Choosing a carbon road bike


Well-Known Member
Hi all

Am looking at entry level carbon road bikes, in the £1500 price bracket. Have the following on my list at the moment and am in the process of getting round to test ride them all:

Kuota Kharma
Trek Madone 4.5
Orbea Onix
Specialized Tarmac Elite
Boardman Pro Carbon

From what I can tell, there's nothing glaringly obvious between them - specs are of a similar standard and I plan to choose mainly on feel after test ride. I'd like to know, however:

1. If anyone has any recommendations for other makes/models I should look at.

2. If there is actually anything I'm missing between specs/value for money etc. The Orbea, for example, seems to be about the best value (circa £1200 on the net). The Trek is at the top end of the price range - is that because of the name or does it also account for the quality?

I've ridden Trek, Specialized and Kuota so far and the Kuota came out on top for me, purely for ride quality/comfort, and I will no doubt choose on this criteria but, as I say, just looking for a few more recommendations/thoughts on the choice available.




New Member
I would also add the Cannondale Six to the list - gets cracking reviews.
I have two Cannondale road bikes (Six13 and Synapse) and couldn't recomend highly enough


As long as I breathe, I attack.
Boardman`s always get a lot of spec for the price and cycling plus always rates them very highly.
Nichole Cooke used one at the Olympics .

At the end of the day you have to try a bike for feel and fit as they all have slightly different geometries.
The Onix was on my shortlist as was the tarmac and the Madone and I couldnt get a test ride on the Boardman so I discounted it.

The Tarmac and the Madone were both too harsh for me and I ended up with a Spesh Roubaix SL based on its more relaxed geometry which from memory the Onix is similar.

The only way I made up my mind was a test ride. I also had a fit when I was trying to properly work out my size which I would also recommend if you are not sure. They are all great bikes so good luck with your purchase !


New Member
Kuota Kharma is a very good bike, I had one a couple of years ago and it was great (and red)...

Something I would also look towards is a Cube, I had a ride of one the other day and was more than impressed... IF you can get on one for a test ride I'd say do it....

For me though, the boardman seemed a bit 'dead' on the road when i rode one. I do really like the Giant bikes at the moment (not sure if any fit the budget, but they are great)...

I am looking around the same bracket at the moment to get on something a bit better than my BMC (105 alloy).


crappy member
South West
I bought a Focus Cayo 105 (Handmade in Germany). It has a carbon frame and fork and shimano 105 groupset. Got mine for £960 and they are still available for £1050.

I'm very pleased with it and they get very good reviews.

The saddle needed changing but otherwise it's hard to fault for the money.

edit: forgot to say it doesn't come with pedals either.
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