Adventure road bike for a newbie

BigMeatball

Active Member
Hello everyone

I am a complete newbie (haven't been on a bike for a decade) and I'm looking to buy my first bike.

What I'm looking for is a drop habdlebars bike that I can use on weekend club rides and for training for a triathlon (no commuting to work). Being based in Scotland with roads often wet and slippery and being a large rider (105kg), I have been advised to look for adventure road bikes with larger tires and high spokes count (in the 28-32 spokes region).

My budget is 8-900 tops.

What bike would fit the bill?

So far I've had my eyes on a few bikes:
- https://www.edinburghbicycle.com/genesis-cda-20-2020-adventure-bike
- https://www.edinburghbicycle.com/genesis-croix-de-fer-10-2019-cross-bike
- https://www.edinburghbicycle.com/specialized-diverge-e5-2020-adventure-road-bike (top of my budget and a colleague advised he'd never spend that kind of money on a bike that has shimano claris)
- https://www.evanscycles.com/cannondale-caadx-tiagra-2019-cyclocross-bike-EV338209
- https://www.evanscycles.com/bianchi-via-nirone-allroad-sora-2019-gravel-bike-EV360270

Any other bike I should be looking at and/or have you had any experience with any of the ones I've mentioned?

Thanks very much
 

rivers

How far can I go?
Location
Bristol
Go and test ride them and buy the one you enjoyed riding the most
 
OP
BigMeatball

BigMeatball

Active Member
Go and test ride them and buy the one you enjoyed riding the most
Yes I thought about that and definitely I'll do a test ride with a couple of bikes. Thing is, not being on a bike for over a decade, they're all going to feel weird at the beginning so figure out which one I enjoy the most is quite the task
 
Last edited:

vickster

Legendary Member
Merlin Malt with Tiagra (Although you’d have to travel to try out) with a strong discount down to £700

https://www.merlincycles.com/merlin-malt-g1-tiagra-gravel-bike-2020-147541.html

I like Genesis but the Croix de fer 10 will be pretty heavy

And the promax brakes won’t be good on the other so you’d want to budget for an upgrade to TRP Spyres as per the Croix (You may also want to on the Merlin but at least you get Tiagra)
 
Last edited:

Sharky

Veteran
Location
Kent
I would be a bit cautious. If this is really your first bike for over 10 years, you will find technology and frame geometry has changed considerably since the days of steel bikes and quill stems. £800+ is a lot to spend on a bike, only to find that you choose one too small/too big and the gearing all wrong etc.

Consider going cheaper or secondhand and give yourself time to consider what bike you really need.
 
OP
BigMeatball

BigMeatball

Active Member
Planet X have quite a few 'adventure bikes'.

PS Spoke count - 32 as a minimum, 36 probably better
Thanks. I think the spokes count is one of the things that confuse me the most. I just found the Cannondale Caadx owner's manual which says the weight limit is 150kg (136kg rider plus 13.6kg luggage). The bike has 28 spokes.
 

si_c

Veteran
Location
Wirral
Also worth having a look at is the Boardman ADV 8.8 - it's currently £640 in Halfords - and it has TRP Spyre brakes which are great for the money. It looks great to my eyes - it's got Shimano Sora, which is a very underrated groupset in my experience, and good gearing choices for anyone who is a new rider or lives in hilly areas.

Add the wide tires in and I reckon it's definitely worth a look.

Edit: it's also well under budget meaning you have more money for accessories. Take a look at the Cycle To Work scheme too if your workplace does it.
 

Cycleops

Guru
Location
Accra, Ghana
This is a very competitive sector of the market as its very popular right now. There are no poor choices here. Some might have components near the bottom end of groupset hierarchy but that doesn't mean they are bad or any of the brakes are bad because they are cable operated. I'd also choose 36 spokes as suggested by @fossyant above, certainly for the rear. I'd also go a steel frame but that's personal preference. The weight difference is minimal and you won't notice it. All will offer a relaxed and stable ride. Just go with your heart :smile:.
I'd try to buy locally if you can so if anything goes wrong or needs adjustment after a while (all retailers offer soon free first service) then you're near help.
 
Last edited:

Arjimlad

Tights of Cydonia
Location
South Glos
Having lived with a Giant Revolt 3 for a couple of years I would look for thru-axles for my next disc-braked bike in this category. I would try not to have QR axles again with discs. For that reason the Malt G1 looks good to me.

Watch out for weight too, my Giant is 12.5kg and I find it a tad heavy.
 
OP
BigMeatball

BigMeatball

Active Member
This is a very competitive sector of the market as its very popular right now. There are no poor choices here. Some might have components near the bottom end of groupset hierarchy but that doesn't mean they are bad or any of the brakes are bad because they are cable operated. I'd also choose 36 spokes as suggested by @fossyant above, certainly for the rear. I'd also go a steel frame but that's personal preference. The weight difference is minimal and you won't notice it. All will offer a relaxed and stable ride. Just go with your heart :smile:.
I'd try to buy locally if you can so if anything goes wrong or needs adjustment after a while (all retailers offer soon free first service) then you're near help.
Thanks for the good advice.

Seems to be a bit difficult (or at least I haven't seen any) to find adventure road bikes with wheels that have 36 spokes. I've seen a few with 32, but never 36. Which leads me to another question: would it make sense to go cheaper on the bike, maybe buy one that has an aluminium frame and then have a pair of wheels custom made? How much would they cost?
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Thanks. I think the spokes count is one of the things that confuse me the most. I just found the Cannondale Caadx owner's manual which says the weight limit is 150kg (136kg rider plus 13.6kg luggage). The bike has 28 spokes.
A 28 spoke wheel won’t collapse under you, but you may need to true the wheel or replace spokes more often than with 32 or 36

I don’t know whether many off the peg wheels on ready specced bikes have 36. I have similar wheels do the Merlin, am around 95kg and have had the rear trued once in maybe 3000 miles of rough roads and the occasional kerb drop off, with a rack and panniers on the back too
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
32 spokes are pretty standard. I've only got less on some hand built race wheels (28's) and some off the peg Mavics (Aksium and Ksyrium). Even MTB's are usually 32.

PS the PX is fab value.
 
Top Bottom