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With the huge surge in popularity of road cycling the £1000 price point for complete bicycles has become extremely competitive, proving a popular entry price for many new cyclists or an first major upgrade for existing riders.

It’s interesting looking back at RCUK’s last £1000 buyers guide, written in 2005, and seeing just how much value for money has improved at this price. Bikes not only look better and smarter, but there’s a wider choice of manufacturers vying for customers meaning that in 2010 you get a lot for your money compared to a few short years ago.

Frames have seen considerable improvement. Aluminium is still the most popular choice of material and has been around long enough for manufacturers to have tweaked and honed it to near perfection, with triple butting and profiled tubesets a common sight. Carbon fibre is beginning to break through at this price more often too, something unimaginable a decade ago.

For groupsets there’s now more choice, with SRAM entering the market a few years ago. Shimano and Campagnolo have issued major updates to their entry level groupsets. There’s plenty of  ‘trickle down’, with improvements previously only available on top-end groupsets now seen at the opposite end of the range. This, in a nutshell, means better shifting performance, better brakes and increased ergonomics.

Read on to see the eight bikes...