Buying a New Road Bike

Buying new toys is fun, but there’s just so much choice out there that it isn’t easy.

I’ve reached that stage in my life (call it a mid-life crisis if you want) where I want nice things if I’m buying something. I can’t afford new sports cars -or even a nice 2nd hand car at the moment – but I can afford a nice shiney new bike. I could get away with spending less money and get a run of the mill bike, it would still be an improvement on my current bike which is over 20 years old and has seen better days, but part of the pleasure of riding it will be the love of the machine itself.

I’ve therefore been looking to spend a considerable amount of money on a nice bike. I’m not going top of the range as the tops of the ranges for bikes these days are in the region of £7,000 to £10,000. Yes, we are talking push-bikes, not motorbikes.

Giant TCR Advanced SL

Giant TCR Advanced SL

I have seen a few deals around, the first was a Giant TCR Advanced SL3 reduced from £3500 to £2125. I thought about it for a little too long though and it has now gone out of stock in my size. Probably a good thing as I wasn’t really wanted to spend more than £2,000 and it had a integrated seat-post that I wasn’t sure about as it means that once you’ve cut it you only have 1″ of adjustment. I was confident enough of getting my positioning right before riding it properly so was a little wary of that.

For those in the know, I’m looking for a bike with a decent full-carbon frame, Ultegra groupset and a decent set of wheels such as Mavic Kysrium Elites.

The Giant Range, also contains the TCR Advanced 2 which fits this description and has a traditional seat-post, so that’s what I have my eyes on at the moment. I’ve seen them reduced from £2700 to £1999 which is just about the right price point too. I’m just going to have to see if I can get one locally at that price and if they still have any in stock.

There are a few others on my radar. A couple of places are selling the Raleigh Avanti Carbon Team for £2125. Raleigh are making a bit of a comeback and this bike has recieved rave reviews. With a full Dura-Ace groupset it’s quite a bargain at that price, in fact it was still quite a deal at the RRP of £3500, but I’m not too sure about the availability again.

Ribble Nero RC

Ribble Nero RC

Ribble also have some good prices, but I’ve heard that their frames flex quite a bit. I’m not sure how true this is as I’ve also heard good reports about them and for the spec something like the Ribble Nero RC can  be got at an amazing price. Using their bike-builder I can spec it just the way I want it for less than £1,800, or as a special edition bike I could get it with lesser wheels for £1350, an and £375 will get me some nicer wheels too, so for £1700 I could have a suitably specced bike and a spare set of wheels. Sounds promising doesn’t it, I just need to have more of a think about the frame which after all is the most important part. I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with it but Ribble don’t quite have the kudos that certain manufacturers and big brand names have.

Decisions, decisions! Morgan just told me to get the fastest one, although to be honest, when I give him a cycling magazine and ask him to pick bikes he does have very good taste! I doubt that any of them will make me any faster, it’s my legs that do that, but it will make the pain of trying to get faster more enjoyable.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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