New road bike advice - UK

Hi all, looking to replace my old road bike - after something quite racey/aero - rarely ride much longer than 90-120 mins and like to go hard. All my races are usually around an hoiur or less and never really have time for longer rides so race geometry and aero rather than all day comfort and endurance. Budget…around £1800 her in UK.

Also I want CALIPER brakes - yes I know discs are the future etc etc BUT I never really ride in the rain, I find calipers easier to work with AND (most importantly) I have several sets of nice wheels I plan to put on this bike and can’t afford to replace them with disc ones! If I was starting from scratch then likely would go disc, but once got few sets of decent wheels I want to stick with caliper. Also would consider SRAM but ideally Shimano (105 or Ultegra, easy with either option)

With that in mind any ideas? Ones I’m considering are:

Planet X EC-130 with Ultegra - £1800 -

Van Rysel RCR 900 CF with 105 - £1500 -

Wiler Centro Air 1 with 105 - £1750 -

Anyone got any of these? Any other options? Cheers

I’d take a Wilier of the three listed based on discussions with a LBS although they don’t know the other two. I know the Van Rysel would not work for me with their seat tube angle, it’s also got the highest stack for my required size although no more than my current bike.

To steep or too slack an angle. Stack maybe too high for aggressive race bike you think?

Too slack for me (low angle number) and my bike is a Madone H1.5 geometry so I certainly wouldn’t say the stack is too high for an “aggressive race” bike. Just thought I’d mention that is the highest stack is all.

A few thoughts:

  1. Two of those bikes are 50/34, which is not particularly highly geared. I am not fast and ride a 52 or 53/11. And mine is not an aero bike.
  2. Watch out for crank length. I don’t know how tall you are, but the P-X was showing a 172.5 crank for any size of bike in the spec. The trend is smaller, and you can find hundreds of 175 and 172.5 cranks on ebay, but 165 is lite rocking horse stuff. Changing crank can be expensive.
  3. I agree with you on existing wheels. (I am the same)
  4. Never heard of Van Rysel. Might be fine… might… (it is not brand snobbery - just unfamiliarity)
  5. Have you consider second hand? Mate picked up an S-works for £2k with dura ace wheels from a LBS. (There is a S-works 2016 venge on ebay for £1700, with Utlegra). (Just an indication and it is NOT mine I hasten to add).
  6. You can end up spending extra getting the right saddle, etc. as opposed to what they offer.

Just some thoughts…


One of the lads in our club races on an EC130 and he loves it. Another good friend of mine had one too - they’re a cracking bike for the money…

Beat a load of far more expensive bikes on a test too.

Van Rysel is the new Decathlon range of hi end bikes - I’ve seen them in the flesh as I work in Sheffield and they look stunning.

Wilier - again good bikes.

Maybe aim for best fit and use bike.geo to try and figure that out.

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I’ve had a Triban before (in fact my current road bike is a Triban 3) and always been really pleased with it so no brand snobbery here. I’d ideally have 175mm cranks since I have a 175mm crank power meter and must admit the Wiler looks nice - that’s favorite at moment . Like the Planet X…just want to be able to change cranks etc.

Sensa Guilia from Merlin might be an option as is there Nittro. A few overs to consider the Dolan Rebus and Tifosi Auriga all seem to review quite well.

Actually yes I was eyeing up a couple of Sensa bikes last year - think it’s a Dutch brand. Seem good value to.
I’m still kicking myself for missing a half priced Look at Merlin last year. It was gorgeous but then I love my new Canyon. :grin::+1:t2:

Not ridden one but seen a lot around - i like the look of it.


I’ve got a relative who rides an Ec130 and loves it. I also ride a Holdsworth which is from the same company and it’s flawless. Can’t fault them one bit. Can’t say much about the other two but if you go with a Planet X bike you won’t be disappointed. After sales is great as well, I had a faulty derailleur which they replace free of charge in 2 days. Can’t fault that for service.

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Really like the EC130…only issue is 172.5 cranks would need to be replaced for my power meter, and ideally would have Shimano 105 to save cost and they only do Ultegra…which makes it more expensive than the Wilier…unless someone can sell me on SRAM!

What about


Usually you can spec some bits on the planet x bikes, like stem lengh and saddle, probably also cranks. You can play with it on their website, but it might also be worth giving them a call.

I’ve bought four bikes of them and all have been great, can’t beat them for spec/price (usually, atm all their prices are up by quite a bit…)

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Agreed, if the priority is performance for shorter rides and races would definitely consider aluminium. CAAD bikes are great, as are the Allez Sprint which is maybe a little more aero. Or buy a frameset like the Bowman Palace ( and build it up. Bit more hassle but then you get exactly what you want so can spec it with aero handlebars, deep wheels, etc if it’s for racing, which you won’t typically get at that price point for a stock bike.


Well if you get Ultegra on the bike from Planet X for the sake of saving £50-60 on a 105 power meter I would rather save up the extra money and have the Ultegra group set. I know the difference between 105/Ultegra is weight and very minimal but it’s still a better group set and seems to hold better value on the used market.

To be honest if it comes with Ultegra I’d probably sell it and replace with 105 and bag the profit! Lol

Another Alloy option is the Kinesis Aithein Evo I do own one there very nice bikes. They revised the geo on the 2020 versions and also takes upto a 30c tyre so comfortable to.

Might be a bit late to the show…

EC130 - A few guys from my club have it and rate it. I took one for a brief test ride, but only to test the SRAM eTap system. My first time on an aero bike too, so didn’t have anything to compare it to.

Cento1AIR - The reason I test rode the above is because I ordered the Cento1AIR with eTap. It’s my first proper road bike (making exception to my gravel bike) and so far I love it. Found the ride very comfortable; the rear-end more forgiving than my alu gravel bike in fact, and having seen both the EC130 and this up close, the Cento1AIR looks better, but that’s all subjective. FYI I also ordered mine from Merlin.

Can’t comment on the Van Rysel.

If you know your measurements then you really can’t beat the second hand market (unless you’re not interested in used).

After selling some other bits that were included in the sale my Foil has set me back £1000.

Build includes:

  • Ultegra Di2
  • £1800 RRP mavic wheelset
  • £500 integrated 1 piece bar and stem

Have you got access to cycle to work scheme? A 2k voucher on that would mean you repay £1360 roughly. Depends on income.