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C2W: Spec me a bike - £1.5k

Discussion in 'Pedal Powered' started by Varwen, Dec 23, 2019.

  1. Varwen

    Gangster

    Joined: Aug 6, 2013

    Posts: 299

    Hey - looking for some advice from people who know more than I.

    Plan is to switch up the commute to a cycle (10 miles each way over relatively smooth tarmac). Work has signed up with Cycle2Work (the halfords one), which means I can get bikes from either Halfords, Cycle Republic or Tredz. Plan is to commute in all seasons. Less concerned about flat out speed than comfort, but would love to find time to get on the bike outside of the commute too.

    My questions:

    What would I lose out on by going for something with slightly more relaxed gravel geometry, if anything? I like the idea of being able to stick some beefier tyres on and head slightly off the beaten path, but not sure how much of this i'd do since primary use would be commuting. Even so, fatter tyres = more comfort, right?

    There's a couple I've got my eye on and some reasoning behind each, so which of these would you go for if you were in my position?

    https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Giant-Contend-AR-1-2020-Road-Bike_218379.htm - seems to be a decent mix of everything - 38c tyre clearance

    https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Giant-Contend-SL-1-Disc-2020-Road-Bike_218383.htm - same as above, but slightly lighter. Tradeoff for this is the smaller tyre clearance, so less ability to throw on some knobblies and go explore.

    https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Giant-Revolt-0-2020-Gravel-Bike_218251.htm - huge tyre clearance and flared bars - awesome versatility, but would I sacrifice anything significant on the commute if I were to just throw on some thinner road tyres?

    Wild card options:

    https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Giant-TCR-Advanced-1-Disc-Nearly-New-L-2019-Road-Bike_222908.htm - Not sure how easy it will be to fit any kind of mud guards (though I'm sure some sort of clip on stuff might help somewhat), how comfy it will be for commuting, how a carbon frame will hold up to all weather commuting or how comfy the ride will be given the smaller tyre clearance, but ultegra groupset is nice and would probably be great fun for a blast at the weekend...

    OCUK cycle nerds - WWYD?
     
  2. Kelt

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 14, 2007

    Posts: 10,527

    Location: With the færies

    I'd be looking at a gravel bike personally, with the new Shimano GRX groupset.

    Get the best of both worlds then.
     
  3. Varwen

    Gangster

    Joined: Aug 6, 2013

    Posts: 299

    Limited on where I can spend it and can't see anything in budget at CR or Tredz with the new GRX kit, but I'm guessing out of the above you'd go for the Revolt then? Torn between that and the Contend AR currently.
     
  4. Begbie

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 20, 2004

    Posts: 23,609

    Location: .....

    I nearly went for the Revolt (similar budget), I went for the grail in the end. Gravel is much more appealing to me, so much more versatility and if need be I'll buy a second set of rims.

    It makes more sense if you're not racing, it may weigh slightly less but if you fancy going for a ride with the kids around the forest, or joining some friends on a sunday ride, fancy doing some bikepacking? It just opens up so much more, without owning multiple bikes.

    I wouldn't even bother changing the tyres for a 10mile commute. GCN did a gravel v road and the difference was so little as a noivice, you just wouldn't notice.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kr7u9hgUKJs

    About 10% faster on climbs, which is a fair bit. But fitness will overcome that more than changing bikes will. And again, change the tyres and you have a free 10% speed (or damn close)!

    I'd look at the Orro Terra, Connondale Topstone and the GT too. The cannondale looks a bit special, with it's pivots connecting the two triangles
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
  5. Varwen

    Gangster

    Joined: Aug 6, 2013

    Posts: 299

    Thanks Begbie - some really useful advice.

    Orro terra and cannondale topstone (the carbon one with pivots) are slightly out of price range - have £1.5k to spend.

    The alu terra looked good, but only had room for 35mm tyres - as did the alu cannondale, but that was FSA rather than shimano crankset (I won't notice the difference, but the price is the same, so why not). Grail looks lovely, but can't go to canyon direct unfortunately.

    I guess what I'm wondering is, would the difference between 45mm tyres on the Revolt give me enough extra versatility to warrant that over the 38mm clearance and slightly racier geo on the Contend AR, even though the bike will see 95% + of it's use on the commute? Nothing to stop me fitting thinner tyres on the revolt, but frame geometry isn't so easy to tweak :confused:.

    Realise I'm probably splitting hairs and either would be more than enough bike for the job, but the voucher doesn't turn up until Monday so I'm in for a weekend of being a kid in a candy shop looking at shiny new options - really appreciate the help.
     
  6. Kelt

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 14, 2007

    Posts: 10,527

    Location: With the færies

  7. Begbie

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 20, 2004

    Posts: 23,609

    Location: .....

    All really up to you, I've went with the option of versitality over an all out road bike. But if it's living most of it's time on the road, and as you say you can't change geomeotry.

    I do miss having a light road bike though, I'm hoping the grail is almost as good!
     
  8. jpaul

    Capodecina

    Joined: Mar 1, 2010

    Posts: 10,279

    presumably it will take a rear carrier ? a pannier bag, for commuting, is derigeur imhop .... for a bit of shopping on the way home too.
     
  9. Varwen

    Gangster

    Joined: Aug 6, 2013

    Posts: 299

    Yes, panniers would be a major consideration, but I'm planning on leaving most of what I need at the office anyway so hopefully won't be lugging too much on a daily basis
    Love the look of that, but it's a step down to tiagra/mechanical discs, rather than the hydros on the 105, and the wheels aren't tubeless compatible. It has got me looking at the AL 105 version with a couple of upgrades, though, (mavic allroad tubeless wheels, flared bars, carbon seatpost) for the same price - I think we have a new winner. Couple of delays in the voucher getting sent, but hopefully be ordering one later. Just need to decide between the blue or orange... Thanks for the link!
     
  10. IndigoGorilla

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Feb 12, 2011

    Posts: 1,991

    Location: Manchester

    How about a Sonder Camino AL V3 bike?

    £1300 wth the GRX groupset and Alpkit do let you use Halford vouchers too according to their website.