Carrera Ramblings

The last few days have seen me using a 2013/4 Model Carrera TDF ltd road bike , and to be honest it was a nice bike that I have always said is an ideal introduction to the world of road bikes without breaking the bank too much .

Carrera Ltd

A lot of people sneer at the idea of using a bike supplied by Halfords for whatever reason. Yes, I am sure quite a few people can re tell horror stories galore about them , but then there will always be bad tales about any shop or retailer if you look hard enough . I must admit my local Halfords doesn’t seem too bad in all fairness .

I have owned a couple of the earlier 1990’s Carrera road bikes and I have always liked them and they normally come with some great retro paint jobs to boot .

The bike I was using was in standard specification apart from a change of tyres . I normally ride 80’s road bikes with non-indexed gearing and side pull brakes so it always makes a change to try a bike with modern calipers and sti controlled gearing . Although the Shimano Tourney gear levers and mechanisms fitted are at the lower end of the range offered I found them perfectly fine in operation in comparison to my regular mounts . Shifting the levers brought a resounding click as either mechanism moved the chain to whatever gear it was being asked to do .

Carrera sti

A couple of weeks ago I used the Ridley cross bow I blogged about and that is fitted with Campagnola Veloce sti control units mated to shimano 105 and sora mechanisms and these were a lot quieter and smoother in operation for sure . But then the cost of the sti units and mechanisms alone are more than the Carrera TDF sell for new .

Campagnolo Veloce

I also used my time on the Carrera as a comparison to the steel retro road bikes I normally ride. The first thing I noticed was that it felt a bit lighter but certainly not by a lot, even when fitted with a carbon fork . The quality of ride was good and felt smooth on the mixture of roads and cycle paths I rode it on . The handling was not as precise and positive compared to the Aende I have been using lately even though both were fitted with Vittorio Rubino tyres .


The other thing I did notice was that the Carrera didn’t feel like a hooligans bike like some do i.e. the Dave Hinde I have at the moment makes you feel like you have to ride it as fast as possible at all times whereas the TDF was quite happy bumbling along .

Dave Hinde

Frame construction on the Carrera was quite well finished for what is a lower end bike and the welds were not too big and ugly in all fairness . But I could never get excited about a welded joint especially when comparing to a lugged frame .

Dave Hinde

My overall thoughts on the Carrera was that it would make a great intro road bike if the buyer wanted a new  bike for the same price you can buy a good quality steel retro bike with a lot more character and style . The bike arrived with a rear hub that needed rebuilding so I think anybody buying a new one would be well advised to have the hubs checked and adjusted before taking delivery .

2 thoughts on “Carrera Ramblings

  1. I think Halfords (I know) sells everything at maximum price, & when you’ve bought it you trust the various ‘mechanics’ to assemble it, & trust Halfords to give you good aftercare.
    That’s how I see Halfords. An expensive last resort…..

    If/when you know better, you buy their products elsewhere, or, slightly second hand & take advantage of big, instant depreciation..
    Value for money is not Halfords strap-line.

    Nevertheless a lot of people new to cycling, check Halfords first. That is a product of their effective advertising & scale of operations, & I like to see people cycling: ) Whichever they are introduced to it…..

    Always cool to read your impressions: )

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