Review – ALDI Crane Road Bike, the Better Supermarket Bike

Aldi Special Buys Road Bike

ALDI is doing a lot of things well; it has captured the attention of Australian consumers along with a healthy share of the grocery market. But ALDI do more than groceries, they sometimes do bikes and in their July Special Buys, ALDI are selling a men’s road bike, the Crane 700, at a price which verges on “too good to be true.” Since ALDI and other “supermarket bikes” are a frequent topic for discussion on our forums, I obtained a pre-release bike and rode it for a month so I could let you know whether it’s worth a second look, or whether you should just head straight for the cat food.

July is a big month for cycling. The Tour de France motivates people to brave the cooler temperatures, so there is always a surge in bike sales in July. ALDI are planning on taking full advantage of this with their release of the Crane 700 accompanied by a range of cycling gear in the Special Buys program. ALDI have had cycling gear many times before and have even sold a Crane mountain bike and a folding bike. These deals are limited time offers and keen cyclists spread the word quickly when there is a particularly good bargain to be had. This sometimes means crowds of cyclists at the front doors before opening time and always leads to the ‘hot’ gear selling out very fast.


The Stigma of the Supermarket Bike

The term “supermarket bike” is a pejorative term for bicycles sold at supermarkets and department stores such as Kmart, Target and BigW. The number of these bikes sold each year is surprisingly high; some industry insiders say that in Australia more bikes are sold in supermarkets than in bike shops. Supermarket bikes are cheap, they look “the part” (to the general public, at least) and are a convenient purchase, but they are also great rust collectors. The average supermarket bike buyer doesn’t have the background knowledge in bicycles to differentiate a supermarket bike from a bicycle from a reputable bike shop. As a rule of thumb, supermarket bikes tend to end up on the side of the road for the next rubbish collection while quality bikes become hand-me-downs.

The ALDI Crane men’s road bike needs to prove that it is able to escape this stigma and offer genuine value for money. It needs to show that it offers a reasonable level of component and build quality, and it has to have some level of customer service and support. We will examine each of these elements in this review and discover how it rates.


Who is the ALDI Bike for?

In our reviews we typically talk about the target audience at the end, after covering the specifications, features, and the ride. For this review it is worth describing the perfect customer first to provide context. The Crane Road 700 is a men’s road bike, so this automatically cuts out half of the population. A saddle change and some positional adjustments will still allow it to be fitted to women but, despite the noticeable increase in women riding road bikes, men are the primary audience.

Aldi Crane Bike Quality

The ALDI road bike sits, quite clearly, in the ‘lycra’ category. As a sporting road bike, cycling shorts (knicks) and a cycling jersey will be the most comfortable cycling attire to wear. You can still get away with shorts and a T-shirt though, but when the shorts start chaffing and the sweaty T-shirt clings to your skin you will quickly understand the advantage of upgrading to lycra. And if you are middle-aged, welcome to the MAMIL club -you are now a Middle Aged Man in Lycra, which is something to be proud about.

The ALDI bike is priced at $399 and is an entry ticket into the world of road racing if it’s your first road bike. It could be the bike for you if you are a young adult on a tight budget or if have a few more years of life experience and are keen to get onto a road bike without over-stretching your finances.

If you already fancy yourself as road cyclist and have a road bike or two, the Crane 700 Road bike should not be on your shopping list. Road cyclists strive for aerodynamics and a low weight, even when the goal is recreation and not competition. The Crane is a competent entry level road bike but doesn’t compete at the next level.


She’s got the look

This is a very good looking road bike… cheap bikes often look cheap, but not this one. The looks have no effect on performance or quality, but in the world of road cycling, it is good to look good. On aesthetics alone, it looks like it belongs in the bunch and my cycling buddies all assumed that it was far more expensive.

Aldi Crane Road Bike

Aldi Blue Road Bike

The glossy black frame features contemporary red (or blue) accents with parts and accessories to match. In an unusual move, the frame doesn’t sport a logo, aside from a small sticker of abstract text on the back of the seat tube that reads Road 700. This works very well.

Aldi Road Bike Review

At a glance, only the pedals with toe-clips are a give-away that this bike is an entry level bike. Most road cyclists will immediately upgrade to clip-in pedals, but if you are starting out, toe-clips are a good way to start.


The Crane 700 Road Bike in Detail

The Crane 700 has an aluminium frame, which is appropriate for entry level bikes, but has been paired with carbon fiber forks, which is a surprising addition at this price point and a real plus. Carbon fiber has become the default material for fabricating mid to high end bicycle frames and forks. One of the properties of carbon fiber is that it has excellent damping properties and will take out more road noise (vibration) compared with aluminium, thus provides a smoother ride.

Aliminium Carbon Fiber Road Bike

The frame of the review bike featured clean welds. When looking at aluminium bikes, you look for gaps in the welding or where it’s not uniform; this is an indicator of sloppy manufacturing and is a common trait of typical supermarket bikes.

