BIKES FOR NEW RIDERS
Whether you’re looking for your first bike, one fit for sportives, commuting or training through winter, we’ve tested six likely candiates for £1000 or less
Whether you are looking for your first road bike, ready to start commuting or want something to keep training through the winter, our test of six starter bikes from £700 to £1017 has all the bases covered.
Six bikes from some of the biggest names out there: the brands you’ll see when you’re on a club run, commuting, on a sportive, charity event or just out enjoying a ride.
The common factor is that none cost more than £1000 – okay, one breaks that by 17 quid. They’re mainly ‘all-rounders’, with one a little racier and another a biggertyred ‘all-roader’. Five are available from high-street bike shops, with the final one from one of Britain’s longest-established online retailers. Four are aluminium, with a pair of carbon bikes rounding out the sextet.
Pinnacle’s aluminium-framed Laterite 3 from Evans Cycles is one of the least expensive ways to grab a sizeable slice of Shimano 11-speed 105, and it looks a steal at £700.
Cannondale’s £850 Synapse Al Disc Sora is a step-down to nine-speed Sora but the US company ups the ante in both tyre width and gear range.
Our four £1000 offerings encompass one aluminium model that is totally new for 2018 and another that has been radically reworked, as well as a couple of carbon models. Specialized’s evergreen Allez Elite looks very different from last year’s model – lighter, new wheels, tweaked geometry – while the all-new Domane ALR3 brings Trek’s comfort-boosting IsoSpeed elastomer to an aluminium frame.
The two carbon contenders are the Boardman Team Carbon, the bike that brought the eponymous brand to where it is today, and Ribble’s R872. The Preston online outfit decks its understated carbon bike with 105 and Fulcrum wheels. So, just who will top the podium in another hard-fought contest?
£700-£1017 starter bikes 46
All-round players in both carbon and aluminium flavours