First Road Bike: Raleigh Revenio 3.0, Felt Z85, or Giant Defy 1

After putting more than 500 miles on my Northrock SC7 hybrid bike, I’m shopping for my first road bike. I’d like to keep the price under $1,500, and am aiming for a decent gruppo (or groupset), such as the Shimano 105.

The search is overwhelming. There are so many different manufacturers, brands, models, frames, forks, prices, local bike shops, etc. At this point I’ve narrowed the choices down to the Raleigh Revenio 3.0, the Felt Z85, or the Giant Defy 1. Please share any thoughts or suggestions to help with the decision.

Photos of Raleigh Revenio 3.0, Felt Z85, and Giant Defy 1

Raleigh Revenio 3.0 Road BikeFelt Z85 Road BikeGiant Defy 1 Road Bike

(click each photo to enlarge)

Specs of Raleigh Revenio 3.0, Felt Z85, and Giant Defy 1

 Specifications Raleigh Revenio 3.0 Felt Z85 Giant Defy 1
Frame Atomic 13 SL Hydroformed Aluminum Felt Super-light Custom Butted 7005 Aluminum w/ Smooth Welding ALUXX SL-Grade Aluminum
Fork Custom Carbon Composite Felt UHC Performance Carbon Fiber Design w/ 3KP Weave Advanced-Grade Carbon Composite
Weight Unspecified 19.98lbs Unspecified
Components
Seatpost Avenir 200 Series 3 Aluminum Felt UHC Performance Carbon Fiber Design Giant Connect Carbon Composite
Saddle Avenir 300 Series Road Felt D2 Anatomic w/ Double-Density Gel Base Selle Royal Seta M
Drivetrain
Shifters Shimano 105 Shimano 105 Shimano 105
Front Derailleur Shimano 105 Shimano 105 Shimano 105
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105 Shimano 105 Shimano 105
Brakes Shimano 105 Dual Pivot w/ Cartridge Brake Shoes Tektro TK-R540 Giant Specific, Dual Pivot
Brake Levers Shimano 105 STI Shimano 105 STI Shimano 105 STI
Cassette Shimano 105 11×28, 10-Speed Shimano 105 11×28, 10-Speed Shimano 105 11×28, 10-Speed
Chain KMC DX10 Shimano 105 Shimano 105
Crankset Shimano R600 Compact 34/50t FSA Vero Compact 50/34t Shimano 105, 34/50t
Wheels
Rims Weinmann TR18 Double Wall MAVIC CXP-22N Aluminum Rim Giant P-R2
Hubs Joytech Alloy QR, 28h Felt Sealed Forged Aluminum w/ Quick Release 32h Formula Sealed Cartridge Bearing 24/28h
Spokes 14g Stainless MAC w/Alloy Nipples Stainless Steel 2.0mm w/ Brass Nipples Sapim Race, 14/15g
Tires Vittoria Rubino Pro 700x23c Vittoria Zaffiro, 700c x 25c Giant P-R3, 60 tpi, Flat Guard, 700x25c
Other
Warranty Lifetime – Frame Lifetime – Frame Lifetime – Frame
MSRP (Price) $1,299 $1,199 $1,299

 

UPDATE: I ended up looking at a Cannondale CAAD10 and I fell in love, though it was a bit out of my budget. I finally came across a local dealer with a 2010 Cannondale CAAD9 4 with SRAM Rival/Force gruppo. I’m very happy with the bike!

Comments

  1. Teresa Sterns says:

    For what it’s worth: I rented the Raleigh Revenio 3.0 on Saturday 10/8/11 in Seattle, WA and spent 6 hours riding it that day. I found it very comfortable, smooth and pleasant. I could hardly believe I could be so fortunate to find such a nice bike to rent. I ride a Bianchi Zurigo at home (a cyclocross) but would not hesitate to recommend the Revenio 3.0.

  2. Rick Carlson says:

    Hey Garrett,
    You probably bought the bike by now, but all I can offer you is as long as you have ridden all 3. then it’s just a matter of dollars and what you like. I rode the Trek 1.5, Cannondale CAAD9 6, the Felt z85 and Felt f95 and the z85 was the best for me, due to comfort and body type.

  3. garrett says:

    Teresa,

    Small world! I rented a Raleigh Revenio 3.0 when I was in Seattle this summer, which led me to realize I wasn’t happy with my old bike. I too was shocked when they brought out such a nice bike as a rental. Props to Recycled Cycles in Seattle for being such a rad bike and rental shop.

    Garrett

  4. garrett says:

    Rick,

    Thanks for the reply. I liked several of the Felt bikes, but getting a Felt with a decent crank and components was out of my price range. Happy riding! 🙂

    Garrett

  5. Glenn Gordon says:

    Did you buy the bike? I am making the same choice right now, having had a great ride on the Revenio. The Felt bikes look great too.

    • garrett says:

      Hi Glenn,

      I really liked the Raleigh Revenio 3.0. I didn’t go with it because the Raleigh dealer here is a jerk. I ended up looking at a Cannondale CAAD10 and I fell in love, though it was a bit out of my budget. I finally came across a local dealer with a 2010 Cannondale CAAD9 4 with SRAM Rival/Force gruppo. I’m very happy with the bike!

  6. Rick says:

    I have a revino 3.0 and I just put a set of ksyrium elites on, and this bike is on another level because of the ksyriums! The 105 group is great! However, like most bikes the rims are crap! Finally, I brought this bike from a bike shop that rents them; $500! Anybody wants to save some $$$, check with the shop that rents them, you just might get a great deal? Love my Ksyriums on my Revino! Ride On!

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