Read About Frame Sizing: Expand Section

Read About the Groupset: Expand Section

Read about the Wheels: Expand Section

Read about the Accessories: Expand Section

Read about Upgrading: Expand Section



In my opinion, there are three real highlights on this frame. Firstly, it has internal cable routing, which you would expect only on more expensive bikes. The internal routing hides the rear brake and gear cable inside the frame and makes it much tidier.

tapered Headtube

Secondly, bolts on the rear seat stays give you the option of adding pannier racks. Though these bolts are not typical for modern road bikes, they provide the functionality and versatility to make the Crane 700 a commuter or light touring bike. Lastly, the frame has a tapered head-tube which means that the tubed section at the front of the bike, through which the forks pass through, has a conical form rather than being a straight tube. While weight savings are not the key priority for this bike, this mechanical interface gives the bike more stability.


Assembly and Customer Service

Before taking the ALDI Crane road bike on the road and evaluating the performance, let’s talk about the overall sales and service to see if this bike really is better than the run-of-the-mill supermarket bikes. Breaking the evaluation into four parts, I want to know if this bike is 1) attractively priced with 2) a reasonable level of quality along with 3) great assembly and 4) customer support.

At $399, it’s fantastic value. There are a couple of competitors such as Reid Cycles and Cell Bikes who have similarly spec’ed bikes at higher prices. With the specifications and features such as the carbon fiber fork and internal cabling routing, ALDI is in pole position.

The duration of the review was relatively short with only a limited time to really test the bike. During the time I had it I found that the quality of the build and components were good; though they are entry level components, they work well. The bike works as expected and provides a good road cycling experience. If you look after it, you should expect a reasonable lifespan.

The out-of-the-box assembly of the bike is not something I was able to trial as the review bike was already assembled when I received it. Most boxed bikes come partially assembled and the customer has to do the final part. ALDI customers don’t have the advantage of a mechanic completing assembly in-store, but they do attempt to make up for it by providing comprehensive instructions, a customer support hotline, and online videos with some assembly information.

The manual is complex because it covers assembly and maintenance of different types of bikes such as MTBs. I would prefer to see a step-by-step manual specifically for this bike.

Extra Loud Bike Bell

Bicycle Pedals Grease Monkey

Aldi Bike Recommend

The actual assembly should be quite straight forward: you need to fit the front wheel, the pedals, seat post, handlebars, bell and reflectors. Tools are not provided so you will need to organise a 4mm and 6mm Allen key for the handlebar (face plate) and saddle, as well as a 15mm spanner (or adjustable wrench) for the pedals and a phillips head screw driver for bell and reflectors.

Aldi Bike Assembly

Supermarket Aldi Bike

In fact, to assemble correctly you need a torque wrench (rather than Allen keys) as the handlebar face place specifies a torque of 6Nm. Saddle posts typically require a torque setting of 5 – 6Nm, however this wasn’t specified . Be warned, a torque wrench typically costs upwards of $80 and if you don’t have one you will have a nice little dilemma: do you ignore the torque settings?, do you buy a torque wrench to use once? or do you know someone who can lend you a torque wrench? This is a dilemma you don’t have when you buy from a bike shop, although some online retailers who ship partly assembled bikes in boxes provide a basic torque wrench which will allow you to complete the fully bike assembly to specification.

Aldi Bike Gears

16 speed Aldi Bike

Though the gears should be setup properly and shift smoothly when you unpack, if there are shifting issues it can appear daunting to rectify. The manual includes a curious warning “DANGER – Modern bicycles are highly technical. Carrying out work on them requires special knowledge, experience and special tools. Do not carry out any work on the bicycle yourself. Take your bicycle to a specialist dealer for repairs, servicing and overhauls.”

To help customers who get stuck or have questions about assembly, ALDI are providing a support hotline which puts them a step ahead of a regular supermarket. If you are completely unfamiliar with bikes, are not a friend of basic mechanics, and don’t have the patience to sift through the manual, you may struggle. My practical tip is to get a cycling friend to help you out. Not only can they ensure that the bike is well set up, they can provide useful advice for riding and may even join you as a cycling buddy on the road.

Though the manual, hotline, and assembly videos seek to help buyers, some beginner cyclists may still struggle. I would prefer to see tools included and a solution for the torque wrench, but buyers need to be reminded that while this bike represents excellent value for money, it comes with the responsibility (or inconvenience) of assembly.

My verdict is that this is the one area where this ALDI bike struggles to differentiate itself from a supermarket bike.

Customer Support
I know what the customer support is like for bikes at Kmart, BigW and Target customer service; it would be fairly described as non-existent. The ALDI bike has standard equipment and sizes meaning that repairs and replacements are possible. Some supermarket bikes have proprietary sizing on parts meaning that repair and replacement is next to impossible or the cost or repair and replacement is more than original purchase price. The quality of the build of the ALDI bike is good, so once it’s properly assembled, it is unlikely to fall apart.

For customers who get stuck, ALDI promise a hotline with a real person to help customers with bike problems. If all else fails, Aldi have a returns policy and will replace or refund purchases within 60 days. This is a “no questions asked” policy which goes well beyond customer rights under Australian consumer law. In comparison, the Kmart, BigW and Target policy is strictly to the letter of the law; if you change your mind, items have to be in returned within 28 days in their original packaging and in a re-saleable condition (unopened, unused) to be considered for a refund or a voucher.


