New (aero maybe) bike advice

Based in UK and max budget of £2,000. After new road bike for fun rides and also for races (mainly draft legal duathlons/triathlons). Currently have a Triban 3 which bought new for £300 in 2012 and has never missed a beat!

Fancy a new bike though and something racey/aero… any ideas?
Would rather rim brakes since have some nice rim brake wheels I’d like to use plus I find discs (on my CX bike) far more hassle to set up/maintain. However would consider discs but preference is rim.

Would also prefer Shimano group set over Sram (again have Sram on my CX bike, have used both…but prefer Shimano). Totally happy with 105 and would have 105 and better frame/wheels etc over higher group set…However obviously would accept Ultegra etc.

Current considerations…
Giant Propel (lowest spec model within budget)
Giant TCR (fairly low spec model within budget)
Planet X ec130 aero bike
Ribble 833 aero (but only do disc)

Any other suggestions?
I’m 6ft 2 so need large/58 frame so ‘special deals’ are generally no use to me since normally only on XS or XXL frames!

Want more race geometry rather than endurance .

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If you’re going to upgrade the wheels, I’d go Propel or TCR, though they are very different bikes. How much climbing are you going to be doing?

Not loads (as generally rides and races are.about 60-90 mins) but some. How much aero really is the propel vs the TCR? Sounds like TCR is a ‘nicer’ bike to ride

I’ve got a TCR and a Venge. The Venge is faster, there’s no question about it. It will likely be the same for the Propel. But compared to the TCR, the Venge feels relatively stale to ride (and so did the Propel when I test rode one). The 2021 TCRs did improve their aero profiles slightly and saved a bit of weight (common misconception is that TCR’s are ‘light’ bikes - my Venge is lighter than TCR).

Because of your stated purpose for the bike it makes sense to get something aero. You can get good bang for buck with both the 883 and Propel in the second hand market.

Get a TCR as a second bike :wink:

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2 bikes are NOT an option unfortunately! Any experience of ec130 from planet x vs the 2 giant bikes?

Does your employer have a bike to work scheme and if not would they let you set one up? Super easy to do. That £2k budget goes a lot further if it’s net of any tax!

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Firstly I HATE borrowing money or having anything in finance…in my mind if I can’t afford to buy it outright then shouldn’t buy it or save until I can (I made exception with the house mortgage!).

Also I work from home so not eligible for my work scheme…as no work to ride too!

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This is a fair point. The TCR is the better all-rounder, but for the context you state the Propel will likely be faster. It’s the same with any aero bike, really; to a greater or lesser extent, you’re getting more speed on the flat/slight inclines, at the expense of handling and weight (usually, at the same price).

A 7kg ‘race’ bike with aero features and some good 45mm section wheels is probably the closest thing to ‘fastest all-round bike that also handles well’, but they ain’t 2k…

However, a quick search on eBay turns up some very good looking Scott Foils, Giant Propels and even the odd Venge for around the 2k mark. A lot of people are looking to offload rim brake bikes at the mo, it seems…

2nd hand is indeed an option but ideally test ride them first if possible and need to be local etc. Agree Propel likely faster…but if not much in it then TCR likely nicer on training rides…and only do 1-3 draft legal events a year…hmmmm???

With the lockdown coming, you’d need to move fast, then, if you wanted second hand. I’d be reluctant to buy a bike second hand I hadn’t at least seen in person, and I’d prefer to test ride (though I’ve sold 4 or 5 on eBay and not once has a person asked to test ride :man_shrugging:)

2nd hand always carries a risk, and you usually don’t get any comeback unless something was obviously mis-advertised, but that’s why you can often get a great deal. Of the bikes I’ve bought 2nd hand (loads over the last 2 decades), I can think of 2 that were dogs and ended up costing me a lot of money to put right. One was utterly brilliant and an unbelievable deal (to the extent that I sold it at a profit 18 months later). Most were pretty much as described/expected. But that’s the risk you run.

Ultimately you need to decide what the bike will (primarily) be for and go from there.

Nb - I noticed that you don’t like credit, but if you do buy second hand, it is often better to pay with either paypal or a credit card (then just pay it off in full immediately), as at least that way you get some buyer protection.

Yes, I’d always use PayPal (business) for anything 2nd hand etc.

I’m hesitant for 2nd hand for the reasons mentioned above, unless from someone I know or can see it/test ride first etc. Would never buy 2nd hand unseen

All I’d say is that if you’re fairly confident about what to look for, and ask the right questions, then it’s worth looking if there is something local that especially catches your eye. If there’s a bloke 10 miles down the road selling exactly what you want at a price that seems sensible (i.e. not excessive nor too good to be true) then I’d personally message them and ask if I could come and have a look. You can always walk away.

But nothing beats buying from a LBS for peace of mind!

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I generally agree with you in terms of finance, only thing I’ve ever borrowed money for is the house. If it was just a loan I would never do the bike to work scheme, but the fact that it’s taken out of your gross salary not net is a huge benefit. E.g. A £3000 bike ends up costing you less than £2k if you’re a 40% tax payer. And no requirement at all to actually use the bike to ride to work. Despite the name it’s basically just a government subsidy to encourage more people onto bikes and ebikes.

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But technically you have to use at least 50% of the bike use for commuting…which as I work from home means not eligible.

Plus I’d still keep £2k budget…and then take the saving!:joy:

Technically this is true, but I have never, ever heard of anyone checking. But as you work from home, that would be quite a hard sell :rofl:

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Yep, nobody ever checks…but my employer (understandably) says I’m not eligible for their scheme as no commute.

I think leaning towards the TCR so nicer ‘all round’ bike and do I honestly need the extra few seconds from the Propel…even in races…that actually mean nothing in the grand scheme of life…probably not! Also with aero improvements the 2021 TCR is likely similar aero to Propel from few years back anyway! Also bit cheaper than Propel for equal model/spec. Still not sure about Planet X one though but wouldn’t be able to test drive that before purchase.

Just been offered from lbs a 2019 frame rim brake Felt AR1 which they will make up with a 105 group set and basic training wheels for £2000 (GBP)…any reviews opinions on this bike?

Meh…doesn’t seem like that great of a deal, TBH (especially with rim brakes).

The rim brakes are my insistence…I told them only interested in rim brakes. Don’t want to get into argument on rim vs disc! Lol