UKC

What bike £5-6k

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 Stig 04 Apr 2021

Hi all,

I'm in 'need' of a new bike this year, or next, but it's an absolute minefield at the moment thanks to the dreaded plague, the cycling boom, Brexit and disrupted supply chains. I realise this is a lot of money to spend but bargains are non-existent and I want top quality gear and a long lifespan. 

For background I've had a Giant TCR Ultegra since 2015 which has been absolutely superb, I haven't touch the groupset apart from one failed shifter, but it won't last much beyond 2022. I also cracked the seat stay a few years back and had it professionally repaired so again it won't last forever. I do around 7,000-10k miles a year so it will get used. Other bikes I've used recently: Croix de fer (too heavy); Kinesis 4S (fast but uncomfortable on long rides, sold in lockdown); Ribble CGR Ti (current winter/gravel bike).

My dream bike would probably be a S-works Tarmac or possibly something more exotic (top end Bianchi maybe?/Factor?) but I can't justify spending 9k and up. Essentials for me are:

- Discs

- electronic shifting

- Aero stylings, fast but also comfortable - this would be for short fast rides and very long rides.

Main options:

Last year I really wanted a Canyon Abroad but put off by the £1000 price rise and the seat post issues. Beautiful bike though. Likely options:

Focus Izalco max 9.7 - I'd prefer the Ultegra Di2 version but the Force AXS option looks quite good value. But the former isn't available. The latter actually is - big plus!

Ribble Endurance SL R - with Dura Ace Di2 and Zipp 303s is £5,600 - the only way to get DA anywhere near that price point. Downsides: not available until August and not bling, really boring frame colour. I'd be tempted to buy this and if I saw a Tarmac or Aearoad on sale I'd swap it out. Or possibly a Cannondale supersix.

Or I'd happily get another TCR but they're now very expensive and also completely unavailable.

Any thoughts??

In reply to Stig:

Few bike bargains at the moment, but there are a some frame bargains around. With your budget you could spend £2,500-3,000 on an exotic discounted frame and still be able to choose high end wheels, groupset and finishing gear if you shop around.

 Marek 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

At that price all bikes are good bikes for all intents and purposes. It's really down to which one do you really want. It's just visceral and personal. I tend to get seduced by particular frames and then go for a groupset that 'does the job'. I have my favourite bikes, but I'd hate to recommend them to others because they're so personal. Go for whatever puts the biggest smile on your face. It needs to be love at first sight or not at all. No one can help you with that.

 mike123 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Marek: I just watched another hambini video that would put me off many high end brands .  To OP if cannondales float your boat wheelbase have had some cracking deals September time the last few years , including last year . The previous  few years they’ve had super six s and other reasonably high end  cannondales on very good deals .

 Stig 04 Apr 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

Such as? I have considered this route but in my general view buying separates never adds up to VFM compared to full bikes. Especially now with nothing being available (in fact it's currently impossible I'd say). A quick calculation:

Frame - 2k (the Aeroad frame kit is well over 4k and isn't available anyway. Likewise Tarmac)

Dura Ace di2 -2-3k?? no idea but I assume it's unavailable. If Canyon et al can't even get supplies I assume I have no chance. SRAm is even more and it's partly the price of replacements that puts me off a SRAM groupset.

Wheels - I'd want 'cheap' aero carbon - Hunts or Just ride along - c. £1k

That's before bars, tyres etc. Already 5-6k. Add on couple of hundred for assembly etc. Sourcing integrated handlebars is a pain with limited options available.

My TCR is six years old and I don't want the old mechanical stuff on a new bike and the wheels are rim brakes. And the frame has been damaged so I can't sell it on. I know there'll be a slight weight penalty with discs and I'd probably keep the TCR for very hilly rides.

And by exotic I assume you mean Italian? I'm not motivated by having a show off brand (Colnago etc), instead primarily by performance and light weight but I still want it to look cutting edge (hidden cables, deep section rims - not full aero though as I ride hills as much as flat terrain) . I think most Italian frames are behind the curve. I like Bianchi a lot but the problem is even their mechanical bikes are c. 5k.

Or should just wait until the market is a bit more normal?

 Stig 04 Apr 2021
In reply to mike123:

Yeah, thanks, that's part of my motivation for asking, wondering about whether to order now or wait. I'm slightly kicking myself I didn't get the EF supersix frame when it was on sale at Sigma last year but the problem is it's now impossible to get the groupset.

I do like the Supersix and it's supposed to be good, very similar to the Aeroad looks wise. I hate the fact that they don't put Shimano cranks on and the stock wheels (Vision?) don't inspire me.

 scope 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

Buy a car, invest the money, go on holiday. Must be better things you can throw 5 grand at.

 Stig 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Marek:

Yeah agree with that. I think that's the problem really. Focus doesn't really grab me as a brand but the Izalco looks like a very good package overall (and I might pop up to Staveley to see it), nice colour (not black!!). Has always had good reviews (for what that's worth)

I dithered for quite a while about the Orro Venturi (again very good VFM, and British designed even if not manufactured) but it doesn't really call to me. 

I just wondered what else is out there and what I might have missed.