So is it a supermarket bike?

Technically, this is a supermarket bike, however the ALDI Crane bike is able to escape most of the inherent problems of typical supermarket bikes. The generous returns policy gets a big thumbs up because, if all else fails, you will get your money back, rather than the cold shoulder. If this bike is for you, get one of your cycling friends to assist with the assembly.

The ALDI bike is pretty convincing, however this review isn’t over yet. We need to know how it performs on the road first to see if this is a good beginners road bike.


On the Road with the ALDI Crane Road Bike

Rolling in to join my regular riding bunch in Sydney, the ALDI bike looks the part and fits right in. I have to work much harder because this bike is 3.5 kilos heavier than my own carbon fiber road bike. The ALDI bike weighs about 10.5 kilos and to appreciate this weight difference, it would be like comparing a racing car with a four wheel drive.

I am a solid rider in my group, so I was still able to taunt some of the others by passing them up the hills. With faster bunches or on long distance rides, you have to be much fitter than your companions as this bike requires a lot more energy for the same returns. For a beginner however, ride performance and speed is not a priority. I would expect beginners will likely cycle with others of similar ability or solo. This bike will let you enjoy short and medium distance 60 kilometre rides with a feeling of accomplishment.

Kenda Tyres Profile

The bike weight was noticeable going uphill, though the gear range still lets you conquer steep inclines. For higher speed cycling and downhill I easily ran out of gears and had to be content coasting. The bike is not a naturally fast bike – I assumed that the 3kg extra weight would propel me downhill and was surprised that I was slower. The Kenda tyre tread mean that it is a slow rolling tyre and the frame and wheels were not built for aerodynamics. But again, the beginner cyclist suited to this bicycle isn’t pushing the limits and would be well served by this bike.

I felt comfortable with the robust frame which handled descents and curves well. The carbon forks were a real asset and worked well to provide a smoother ride.

While riding, one thing that really bothered me was the knocking sound of the rear brake cable banging against the frame. I know plenty of cyclists who are unfazed by misaligned gears, creaking, and ticking, but if this bike was mine I would use some MacGyver techniques to eliminate the sound.

When I put myself in the shoes of a beginner cyclist who has purchased the ALDI bike, I expect that it will take some time to become familiar with the gears, to find the right saddle position, and to get comfortable with the bike. For the price, you get a lot of bike; it is your entry ticket to road cycling.



Despite the classy paint job, the ALDI Crane men’s road bike doesn’t pretend to be a fast and light race machine. Instead it is a very affordable beginners road bike which is a solid performer. It provides better assembly options than a typical supermarket bike, but may challenge some buyers who will need to get extra help to complete assembly. The ALDI returns policy is reassuring and provide buyers with peace of mind.

These bikes are such good value that they have the potential to sell-out within hours… or sooner.

ALDI store locations:

Product Details:

Aldi Crane Road 700 Mens Road Bike (RRP $ 399)

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About The Author

Christopher Jones is a recreational cyclist and runs a professional design business, Signale. As the driving force behind he has one of each 'types' of bicycles.

74 responses to “Review – ALDI Crane Road Bike, the Better Supermarket Bike”

  1. Ms Goar Grigorian says:

    Hi Christopher,
    Thanks for the review, would you recommend this bike for ladies? I’m looking to purchase one, however it’s not clear if this is suitable for both genders or not. I would appreciate your comment.
    Thank you

  2. For a women, you will need a different saddle, generally a broader saddle to match the sit bones and provide more comfort.

    Otherwise ensure that the geometry / size is matches – apart from the saddle, it is not gender specific. I should point out that as a heavy bike – to get a lighter bike it means a bigger investment however.

  3. Bruce Howard says:

    Another attack on Bike shops , brick and mortar shop operators have a harder enough time competing with the Net anyway!
    I hope they paid you well for the blurb because that’s all it is blurb !!!
    Hang your head low Bicycle Network

    • Steven says:

      Really Bruce?
      Maybe a good quality entry level bike may introduce more newbies to the sport who will then move on to a high end bike.
      This may happen if the newbies don’t run into too many muppet road warriors to turn them off with their arrogance!
      Get your nose out of the clouds mate!

  4. Colin says:

    Hi Chris – Is the fork full carbon? Is the steerer tube carbon too?


  5. Tissa says:

    What Aldi should next time is to think about selling belt drive bicycles for both genders with 3 speed internal hub. All this set up is very much user friendly.when the belt life is around 1500 kms or 10 years what else you expect from a commutator bicycle?

    • Terry C says:

      1500 km is a very short life for a drive belt. A well maintained chain will go at least 5000 km.

  6. Colin, not it is not a full carbon fork, but it still provides damping.

    Bruce – with the media landscape today that it is easy to assume that content is paid or there is vested interest – this is not the case with this website where we have always put the interests of the community first. Bicycles Network Australia does not run paid reviews and if we were to do a review or article which was paid, this would be disclosed. In contrast to many bike magazines, we also do not ‘require’ advertising to do reviews.

