bet I ride more than you do.
11th May 2009, 11:24 AM
What model, Tom, pray tell? And are you a podgy like me, and are the road conditions dreadfull?
11th May 2009, 11:37 AM
Trek 1400, to the lower end of their middle-range. Aluminium frame. I'm not podgy, but it's been ridden for 4 years across Devon potholes, grit, gravel and mud.
11th May 2009, 12:27 PM
I share my venom with trek budget frames, and all budget frame mass manufacturers, gone are the golden day's of the 80's when reynolds 531c would give you total peice of mind and would be stolen long before the frame cracked, and it could be used to bike couriering as well.No venom for trek middle range because these frames tend to be well made.
15th May 2009, 12:59 AM
i am selling my focus cayo 105 2009 version. bought it 2 months ago and wanna replace with a 4k cervelo.let me know if your interested at £800
15th May 2009, 10:54 AM
that is a good deal ^^
15th May 2009, 11:23 AM
If you know what you're looking for and know a good deal when you see one, eBay is superb.I've just bought a top of the range full-carbon Alan cyclocross bike with frogleg cantis, full centaur and solid handbuilt wheels in immaculate condition for 340 quid from there to use as a winter hack/muddy fun bike.
15th May 2009, 3:02 PM
I Carter wrote (see)i am selling my focus cayo 105 2009 version. bought it 2 months ago and wanna replace with a 4k cervelo. let me know if your interested at £800Definitely worth considering. What size is it? And where do you live?
17th May 2009, 11:33 AM
i am afriad i striped it and used the parts on me other bike.i am still selling the frame and forkshere is a pichttp://www.wiggle.co.uk/images/bikedetails/Cayo-105-2009-montage.jpglet me know if yoru interested
17th May 2009, 11:34 AM
sorry - its a 56cm L and i am in london
18th May 2009, 12:09 PM
Too big for me.I'm probably going to buy a Focus Culebro - just waiting on confirmation from Wiggle of what size would be best.
21st May 2009, 12:03 PM
Update: my Focus Culebro arrived yesterday. First impressions are favourable and I hope to get a decent ride in over the weekend to test it out properly and adjust the fit.Thanks for all the advice.