 Stig 04 Apr 2021
In reply to scope:

I have a car (Skoda Octavia hahahaha

I have investments

I've booked a holiday (can't go on it though)

I ride way more miles a year than I drive. Bought my last road bike in 2015 for £1300 and done over 25,000 miles on it. Works out pretty good value for money.

Bikes have gone up hugely in recent years thanks mainly to Brexit but also a complete flip in supply/demand. You can normally get massive savings in the sales not not at the moment. So yeah, I can justify it for the pleasure it gives me. 

 mike123 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig: I came very close to getting one in  2017( a super six ), they had my size with di 2 for less than half price but no discs ( I think that was maybe why  it was cheap ) , the price was low enough that the poor wheels didn’t matter as I would have had enough left to buy some proper Gucci wheels and use the ones it came with as winter / spares .  As has had been said ,Had a ride around the car park on one and it made me smile . 

 mike123 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

> I can justify it .......

because it’s my f£&king money 

FTFY 

 kevin stephens 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

Have you looked at the Dolan Ares with custom build?

 Sans-Plan 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

The new TCR is coming out top in a lot of reviews (if you believe them) personally I do as I have ridden TCR’s of many different versions for years now, I would have another one tomorrow, they just ride well, £5-6K puts you at the upper end of the TCR Pro series (not a fan of the SL as integrated seatposts limit the resale value) some stock out there on the higher end models or look for one of the Giant branded stores as they tend to have higher end models left

 wbo2 04 Apr 2021
In reply to mike123:you know Hambini hates Cannondales, and has spouted all sorts of carp about them. 

The fact you enjoyed it shows how little real connection his hot air has to do with real life, and mostly to make him look big and clever on YouTube.

If you like your current Giant get another.  I'd avoid the various Ribbles etc 

 Sans-Plan 04 Apr 2021
In reply to wbo2:

>   I'd avoid the various Ribbles etc 

Totally agree with this, the Ribbles are just Chinese open mould frames, you could buy yourself one from eBay for £400 if you wanted to go that way, plenty of info on Weightweenies

In reply to Stig:

If you want something very specific you might struggle, but have a look at sigma sports for some examples. If you are not looking at Italian exotica, you will probably get even more value.

Brexit related supply issues will cause problems, particularly with groupsets, but I think you are overestimating what you would have to pay. Admittedly, the days of getting the latest Dura Ace at half RRP, which I did in 2014, are probably gone.

Sounds like the bike that you buy, won’t come with the wheels that you want. This was a big factor for me when I decided to build rather than just buy.

I was charged £70 for the build, although I did buy my saddle and DA pedals from him at nearly RRP.

It worked for me. I accept Brexit supply issues potentially make it more marginal. Which is probably why there are plenty deals on frames.

 Stenton 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

I’ve got a Wilier Cento 10 Pro which I absolutely love. Comfortable for that aggressive type of bike, I’ll take it on a long Audax some day if I ever get a decent forecast (you mention long rides).

Not sure I’d get too hung up on Dura Ace Di2 or equivalent, for me coming from mechanical shifting to Ultegra Di2 was like night and day.

Ultimately, if you’re spending the money, you’ve got to find something that speaks to you personally, whether it’s design or whatever?

 Marek 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

> I just wondered what else is out there and what I might have missed.

Left field: With that budget you could get a functionally excellent frame (or complete bike) and have it custom painted - if that floats your boat?

 Marek 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

Have you considered a Trek Emonda? https://www.sigmasports.com/item/Trek/Emonda-SL-7-Force-eTap-AXS-Disc-Road-Bike-2021/QAEH or variation thereof. My first bike was a Trek - not brilliant by today's standards, but it got me into road cycling and the pleasant associations still persist (despite you-know-who-that-shall-not-be-named).

Post edited at 18:38
 webbo 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

I have a Focus Izalco Max its few years old now. It’s Dura Ace mechanical and hasn’t really put a foot wrong in all the time I have owned it. It’s the same frame that AGR2 rode in the tour so it very light. Focus might not be the trendiest brand around but I believe their back up service is reliable if you have a problem. Unlike f@cking Orbea.

 jethro kiernan 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

I built myself up a cube litening as a treat to myself I got the frame from the LBS, worth looking at the litening as the current frames tick a few of the boxes your looking for.

I do like the look of the super six, I did consider a frame from sigma last year. 😏

 mike123 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:  ve just been thinking about this over my Easter evenings achingly trendy craft beer ( fell brewery Eleos ipa ) , upper end of your Bubget is £6 k ? That’s 8300 usd .  I’d get one of these : https://fireflybicycles.com/road/ 
it says soneehere on the site , fully built bikes 6 -10,000 usd . That’s a custom built titanium road bike with some nice kit . Go on . 

 Yanis Nayu 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

I’d go for an Aeroad but you say they’re not available. I’d certainly go Di2 - the ultegra is awesome so not sure how much better Dura Ace would be. Discs wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me - they’re a pain in the arse. 

 Stig 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Thanks for all these helpful comments!

