Really at that sort of money you end up with a carbon frame which is badly constructed, and will ride worst than this high end alluminum frame. Aswell as this carbon is more liable to breakages so probably best to stick to allumium at this price point
This bike is well worth the 'best bike for under £1000' accolades and at this price you just can't go wrong. I love mine (bought in June13) and have put well over a 1000 miles on so far without any issues. The frame is stiff and the bike gets up to speed very quickly. Compared to a bottom end carbon it's a no brainier. Shim 105 is more than good enough for 99% of us (only the deluded disagree) and changes are slick. The brakes are a lot better than I had read about and this last Sunday in pouring rain from manic Central London (yeah I know) all the way to Guildford they never missed a beat. The original tyres in this downpour even @ 120 psi defied logic and gave confidence to push hard through 'wacky races' traffic so much so on safe return that night I wrote a specific review. Mine is fitted with time pedals and Giant computer. The overall 'feel' this whole package gives is one of bomb proof build quality (I was a welding engineer and I'm impressed with the frame) and class. It's a performance bargain and gets nods of approval from the elite at Richmond park on machines costing five times as much. Buy it. You won't be disappointed.
The laws of diminishing returns sure kicks in with a completely awesome viciousness. But that has always been the way it has been. Fine wines, watches, automobiles, washing machines. Why not for the humbles bicycle too? As the price for product 'X' increases the actual value decreases while the perceived exclusivity increases. Depending on your point of view, that is just good marketing, if it succeeds, or lying, deception and fraud, if you don't much care for it.
my spare bike is a 2009 defy 1. i'm 5'10" and it's a medium which fits perfectly. that's not to say it will be the same for all people of the same height. always a good idea to try out sizes at lbs, although it's a bit cheeky to try out a bike and then buy it online. why not find a lbs that stocks defy 1 and ask them to price match? that way you can get sized properly and will benefit from their advice. it's also easier to return the bike if it develops problems. it's always advisable to have the bike serviced between 30-60 days, and most lbs offer this for free.
Really? That seems very small for someone your size? But I guess if it works.... I'd probably go 55 as I'm 6 ft 1 and all my bikes are approx 58cm range ish. But you really won't know till you sit on one and try its yourself.