Bought a Specialized Secteur Bicycle (9th November 2012)

Costing just under £480 including delivery from eBay. The one careful – although cycle-mad – owner has a double-digit collection bicycles. He rode it 3 times and loved it so much he bought the super-duper carbon-fibe model it was based on, called the Robaix.

Although I’ve been looking casually for a new or newish road bicycle, nothing had really grabbed my attention. Learning about what components are worth having, weight in the frame versus weight in the wheels, comfort versus aerodynamic position…it’s a bewildering multi-dimensional array of choices.

This bike simply looked right. Immediately. Instinctively. The livery, colours, shifters, every detail as well as the overall shape.

It was the first one which stood out to me. It kept drawing me back during the week it was listed.

Reading the description, gathering reviews and comparisons confirmed my feeling that this was a great introduction for commuters. (The similar Allez model has a more racey riding position which some commuters found uncomfortable.)


The seller is clearing out his double-digit bicycle collection and is eroding the mountain of spares which has built up around them. Bonus!

Colour-matched to the bicycle. His wife’s influence, there! I have a red Specialized one which doesn’t fit.
Bottle cage:
Essential in Summer. Even a British Summer!
Front and rear lights:
I have lost a front light during the past year.
Compact bicycle pump:
Could be good for holidays. I have a single-cylinder footpump with good pressure guage but it’s heavy.
Like a Swiss Army knife for cyclists, this one includes the extra-skinny spanner for adjusting axle bearings.

Hopefully a pair of normal platform pedals will find their way into the box. He always clips into the pedals because he loves powering up hills.


The seller recommended Paisley Freight’s Push Bike option. It’s a really nice site, a very different world to Shiply and suchlike. Flat rate fee of about £26 includes £100 of insurance.

They can collect it from the seller’s location on Monday evening and deliver to me during Tuesday. I happen to be off work both of those days, so it works out perfectly.

It’s Arrived! (13th November 2012)

Entire box weighs 15.7kg. The frame and all components look immacculate! The helment has all the proper adjustments and internal padding, so it fits me quite easily.

Some assembly required as it was flat-packed. Everything on it uses allen keys and the multi-tool has all the right sizes. Easy!

Digital bathroom scales tell me it weights about 10.5kg, nearly half my old steel racer. Really feel the difference lifting it onto pavements and lowering into road.

Had a test ride around some quiet residential roads. A couple of adjustments to saddle height and handlebar angle, now it feels just right. Very very smooth ride.

Getting used to the fancy shifters. My hands are only just large enough to reach the little lever from the dropped bars. Easy from the bullhorns. The brake lever shifts gears in the other direction and that’s easy enough in either position.

Transmission runs smooth…so smooth…it’s a lot of money but first impressions are very good.