September 16, 2015
Two months ago I was bike-less.
I had been pondering over dozens of bikes, but waited until I had received work’s approval before making a purchase (I doubt I would have taken up cycling had it not been for the ride). When the moment finally came I set my heart on buying myself a nice ride that weekend.
I was in two minds whether to go all out and spent a fortune, or purchase a training bike which would see me through winter and inevitably be involved in some kind of fall/crash/bump. I sensibly opted for the latter, deciding that I would get a top quality bike for the actual ride in a years time.
I previously owned a Specialised Allez and it served me very well. I did hundreds of miles over multiple years on that workhorse and had very little problems. It was aluminum and felt pretty study, it was a decent entry level bike.
On impulse, I decided to purchase another Allez and set off like a giddy child down to my local Evans Cycles store. Annoyingly they didn’t have any in stock, they gave me an address for another fully stocked local store and, with closing time approaching, I planned to visit the following day.
I was feeling pretty annoyed, I had hoped to go out riding that afternoon. However, all things do happen for a reason in this case, I went back home and curiously started browsing bikes on the internet.
After a few Google searches I ended up on Argos website (for those of you non-UK folk it’s a catalogue shop). I was looking at a carbon road bike for £500, its brand name…. Ventura, Ace Ventura.
Thinking there had to be some kind of mistake, or that the bike was crap, I investigated a little more. There was barely anything on Google about this brand name and I knew you wouldn’t normally find a carbon bike less than £1000 in any high street shop (Argos is a high street shop). It was a bit of a mystery until I came across this thread.
Someone had spotted the deal and posted to a cycling forum. Most people were intrigued by the deal and some of them purchased on a whim and gave some very positive feedback. It turns out the bike producers are from Taiwan and use the same frames for bikes such as Mekk & Carrera virago, both of which retail for over £1000 (resource).
I actually purchased mine from a bike dealer on eBay as he was offering the bike fully assembled. He also sorted me with some other cheap essentials when I met the lovely chap. I was on the road with a carbon bike for exactly £600!
I took it out the next day and it was fantastic, nothing will match this carbon bike for value. The gears are Shimano Sora which are the same as the my old Allez, they’re not amazing but they do the job. The brake padds and saddle I replaced as they had some poor reviews but that was peanuts compared to the savings I made on the bike. It really is light, when I first got on the bike and drove the peddle down it felt like I was going to take off. I’ve now done over 1000 miles in two months and I’ve not had any issues whatsoever.
The reason I decided to write this post is because the bike is now on sale for an amazing £399.99. I imagine Argos have got a load of these and no one is buying them, but in my opinion they’re a bit of a hidden gem.
If, like me, you want a decent entry level carbon bike then this “Ace” Ventura is your best friend!
You can find it here – http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/3324525.htm