5 Best Road Bikes under $1500

CHARLES LEE | 4th Feb 2015 | PRODUCT REVIEWS

Introduction

It appears to be a tradition that we need (or try) to upgrade our cars prior to the commencement of every Lunar New Year.  But with no visible sign of the prices of Certificates Of Entitlement going down, it looks like the next best toys with wheels that we can upgrade or change will be our road bikes.  And why not?  For 2015, the first two days of the Lunar New Year fall on a Thursday and Friday, leaving us with another two days during the weekend to organise some rides to River AngBao.  Plus, what better time (other than the Lunar New Year) can there be to showcase (or show off) our new bikes?

Since the beginning of January, Togoparts has been kept busy testing and thrashing road bikes to identify 5 best road bikes for 2015.  At Togoparts, we are keenly aware that the economy for the year ahead will be a sluggish one.  Therefore, all the 5 best road bikes that we have selected for you fall within the budgetary price of $1500.  Hey, don’t lament “chey…” too fast.  A less expensive bike does not necessarily mean that it cannot out-perform an expensive one.  According to the older folks, how good a bike is “depends on the rider”..

Regardless of what others have to say, do check out the 5 best road bikes under $1500.  Each of them is a world-class performer in its own right and what each of them needs is the right owner to bring it home.

Did we mention that the 5 best road bikes are targeted at newer riders who want to give road-riding a go and riders who are switching disciplines to road-riding?

Enjoy the reviews.

  1. Cannondale CAAD8 Claris 8

Price: SGD $1,500 (Show this article to enjoy a limited discount of $100, and get it at $1,400!)
Where to buy: Cannasia

Cannondale traces its humble beginnings back to 1971, when it first started out as a small company making backpacks and bags for camping.  It made a foray into bicycle frame construction and the first type of frame that Cannondale has ever made was a road bike frame.  That was in 1983.

The Cannondale today has grown on a global scale.  Beside road bike frames, the company also manufacture mountain bike frames.  But, building road bike frames, from conceptualisation to manufacturing to product testing, remains the key strength of Cannondale.  It is that same key strength that not only created the Cannondale that we see today, it allows Cannondale to draw on the same set of expertise to conceive a road bike that not only fits any rider of any class, but one that will make a rider trade in his t-shirt and rugged shorts for a road bike jersey.  The Cannondale CAAD8 Claris 8.

Much goes into the making of the Claris 8.  Its aluminium frame is constructed from a complex yet systematic process of hydroforming, mechanical shaping, taper-butting, double-pass smooth welding and heat treating.  Cannondale’s proprietary SPEED SAVE technology creates “flex” zones in the chain-stays, seat-stays and seat-tube, allowing for increased traction and comfort.  In Cannondale’s parlance, it is suspension without the actual suspension.  The BallisTec Carbon fork, which leverages on the same SPEED SAVE technology, delivers precise handling.

The Claris 8 is decked with exceedingly-decent components.  Shimano Claris makes up the drivetrain of the Claris 8.  Riders will appreciate the smooth transition of gears with the effortless pushing of the Shimano Claris shift levers.  Stopping the bike with the Tektro Dual-Pivot rim brakes takes no effort as well, thanks to the well-modulated Shimano Claris brake levers.  The Claris 8’s wheel-set, which feels smooth at any speed, is well-served by the Maddux RS 3.0 rims and the Schwalbe Lugano 25mm tyres.

The Claris 8 is now available at all Cannasia stores and it comes with lifetime warranty on the frame and fork and unlimited complimentary tunings.  Topping it off, Cannasia will discount $100 from the retail price of the Claris 8 if this article is presented to the sales representative.

CannAsia @ Frankel
Address: 83/85 Frankel Avenue, Singapore 458211
Tel: 6441 4772
Togoparts Merchant Profile : http://www.togoparts.com/bikeshops/shop_details.php?sid=58

CannAsia @ Vertex
Address : 01-20, 33 Ubi Avenue, Singapore 408868
Tel : 6570 0634
Togoparts Merchant Profile : http://www.togoparts.com/bikeshops/shop_details.php?sid=415

Website : Http://www.cannasia.com

  1. MERIDA Scultura 400

Price: SGD $1,436
Where to buy: Hup Leong Company

Since its inception in 1972, MERIDA has produced some of the finest road bikes not just for racers who demand only the best to feed their thirst for winning, but for the everyday-warrior who desire to push his or her limits to the next level.

Pure cycling has been the root of MERIDA’s existence and today, after more than 40 years of experience in the bicycle-making business, MERIDA has grew to become one of the global leaders in the cycling business.  For those who intend to switch to road bike riding and for those who are budget-conscious, the MERIDA Scultura 400 is one race-worthy bike that befits the very principle of MERIDA’s vision – it has the combination of specifications and components that are decent enough to convince non-road bikers of the positive change to road bike riding, and yet, fits the wallet size as the perfect road bike for any class of rider.