To answer a few points:

- As I say I love the look of the new (ie the redesigned one for 2020/21) Aeroad but it's hard to swallow the price increase and anyway they are not available. Rumour is not until September and then with another price increase. UK Canyons jumped £1000 in late 2020 and the Ultegra Di2 model that is now £6100 was c. £4k in late 2019 (old frame so not quite like for like). I assume because they're assembled in Germany/Netherlands, so have to cover the Brexit-related costs.

Part of what's pushing me to buy now, or soon, is I'm told by a friend in the industry that prices will continue to go up for the foreseeable future.

- By comparison to European bikes UK brands like Orro and Ribble look good value (because the parts don't come through the EU??)

- So I was keen to hear why people (seemingly) don't like Ribbles. I personally don't have much of a preconception about them but I know people look askance at them - and I completely get that the savings have to come from somewhere which by the sounds of it is a very generic frame.

- I'd happily get another TCR. Again like the Aeroad it was revamped last year so quite keen to get the newer bike. The Ultegra Di2 model is 5k and it comes with decent if unexciting wheels. The main thing in its favour for me is they're consistently really light. *However* again I don't think they are actually available. Giant website says that model is in stock in a London shop but I wouldn't go there on the off chance. No stock in normal online retailers like Rutland and Tredz. (and yeah I wouldn't get the SL model, they're a bit lighter but supposed to be less compliant/comfortable).

- re. Trek Emonda - I quite like Treks (my wife has the women's version of the Domane and it's really comfortable, though heavy); but the Emonda isn't especially light either and the really light version is very expensive. Treks and Specialized are really expensive for the frame/groupset/spec - I guess because of their market dominance?

- Discs vs rim brakes.... (he heh) I've not been road riding long enough to be emotionally attached to rim brakes and used to be a mountain biker anyway. I currently have carbon rims on my TCR and the braking is terrifying at times even in the dry! Love carbon rims though so I see discs as pretty essential.  Plus discs are the future whether you like it or not, so it's a bit of a no brainer for me.

 Marek 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

One other thing I've found over the years with buying bikes: I've typically done loads of research, found which ones are best regarded, lightest, smoothest. Compiled what I thought was going to be my list of preferences. But then I've gone into a shop and done a bunch of test rides and come out with a completely different list. Bikes which looked good on paper paled into 'meh' when it came to how much fun they were to ride. There's *never* been a strong correlation between what I though I'd like and what I actually liked when out on the road. Perhaps it's me? Who knows?

Post edited at 22:36
 Toby_W 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

The disc thing is a bit of a nightmare if you’re buying a bike at the moment, two friends returned 5k disc bikes for rims due to issues and I remember hearing the same awful noises in the tour that year.  I thought, if even the pro mechanics can’t sort them out there’s a problem.  Chris Froome came out recently and very diplomatically said he didn’t think they were quite there yet.  Maybe in a year or two?

Have you considered going direct to a Chinese company, custom paint, spec your preferred bottom bracket and then finish it with top spec bits?

Agree with the above, I’ve ridden a lot of bikes and have also come out of the shop with the last bike I’d have imagined based on ride!

Good luck

Toby

In reply to Stig:

Recently bought me and other half new mountain bikes, sympathise - it’s a total pain at the minute. 
Other half has a Merida roadie and is very fond of it. Super light, comfortable and rides well. No Idea if available 

 peppermill 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

I got a good deal on something second hand in the end but I was serioiusly considering something from the Dolan range last year. Filthy good value compared to other brands and I thought the DR1 looked awesome (May be discontinued now).

Stock paint jobs are a bit marmite but reasonable money gets a custom one, and their bike builder makes Ribble's look sparse for upgrade options

 Martin Wood 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

You're unlikely to get your "dream bike" for £6k if you buy it complete. Self/LBS build is the way to go. Full bikes are always sold at price points and at £5-6k a top end frame--which I'd argue is what you should be guided by--will likely have heavier wheels and/or a cheaper group set. They often have their own-branded finishing kit, too. 

I managed to built a C60 w/ Campag Record and Bora 35s for ca. £6k. Frame was new old stock <£2k and wheels were used but nearly new <£1k. I did already have callipers (Chorus) and Deda bars/stem, which probably saved £500. Whole bike, inc. pedals, cages and computer mount is 7kg.

 Toby_W 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Martin Wood:

Oooooooh, nice!  Now I need to go for a ride😀

Toby

In reply to Toby_W:

I’m still on rim brakes on my good bike and happy with them (DA) the trade off for me is using high end alloy wheels rather than carbon. The bike is under the UCI minimum weight anyway and as it’s a climbing machine, I don’t want deep rims so my wheels (Fulcrum Zero Nite) are more than fine.

Post edited at 09:56
 webbo 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

I didn’t mention I have Zipps 303 on my Focus DA rim brakes with wiggles blue brake blocks. I can descend on them  as well as my 3 stone heavier mate on his top of the range Bianchi with discs.

Discs on road bikes solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

 MisterPiggy 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

Hi Stig, I'm very much out of the loop, but for your budget, could you have a frame custom made for you? And add the bells and whistles as you'd like?

My first ever bike cost me three months wages in 1983 and was custom built in Crewe, then they added all the bits I wanted. It was used up to last summer, even the Mavic rims stayed true for almost 30 yrs 😀

No idea what current rates are.

