Halfords sometimes get some stick for their bikes from cyclists (namely for their Apollo brand) however the Carrera range is different. Riding on a Carrera bike you can expect a good-quality bike on par with any named brand rival at much better value.
Carrera Virtuoso Road Bike 2015 – £329.99 (was £579.99- save £250)
The Carrera Virtuoso gained its name for the way it can handle the roads, a name that will inspire confidence in beginners looking for their first road bike. The value offering for this bike is through its price tag (even more so now it’s on sale), for a cheap price it offers an impressive specification.
Advertised as a high performance bike for beginners, the Virtuoso includes a 16-speed Shimano Sora gearing, Tektro dual pivot calliper brakes and a FSA compact chain set. The gears, brakes, wheels, and lightweight 11.5kg frame on this bike, make it very fast but also very responsive with great handling and the Virtuoso has received a lot of praise for the almost faultless performance it gives for the daily commute.
The Carrera is less like a ‘wannabe’ race bike and more like a sportive bike. It’s perfect for commuters and those who may also be looking into cycling more seriously.
Carrera Zelos Road Bike- £299.99
A lightweight but strong frame, the Carrera Zelos Road Bike is ideal for those who want to get into the road cycling sport. The alloy frame and suspension forks help to absorb shock and enhance the handling, giving you a smooth ride.
The Zelos features a Shimano chain set and 14 speed gears, the brakes are Tektro dual pivot discs, and the Quick Release wheels have a good grip on them. These features together with a light frame give you good handling and a smooth ride. This bike can go fairly fast and is great for beginners who have not ridden much but want to start road cycling as a sport, or for those who want to ride casually or commute.
It’s an affordable bike and can fit most people’s needs on the road, it has a nice size and offers a smooth ride; so definitely one to look into for a first road bike.
Carrera Vanquish Road Bike- £399 (was £649.99- save £250)
The Vanquish’s frame is typical of a £500 bike, with a triangular oversize down tube, and round top tube and seat tube. The 7005 aluminium chassis has basic welding, and is paired with a matching straight-bladed alloy fork.
Shimano’s nine-speed Sora groupset is very efficient, and the FAS 50/34-tooth compact chainset is very much an improvement on the Carrera TDF. The brakes on the bike, however, seem rather inferior; Tektro’s calliper setup is better than on a lot of sub-£400 bikes, but has solid rubber blocks rather than metal cartridges.
On the road, it carries some extra weight compared to its rivals, but gets up to speed quickly, with some lively acceleration when you really push it. The handling is reassuring too and gives the rider confidence in their control over the bike.
The Vanquish’s ride won’t appeal to everybody; it is on the firm side and after a few hours you may find yourself wishing for something slightly more comfortable and forgiving. You can feel every bump on the road through the aluminium fork and seatpost.
That’s not saying the Vanquish isn’t a good bike, there’s still a lot to like. It has a good quality kit and wheels, handles well, and makes for a sufficient entry-level racer. It’s a good choice for the bigger, more powerful racer.