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Which bike? Warning "Road Content"

By Brian - Posted on 22 September 2008

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

The force from the dark side is just getting too strong. I have tried to resist for so long but I couldn't take it any more. Last weekend I took a couple for a test and I now need help Eye-wink.

I have never ridden road bikes before and have no idea on what ones to stay away from etc. My budget is about $2,500 for the bike so this will determine the spec and the two below are what I have come up with so far. I am looking for a more relaxed geometry so if there are other models I should look at please tell.

PS. I am telling myself this is just for when the trails are too wet to ride.

Cheers, Brian

2009 Avanti Cadent 1.0

Frame: ADT CER3 Carbon, Endurance Road Geo
Fork: ADT E3 Carbon Integrated w/ 1.5-1 1/8" Steerer
Front Derailleur: Shimano 105
Rear Derailleur: Shimano 105
Brake Levers: Shimano 105
Shifters: Shimano 105 20-Speed w/ Shimano Outer Casing
Crankset: Shimano R600 Compact 50/34
Brakes: Shimano 105
Hubs: Shimano R500 Wheelset
Cassette: Shimano 105 11-25T 10-Speed
Handlebar: Zero Attack Pro-SP 31.8mm
Grips: Zero Suede Tape
Handlebar Stem: Zero Attack Pro 31.8mm
Pedals: Shimano R-540 Clipless
Rims/Wheel Set: Shimano R500 Wheelset
Spokes: Shimano Stainless Steel
Tyres: Specialized Roubaix Pro 700 x 24 w/ Lightweight Tubes
Saddle: Zero Atom
Seat Post: Zero Attack Team Carbon 27.2mm
Bottom Bracket: Shimano Dura Ace Press Fit
Headset: Integrated 1.5-1 1/8" Taperset w/ carbon Spacer & Avanti Top Cap
Chain: Shimano 105

or the

Giant Defy Alliance Comp

frame Composite carbon fibre/ALUXX SL alloy blend
fork T-700 3K Composite Blade w/ alloy steerer
rear derailleur Shimano 105 10sp.
front derailleur Shimano 105 10sp.
shifters Shimano 105 STI 20 sp
crankset Shimano R600 Compact 34/50T
bottom bracket Shimano R600 Octalink integrated, outboard
chain Shimano 105 10sp.
cassette Shimano 105 10sp. 12-27T
brakes Shimano Sora Dual Pivot
brake levers Shimano 105
wheelset Mavic Aksium 20/24H wheelset
tyres Vittoria Zaffiro 700x25c
pedals Shimano R540 SPD-SL clipless Raceface Ride Anatomic/Raceface Ride
seat post C-Tech 3K composite w/2 position offset
saddle Fi'zi:k Pave' CX Sport W/Magnese rail
grips Velo cork gel w/gel comfort inserts


Check out Azzurri bikes, generally they are better specced and cheaper than most brands. I have the Primo, monocoque carbon frame, full Ultegra SL for around $2800, from Pedals Plus. theres the Azzurri website, and Pedals plus site.

Hi Brian,

I have a Giant very similar to the one above. I have had absolutely no problems with it since i bought it a year ago (and ~2500km later). It has very similar spec in general, although a few differences (brakes, wheels..). Perhaps with the end of year specials coming up, you could hold out for a 2008 model with an Ultegra group set, that has been discounted down to around the same price (~$2500). If that makes sense.

Also make sure you are fitted up for the right size and geometry and seat height etc very well. Because road cycling you tend to stay in the same position for a lot longer and that can exacerbate little niggles with backs and knees etc, more so than on your mtb (where you change position more regularly).

Welcome to the dark side.


Top decision Brian, they are both very nice looking bikes especially the Avanti.

Just one thing to be aware of is that they are both spec'd with compact crank sets, I don't know what gearing you are wanting to run but the compact setup would limit the use of standard road gearing 52/39 or 53/39 on the front.

Let us know when you get the bike so we get out for a ride.

ive been chipping away at my payments of the new malvern star top of the line oppy le mauco. Its probably one of the best specced bikes for its price ever! Its looks great and very european. Its had good reviews and although its only just out of your price range, there are lower models available. I got the best deal from fraser's cycles in carringbah. Check out the website

Definately check them out and talk to Ben, the owner. They're in MV. Ring and make sure he's there.
Have sent you a pm

A mate of mine just bought the Giant. He loves it and he's blowing me away each time we ride. He did have to change the seat though, a bit of a problem with numb nether regions......

