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So I got into cycling over my first year of uni where I picked up a Viking Peloton for myself, the bike is great and rides well but the gearing on it is far to high for back home in dorset where there are actually some hills. So I'm looking for a new bike and going to buy secondhand. I've spotted out three bikes, the first I would try and haggle down as its in a sorry state and since the owner cant even spell the brand I might be able to get a good deal. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Spacialized-Allez-Elite-Road-Bike-In-Red-Fram...

The second one is sort of over my budget of around £350, but its carbon and has older shimano 105s. 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Specialized-Tarmac-Pro-Road-Bike-Carbon/17336...

The third is this which is also within price bracket and looks quite good but is only shimano sora? 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mens-giant-defy-3-large-road-bike/26375311722...

Which would be recommended or should I wait for a better bike to come up? Are there any good rules for buying? 

3 comments

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matthewn5 [1190 posts] 6 days ago
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The Allez and the Giant have compact cranks. If you're just starting out, they should get you up the hills more easily than the 52/39 on the Tarmac.

The Allez and the Giant have a very upright position. The Tarmac is more stretched out.

All depends on what you like doing.

As to buying, make an offer about 10% less than the asking price. Most sellers will accept straight off.

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rdmp2 [42 posts] 5 days ago
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Tarmac is more aggressive than allez which is more aggressive than  the defy. All frames are good but the tarmac is carbon and has the best group set. Be aware that giant l I think is bigger than spec 56 so I don’t think these are all equivalent sizes. Would be good to sit on a bike before buying

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kil0ran [851 posts] 5 days ago
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There's always another bike on eBay or Gumtree...

You mentioned gearing for hills - to see much difference over what you've got currently you should be looking at a compact front (50/34) and an 11-32 at the rear. If you're looking at older bikes Ultegra 6700 had the option of an 11-30 cassette.

All the Shimano current gen groups are excellent - Tiagra 4700 is the sweet spot, just upgrade the brake calipers to 105 (£40, about an hour's work). With the long cage derailleur you can even run an 11-34.