Is cheap Chinese carbon worth the risk?
Most of us have at some point been drawn to eBay to trawl the listings for a frame in our size and at a price that won’t see us cast out into the doghouse for a week. Alongside the used bikes and official bike shop listings, there are a huge number of very cheap, unbranded carbon alternatives, often from China.
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For the road cyclist looking for a unique bike and who is not concerned with brand names and logos, building up one of these frames with the finishing kit and groupset of choice is a very tempting prospect.
But if the price seems too good to be true, can we trust these frames?
British Cycling has a new kit sponsor for 2017
Following a hugely successful partnership with Adidas, British Cycling has now signed a deal with Kalas, to provide clothing and kit to riders and staff. Yes, we hadn’t heard of Kalas either.
Although a little known brand in the UK, Kalas has been around since 1991, was founded by Czech cyclist Čestmír Kalaš and originally provided garments for Assos. After five years it went its own way, starting to produce garments in its own name in 1995.
Ag2r to ride British Factor bikes
The sponsorship represents a big deal for British based Factor, which sponsored One Pro Cycling last year. The new Factor bikes seem to have been very well received and look great.
Cervelo P5X first ride
We travelled out to the European launch of the radical looking new Cervelo P5X time trial and triathlon bike for a first ride. With a radical design, that will not appeal to all, we couldn’t wait to see how fast it is.
The Cervélo P5X will come in four different sizes (S, M, L and XL) and with two different types of set-up: the high-end one with SRAM Red eTap (£13,499) and the lower one with Shimano Ultegra Di2 (£10,499).
Watch: our favourite products from November
End of season and Black Friday deals
There are always some decent bargains on bikes at this time of year as manufacturers look to sell of off their end-of-season stock and bring in the new models (most likely with the same frame but a different paintjob). Now that’s not something we’d normally report on, but some of the discounts that are appearing are incredible.
Ribble in particular have some particularly eye-catching bargains in its end of season sale, with some carbon bikes being sold for as little as £499.
What’s more, UK retailers look set to embrace Black Friday more than ever before, so stay tuned for deals, as we will endeavour to post the best ones as they appear. With the loss in the value of pound, imports are set to become more expensive, meaning that 2017 bikes are likely to have higher prices. Now could be a great time to apply the N+1 rule!