I would say make sure the bike has good brakes, I have the older OCR Giant and it has really bad brakes. It is always in the back of your mind when flying down the hill at over 60km/h in traffic. Wheels do make a difference as well but only worry about if you want to race. wheels = $$$$$.
Dont worry about Bruce said about compact cranks I have them I love them. It basically means your lowest gear is 10-12% lower and your top gear is only 3-5% lower. I can still pedal my bike to over 80km/h with compact cranks. If you were going to race on a flat course then a standard crank might be better. You are still only as good as the engine pushing the pedals though.
Personally I dont like my giant cause I find the frame flexes to much. It is a big frame though and I do push it hard.
I would say if you cant pick a bike on its own, factor in the bike shop and there ability to fit you to the bike, servicing etc.

Welcome to the dark side!!!

Thanks for all the comments. Does having the compact cranks mean even if I changed the cranks I always need to go for a compact option?

As for the Malvern Star, I went to Dee Why bike shop but they cannot source the Lyon as the demand has been out of control. I was thinking of ringing around but this time I would like to stick to a local shop that can set me up properly. I just hope I can source one soon to get some riding in before the Gong ride early November.

You can change cranks to either standard or compact very easily these days.
Here is an interesting fourm on the use of compact cranks here

I will soon review a 2009 Avanti Cadent for Should take delivery in the next few weeks. If you're not in a rush, you can have a play with that when it comes in. Email me for more info. Otherwise I would only suggest buying brand-name carbon fibre frames - avoid the names you have never heard of - or test ride first and look out for frame flex.

I have no direct experience as my commuter is also a 26"er, but from comment I read on the web it appears the R500 wheels on the Avanti are not so well regarded. 550s would be a minimum spec if you want reasonable longevity from your wheels. Not sure where the Aksiums sit in comparison.

WRT the compact crankset, if you run the numbers on the ratios, 50/11 at 4.55:1 is actually taller than 53/12 at 4.42:1, so I'd not be concerned about running out of "legs" at the top end.

What it does for you is give you a wider range of gearing suitable for Sydney's terrain without having to go to a triple front chainring. It is at the expense, though, of a greater gap between the ratios. Compact would be my choice for the commute from AH to CBD and back.

I agree the 50t chain ring isn't such an issue, its the 34 that gets me, I cant think of anywhere in Sydney you would need such a gear. Every ones different though so if you like spinning fast the compact might be the way to go, if you like pushing bigger gears look for a standard crank set.

Oh & with the wheels they are both reasonable quality entry level & should be ok for many happy kms.

I'd kinda like one climbing from Bayview to West Head, but I've been called soft before. I'm running a 13-23 8 speed rear with 39-53 and the lack of bottom end really shows since my mate bought the Defy.

I'd go with Andy on this one and definitely check out Pedals Plus, the owner Ben is a great bloke to deal with and really knows his stuff.

I just got a road bike.. for Canberra. I rode both of those... then brought an 07 scott S10 speedster with full ultegra for under 2k.

I am leaning towards the Avanti but my main concern is how small the seat stays are.

Went for my first spin on the new malvern star tonight. All I can say is I've got a stiffy!(bike that is) after riding my trusty old steel road bike this thing is so bloody stiff and responsive. When I was getting out the saddle and powering the bike just shot forward like a rocket insead of flexing all over the place and soaking up all my energy. Go the carbon!
Bri, just listen to your heart and welcome to the dark side. All the bikes youre looking at are great for a first time roadie.
enjoy the shopping experience and see you on the black stuff soon.

Gazza, nice bike. I bet last night you couldn't keep your hands off it (also, I mean the bike).

Can't go past cell bikes for value. I have 2 cell bikes including a swift road bike in regular use for a year+ without issue. Anyone compared cell with other brands for quality?

But have you been measured for frame geometry?
I've been doing months of research on road bikes and have ended up with one I never even considered. The two I had narrowed my research down to were both too big for me. Maybe it's not so much of a problem for guys.

...Fraser Cycles, where Gazza bought his Oppy has great discounts. To give you an example...Woolys Wheels in Paddo retail the 2009 Scott CR1 Pro for $3799 and Fraser Cycles are doing the same bike for $3500.

Hi Anke, Supreme Cycles at Narrabeen measured me and have fitted me up testing different bikes and riding positions. I am actually on the border of the small & medium but I ended up going the medium to get the seat height closer to the handle bar height. I am very inflexible so I need the least extreme riding position as possible. I also reduced the stem length even though the standard one happened to be technically correct in length, it didn't feel right from what I am used to.

I test rode the Avanti Cadent this morning, one swipe of the credit card and she's mine. I took it out for a quick 27km spin this afternoon, very nice but so different considering I have never ridden a road bike before. All I need now is some lycra, shave my legs and I'm done.

My new toy

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