$800 Road Bike Budget Component Comparison Trek, Giant, Fuji, Felt


Mar 18, 2015
Newbie here. I have a specialized secteur I got off Craiglist and I am trying to help my brother get a road bike. $800 budget and plenty of good local shops around so I feel comfortable recommending any of the shops

For the meantime lets refrain from recommending more expensive bikes. He is in good shape. His first passion is running. He does a lot of 5ks and half marathons and is looking to supplement his activity with a road bike. Wants to work up to a metric centry

I know actually getting on the bike is very important and we will do that, but to help us narrow it down, what are the thing to look for in component differences between the following? Feel free to recommend any common brand we can find in a big city (Memphis tn)

I know this is a lot of bikes, but does anything stand out in geometry or components that would make us want to eliminate one or put one at the top of the list?

Trek 1.1
Fuji Sportif 2.1, 2.3, 2.5
Fuji Finest 2.1, 2.5
Felt Z100
Gaint Defy 5
Specialized Secteur double
Specialized Allez
The Trek 1 series frame is very similar to a Madone executed in less expensive materials. The Felt Z and Giant Defy ranges are well regarded endurance frames. I've ridden a carbon Z and an alloy Defy, and I found them to be delightful. The Specialized Secteur is a Roubaix executed in aluminum. While I'm not crazy about the Roubaix, I know lots of guys who are; it is highly regarded. The Specialized Allez is similar to a Tarmac executed in less expensive materials. I like that the way I like the Trek.

That leaves the Fujis. For several years I've been underwhelmed by any Fuji frame less than their Roubaix. If you can spring for a Roubaix, check it out. Otherwise, look to the others.

If they're available in your neck of the woods, check out Raleigh's Revenio 1, another excellent inexpensive ride.
As an alternative you could put a used Giant TCR on the list. I bought a lightly used Giant TCR SL1 off craigslist for $900. It has full Ultegra components. I love how comfortable and quick it is. I'm fortunate to live in an area where people with much more money than myself ditch their lightly used bikes rather quickly.
I cannot relate to this thread but what made me enter is the title that mentioned $800 budget for a road bike. Understandably, we live in different zones and have different economic level but I tell you, that's a lot money for a bike. The last I saw in the bike festival costs only less than half of that for a brand new foldable bike that I really liked. It's just a shame that I didn't get the approval of my husband since the swelling on my leg wouldn't go away completely.
A Dahon foldable costs about 800. :D

Money -not well- spent. :D

Why would you want a foldable? You live in a space captule in Tokyo or something? :D
Corzhens said:
Understandably, we live in different zones and have different economic level but I tell you, that's a lot money for a bike.
Hmm, here in the USA if you look at the Trek site, the $800 is the lowest road bike available. It's all up hill from there to $12,000-$14,000. :eek:
I love my Giant Defy-found it used on Craigslist. I USE this bike. I do long distance rides (100+ miles) and short commutes. I've taken it on countless dirt roads and a couple of easy mountain bike trails (which probably looked a little silly, but that's okay).

I think you have a good list and will most likely be happy with whatever you choose.
I have a Fuji Sport that I got on sale since they are going out of business, but I really love it and it has been a great bike for me. Now I am a woman so it may not be as good for a man but I ride over 100 miles a week and am really happy with it. It was originally over 1000.00 and I picked it up for a little over 500.00 so it was a steal in my opinion. ;)
There is also the Bianchi Campione, though it is made of steel so it's a tad heavier at 23 pounds vs around 21 for the others, but it will easily outlast the others.

Otherwise you could probably get a Trek 1.5 for not much more than the 1.1 and you get the better Tiagra components instead of the Claris.

If you have time, wait until February because that's when all the end of the season bikes still in stock go on sale and deep discounts.
$800 is going to get you on a decent entry level road bike.

With the goal being to work up to longer distances, the Giant Defy and the Felt Z series may be better suited. The others have 'racier' frame geometries that tend to be less comfortable over longer rides.

My current bike is my starter, a Giant Defy 5. Love it, but after a little over two years I'm looking to upgrade to a nicer overall setup (carbon frame, better drive train). It may be worth the wait to save a little longer and get into the $1200-ish range and start out with better components and avoid the temptation to upgrade right away. Balance that with not wanting to spend a ton of cash on a bike and not like riding after all, but that rarely ever happens :D

Definitely take the time at the local shop to get at least a basic fit and take test rides.

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