    If you have followed this website – you will know that we prioritise Australian based business and have worked hard over the last 17 years to support the local industry. As an example, the directory listing for Angry Butcher Bikes on is free as I feel that it is fairer to provide complete coverage rather than operate a paid directory which only has partial coverage – even if it means hours of work every month maintaining the directory. And I get regular feedback from bike shops about the very high quality referrals and customer leads who come to their shop via

    A lot of local bike shops are very successful and understand how to operate a great business and compete against or utilise the internet. In the Australian Online Cycling Marketplace Report which I published a few years back, it covers the strategies for competing online, or against online business successfully.

    For clarification, we are not associated with Bicycle Network Victoria and understand that this has been an ongoing point of confusion since they changed their name.


  7. Tissa, belt drive bikes are fantastic but are in a significantly higher price category – a key reason is that the frames need to be constructed specifically for belt-drive bikes and are more complex.

  8. Ralph Nimbin says:

    For what its worth i have had no luck with bricks and mortar bike stores, the ones i have dealt with i Brisbane have been a very poor investment indeed. After handing over gobs of money with very little return i am more than happy to advocate online or “supermarket” outlets.

  9. Michael says:

    What is the maximum size tyres that the frame will allow? The problem with most road bikes is that they have tyres that are too skinny for commuting comfortably or for tackling sketchy road conditions, and most road bike frames will allow only a maximum of 26-27 mm tyres.

  10. Shiv says:

    Hi Christopher, Thanks for your comprehensive review. I Require some very basic advise. I would be a beginner cyclist, not having cycled for a decade now. Am 6ft 1inch and guessing I should go for the larger frame ? Could you also advise the car accessories which would be required ? Thanks.

  11. Michael, the Kenda tyres supplied are 23mm wide and 25mm would comfortably fit. While I have 32mm tyres on an old steel bike (Alex Rims) it is trial an error as to whether the bead sits well.

    You could use a puncture protection tape and drop the tyre pressure, otherwise on cost alone, it may not be worth upgrading wheels – so you would go for a robust commuter style bike from Cell Bikes or Reid Cycles.

    Shiv, Aldi have some sizing guide information:
    53cm –Medium Suitable for riders 170-180cm
    56cm –Large: Suitable for riders 180-190cm

    The Large is likely the most suitable size for you – but look for some bike frame size calculators online, put in your details and confirm. Aldi bike geometry info is here:

    Accessories you need:
    Bike Light (white front, red back)

    Recommended Accessories:
    Bottle Cage
    Saddlebag with
    – Spare inner tube
    – puncture repair kit
    – tyre levers (2)
    – Multitool

    Cycle Wear (optional / suggested)
    – Bib Knicks (lycra shorts)
    – Cycling Jersey

    Chain lube is a good idea – but stays in the workshop

    Not sure if it is a typo with ‘car’, to transport the bike there are quick releases for the front and rear wheels so it can fit in most cars with the front and rear wheels removed. Use an old towel to protect the boot (or back seat) from grease.

    • Shiv says:

      Thanks again – Car wasn’t a typo. Sorry, I hadn’t articulated the question right but I have got more clarification than I asked for as you have mentioned all accessories. I had wanted to know how to transport the bike on the back of my car but I gather from your response that it fits within the car so that is another plus. Am going to beat the crowds to get my hand on this bike and related accessories . Cheers, Shiv

    • Terry C says:

      A 56 cm bike would be far too small for some one over 6 feet tall.

  12. Juan says:

    Hello Chris, nice review. I’m a beginner here in Australia. But I used to ride back I’m Argentina. I was looking for something to start commuting to work. Would you recommend it in that case? Thanks!

  13. Hi Juan, actually a very difficult question and where staff at a bike shop can help provide a lot of guidance to suit your requirements.

    The key is that this is a road bike, and while it is an entry level road bike, it still has the drop bars (curved handlebars) and will give you a more sporting style ride.

    Many commuters however will be most comfortable with a ‘flat bar’ style bike – then generally have a more comfortable and upright riding position and also the wider tyres (which can run at lower tyre pressure and be more comfortable).

    In Australia, the commuters who ride road bikes tend to also ride road bikes for sport and recreation so they are comfortable with the riding position and use the commute for fitness / training.

    This means that this bike will more likely suited as a sport and fitness bike for people starting out with cycling. That said, some experienced cyclists will see it as a budget bike for commuting, accepting the weight and lower performance as a trade-off.

    It would be worthwhile looking around a bit first to identify the type of bike which will best suit.

    • Jeff says:

      Well answered Chris. I bought a second hand (basically new) Reid bike with shimano 105 gearing for $450 after realising the cost to maintain my Trek Madone (with ultegra) as a commuter bike would be expensive. This price point appears to be a good 2nd bike for riders building fitness during the weekly commute or training sessuin so when it comes to competing on the weekend you will fly on you carbon bike.

  14. Ellie fry says:

    Hello Christopher, this bike has me on a hook. I am 16 years old 168cm and I have had an old hand me down Marvin star road bike witch I absolutely love. I have always wanted a new bike bust can’t afford it and once o saw this I was excited. I just like to ride around town and out of town to school and etc do you think this bike would be good to do so and will I be pleased? I also checked size of frames suitible for me and it said about 52cm or something.

