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In September last year, after a bit of advice here, I bought a Felt F95 (2012 model) from Wiggle for £438 (RRP of £650). Carbon forks, Sora gear etc. Cracking deal. It is a nice bike if you can get a similar deal.
I've now been to several shops and have my certificate. I think I've narrowed it down to a choice between Decathlon's Triban 7 and the Felt F or Z 95. The Triban has a lot of kit for the money but they don't let you ride it outside. I think I'd also have to change the head stem but that doesn't add a great deal of cost. I'll be trying the Felt's out on Saturday.
One other shop owner suggested I spend all my certificate on the Specialized Secteur Sport, the main reason being because it has a carbon rear end. I've checked the specs online and it only mentions a carbon fork. Does anybody have this years Secteur Sport to confirm how much carbon it has? I was tempted at the time but considering it's £200 more than the Felt I'm not sure it's worth it. Any thoughts?
Have a look at this site.
Look at the reviews for them.
Don't get too hung up on how much carbon a bike has
For a grand you can get
Carbon frame, complete sora or mostly tiagra group set,some entry level wheels and basic finishing kit
Ally frame, Complete tiagra, mostly or all 105 group set, entry level wheels, some slighly better finishing kit.
I also bought the btwin Triban 5 and the wifey bought the Triban 3 from decathlon, both great bikes, both very robust and feel quite light, did a very hilly 100km sportive a couple of weeks ago and flew up the hills like a winged banshee. Decathlon now do a new line one is around £600 and a full carbon job for £800ish, I am very impressed with the triban 5, well worth £500 and Ive had a go on the triban 3, hard to tell apart (apart from the size) the 5 seemes more comfy to ride, a bit more responsive, I have since upgraded the seat, wheels and tyres.