A new friend recently sent me a message:
“Hey Andreas – you run London Cyclist right? Can you recommend me a road bike for under £1000?”
It’s a good question. There is a dazzling amount of choice available. The £999.99 price point is particularly competitive, as it qualifies under the governments cycle-to-work scheme. If you have that kind of money to spend, the nice thing is that you can get a carbon frame road bike, which provides extra comfort and low weight.
Browsing through websites like Evans Cycles, you may find yourself wondering just what is the difference between bike A and bike B?
Fortunately, you’ve got your pal here Andreas who has researched the different options.
If you’re researching a carbon road bike purchase, start here!
Planet X Pro Carbon SRAM Rival Road Bike
Planet X have been winning praise for their £1000 carbon frame road bike for a while now and each year they keep making small improvements. Through careful selection of components, such as the SRAM groupset, you’ll get lightweight and excellent performance at the price.
Available through the Planet X website, you’ll have to do a small amount of assembly yourself when the bike arrives. If you can’t get the adjustments quite right, then a visit to the bike shop for a tune up might be an idea.
Based in Sheffield, Planet X has been building a dedicated following in the cycling world for the past 25 years. The Pro Carbon Road Bike was recently featured in the Guardian who were impressed by the value for money offered. Their review is really worth a read if you are shopping for a road bike at this price point.
Ribble R872 Carbon Road Bike
Another beautiful carbon frame bike that really provides excellent value for money is the Ribble r872.
Rigid, responsive, light and certain to turn some heads, you’ll squeeze every penny of value out of your £1000 here. In fact, without any customisations, the grand total comes to £921.95. Giving you a little extra cash if you wish to upgrade one of the components, which you can do through the Ribble website.
BikeRadar gave the bike a 4/5 and it featured in Cycling Plus magazine’s bike of the year feature.
This is a really serious contender, worth looking at.
Boardman Road Team Carbon Bike 2014
At £1000, you’d be hard pressed to beat the value. Even second hand, these bikes are still selling at £500-£600.
They are sold exclusively by Halfords in store and through their website. This has some conveniences, such as the fact that they’ll build the bike for you in store and they’ll also service it after six weeks.
Depending on who you ask, you’ll hear a mixture of opinions on Halfords. There are horror stories of badly assembled bikes, but there are also plenty of satisfied customers.
A handy chart on the product page will let you know what size frame you’ll need.
The Boardman frequently wins awards in head-to-head shootouts in cycling magazines. If I was shopping around for a road bike, this would be my first choice.
£1000 from Halfords.com
You can get cheaper road bikes, such as the excellent B’Twin Triban for example at £350, but if you can stretch your budget, then a full carbon road bike is a real pleasure to ride and you will notice the difference each day. The three options above offer incredible value for money.
I’d be interested in hearing from you in the comments below if there’s another carbon road bike beneath £1000 that you’d personally recommend.
A special thank you to Hanry from Lunar Cycles for all his advice while I was writing this piece. His years of experience in the bike industry really helped me pick out these top choices.
If you do buy a £1000 road bike and will be leaving it unattended around London, I’d recommend bicycle insurance. I tend to use either ETA or Protect Your Bubble.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.