South Yorkshire born and bred, Planet X bikes might not have the street cred of Specialized, but you can’t argue with the value. With such good value is there a catch though?
South Yorkshire-based Planet X has developed a reputation for jaw-dropping value for money. But, for a bike like the Planet X RT-58 Alloy that costs £750, does this mean you get a second-rate frame? That’s what I wanted to find out.
The frame is handbuilt 6061-T6 heat-treated alloy with a full carbon fork. It is available in the black/white you see here as well as a blue option. Possessed of a relatively short reach and high stack, the geometry is described by Planet X as being ‘endurance’.
Our Planet X RT-58 Alloy came with a complete SRAM Rival groupset, high quality finishing kit from San Marco, plus a few bits from Planet X results in an impressive package. The standard version of this bike comes fitted with lower spec Campagnolo Khamsin wheels and is available for £599.
However, when you buy a Planet X, the website allows you swap out and upgrade components at bargain prices at the point of purchase. We decided to go up to £750 and upgrade the wheels to Vision Team 35s. This wheel has a 35mm deep profile, offering a slight aero improvement and some bling.
It’s worth spending more time talking about the specification on Planet X bikes because so many options are available. You can choose different stem lengths, crank lengths and gear ratios, depending on your preference, and at no extra cost.
Thinking of buying a new bike?
Being able to swap components creates a bike that can be different things to different riders. This is great because the demands of a more experienced rider are often different than that of someone buying their first bike.
At the £750 price point some people will be buying their first bike, while more experienced riders might be looking for a solid training or winter bike. Being able to specify different chainsets and stems at no extra cost is big selling point to the veteran and beginner alike and it is a shame that other big brands do not offer this level of service.
Despite being hailed as an endurance package, the Planet X RT-58 Alloy is less compliant than the Giant Defy of a similar price and I found road imperfections much more noticeable.
I would suggest that while the geometry is suited to long days in the saddle, it didn’t feel like an out-and-out sportive bike. This is a bike that will hold its own on the local chaingang and is more than capable of fast paced efforts and darting through corners.
Having tested many bikes around the £750 price mark, this is has been the lightest, which was particularly apparent when accelerating hard up steep climbs. The SRAM Rival offers very crisp shifting.
Planet X is a brand famed for offering excellent value for money and the RT-58 is no exception.
The Vision Trimax wheels are superb on a bike that costs £750 and you get quality kit throughout, including a complete SRAM Rival groupset. The bike is also the lightest I have ridden at this price point too. By comparison an equivalent £750 Specialized Allez weighs 9.45kg on our scales. The option to swap bits or add on upgrades at the point of purchase is a massive plus too.
For more details visit the Planet X website.
Most bikes at this price come with Shimano Sora, or Tiagra groupsets, with budget wheels chucked on as an after thought. Here you get quality bits throughout including full SRAM Rival Groupset, but crucially, the frame is good too. It is not the most comfortable aluminium bike I have ridden, but this isn't a big criticism.