Get something that fits well but if you have the budget get some decent wheels rather than a fancy frame/gears.
Trouble is with Rose and Canyon, whilst they make great frames and offer a good package, they're not good for a first road bike as you can't try them out before you buy. I tend to avoid the big brands like Specialized, Giant and Trek in favour of something a bit different but the fact is that those big brands are available everywhere so you can easily get a test ride. Most of us here know exactly how long they want their effective top tube (I even know how tall I want the head tube!), but a first time buyer needs to experiment.
@Ollie this bike has a famously good frame, good components, looks dead cool, unlimited upgrade potential and you can easily get a test ride at your nearest Evans Cycles. Would also leave you a bit left in the budget to put towards some new wheels in the future.
I agree with @SamuelD, for a first road bike it would be best to test ride them. The CAAD10 or the Synapse would both be great choices.
@SamuelD, @DanM I agree, I think I'll have to put the Canyon aside as a bike upgrade for years to come. For now you're all right, the fit is super important (especially as at the moment I get a bit of knee pain after 50 miles from presumably a bad fit). Still hoping to get down to Swift this weekend, though of course I managed to schedule a ride to Windsor when I should have been shopping... oops.
Thanks for the CAAD10 recommendation, that has actually been on my list of bikes to check out. It's a bit of a token "first bike" bike, but that's probably for good reason.
Also, just want to say thanks for so much great discussion here - if anything it's validated my decision to become a member. Y'all seem like a great bunch :)
Just got back from a slightly extended lunch break - tried out a Cannondale Synapse and Supersix - both super fun to ride! Also tried a Scott which felt just slightly too long, but I'm not quite sure. Going back on Monday, will probably prepare the bank account. Exciting!
They might be able to swap the stem for something slightly shorter, or put it higher up- both of which would make the reach shorter.
And to be even more awkward...take a look at the potential cost benefit of building your own bike (or paying someone to build it!). I've just put together a Canyon Ulimate CF SL + Ultegra + components + bike build for much cheaper than the Canyon website offers 'pre-built'...leaving a bit of spare cash for some carbon wheels.
Does require a bit more patience and research, but worth it IMO.
@Will_S I think that's a great idea, but maybe once I already know what a good size frame is. For now, there's so much subjectivity research alone probably won't be able to answer the real questions I have. I'm keeping it in mind for the obvious next bike (yea, I'm being realistic...)
@SamuelD We actually measured the stem and it's the same on all of them, so not sure exactly what was making it feel less comfortable. I wondered if the frame itself was bigger. Will check that out on Monday when I pop back.
Could be that, due to the frame's geometry, the effective top tube - the length of the imagined horizontal line between the top of the head tube to the seatpost - the reach was actually greater. This is often the case with racier frames so you're more stretched out and aerodynamic.
Manufacturers rather unhelpfully usually list the frame size by the length of the seat tube which is an irrelevant measurment as you can easily move the saddle up or down.
See you all at a ride soon ;)
And I've just seen your post on Reddit (where I only lurk) - the stroke on the 105 levers is adjustable. Lift up the front of the hood above the 105 logo and there's a tiny screw in a dark hole in the centre, which you can tighten with a 2mm allen key to push the lever closer to the drop bar.
Oh wow, so there is! Now I just need to learn how to loosen the brake cable tension, but with that screw adjusted it looks considerably more comfortable. Thanks @GrahamP!
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