Sculptured from 6066 high-strength aluminium, the triple-butted walled tubes of every Scultura 400 are derived from a hydraulic-forced forming process which are said to make the tubes lighter and stronger.  The quality of the Scultura 400 frame is evidenced from the smooth welding of joints.  With a finishing touch of internal cabling and a neat down tube exit, the Scultura 400 looks set to impress.  For the weight-conscious, the Scultura 400 scores at a fairly decent weight of 8.8kg, with most credits given to its lightweight frame and the carbon composite fork.  Combined with race-ready Shimano 105 11-speed derailleurs and shifters and MERIDA Pro rim brakes, the Scultura 400 has the power to deliver.  The all-weather Maxxis Dolemites 23mm tyres provide strong traction between the rider and the tarmac.  Certainly, the Scultura 400 does not hold back on the quality of its components.

For those with racing blood in them, they will be excited to know that the Scultura 400 frame possesses the same DNA – fast, light, reliable and strong – as pro-level race bikes used by TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA.  As a testament to the claims,  MERIDA offers a lifetime warranty on it’s frames and unlimited complimentary tuning service applies to all Merida bikes.

Merida bikes are exclusively distributed by Hup Leong Company and retailing at all Merida authorised partners.

Hup Leong Company

Blk 51 Chin Swee Road #01-107,
Singapore 160051

Tel : 5632 3700
Email : sales@hupleong.com
Website : https://www.facebook.com/hupleongco

Togoparts Bikeshop Profile : http://www.togoparts.com/bikeshops/shop_details.php?sid=16

  1. Polygon Helios C3

Price: SGD $900
Where to buy: Rodalink

The 2015 Helios C3 bears testament to “many sides”, the definition of its brand name “Polygon”.

In matt grey finishing, the C3 comes in six different dimensions, offering comfortable sizes for different riders.  Built from ALX 6061 alloy, every C3 frame is meticulously hydroformed and hand-welded to offer the lightness, strength and stiffness that are seen on costlier road bikes.  The premium feel of the C3 goes a notch higher with the ACX Endurance Carbon fork, a superior component that is similarly shared by the top range road bikes in the same Endurance Series.

The fact that the C3 is considered an entry-level road bike does not mean that Polygon will spare expenses on it.  The C3 comes with exceedingly-smooth Shimano Sora shift levers and derailleurs.  FSA crankset provides reliable transfer power from the legs to the wheels.  Stopping the C3 is reliably executed by the Tektro R-315, a brand name that has been in the braking industry for more than 28 years.  The C3’s wheel-set is made up of the Shimano R501 Clincher, an all-time favourite amongst riders, and the Schwalbe Lugano 25mm tyres, the width of which suits training, racing and the daily after-work riding.

Being an entry-level road bike means that the C3 is not that pricey.  This side of it keeps the wallet safe for riders with a budget.  With decently-decked components from Shimano, FSA, Tektro and Schwalbe, the C3 possesses the potential to exceed the expectations of riders who are intending to switch to road biking.  This other side of it retains the converted rider for life.  Polygon is so confident of the quality of its C3 frame that it stakes a lifetime warranty on them.  This side of the C3 certainly gives any rider the assurance that he or she is riding on a trusted steed.

The C3 is now available at all Rodalink stores.  Seeing is believing.  Just approach any of the friendly Rodalink staff and do a test ride to see for yourself the “many sides” of the C3.

Rodalink Singapore

– Rodalink East Coast
166B Upper East Coast Road, Singapore 455270
Tel : 6242 8330

– Rodalink Jurong East
Blk 18 #01-98D, Tradehub 21, Boonlay Way, Singapore 609966
Tel : 6795 4320

– Roadlink One Commonwelth
1 Commonwelth Lane, #01-14/15, One Commonwelth, Singapore 149544
Tel : 6475 4833

– Rodalink Woodlands
11 Woodlands Close #01-24, Singapore 737853
Tel : 6734 9972

Website: http://store.roadlink.com.sg / http://sg.rodalink.com/

  1. Java 700C AL-16S

Price: Promotional Price SGD $799.00  (RRP: SGD $958)
Where to buy: Java Bike Singapore

Java Bikes is a relatively young company.  With its bicycle frames designed in Italy and manufactured in China, Java Bikes’ production process appears to incorporate a unique blend of mixed-cultural expertise.  Be it a union of east-meets-west, east-meets-east or west-meets-west, it is undeniable that the sparks from the fusion has created some of the most handsome-looking bikes on earth.