Good luck in your hunt; the window shopping and research is half the fun!

 Martin Wood 05 Apr 2021
In reply to MisterPiggy:

> My first ever bike cost me three months wages in 1983 

> No idea what current rates are.

About the same! You can easily burn £10k on a top end road bike these days.

 kevin stephens 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

If it was my money (whch of course it isn't) I'd be looking at a Dolan Ares disk with Ultegra Di12, Hunt 50 carbon aero wheels, carbon bars etc and custom paint jobfor around £5k, apparently delivery in June

My experiece is that Dolan frames are a lot better than Ribble's and better value for money than more prestigous brands.  My Dolan Tuono (rim brake version) has been brilliant

Post edited at 10:57
 Martin Wood 05 Apr 2021
In reply to webbo:

I tend to agree. Marketing rather than field-use led. I've used rim callipers and carbon tubs for 15 years. No braking issues. I seldom go out when its wet anymore, though.

More particularly, on Stig's essentials, Aero + Discs does seem a bit of a contradiction. Is there any aero gain with discs? Specifying an (heavier) aero frame suggests he's not building a climbing machine.

 wbo2 05 Apr 2021
In reply to mike123:  I'd avoid a custom ticket frame from the US personally... it'll be a p.i.t.a. to get returned when the 'lifetime's frame cracks,. 

 Plus  I'd rather ride a carbon frame.  Ti rides nice, like steel, but carbon is nicer

 mattyP 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

If it was me I’d go for small brand over big brand. I think I value the uniqueness of an item over its pure monetary value. I’d maybe think titanium over carbon (metal frames can be recycled) but just read your comment above! I like Pearson Cycles stuff but not sure it’s value for money

Post edited at 14:21
 Boomer Doomer 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

Haven't read all the replies, so someone may have already mentioned it. If I was spending that kind of money on a bike the first thing I would do is get a bike fit done by someone with a good reputation. (The guy on Francis Cade's YouTube channel... James someone... seems to know a thing or two!) They would probably be able to suggests bikes with a geometry that fits you perfectly. As someone pointed out, at that money all bike are good, so getting one that won't cause you any physical niggles is probably more important. You may also find that a custom bike or custom build around an off-the-shelf frame is a better option... correct frame geometry, correct crank length, stem length, handlebar width and drop, the best saddle for your undercarriage, etc... Seriously, the £200-300 outlay will probably pay huge dividends in the long run.

 Toby_W 05 Apr 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

Same 58cm Cervelo R3sl with dura ace c24 wheels, yours would have been my other choice of wheel, 6.5kg, divine.  I have another set and hope they’ll keep doing them so I can see what happens with the disc marketing exercise.

Cheers

Toby

 Martin Wood 05 Apr 2021
In reply to wbo2:

While women can be international and my cars tend to British, my bikes are always Italian

 Philb1950 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

If you know bikes and exactly what you’re looking for and more importantly at, pre owned with an inspection visit if poss. Massive savings and damage or abuse will be visible, especially with carbon.

 Martin Wood 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Philb1950:

I have to disagree. Massive damage might NOT be visible with carbon.

I crashed a carbon De Rosa badly several years ago. A frame test report suggested 5/5 on a scale of unsafeness but there was no hint of damage to the frame, not even spidering of the gel coat. 

For small brand, high uniqueness/desirability in road bikes, Pegorreti is where I'd go--or would have gone before he died. 

 LastBoyScout 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

Friend of mine has a normal Izalco and loves it, if that's any help.

 Yanis Nayu 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Boomer Doomer:

That bike fit guy is full of arrogant bluster. I’m not sure any bike fit “gurus” know their stuff (or more the point you can’t really know) as they all contradict each other. 

 Yanis Nayu 05 Apr 2021
In reply to webbo:

I’ve got discs on my cx bike. Brake pads wear out about 10x quicker than rim pads and cost twice as much. You can’t even touch the rotors let alone get a bit of oily water on them, they rub and judder unless you constantly piss about with them. Rim brakes on carbon rims aren’t great but I’ve never had a problem with them in about 25000 miles. 

 webbo 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I’ve got discs on my cx bike. Brake pads wear out about 10x quicker than rim pads and cost twice as much. You can’t even touch the rotors let alone get a bit of oily water on them, they rub and judder unless you constantly piss about with them. Rim brakes on carbon rims aren’t great but I’ve never had a problem with them in about 25000 miles. 

Will you be my friend as I think you are the first person ever to agree with me on UKClimbing.

 Yanis Nayu 05 Apr 2021
In reply to webbo:

🙌 Done😄

 Marek 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Boomer Doomer:

> Haven't read all the replies, so someone may have already mentioned it. If I was spending that kind of money on a bike the first thing I would do is get a bike fit ... Seriously, the £200-300 outlay will probably pay huge dividends in the long run.

Or none at all. Go to three bike fitters and you'll likely get three different answers as to what is 'right'. You might be fussy about your bike fit but you also might not - I have various bikes, none of them them same in term of fit and can ride any of them them happily all day. I'm sure I'm not alone.

