Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Specialized Secteur Sport Review

One of the largest drivers of traffic to my blog is people searching for reviews of the Specialized Secteur Sport roadbike. I've owned this bike since August last year, it was my first roadbike.

Initially, I was looking at the Specialized Allez Elite, I ended up going for the Secteur Sport primarily because you couldn't get an Allez Elite for love nor money due to supply issues. Looking back, I still prefer the frame stickers on the Elite, sporting the big Specialized logo.

After doing more than 2,000 miles on the bike I can say that I was really happy I went for it. It's frame geometry is typically "sportive", which means it's relaxed with a long front headtube. This means it's designed for long days on the bike, more for comfort, than outright speed. The specification of the bike is OK for a starter ride. As you get more into riding, you might find yourself changing a few bits, I wrote a blog about this previously here.

Since owning my new bike - a Dolan Ares (which cost five times as much), with full race geometry, I've really come to appreciate how good a ride the Secteur Sport is. Last weekend I did sixty miles on my new bike and sixty on my old. Clearly the rides are different, however, in a good way. The Dolan Ares is built for out and out speed, the Secteur Sport for comfort. When I got back after the sixty on the Specialized, I'd really enjoyed the ride, in a different sort of way.

The Secteur Sport - in my view - is an ideal starter bike in the £600-£700 price bracket. It's comfortable, not bad looking and is from a reliable brand. The groupset isn't stunning, however, if you're starting out, you probably won't even bother with it. You will appreciate the triple chainset when you hit the bottom of a big hill, I found that really useful until I built up my fitness. That took four months or so. If you're a new rider, you'll find that it is in the same price category as opening models from Trek, such as the Trek 1.2, with similar spec. Key thing I think the Trek has over it are the Bontrager alloys & bars, which it comes with as standard.

If you're planning to spend a little more, then - if it were me - I'd probably consider this Planet X or this Dolan Mythos, both are good bikes for the money. Whichever way you go, please continue to track back and read the blog for further hints and tips.

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