Paint, wheels or group set?

So, which order of priority do these come in? I’m looking for a new road bike to take me into the disk era, used for club rides and training but near 50 I’d like it to be at the “nice bike” end of the scale.

My choices

Paint - Bianchi Oltre XR3. Beautiful paint job and Ultegra only, but also cheap Alu wheelset reported to give a dull ride, I can’t afford a replacement at RRP

Group set - A Scott Addict RC with Di2. A much more “dull” looking bike, Di2, yet average wheels and looks

Wheels - a Vitus CRS - AXS, Reynolds Ar29 but well, it’s Vitus, so it “cheaper brand” albeit UCI approved so perhaps a bit too racy for my needs.

Then finally we have the Giant TCR Ultegra. No electric gears but a otherwise a pretty decent. package, again not a boutique name.

A minefield, what should the priority be?

When you say “average wheels” on the Scott which wheels are you talking about? What model year Scott?

Hard call!!! Not 3 IMO
Between 1 & 2 for me
How long after the purchase would you be able to get yourself a new set of wheels?

Really depends on whether to go for the pedigree of the Bianchi or the sweet sweet electronic shifting.
Looking at pictures of the two bikes, the scott is less than attractive… so option 1 is my vote

The Scott would be the 2021 model with Dt1800.

Edit I should also say I’ve found a shop selling a discounted Oltre that would allow me £850 for some decent carbon wheels, although I’m not sure they can actually deliver the bike at that price, I’m waiting for an email replay.

Otherwise the wheels are likely to come 8 months to a year later.

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I have the Bianchi and the wheels aren’t that bad to be honest. It’s a lovely bike but it could never be described as good value for money. If your primary concern is having a ‘nice’ bike, then it’s definitely a head turner. My mate has an Addict and every time we go out together, someone will comment on my Bianchi. It annoys him no end haha.


If you look at that Bianchi Oltre and feel the love, then get that. Get another set of wheels later.

Giants are reportedly very well made frames and come with an exceptional warranty in the US.

I think the Scott RC with the integrated cables looks pretty slick. They do seem to have 10 different RC models so it’s not clear which one I’m looking at.

The Vitus would be my last choice.

Personally, I always go with the frame I love and then hang parts on it.


Have you considered Canyon?

Yes, an Endurace Aero. I’m concerned they seem to be in the market for a Buy Out currently though.

Which one speaks to you? Sounds like the Bianchi, to me. You won’t noticed the wheels, I bet, and you can save up for a year and upgrade them later. Mechanical Ultegra is pretty damn good, IMO.


Thanks for the replies. Yes my hearts is with the bianchi.

But the wider question - what’s the best compromise? Accepting I can’t have it all, do I accept a lower spec frame, group set or wheels?

I’d love electric gears, but mechanical Ultegra is reported a very good so is it by default the wheels that are the first compromise? Or should I keep searching for Di2 within my financial range?

Paint and looks - you’ve got to enjoy looking at it before you set off on each ride, and you can always upgrade wheels later if you really need to.


Just pick by the feel! Electric shifting is not a big deal (have etap but also like riding Rival on my crux) and you can change the wheels in a year

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I don’t have much experience with high end or electronic groupsets but I have never been shifting on my bike (R7020 groupset) and thought that it was a limiter to my performance. I think anything beyond R7000 or R8000 mechanical is marginal improvements. I am pretty interested in Di2 but if I were to buy a new bike I think I would rather save money on the bike and get mechanical shifting and put that money into new wheels.

Yeah most bikes will upgrade groupsets before upgrading the wheelsets (as you move up a manufacturer’s line-up). I think this has a started to change though as more companies move to create their own wheels (e.g. Specialized and Roval).

Most bikes these days are so close in terms of performance that I think you should prioritize whatever will excite you the most. So if that is electronic shifting then find a Di2 bike. If that is a sweet looking celeste Bianchi then go that direction. Also, it is almost always cheaper to upgrade a groupset or wheels than it is to upgrade a frame.

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You can always upgrade the wheels later…you can’t change how a bike moves you unless you buy a new one.

One thing I have learned over the years that if you compromise on what you really want, you usually end up regretting it.

Just my $.02…


This. So much.

Buy once, and upgrade what you can.
You won’t be able to change the way your bike looks.
It’s prohibitively expensive to upgrade groupsets, but doable.
Wheels are the easiest thing to move up from. Plus having 2 sets of wheels DOES make sense, at least, in the “I can convince my wife it makes sense” kind of way.


I’d also say go for the frame that speaks to you the most. Otherwise you might find yourself thinking “if only I had …” some time later.

Other than that: you are aware that the bikes you’re talking about are pretty different in terms of their fit, aren’t you?
I find GIants TCRs to be pretty long and low. In contrast to that, Canyons Endurace is pretty much the opposite.
And while both of them are great bikes, each has their purpose. Make sure you buy the model that suits your way of riding (and suits the amount of stack/reach that you need). Especially if you want to go for a very nice bike that will last a long time I’d want to make sure the fit is bang-on.

So my two cents in here would be: before you go for the celeste that makes your heart beat faster… make sure its the right model. There are other nice celeste bianchis as well. After all, a nice fitting frame looks a lot better than a frame with a poor fit.

Frame first because everything else can be replaced with better parts later, and old parts sold to recoup some of the cost. I bought my Emonda mostly because I loved the color (it’s bright yellow). Upgraded from r6800 to 8050 and sold the old Ultegra. Bought carbon wheels and sold my aluminum ones. Got a one piece carbon bar stem and donated my old stuff to a friend. Painting frames voids warranty for just about every brand I know of, and you can’t upgrade to better carbon, so start with the frame and upgrade the peripherals over time

Thanks everybody, I think the Bianchi it is.

Sure. I’ve bean comparing the reach, stack an other measurements with my current bike, the 57cm XR3 (my bike is a 56) is basically 3mm lower but 5mm closer at the front end, otherwise not much different. Bearing in mind I haven a road oriented gravel bike ( a Hydro gravel bike with 50/34 and 35mm Panaracers) for winter/foul weather training, I did actually start with the Infinito as something more relaxed, but realised I do enjoy the competitive nature of a racier bike, and the Countervail addresses some longer ride comfort issues - hence the XR3.

I actually do have another option, and that is to keep my 7.3kg, 50mm carbon shod 105 10 speed rim brake bike and save money by upgrading to Ultegra 11 speed. I do like this bike a lot…



Di2 is overrated (:boom:) and shouldn’t determine your decision, I would make the best frame your no.1 priority, followed by wheels.

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On Di2, I tried it and myself was not massively won over. You have to try it yourself, most certainly rave about it, but it’s not a given.

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