Outdoor sports retailer GO Outdoors first started producing road bikes under the Calibre brand name in 2014. Starting out with three aluminium bikes, the range has since expanded to include endurance-orientated and carbon-fibre-framed bikes as well.
Prices range from £349 for the Calibre Rivelin and Loxley up to £899 for the Calibre Nibiru 2.0. Prices are higher if you don’t have a GO Outdoors discount card, but being as it only costs a fiver, we’re assuming that you’d make the investment.
GO Outdoors also sells bikes by other manufacturers, including Raleigh, Viking and Orbea, but for the purposes of this guide we’re just going to look at its own Calibre offering.
GO Outdoors initially dabbled in sub-£300 road bikes, but the entry-level bike is now this very well-specced sportive bike. The hydroformed aluminium frame is hung with Shimano's eight-speed Claris groupset, which is decent entry-level stuff. The fork has carbon fibre blades, the Schwalbe Lugano tyres are a sensible 25mm width and there's a decent gear range from the 50/34 FSA chainset.
The women's version of the Rivelin actually has a frame with women-specific geometry that's different from the men's bike, which is almost unheard-of at this price. The stem is also shorter for a given bike size, catering to women's general preference for a more upright position.
The Lost Lad is a new endurance model with disc brakes, and Shimano's Claris components. As well as the different brakes, there's a bit more room in the frame than the Rivelin, so you could fit fatter tyres than the stock 25mm Schwalbe Luganos to improve comfort and roadholding. There's room for mudguards too, so as well as its main billing as a countryside explorer, the Lost Lad would make a good fast commuter.
The women's version of the Lost Lad, the Lost Lass has the same spec, but with a female-specific geometry.
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Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.