 Sans-Plan 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Marek:

Agreed, bike fitters are pretty much snake oil salesman, there is some absolute arrogant tools on YouTube, Facebook etc claiming to fix everything by dropping your seat height by 40mm or shortening your stem by 30mm in one go...

Its pretty simple really, there are 3 major variables, saddle height, saddle set back and stem length, it’s not that difficult to figure out with a decent ride and an Allen key.

Post edited at 21:20
 kevin stephens 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Sans-Plan:

also crank length, bar width and bar drop/reach. I thought I had my bike sorted but with a winter on the turbo I made some mi or adjustments and bought new stem and bars; made a lot of difference especially on the road. A good argument for custom build

 Dave the Rave 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

I’ve got a Raleigh ‘Banana’ circa 1985 if you want it?

Reynolds 531, campag chorus throughout and Mavic wheels with Michelin tyres.

Its in a strange yellow colour, a bit faded now, and is quite slippy on bends.

The kids upgraded it with some Fyffes stickers. Bargain at £500?

 peppermill 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Agreed modern calipers are awesome, especially on alloy rims (Admittedly I've never ridden carbon wheels, far too tight for that nonsense...;p). I have a five year old Ultegra pair mated to some wonderful Scribe rims, they're great!

I get discs, I really do, the 4-pot Maguras on my MTB are wonderful. Absolutely monstrous launch-you-over-the-bars power, even with 180mm rotors, pads last a long time if you bed them in properly and not a hint of squeal unless you're riding through a swamp.

What I don't really understand is the trend on road bikes for smaller and smaller rotors, i.e. the opposite to the mountain biking world as modern bikes allow us to go faster and faster. Sure the bikes are half the weight, probably less, but your average cyclist isn't and the speeds on a road bike are much, much greater obviously. And if you're happy to sacrifice braking performance to save 300g or whatever then...........what's the point, stick with calipers.

Post edited at 07:21
 Sans-Plan 06 Apr 2021
In reply to kevin stephens:

Yes of course there are other variables, but as my reply the three major ones are as I mentioned, crank length and bar width etc are very minor considerations when it comes to bike fit, bike fits make people believe that once they have been fitted that's it and they ever deviate (as somebody charged them £150 to put the saddle down 5mm) so it must be right when in reality some changes and adjustments are required throughout the years.

In reply to Stig:

Hi, I see you mentioned Factor in your OP. I have a Factor O2 Miami (Black Inc 60's - Dura Ace Di2 - Ceramic Speed OSPW - 4iiii double sided PM) and it was cheaper than an S-Works Tarmac, far less ubiquitous, gets heaps of comments and I absolutely love it. It's light enough (mine is a fraction over 7kg and disc brake) but if you want lighter you can get the VAM model in rim brake for around 6.3kg, but it's more expensive. The power transfer is unbelievable, so responsive and it's comfortable (I did a 215km ride on it last week on a selle italia C59 saddle with no issues at all!)

They have a new model out (Ostro) which is more like the SL7 , as in it's more aero than the O2. I haven't ridden one yet, so cannot comment although everyone I know who has bought one love them. 

Factor UK are run out of a business unit in Hethel which acts as a showroom and workshop and is well worth a visit. They also have a showroom in Harrogate at the Coldbath Brewery if that's nearer. John Bailey started the company (background in Formula 1) after designing a one off Aston Martin bike which got so much interest in the industry he decided to keep going. Enter stage left Rob Gitelis. He owns a carbon bike factory in Taiwan and used to make frames for all the leading brands. He got very frustrated at making frames for other people, especially when he could see how to make improvements and realised that the large manufacturers are like oil tankers....no chance of tweaking designs to improve them, once there was a design and a mold...that was the frame. Wanting to build his own bespoke frames instead and have full control over the full process...he bought Factor bikes off John Bailey and now exclusively builds Factor bikes. They tweak the designs and improve the frames throughout the lifecycle which is one of their USP. John Bailey stayed on board to run Factor UK. Give him a call and arrange a few test rides, I think you will be impressed. 

Just to give you an example of the service I received... I drove to Hethel, met the whole team (4 people lol) given endless coffee , had a full RETUL bike fit in their unit, then a discussion over all the bike models and then I had a few test rides. When I got back, we discussed components, paint schemes etc. Extremely personal and bespoke service which is how it should be when spending thousands of pounds.

Give John Bailey a call if you are interested.

Cheers

 Marek 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Sans-Plan:

> ... adjustments are required throughout the years.

I'd go further than that. For 99% of roadie people (and certainly for me), if you want to go faster/further you have to get your body (not your bike) more aero. I rarely ride in the drops for more than 10-15 mins at a time - it's not particularly comfortable, nor do I produce quite as much power in that position. A more aero position would not be the right 'fit' for me at the moment, but if I was fussed about getting an extra 1 mph in my average speed on rides, that's something I'd have to address. I'd have to work on hip & neck flexibility (off bike) and get the muscles efficient at different level of extension. My optimum fit would alter drastically. Or I could just grow old gracefully and then my fit would change in the opposite direction, albeit more gradually. Bike fitting should be a long term process not a one-off event, and one that's firmly grounded in both the rider aspirations and their physical & psychological adaptability. It should be much more about the body than the bike. That's not where the 'bike fitting' industry is today.

