If you’re thinking of purchasing your first road bike it can be a daunting task, first off there’s the price, most shops are crammed full of carbon fibre top spec race bikes costing up to £10,000.
After this you have sportive bikes, endurance bikes, aero bikes, winter bikes, cross or gravel bikes. Unlikely as it seems they’re all basically road bikes with a slight twist.
When all this is done you still have to take in to account gear ratios, specification options and of course you’ll have to pick a bike you like the look of and a brand that you’re familiar with or at the very least a brand that in your mind represents quality.
The good news is you can still get an excellent starter road bike for just over the £500 mark, at this price your bike should be capable and robust, as the price of the bike increases the strength doesn’t necessarily follow suit, an entry level road bike is usually made of tough stuff and should be equally as strong as a far pricier option.
The one area where you will lose out is weight, an entry level bike will weigh 19lbs to 23lbs and this will hamper you slightly on the hills.
If you’re riding primarily on flatter roads as long as your bike is well maintained and the bearings spin smoothly you’ll genuinely be at no disadvantage over far lighter and more expensive bikes.
At Cycledivision we stock Scott and Cannondale bikes and they both offer an extensive range of road bikes between £500 and £1000.
One of the best selling bikes for us last year was the Cannondale Synapse Disc 105, the price and spec are unchanged from the previous year but Cannondale have up the style points with a new “Ultra Blue” colour scheme.
This bike sold well as it sports the 11 speed 105 groupset that shares similar aesthetics and changing characteristics to the far more expensive Ultegra and Dura Ace groupsets.
The frame geometry of the Synapse is all about efficiency and comfort, yes it’s a race bike but the full Synapse range from £599.99 up to £5999.99 is built to ensure maximum comfort and speed at all times.
Another plus on this bike is the cable actuated disc brake system, this style of brake is relatively new to road bikes but it seems to be taking a strong foot hold in the market, discs give you more power and greater modulation than standard road calipers, when riding on wet roads disc brakes have a huge advantage over the standard calipers. There’s no doubt the Synapse 105 at £999 is a good value bike with solid well thought out components in all areas.
The bike has an 11/32 cassette with a 52/36 chainset, this gear ratio should be enough to get cyclists of any level up even the steepest hills whilst also allowing you to keep pedaling on fast downhill runs.
Cannondale Synapse Disc 105
The Synapse aluminium range is mirrored by the Caad 8 bikes, these have the same specification as the Synapse bikes (minus the disk brakes) but they have a slightly more aggressive riding position with a lower front end, if you wanted an aggressive bike where speed was your primary concern then you be more suited to the Caad 8 range.
With four bikes from £599.99 to £949.99 the Caad 8 series have a bike to suit all budgets, the full range shares the same quality aluminium frame and light weight carbon fork, as the price increases you progress up the groupset range and the top two bikes come equipped with a slightly lighter wheel set.
Cannondale CAAD 8
Scott and Cannondale are both excellent brands that should be high on anybody’s list when looking at your first road bike.
Scott’s entry level bike is the speedster.
The Speedster has a nice medium geometry to it, it’s not a super aggressive race bike or a full comfort machine it’s a bike the ticks both boxes.
For 2016 Scott have included disc brakes in to the Speedster line up and the Speedster 30 disc is a stand out bike to us. It comes with a Tiagra groupset including chainset which really looks the part.
The 10 speed Tiagra groupset is virtually identical to the old 10 speed 105 groupset, a groupset that was commonplace on bikes up to £2000.
With a finishing kit by Syncros and a stunning paint scheme the Speedster 30 disc at £899 is a beautiful bike that should be considered by anyone.
Scott Speedster 30
Scott have also added flat bar options to the speedster range which can be a huge plus to those unsure about road handlebars, the flat bars certainly ad a level of stability and put the rider in a far more relaxed heads up position, ideal if you’re commuting through busy city streets or have postural issues.
The Scott Speedster 10 at £1049 may stretch the budget but for a bike that comes with Ultegra 11 speed rear derailleur and shifters we think this one bike that’s definitely worth a look!
Scott Speedster 10
At £549.99 the flat bar Speedster 50 is a fantastic choice as a comfort based entry level/fast commuter bike.
Scott Speedster 50
The 11/30 cassette and triple chainset offer a huge gear range ensuring even the very steepest hills shouldn’t pose too much of a challenge.
The Sora groupset is dependable and efficient, it’s common place on bikes at this price for a reason; it works.
The alloy frame and fork along with the Syncros finishing kit combine to make this £549 bike an extremely sensible option.
There’s no doubt whatever your budget Scott and Cannondale will have a bike in their range to suit you.