  15. Vinnie Batten says:

    Hi Chris!

    Two questions –

    I have a sizable length length discrepancy (several CM), and was wondering what your thoughts are for the most viable way to compensate for this, and whether it would be possible on this bike. I have a built up shoe, but it is very bulky and impractical.

    And, how would you compare this model to this one from 99bikes?

  16. Gabe says:

    I would not recommend this bike to anybody!

    A CHEAP roadbike is about $899 at any bike store – for a good reason. Don’t waste your time on ine of these disappointments!

  17. Paddy M says:

    Hello Chris, thanks for the article.

    I’m considering retiring a 25yr old steel framed commuter for this bike, but for me, having lugs on the front for mud guards, and twin lugs on the back for mud guards and a pannier are essential.

    From the pictures on the article, I can’t see if it has front lugs, but it does appear to have only one set of rear lugs.
    I know you can fit adaptors, but would appreciate if you can clarify.


  18. Hi Ellie fry, I suggest sticking to your Malvern Star which will probably be lighter and more agile – even a tyre upgrade will have a positive impact on performance. Essentially if you have a good bike in good working order then you are already set to go and can save up for a bike a few levels up if you want a swifter bike.

    Hi Vinnie – A bike fitter will pay off if you ride regularly. In practice it would mean fitting cleats rather than toe-straps. Shimano have the Click’R system which is easier and more convenient for recreational riders and they have sneaker style shoes. The cleat height (stack-height) would be built up to compensate but a bike fitter would also ensure that the rest of your position is working well. It is an investment that pays off, I don’t know anyone who has regretted getting a bike fit.

    Regarding the 99Bikes ‘Pedal’, the ALDI Crane is better value. However with 99Bikes, they are a real bike shop so need to do the setup and provide in-shop service which ALDI is not able to do.

    Watch out on the price of the 99Bikes model, they have some small-print which suggests you have to join their ‘club’ to get that price.

    Gabe, there is often a correlation between price and quality but I will share a few of the other factors with regard to this bike.

    This retail price of $399 is significantly lower than comparable bikes on the market with the same specification. For ALDI, this is about getting people instore.

    For people on a budget who won’t or can’t spend $899 on a road bike, this is a good entry into road cycling for the price. Cheap and safe bikes bring more people into cycling and when it is a good experience, they will then move to higher price bikes when they want more performance.

    Bike Stores generally don’t stock road bikes in this price point – some such as Cell Bikes and Reid have moved into this segment with their own brand bikes as there is a lot of demand.

    From my own experience riding this bicycle with my regular bunch – i.e. all carbon fiber race bikes, it is easily the slowest and heaviest bike of the bunch so I was glad to return to my own bike. But I did confirm that it is safe, suitable and good value.

    Hi Paddy, this doesn’t have bolts on the forks so you would need to fit the style of mudguards that are fastened via the front brake calliper bolt hole and optionally the axles – note, the lawyer lips (which help prevent the quick release and wheels from accidentally falling out) are massive – and may prevent you from connecting struts.

    If your steel bike is in good knick, stick with it as this bike is a ‘first bike’ though not an upgrade. You might find that your steel road bike travels a bit better than this Aluminium bike.


    • Ray Anthony says:

      Dear Chris
      I am very interested in this bike. What size wheels does it have? Two years ago I had an old heavy bike stolen and I bought a much lighter bike from Aldi with 70cm wheels and 21 gears ($129). I found it a great improvement and while the wheels are just a little bit big for getting on and off the extra performance is worth it. My height is 172.5cm Would you recommend this bike for me and medium or large? I am aged 70 ride between 40-100 miles/week.

  19. aik says:

    Is there assembly manual available online? Thanks.

  20. Hi aik, ALDI have basic information (specs) on their website. A very thick ‘generic’ assembly manual provided.

    In theory it has everything you need however it has mountain of information that is required by regulation but is effectively overkill. Unfortunately there is no simple step-by-step guide (like IKEA).

    With ALDI, you don’t get the benefit of a bike shop assembly, I recommend finding a friend who rides and has a good understanding of bikes and getting their help to ensure that it is correctly and safely assembled.

  21. Hello Ray, the tyres are 700c which is standard for road bikes and equates to 29″ or 622mm.

    Based on the ALDI guide, for a 172.5cm heigh rider, the Medium is likely the most suitable size though as each body is different, look for bike frame size calculators online with google and then reference the results with the geometry ALDI provide:

    If you are already cycling up to 160km a week, you will have more joy stretching your budget and going for a higher specced, lighter weight and better performing bike. I would so far as to say you deserve it though it will put the price up. Alternatively a second hand bike – you can pick up carbon fiber bikes with 105 or Ultegra in good condition. My concern is that this bike is too heavy and rigid so may take the fun out of riding.


  22. For interest, there is also discussion about this bicycle in the Australian Cycling Forums:

    Worth checking the forum and the responses provided here in the comments if you have questions to check if they have already been answered.

    Otherwise, I am happy to answer any other questions here.

