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Can you help me?

Aug 14, 2009
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I wish to buy my first legitimate road bike and have a budget of around £600 (I plan on spending more maybe next year if things go well and i want to get a second higher performance bike for racing).

I have seen two bikes that both look reasonably good. These are the Focus Variado Compact 2009:


and the Boardman Road Bike Comp:


I can get both for £599. My plan is to mainly train (approx 12hrs per week) and do some racing on them. As i have said if i enjoy it then i will upgrade to a better bike next year and use these bikes for my work commute and training etc.

Which one would you go for? Are there other bikes on the market which are better for the same price? I am very new to this and i don't know the difference between a lot of the spcifications etc so i would appreciate any help possible. :confused:

Thanks in advance.:)
Jul 16, 2009
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both bikes great but the boardman has full racing geometry so you could start racing on it with just a wheel up grade.

the industry wants everyone to spend 3000 on a bike, and they are lovely, but the boardman bike is 19.6lb- that won the tour 10 years ago! so will do as a training machine down the line if you get into the beautiful sport.

just make sure the fit is good. if you get it right first time you are laughin
specialized bikes are great for beginners (their site has good guidelines on set up) with easy fitting AND available form a local independent bike shop where advice is priceless.

Mar 10, 2009
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Here are some other names in your price range I guess ( I quickly looked them up from a test in a magazine). They were around 800E in 2007 or 2008:

Bergamont Dolce 4.7
Cube Aerial or Peloton
Ghost Race GSR 4900 T
Hai Tour Pro
Poison Cyanit
Stevens San Remo

Cube/Sensa/Focus/Bulls (105) are sometimes even specced with a full 105 group, which is better than the Tiagra group. Don't know too much about the brands I didn't put in bold, but the ones in bold have good price/quality.

In any case, do a bunch of test rides on the ones you are interested in, and get a proper fit...


ive been shopping around (secretly without the wife noticing).. 10-15 years since i rode properly but being back on the crappy touring bike has me wanting a road bike...

been looking around and for my budget which is, decent bike so i dont feel like an ****, decent bike that i can put some mileage into, but not decent enough they i get the itch to start riding seriously again, the boardman is the best you can get (at the price).. i seriously havnt been able to find anything close to the quality in the £600 range

now im just waiting for father christmas
Jul 14, 2009
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This may sound dumb to some. I would look to buy a used bike with Ultegra w your budget. Lots of people buy bikes thinking they will ride it all the time and they realize that the thing has been on the road 5 times and sell it. Most modern bicycles are very reliable and of similar quality at each price point. If medium to high end bikes are cared for they are in need of a chain and cassette to make them work like new. Going up by 200 euros gets you a better bike no question but used is an option that works for lots of people. You will be very happy once you make the jump between 105 and Ultegra or another brands equiv.