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

Cycling Plus - - CONTENTS - Si­mon With­ers Tech­ni­cal writer Si­mon pre­dates the in­ter­net (imag­ine that!), GPS and Strava so has to es­ti­mate his cy­cling ex­pe­ri­ence. He reck­ons that since buy­ing his first road bike in 1979 – the year Sid Vi­cious died and Jonny Wilkin­son was born – he ha

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

Pho­tog­ra­phy Robert Smith

All-round play­ers in both car­bon and alu­minium flavours

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