  23. Dave Gaham says:

    Christopher Jones nice review in it you say your 185 cms tall but rode the 53 CM Aldi yet they
    recommend the 56 cm for people taller than 180 cm ….. why didn’t you ride the 53 cm ?

    it looks like a good training bike as long as frame size is same as a persons race bike

  24. Harry says:

    On the subject of weight, you say this 10.5kg bike is heavy. I’ve got a $99 Target road bike that weighs 19.5kg (good for building fitness) so don’t put off potential new cyclists with the impression this Aldi bike is a monstrous hunk of metal!

    Now, Aldi reckons:
    53cm –Medium Suitable for riders 170-180cm
    56cm –Large: Suitable for riders 180-190cm
    You are 185cm, but you’ve chosen Medium
    Does this mean that inside leg measurement is more important then height?

  25. Richard Kaczorowski says:

    Hi Christopher,
    My question is do you Know the Crank lenght ?? 170mm ??? 175mm.
    and do you think there would be much drama removing the 30T crank and fitting A 54T gear and adjusting the front derailleur offset. On my current commuter I have 38-50-54T gears and have never needed to drop down the below 50 on the crank and mid range on the rear 7 cluster.

  26. Hi Dave, I generally ride a 54 – 55cm frame and they had the 53cm M available for the review.

    To set up it was predominantly about the saddle height and saddle position and I used my current frame and setup as a reference which means I was close to my regular position. Frame geometry will affect handling and I tend to find smaller frames agile – especially up hills and a little less efficient on the flat at higher speeds. Perhaps due to the weight, this wasn’t agile however adjusting I was able to get a close fit.

    As a training bike – I would still opt for another bike, this Aldi bike is a good entry however if you are more experienced, you may find it cumbersome and far less enjoyable compared to your regular or race bike.

    Hi Harry, 10.5 kg is heavy for a road racer, even decent steel road racing bikes from the eighties come in well underneath this.

    For a commuter or ‘hack’ bike, the weight is not a big deal – though for actual road cycling – even just being a weekend warrior on a casual 50km ride, the extra kilograms will have an effect.

    You could argue that it may be better for fitness…. or even loosing a few kilograms of body weight will help – both valid but it is still fair to put the bike weight into perspective.

    As an entry level road bike, the best case scenario is that this gets more riders out on the road – people who may never have tried (for whatever reason) and is a stepping stone. When upgrade time comes along and the riders move up to a lighter and more performance orientated bike, the improvement in cycling will then be remarkable.

    Hi Richard, the cranks are 170mm.

    On the front it has a 54T and 34T chainring – If you are suggesting removing the smaller 34T chainring completely – shouldn’t be a issue – but instead you could ignore it or if you didn’t want to accidentally shift, adjust the front derailleur but leave the chainring on. It probably has protruding screws so you would then need shorter ones so it would be simply to leave as is.

    Essentially you have a lot of options – if you do put new gear on, do the research to confirm compatibility but the good thing with this bike is that it uses standard sizes.

    • Richard Kaczorowski says:

      Thanks for getting back, For some reason I thought it had 50T and 30T and hence my question regarding dropping smaller and putting a 54 in its place so as to maintain a higher top end speed. My current commuter weighs in at 14Kgs and dropping to 10.5Kgs is a nice given the price. At 58years I can’t justify going and spending an extra $1k for a low end carbon fiber frame.
      170mm cranks are a bit of a problem as I’, 1.83M and have longe legs shorter torso, so I’ll have to see what the cost will be to retro fit 175mm cranks/crank set (~$90-120)

  27. Ellie fry says:

    Can you do a full assemble without the torque wrench?

  28. Hi Richard, compare the Cell Bikes and Reid Cycles options – the comparable specc’ed bikes will be priced a little higher but if you get the longer crank you will get the same end-result.

    Otherwise, look out for a second hand carbon fiber bike with Shimano 105.

    Hi Ellie,

    As the author of the review, my responsibility to ensure that readers have information to ensure their safety so I have to recommend using a torque wrench as specified in the manual. Some people will simply do it by hand with an Allen key and there can be a risk of over-tightening or under-tightening.

    Since writing the article, I have spotted some ‘single torque’ torque wrenches – they give you only 6Nm (for example) and come with a set of hex bits and cost less than $30. They are not adjustable so if a bike has different torque requirements, then it is not the perfect option. On this bike however, if I recall correctly, only the handlebar face plate has defined torque settings (6Nm) and this torque is also suitable for most bike seat posts if not otherwise defined. In any case, an affordable option for peace-of-mind.


  29. Jason says:

    Richard, 170mm cranks are fine at your height, 175s are knee breakers. ALDI have had some great bikes in the past most notably last years 350$ mountain bike which was fantastic. About the kid with the Malvern star (which likely weighs over 12kg), with good tyres the Aldi bike will be faster but not much, steel bikes are great for living the teenage dream. I really don’t think a road bike at this price will walk out the door like the mountain bike did and I’d take a bet you’ll be able to get one of these for 350 or less when they clear them in a few weeks. Remember though, 90% of a bikes performance is how it fits you and the tyres. Kenda tyres are good, but they aren’t race tyres. By the way I’d bet this bike could weigh 10.0kg or under with a pedal and tyre upgrade. Nothing wrong with a cheap bike, the more people on bikes the better. Don’t buy the large frame unless you are well over 6 foot would be my best advice, there isn’t anything worse in the world than a too big road frame.