Anyway, this is all a bit off-topic (apologies to the OP), so I'll leave it there.

 Richard Horn 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

In terms of discs vs caliper, last year I looked to upgrade my Cinelli Saetta frame (nice bike but just not quite the beast you want in a carbon bike). In the end I went with a 2017 Ridley Helium SLX frame from Paul Milnes (cost £1300 against ~3000 euros for this years new model) and put an existing SRAM red groupset. I figured to get a disc frame and resulting bike down to the same weight was going to cost about 3 times as much. To me discs are necessary on off road bikes but I have never had a problem stopping on a road bike, the only issue being on an alpine sportive I did a couple of years back where other riders would overtake down hill, slot in front then hit their disc brakes hard into hairpin bends...

However if I had had 5-6 grand straight I would prob go with discs, although to be honest I might be looking at something custom steel like a Condor Xcr. Sticking with carbon though, the latest cyclist mag had a review of the De Rosa Merak and I think the description was sublime...

 Richard Horn 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Marek:

I read an article about aero gains a while back - in terms of W saved per £ spent, by far the biggest improvements could be made with helmet, clothing and clip on aero bars (i.e body position). Wheels and frame were much more marginal and even then you had to be able to hold 30mph or so to get the real benefit.

 PaulW 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Sans-Plan:

I was lucky a few years ago that I had the spare cash to go for the full bike fit/custom build option.

https://www.wyndymilla.com

The fit took ages and as well as thinking about current flexibility, riding position and style we considered how that might change as I got older.

When I first got the bike I was worried I had made a mistake, it felt way too small, but within a few weeks the fit felt just right. No more neck or back pain and feeling part of the bike rather than on it.

I've ridden bikes for 50+ years and played around with the fit on lots of them but never got close to this. Money well spent for me.

 nniff 06 Apr 2021
In reply to PaulW:

I was going to suggest Wyndy Milla, but the price of the frames puts a nice build out of the budget.  I just looked up my own 'treat', which is Jaegher Ascender, a few years old (and currently feeling a bit sorry for itself following an off due to a pothole on a roundabout). 

I bought the frame though the UK dealer and reached an agreement on bits -  I bought the groupset on-line, they built the wheels and got the rest of the bits (and sent the stem to Jaegher for painting to match) and built it.  Let just say it didn't cost anywhere near the price of the matching Jaegher build.  My other bike was bought as a nice frame from Sigma, lived life as a Frankenbike for a while with all the bits from its predecessor and gradually became the bike it deserved to be as budget allowed.

Alternatively, Wilier has got some nice frames around at the moment - their climbing frame in particular.

 Sans-Plan 06 Apr 2021
In reply to PaulW:

> I was lucky a few years ago that I had the spare cash to go for the full bike fit/custom build option.

£4745 for a carbon frame from a micro brand, erm, that's nuts.

In reply to Stig:

I'm having the same (very notional!) conversation in my own head at the mo! For my 2p worth and without reiterating what has already been written too much; I'd go Trek Madone for the all out performance machine or a De Rosa Merak or SK Pininfarina (sp) for italian pizzazz. I had the old Merak and loved it, crashed it and broke it.

Merlin cycles have some great deals on a De Rosa 2020 SK Ultegra Di2. Crap wheels but for £4000 you'd have change for some Zipp 303s and have a set of training wheels in hand! I also like the look of the Sensa bikes but suspect the frames are just Far East generics and for your kind of money you may as well get something nice. 

Or if it's pure value for money a Merida Reacto 8000e is an absolute bargain for a bike that's ridden in the World Tour ranks. 

 MKH 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

My only reason to chip in here is to ask about the groupset preference. Why is everyone preferring Di2 in this discussion?

I have Di2 on one bike and AXS on another. I find the AXS kit way nicer (and it's only Force AXS - I couldn't go for RED as who has that kind of money knocking about!)

Di2 is good but the wireless aspect of the AXS install, battery removal for charging, everything about it is better in my opinion. It took forever to sort out the wire rattle on the Di2.

With all this in mind I would probably go for the Izalco max with AXS.

 ChrisJD 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

Have a chat with Pete at Colina Bikes and get a (custom if you want) Ti frame & build. He's based in Hope Valley and will make you an excellent coffee as well.

 PaulW 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Sans-Plan:

Yep, it was nuts. But they were my nuts

Im my defence they were nothing like that when I bought it, they seem to have gone even more niche.

 nniff 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

The problem with Factor is that the the bottom of the price list is £7,000.  

Orro Venturi looks like a good call, but the OP isn't feeling the love and not feeling the love is expensive...

In reply to Stig:

Have the lads at Cycles in Motion build you a custom bike and have some really nice features and cutting edge design.

also on the subject of Orro, I had one, it cracked, and they dicked me about for the past year ref warranty and I still have a cracked frame and no bike. Also seeing a lot of posts online about cracked Venturi frames, I'd avoid. It's simply mass produced carbon tat.

 snoop6060 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

> Any thoughts??

