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?
Ribble bikes look great value but I need help with fitting the right bike for me so will have to pass this time. Planet X look like they're out of the cyclesheme price bracket. Cyclesuk don't have any shops near me and they look like they've got their own version of the cycle to work scheme.
I'm not sure about cyclo cross bikes either. The roads I'll be on can be pretty rough but I am thinking about racing on it and I have a mtb for paths, etc.
I will definitely look at the Specialized bikes. Is it just the Allez which is good for the money or are the next ones up (Secteur, Allez Sport) worth the extra?
Thanks Pudge. I knew Halfords wasn't on the scheme as they were previously the only shop we could use and, as you say, finding somebody with bike knowledge in there is a rare event so I was put off.
M...eldy, I know fit is king (I've lurked on this forum for a while) but I'm not sure how I'll know when a bike does fit me. I sat on 2 in the shop on Saturday and the first one felt fine but the second, smaller frame, was better. Dee's Cycles (Specialized, nice!) is on the scheme but Amersham Cycles is not. Do you remember which one you used?