  30. Carolynn says:

    Hi Chris, it’s been good reading the comments, it has helped me to decide, but I do have a question, the size of the bike…appears not to be suitable if ones height is 165cm is this correct? Thank you

  31. aik says:

    Christopher, thanks for the response. I am riding last 6 years a 18.5kg mountain bike Merida Dakar and it has never seen a professional service so I kinda know all the basics but I never needed torque wrench – this is why I asked; and I understood why I might need one and I am borrowing one. Since I am only commuting (4000km this year, Canberra) and it gets really boring when riding more than 30km, I guess new Aldi bike should do the same job slightly better and give me an idea if ever want to go any further with road bikes. Do I miss anything here? 🙂

  32. Hi Carolynn, difficult to provide a definitive answer – I am a believer in getting a good fit – but there is still the ability to make some changes to provide a better fit such as lowering the seat post, moving the seat forward and swapping over for a shorter stem.

    If you can get a good fit, the handling characteristics of a larger frame may still provide a different ride (climbing / cruising). The best case however would be a frame size that specifically suits.

    Hi aik, a road bike will give you a different riding/body to a mountain bike – your torso leans further forward. For commuting a road bike would be swifter and racey – the higher tyre pressure means it is not quite as comfortable as a MTB. If the road bike style however suits – you will certainly notice the difference in weight and in speed.


  33. Ray Anthony says:

    Thanks Chistopher,
    Ray Anthony

  34. Bryan says:

    Hi Chris, I am new to road bike. I am 179.5cm tall and 95kgs in weight, what size would you recommend me to get? I am guessing that I should get a large, do you agree?
    Also, i haven’t had any experience of putting a bike together, is this something easy to do? What are the tools required to assemble it? Thanks

  35. Hi Bryan, check the ALDI size chart which has been linked above (PDF).

    Regarding the assembly, check the review which I cover this and outline the tools.

    Typically the brakes are setup however I recommend that all buyers check the brakes – or get them double-checked from a bike friend. While you can assume that are probably setup – as your safety depends on it, it is worth taking the time to do this properly.

    This includes:
    – Ensuring that they grip and stop the bike
    – Ensuring that the break pads are properly aligned to the braking surface – including with toe-in which means that the front of the brake pads is slightly closer so begins to grip earlier and prevents squealing and better braking modulation.

  36. Bill says:

    Considering Australia’s obesity problem, the 10 1/2 kg bike may not be the smartest place to begin looking for weight savings 🙂

  37. Hi Bill, it is the nature of road cyclists to aspire to weight savings and performance by looking at the bike first and not necessary the extra few kilograms that they may be carrying in body weight,

    Bike weight still has an impact and so is still an important attribute to cover – though if the bike is right, we will hopefully see thousands of new riders on the roads as a result.

  38. Josh L-J says:

    Hi Chris, thanks for the information. I am 168cm’s, would you reccomemd the bike for me in a size M or do you think that finding a smaller frame would wiser?

  39. Hi Josh L-J,
    A professional bike fitter will confirm that centimetres and even millimetres matter to get the best fit. This article will give you an idea – the diagrams are animated so you can see the effect of a variety of changes:

    It is likely that you could get this an adjust to fit – but depending on your comfort some changes may be required. So it difficult to provide a reliable recommendation. Use google to search for bike fit calculators and put in your details (usually height, weight and inseam length) and see how close you are. The M bike is a 53cm and the L a 56cm.

    In the best case – a bike fitter is involved and for most you can even get ‘fitted’ before a bike purchase to then know which frame size and geometry you need. I highly recommend it but in contrast to the cost of this bike – a bike fit may cost a similar amount and most buyers won’t be able to justify the cost.

  40. Stuart says:

    Thanks for the review Chris.

    One comment that I’d like to make is that I think you’re somewhat overstating the negative impact of the bike’s 10.5 kg weight to the non competitive social rider. The sluggishness that you felt is far more likely to be due to the tyres than the weight.

    Looking at online prices of carbon fibre bikes you can spend over ten times the price for a 2kg weight reduction, and much more to get that full 3.5 kg off.

    And even at a full 3.5kg weight reduction (all other things like tyres the same), the average casual rider putting out about 150W to the pedals would see less than 0.5 seconds (yes half a second) loss per km on level ground, and about 3.5 seconds (average over ascent and descent) on a 4% gradient. This corresponds to less than a minute over a typical 50 km social ride.

  41. aik says:

    Christopher, how often (in km) did you need to adjust this Claris derailleur during the test month? Or it just worked? Thanks.

  42. Thanks for the input Stuart. It is certainly a case of diminishing returns with road bikes (as with many other products), as the price increases, the added improvement decreases.

    aik, I only adjusted the gears once when I received the bike and didn’t need to adjust again.

    Over time, the gear cables stretch and may require fine tuning. Pop onto Youtube and look for videos for tuning the derailleur and this will give you the foundation to do it yourself.