Yep.

- James is still alive despite the plague. 

- Evidently got too much money.

- Evidently totally given up climbing.

You know where I'm at if #3 isn't actually true

Si

 Womble 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:

If I wanted a forever bike I would buy titanium. There are a few lovely Ti brands about (including some mentioned here). I went with an Enigma for mine but it was all about utility so its an "adventure bike" (and "only" about half the price you are looking to spend)! I still love it, but occasionally I find myself lusting after a fast road machine.

If I wanted to be the envy all all my mates I would get an S works Tarmac as you mentioned or maybe a Factor One. I think they are pretty sexy.

You could always get something custom made and there are plenty of good bike builders out there that will do a good job. But if I am honest, it doesn't sound like you want or need that. Find yourself a good bike fitter who can measure you, advise you on the bike - take it to them, and they will (within reason) make you fit it (and also take some more of your money).

Enjoy your spending! You're a lucky person!

 Marek 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Womble:

> If I wanted a forever bike I would buy titanium...

Is there actually any evidence that titanium bikes last longer than those in any other material? They certainly are (might be?) more prone to weld failures than other materials (understandably). And discount race crash damage in carbon frames, since that's more about how they are used than what material they're made of (most race bikes are carbon - I don't think many titanium bikes get thrashed round crits). I suspect that "cause-and-effect" are the other way round to what is implied (usually) by statement like that above: People who are more likely to hang onto bikes for a long time are more likely to buy into titanium (relatively timeless frame design and nice understated finish), rather than titanium is being the cause of long bike life. Really, outside of crash damage, any bike - whatever the material - is likely to outlive its owner's interest span before it "dies" in any mechanical sense.

Anyway, the OP wanted "aero" and "light", neither of which is the main selling point of titanium.

They do look nice though (unpainted, of course).

 Yanis Nayu 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Marek:

Don’t know about longevity, but the comfort thing is a fallacy apparently. It’s just a function of being heavier than carbon. YouTuber called Peak Torque  covers it in a video. 

 mattyP 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

At which point do you stop noticing the improvement/cost ratio with bikes? Does a 5k feel £1000 better than a 4K bike? In the same way 1k to 2k bikes there’s a noticeable improvement.

 kevin stephens 07 Apr 2021
In reply to mattyP:

Good point, I suspect most buyers won't need the frame stiffness to win a bunch sprint in a tour stage, or the aero profile to sustain 30mph over a number of hours

 Marek 07 Apr 2021
In reply to mattyP:

One could say "it depends on your experience and sensitivity", but even that too simple. You'd have to start be defining 'improvement' as opposed to 'difference'. I can tell the difference between my two road bikes, but which one's better? It depends - ones better for long rides the other is better for a quick blast. One 'feel' faster, but in practice in only actually faster under specific conditions. They're just different. One is significantly more expensive largely due to DA groupset. I like that because I have small hands and the DA shifters are more comfortable FOR ME. For someone with large hands the may be pointless. On the other hand if it's wet, then mudguards on the cheaper bike trump DA shifters. So which is better?

Bike quality is not one dimensional. But price is, so comparing them is futile.

 Marek 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Marek:

Oh, and I bought the more expensive bike not because it had DA or that it might be faster, but simply because I liked it's look (frame shape, paint scheme). Does that make it better? Or worse value-for-money?

 mike123 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Marek: Just been re reading this thread  and I’ve appreciated your ( well everybodies ) contributions . Do you mind saying what are the two road bikes you talk about and what your thoughts on wheels are ? I can feel an itch developing  ( and before anybody says it not that kind ....) 

Edit : wheel question to everybody and op of course  .....Zipp 303 s ? Low end ENVEs ? 

Post edited at 13:47
 Richard Horn 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Marek:

> Is there actually any evidence that titanium bikes last longer than those in any other material?

My ti bike (from well known brand) suffered a cracked chainstay after ~4000 miles. Most expensive frame I had bought up to that time, partly bought due to supposed longevity, broke more quickly than any other frame I had ever bought - even cheapo alloy frames. After a minor battle the shop replaced it (it was 2 months outside the warranty). I still love it though, in many ways a far more pleasant bike to ride than my lighter, stiffer and faster carbon bike.

 Marek 07 Apr 2021
In reply to mike123:

Nothing remotely exotic by modern standards!

My 'nice' bike is a CAAD12 (Purple) with Disc DA groupset and some OK handbuilt wheels. Acquired secondhand - virtually unused - from someone who thought they might like a bike in lockdown and probably found it too much like hard work. I used to have a SuperSix which I really liked, but it got smashed in a crash (careless driver). The CAAD12 is even better IMHO.

My 'sensible' bike is a custom built Kinesis Tripster AT (Harris Green) with 105 and Hunt wheels. Either 37mm Gravelking slicks or 40mm Maxxis Ravager tyres (tubeless) depending on expected terrain. SKS Bluemels mudguards (42mm) fitted with either tyres as required.

No strong opinions (or experience) about wheels, but someone who's opinions I value was unimpressed with his Enve wheels.

