WINNER Ribble R872 › Our slight budget-busting was well worth it
Cannondale’s bigtyred, disc-braked Synapse is comfortable, versatile and has a range of gears that would challenge Spider-Man for wall-climbingability. The skinny 25.4mm seatpost helps it max out on comfort and its wide-ranging gears are welcome for the non-competitive rider. With knobblier but not too wide gravel tyres you could venture off the tarmac too.
At just £700 with Shimano 105 levers and derailleurs, Evans should be congratulated on the Pinnacle Laterite 3. Yes, costs have been trimmed with lower-spec wheels, chainset and brakes, but it’s a highquality, versatile ride with a reassuringly neutral riding position.
Specialized’s reworking of its Allez Elite has been a success, improving comfort, notching up its everyday riding credentials and showing just why 105 is the groupset to aspire to. The new frame adds comfort and quality wheels to the mix, and to the great joy of our tester it has lost the cable that hung beneath the toptube for an aesthetic gain.
While Trek’s new-for-2018 Domane ALR3 can’t match Specialized for kit or weight, the IsoSpeed-equipped frame sets new comfort standards for aluminium. If and when IsoSpeed becomes more affordable, this could be a real winner as it significantly smooths out poor surfaces.
Boardman’s Team Carbon represents a great entry to the world of quality carbon frames and is suitable for commuting, long days and, with ’guards, a winter trainer.
Ribble’s R872 is the raciest bike here, has Shimano 105 in its entirety and has a composed and comfortable ride. You can also choose the kit, going well under a grand with Tiagra or upping the ante for a Di2 build – the third generation R872 frame is good enough to deserve it.
Ribble’s R872 has a composed and comfortable ride