Hey @CliveR, can only echo what's been said above. Interestingly I was in exactly your shoes only half a year ago, and the club gave me lots of amazing advice. Maybe you want to have a read through the discussion back in June: http://forum.islington.cc/conversations/269357/?offset=25#comment12355745
Fast forward to now, I'm very happy with my purchase. I got a Cannondale Synapse with Shimano 105 components, not knowing what would really happen. I got completely hooked with cycling (and am still beyond obsessed). The bike has grown with me well, and I've learn to to (badly) upgrade components and do basic maintainence, my fitness has upgraded as I've learnt how to train (mostly from advice in this very club), and it's been a bike that's versatile enough for all manner of riding - long rides, short intense sessions at Regent's Park, and this year I started racing on it.
In short, I recommend stretching your budget as far as you can - both with the bike and clothing. You might be surprised as to just what will happen, and as they say: buy cheap, buy twice.
© Islington Cycling Club, powered by microcosm.
Report a problem
"You will always be in our hearts and on our roads." - @Giro d'Italia on Michele Scarponi