RMT Review – 2012 Season Road Bikes Under £1,000

 

The RMT team have tried and tested the hottest new season road bikes released for a budget of up to £1,000! Whether you are looking to upgrade from an entry level bike or feel like splashing out for the new season, we have identified the best of the 2012 new season releases. We have selected the road bikes which offer the best specification, comfort, value for money and performance. The RMT team have then given the 5 top rated bikes an overall “RMT Ranking” out of 10! Enjoy!

Cube Attempt 2012 – RRP £999

Available at Chain Reaction Cycles

  • Value for Money – 9
  • Functionality – 9
  • Comfort – 7
  • Performance – 9
  • RMT Ranking – 9

 

Cube continues to grow in popularity and the German based company has released another excellent value for money model in the “Attempt” for 2012. The specification is truly awesome for the cost given that the bike boasts a Shimano 105 groupset and Fulcrum Racing 7 tyres which are usually found on models costing upwards of £1,500!

The RMT team found the ride fast and fairly stiff for considering the aluminum frame. After a long journey the ride did feel quite harsh but this was offset by the slimline Aero Flex seatstays which helped absorb the impact of the uneven road surfaces!

The frame is compact and accelerates awesomely! The triple chainset is a big advantage for the rider who prefers an extra boost when tackling the bigger climbs. The bike is a lot of fun on the descent with it being capable of reaching remarkable speeds whilst the rider still feels in control with the high spec internal cable routing.

The overall RMT verdict is a resounding success and superb value for money. It is very tough to find a better bike in this price category!

 

Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Xenon 2012 – RRP£950

Available at Chain Reaction Cycles

 

  • Value for Money – 7
  • Functionality – 8
  • Comfort – 10
  • Performance – 7
  • RMT Rank – 8

 

A personal favourite of the RMT team as the bike has a classic and authentic feel to it. The ride experience is comfortable which is expected given it is part of Bianchi’s award winning Coast 2 Coast range. We rode this bike for over a 100 miles which was not uncomfortable – apart from the exhausted legs!

The Via Nirone 7 features K-VID technology to help absorb vibration allowing you go the distance. The bike also features a strong mix of Shimano Ultegra and 105 components which is unusual for this price range!

The frame is not that light in comparison to its rivals in the same price category, however, the look and ride experience is quite superb. Cornering precision is excellent with a reasonable steering feel in tight turning situations that still stays the right side of stable at higher speeds and on slippery roads!

The RMT team feel that this bike is worthy of being in the final 5 given the comfort and supreme ease of the ride. The ride experience is very forgiving and this bike would be perfect for the rider who wants to put in a lot of miles without having to go overboard with the budget!

Specialized Allez Elite 2012 – RRP £900

Available at Chain Reaction Cycles

  • Value for Money – 7
  • Functionality – 8
  • Comfort – 7
  • Performance – 9
  • RMT Rank – 8

 

The Specialized Allez Elite is one of the most popular bikes for both the intermediate and beginner rider. The bike is modestly priced and offers a good level of specification but does not provide a lot of additional extras.

Specialized have always tried to ensure that the Allez models fit the criteria for a racing machine and the new 2012 Elite version does not disappoint. The model is designed to be fast and even brags Specialized FACT carbon legs which are usually found on Specialized models costing over £1,000!

The RMT team found the bike’s handling was impeccable: fast, true and direct, exactly what you want from a first serious road bike. The ride was a little firmer than you might get with a carbon frame, but it’s still pretty comfortable. The slimline seatstays, which change profile along their length, contribute to that, with the light, supple tyres also helping.

Overall, the RMT team feel the bike is perfect for the rider who wants a fast, efficient bike from one of the leading brands in the business. The downside is that you can get a more comfortable efficient ride from similar models and the level of spec is below that of the four rivals in this price category.

 

Giant Defy 2012 – RRP £999

Available at Chain Reaction Cycles

  • Value for Money – 9
  • Functionality – 8
  • Comfort – 8
  • Performance – 8
  • RMT Rank – 8

 

The RMT team found the ride fast and stiff and is certainly a rival in terms of speed against both the Cube Attempt and Specialized Allez Elite in this category! The bike is very light and is awesome at accelerating with its supremely stiff frame!

The riding position is really well balanced between comfort and combat, with a compact bar and full-carbon-shaft seatpost being suitable for both the easy and hard rides! The RMT team were very impressed with the Shimano 105 components which is rarely seen on models within this price range.

The complete bike weight is only 8.9kg which is another big factor in how well the Defy can pick up speed without delay and in pretty much any gear! The relatively short stem and big down tube mean you can really brace your shoulders against a gear without feeling like you’re going to tear the front end off which is a bonus!

Overall, the RMT team feels that the Defy is an impressive bike which would suit the intermediate rider wanting to upgrade to a faster, more exciting racing machine.

 

Trek 2.1 2012 – RRP £1,000

Available at Chain Reaction Cycles

  • Value for Money – 9
  • Functionality – 9
  • Comfort – 8
  • Performance – 9
  • RMT Rank – 9

 

Trek have released yet another fantastically impressive road bike in the 2.1 2012 model. The ride is awesomely fast, very responsive and feels like you are in complete control of the racing machine! The RMT team love the simple series design and are impressed with the Shimano 105 components.

The RMT team were surprised by the impressive handling precision as we were able to take corners at bends at high speeds with supreme ease and control. The intuitive responsiveness is a signature component of the Trek road bike series design which was really noticed during our test ride!

The 200 Series Alpha Aluminium shaped and hydroformed frame is fairly comfortable considering the aggressive design of the model. The vibration-damping Bontrager Race fork with integrated SpeedTrap compatibility helps reduce the otherwise quite harsh ride as you accelerate away from the competition.

Overall, the Trek 2.1 is a fantastic purchase for an enthusiast looking for a high quality fast racing machine. The RMT team feel it would be an ideal solution for an entry level rider looking to upgrade to a more serious impressive road bike.

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