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Which bike should you get if you have a grand to spend?
Got a grand to spend and not sure which bike to get? This is the review for you...
Posted Jan 25, 2012 by Equipment News
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Today we’ve got the ultimate bike group test for you, where we test and review in brief, four bikes that come in at or around the £1,000 mark.
The government's Cycle to Work maximum price point is £1,000 so if you are planning on taking advantage of this scheme and have a grand to spend which bike should you buy?
First up, we have the Ribble Sportive Bianco - £1073
The Ribble is just over the upper price limit but it is still worth mentioning because the Government scheme does allow you to top up the cost of your bicycle and if you are looking for an all-rounder and considering pushing the boat out a bit then this is the one for you.
There isn’t much you can say that’s bad about the Sportive Bianco: Ribble is renowned for blending quality with value for money and this one certainly doesn’t disappoint, it has great ride quality, a very light carbon frame and is the lightest out of all the cycles we tested in this review.
If you have a fairly sizeable journey to work or are planning on covering a lot of miles on two wheels then the Ribble is probably the one for you.
Ribble have a showroom in Preston so if you are nearby then dropping in would be a smart move. Most of their bikes however are sold via mail order so get on their website and order a brochure.
Cinelli Experience Veloce - £999
The Veloce is priced just within the £1k price limit for our group test and this model continues Cinell’s reputation for racing heritage and premium quality cycles. The Cinelli offers a very smooth ride which seems to improve the faster you go, it has a great braking power thanks to the latest groupsets and the calipers help to enhance the overall ride experience.
Critics castigated the cycling marque for the predecessor to the Veloce but I think it is fair to say Cinelli have made up for this with the new model.
Condor Italia - £999.99
By the skin of its teeth the Condor makes it under the £1k price limit but in our opinion this bike is worth every penny. It is certainly not the lightest and this compromises some of the speed potential of the bike but the ride quality is superb and is incredibly stable which more than makes up for any shortfall in the speed stakes.
I think another key aspect of this bike is the fact that it is winter ready, unlike many of the other bikes we tested, the Condor comes with mudguards. Perhaps less relevant as we head into the warmer months although when you live in Britain I think it is fair to say that all our possessions need to be winter ready – you never know when rain is going to strike in August after all.
The only downside to the Condor is the gear system which if I am being honest may not suit all tastes with its double-tap mechanism and a compact chainset that has a wide spread of gears from 11 to 32 teeth.
Fuji Team 1.0 - £999.99
If you are looking for a cycle that offers supreme comfort then perhaps the Fuji isn’t going to be your cup of tea. The seatpost could politely be described as uncomfortable and the paint job as dated but if you are looking for raw ride coupled with high-spec components then this just might be the choice for you.
The Team 1.0 has a fairly light-weight aluminium frame, shifters by Shimano and high-end brake calipers from Oval Concepts. You cannot fault this bike for the quality and choice of components – especially considering Oval is known for ultra-high end time trial equipment so to see their work on a sub-£1k bike is surprising to say the least.
It is a shame that Fuji haven’t managed to make more of this bike given that the ‘ingredients’ have the greatest of potential but for me the ride comfort and average speed capabilities just don’t cut the mustard when compared with the others in the group.