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Discussion Starter #1
I know there are quite a few keen cyclists here, can anyone recommend an entry level road bike please, budget £500-600? I do a 21 mile each way commute at least once a week and the occasional 100km Sportive. I'm currently using a hardtail mountain bike with slick tyres but suspect a proper road bike would be a better tool for the job.
Any buying advice gratefully received, cheers,
Simon
 

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Hello,

Just made the transition myself and for VFM the Carrera or Bordman ranges from Halfrauds are rated very highly (not just by Halfrauds either!!). I ended up buying a Raleigh Airlite 400 from Wiggle but only cause it was reduced so heavily. They have a sale on now so could be worth a look. Finally try Ribble or Planet X, both highly rated UK mail order suppliers so great value for money and you can build to your own spec.

All brands around that price point will be mass produced frames but you should be able to get Tiagra components for that money and possibly some 105 if you can find a sale bargain.
 
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I echo earlier sentiments about the Chris Boardman range at Halfords - they're brilliant value and very hard to beat at whatever model/price you go for. And Boardman really does have input into the frames and groupsets, he doesn't just put his name on what someone else has chosen.

I also echo the comment about frame sizes compared with MTB's - when I bought my first MTB a couple of years ago, a Medium fitted me whereas I generally take a Large in a road frame. But always try before you buy, and make sure you take the pedals you're going to use with you, along with the shoes and ideally your riding kit (but you might have to convince the salesman you're not just going to ride off into the sunset :lol:)
 

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The most important thing is bike fit - personally i would advocate getting a bike fit from a half decent shop, they range from about £50 for a basic one or try one of the online systems such as Competitive Cyclist - Road and Mountain Bikes, Framesets, Cycling Apparel, Road Bike and Mountain Bike Components, Cycling Accessories. Once you have the main measurements (a critical one is reach) you can then start shopping. I'd been riding and racing road and mtb for a while then entered a continental sportive (Maratona) so thought i'd invest in a fitting. The difference was amazing! Just a couple of tweaks were needed to my position but it felt so much more comfortable and efficient.

For bikes - you really can't go wrong with Specialized, Giant or Trek and as others have said the Boardman range is good value. The only problem is you have to deal with Halfords! Also get a copy of cycling weekly and have a look in the back or on ebay. Second hand bikes fetch peanuts so you can get a real bargain.

Happy riding!
 
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Cannondale have made the best alu bikes for a long time, they know what they're doing and the bikes are very reasonably priced.

Enjoy!
 

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Great bike at a great price. Spec wise it is very similar to mine.

Now go out and enjoy it!
 
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