 Sans-Plan 07 Apr 2021
In reply to mike123:

Several wheel builders won't even touch Zipp wheels, plus they always look overpriced to me.

I will be putting a pair of Fulcrum Wind 55's on my TCR for summer, have always had good results and reliability from Fulcrum.

Alternatively get some Zipp clone rims built on Chris King or DT Swiss by somebody like Wheelsmith:

https://www.wheelsmith.co.uk/

 nniff 07 Apr 2021
In reply to mattyP:

> At which point do you stop noticing the improvement/cost ratio with bikes? Does a 5k feel £1000 better than a 4K bike? In the same way 1k to 2k bikes there’s a noticeable improvement.

That's a very interesting question.

I have a winter bike/commuter which is an Orro Terra and about £1500 - it feels like a lump compared to the proper road bikes.

Of those - one is a Blue Racing Cycles AC1- carbon, dura-ace and a pair of Fulcrum Racing 1.  Flat out aero racer, stiff as a board and not exactly comfortable, but pin sharp.  

The other is a Jaegher Ascender - hand-built stainless, custom paint, dura-ace and chris king, at a current price to make me go pale.  Stiff as a board, also pin sharp, slightly more relaxed position, and really comfortable.

There is a huge difference between all three.  The expensive ones are in every regard 'better' than the Orro, except for the latter's ability to take a beating day in, day out.  But between the other two - and I suppose there was about £1000 difference between them when I bought them - well they're different.  Both work really well - if it's Tuesday Night Fight Night, then I'll take the Blue.  If it's a 100 miler for a time - then the Jaegher, because I'll hold a better position for longer without the battering I'll get from the Blue doing the same thing.  If it's just a ride out for 4 hours or so - depends on what I feel like

 Martin Wood 07 Apr 2021
In reply to Womble:

I'm still riding my 2008 Colnago C50--as a winter bike since 2018. Its still perfect. Still beautiful. I look forward to doing the same with my 2018 C60 in 2028 ... when I change for a C76?

 Yanis Nayu 07 Apr 2021
In reply to mattyP:

> At which point do you stop noticing the improvement/cost ratio with bikes? Does a 5k feel £1000 better than a 4K bike? In the same way 1k to 2k bikes there’s a noticeable improvement.

I don’t know, but you’re definitely into the realms of diminishing returns, or perhaps also increased specialisation. 

In reply to MKH:

There is a school of thought that parts for Shimano groupsets are far easier to acquire when on holiday/touring in Europe than SRAM. Also, cheaper I have been told. 

In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Also, some people (I include myself in this) have a bit of a midlife crisis, have some spare cash and just decide to buy the best bike they can afford and don't really care if they are getting value for money or have the ability to tell the difference. They just want to treat themselves to some exotica....and why not? 

 Yanis Nayu 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> Also, some people (I include myself in this) have a bit of a midlife crisis, have some spare cash and just decide to buy the best bike they can afford and don't really care if they are getting value for money or have the ability to tell the difference. They just want to treat themselves to some exotica....and why not? 

Exactly.  You don't have to justify it.

 Marek 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> Also, some people (I include myself in this) have a bit of a midlife crisis, have some spare cash and just decide to buy the best bike they can afford and don't really care if they are getting value for money or have the ability to tell the difference. They just want to treat themselves to some exotica....and why not? 

Some people conflate 'value' in VfM with 'speed', or 'weight' or some other other largely meaningless measure. To me 'value' is how much pleasure I get from riding (or even owning) a particular bike. No, it can't be measured on scales, but it's real. So my bikes are good VfM.

Interestingly, Specialized may be on to this with their Aethos, but sadly it's way outside my fun budget.

 wbo2 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Stig:a bike you don't like is never worth the money. 

 kevin stephens 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> Also, some people (I include myself in this) have a bit of a midlife crisis, have some spare cash and just decide to buy the best bike they can afford and don't really care if they are getting value for money or have the ability to tell the difference. They just want to treat themselves to some exotica....and why not? 

Exactly, and the same can apply to cars, HiFi, cameras and even watches etc.  These threads are always popular because (a) it's an opportunity to spend (virtually) other people's money and (b) an opportunity to get the pitchforks out when you disagree with the OP's criteria/judgement/values

Post edited at 13:07
 MKH 08 Apr 2021
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

Ah, I suppose so but I've never had trouble finding SRAM parts in the alps (pre AXS) so not sure that really stands up.

I think Di2 components are just as tricky to source as AXS in mainland Europe - all of these top end group sets are pretty tough to get parts from normal stores.

There are also a few cross compatibility issues within Di2/between Di2 groupsets I have found (to my cost - a battery that seemed to be a good price was in fact the wrong battery for the junction box/groupset I had).

 Womble 13 Apr 2021
In reply to Marek:

I think you have taken "forever" to mean "it will last forever" - I could easily have meant "it will look nice forever" - which is in fact what I did mean haha

I also did once have quite a light titanium bike but its not the same material & therefore use case as carbon. Hence it is a forever bike, not like carbon shapes changing with the whim of the season!

 Womble 13 Apr 2021
In reply to Martin Wood:

Exception that proves the rule - I fricking love the look of a C50... of C64...Pwoahh


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