In Java Bikes’ road rig department, amateur riders and riders seeking a change of discipline will most probably take a second look at the JAVA 700C AL-16S road bike, which is one that has the potential to bring out the joys of riding (a road bike).

Offered in 4 different paintworks, the Java 700C is probably one of the few road bike models that come in varying livery.  This is good news for many of the riders as they get to choose their preferred colour on the bike that they desire to own.  The Java 700C stands on the weighing machine at a miserable 10.5kg.  But this obesity issue can be easily shaved with many positive aspects of the bike.

The frame and fork of the Java 700C is made of aluminium alloy, which is known for its stiffness.  Converted riders who wanted to use this road bike for sprints and time trials will find it easy to accelerate due to the optimised transfer of power from the pedal to the crankset.  The front and rear derailleurs and shift levers are from Shimano Claris product series.  Given their quality standing as mid-level components, they offer smooth precision in the switching of gears.  Although it is not well-known, the brake-set from Winzip does its job fairly well.  Similarly, the DH-30 rims and the K177 23mm tyres provide fuss-free performance and without taking a close look at them, one would easily have thought that the rims and tyres come from some leading brands.

The Java 700C is not a road bike that is designed to lead a peloton in a race, neither is it suitable for hard racing.  But it is certainly one road bike that helps cultivate the riding interest of a novice rider.  It is also one that gives converted riders the confidence to remain in the road biking discipline.

Come for a test ride on the Java 700C at any of the Java Bikes authorised dealers!

Java Bikes Singapore

Address : 3024 Ubi Road 3 #01-51
Singapore 408652

Tel: 6988 2705
Website : https://www.facebook.com/javabikessg

Authorised Java Dealers:
– 1 2 Cycle
– Alywin Cycle
– Bike Actually
– Cycle Cycle
– Cyclelogy
– Huesgood
– LifeCycle
– L&T Cycle
– Radstation
– UNIK Cycle

 

  1. Fuji Sportif 1.1 Disc

Price: SGD $1599 (Show this article to enjoy a limited discount of $100, and get it at $1,499!)

Where to buy: Bike Continent

Unbeknownst to many, Fuji Bikes has a rich heritage in cycling industry. The origins of Fuji Bikes can be traced back to Japan in 1899! Founded by Nichibei Fuji, Fuji Bikes was the most popular bicycle brand in the 1920s. Today, even though Fuji Bikes has become an American-owned bicycle-maker, two fundamentals remain – the name “Fuji”, which is historically the Japanese symbol of strength and endurance, and its expertise in building quality bicycle frames.

Similar to the business models of major bicycle makers, Fuji Bikes’ stable comprises road bikes, mountain bikes and lifestyle bikes. But its expertise truly lies with making road bike frames. This explains Fuji Bike’s ability to offer a wider selection of road bikes from the road riding sub-disciplines.

The Sportif 1.1 Disc is a mid-end Endurance-Series road bike from Fuji Bikes. Sporting a glossy red with white decals, the Sportif’s frame is built using compact double-butted alloy. To increase its strength, Fuji Bikes chose to include a hydroforming process to reinforce the top tube and down tube. The fork is built using a mixture of carbon and alloy.

In all honesty, the Sportif is heavy. Tipping the weighing scale at 10.31kg, speedsters and avid roadies will most probably shun this model. But for novice riders and for those who are thinking of switching disciplines, the Sportif would be able to offer more than what they can ask for.

With six different sizes, the Sportif’s geometry is upright, which provides comfort for long-distance rides. The plushness of the ride is boosted by the Vittoria Zaffiro 28mm tyres. The Shimano 105 11-speed gearing package (which comprises the 11-32T cassette, front and rear derailleurs and shift levers) makes climbing uphill on the Sportif a relatively easy task. Avid’s BB7 mechanical disc brakes perform well in wet and dry conditions. The Vera Corsa double-walled rims do their jobs without complaints. Fuji Bikes’ very own Oval components made up the Sportif’s crankset, bottom bracket, handlebar, stem, saddle and seatpost. All in all, the Sportif is one road bike that offers the combination of joys derived from leisure-riding, training and even a little competition in your local park.

Priced at $1599, the quality of the Sportif’s frame and fork are stamped with lifetime warranty and buying a Sportif comes with unlimited complimentary tunings. Not only that, showing up at any of the Fuji Bikes authorised retailers with this brochure gives you a $100 discount on the Sportif. The price gets lower, but the goodness of the Sportif remains. Its worth it.

Bike Continent

Address : 7 Kaki Bukit Road 1, #01-16 Eunos Technolink
Singapore 415937 (Beside Ducati Singapore)

Tel : 6547 5455
Email : bc@bikecontinent.com
Website : http://bikecontinent.com/