    On my road bikes, I clean the chain every two weeks or so and if adjustment is needed, will do it. Many other riders leave months inbetween cleaning and lubing the chain and derailleur adjustments.

    I understand that buyers will also have access to videos – specifically about assembly and potentially basic maintenance and care.

  43. blake harris says:

    hey chris, what is the pump size o the tire?
    is it normal bike tyre size or is it a different size, if it is a different size, does it come with an attachment?

  44. Hi Blake,
    The tubes have a ‘presta’ valve (so it is not the schrader – car valve style).

    The wheel size is 700c which is standard for road bikes so you need inner-tubes and eventually new tyres in that size.

    To get the 100psi tyre pressure – generally you need a larger pump which stays at home. While riding I take a mini-pump which will get me out of trouble if I have a flat.

    There are a number of extras I recommend – I have covered these in the article.

  45. Bronwyn says:

    Hi Christopher, I found your review very imformative. I was wondering what a bicycle store may charge to assemble the bicycle and set up the bicycle correctly for my height. Do you have any idea roughly of what a bicycle store would charge to do this? I would presume that if they set up the bicycle for me they would also offer some type of warranty on ongoing adjustments for me as well.

  46. Jason says:

    Well they sold WAY faster than I expected, only 2 left at the local store, I guess perfect timing with the tour on. Great to see so many road bikes sell and so many new road riders. Good bike for the price, in the late 80s during the bike boom, there was no bike less than 10.5kg under $1000 and those $1000 Repcos and Centurions only came with Shimano 105 best case. We’ve come a long way.

  47. Hi Bronwyn,
    Thanks for your great feedback. Bike stores will prefer to sell their own bikes so I won’t guarantee a warm reception, but the best ones will treat you well but know that they make their money on service.

    For price – you may experience a very large range, from $20 as a symbolic charge through to $160. This is a rough guide only.

    Please note – A bike shop will provide NO warranty if they service the bike. The warranty comes from the retailer (ALDI) and although a bike shop servicing should service a bike so that it is safe – they have no responsibility or liability.

    The bike shop will certainly NOT offer ongoing adjustments. If they sell you a bike, they may provide one service for free (this varies from shop to shop) however continuing service is not a defect – like a motor vehicle, you pay for servicing (general maintenance)

    The two options are to get friendly with someone who knows bikes if you go for the ALDO Crane or to consider purchasing a different brand bike from a local bike shop which will offer you peace of mind.

    Hi Jason,
    Timing is certainly intention and it is a great time to get motivate to ride even with the cold temperatures. I had a 10-Speed Repco in the 80’s which was heavy but suggest that many were well under $1000. The weights would be 9.5kg – 12kg.

    I was sent on a grocery trip to a local ALDI on Wednesday and there were 5 bikes and a few others reported good availability.

  48. Abe says:

    Hi Chris
    I haven’t done much physical activity growing up. I’m now 26, and have decided I want to get fit. I’d rather not get a gym membership, and am hoping to do outdoor activities instead (I’m seriously considering beginning tennis also) and would like to start bike-riding, probably mostly on bike tracks for the moment. I don’t know anything about bikes. Is this bike suitable for a start? or would you recommend something else completely?

  49. Hi Abe, yes.
    It is a Road Bike so generally suited to road cycling as opposed to more recreational style riding (like shared paths). If you have some nice areas close with a little less traffic, then perfect.

    An advantage of cycling is that is is aerobic – in the gym if you focus on just the strength training, you miss out on the aerobic fitness. Cycling is also a comparatively gentle sport (like swimming) – your bike is in a set position without shock and strain that you get with tennis for example.

    This style of bike will give you a fairly reliable basis to get into fitness – wish you all the best.

  50. Pen. G. Uin says:

    Bought this bike (large frame, rider height = 180 -> 190 cm) from ALDI earlier today. If you’ve ever had to set up the seat/handlebars on a bike before, you won’t have much trouble assembling this road bike. Remember – Do not over tighten! (and don’t go too loose either).

    Absolutely wish I could have ridden the bike before going through the effort of assembly (but nice to not have a pushy salesman!).

    As could be expected, the narrow handle bars are just about useless for low speed control of the bike, but over 5 K’s an hour the bike is nice and lively – very responsive. Brakes good, gears feel good. Ride is surprisingly smooth for unsprung forks. As typical, small diameter tyres means that rocks and sticks are noticeable under the wheels. Would recommend for a shorter rider who could have the seat relatively low.

    However, my issue with this bike arose only after assembling the bike – I’m too big! At 187 cm (with proportionally long legs and short arms) this bike had me perched looking like a “bear on a bike” – google that one for an image. The leant over position and hard seat made an ache in my hip after only a short ride – ultimately the reason why the bike was returned. I find comfort on bike with frames over 60 cm.

    Some here may comment that I’ve missed the point of a road bike and perhaps I have, however, rider comfort must not be ignored when riding for leisure (and fitness). At this price point no rider using this bike will be competing at the elite level where rider comfort can be ignored. If the bike is uncomfortable, returns to ALDI are indeed pain free.

    • Stuart says:

      Thanks for the info Pen. I was wondering how taller riders were going to fare on the 56cm frame.

      For an “old school” frame with non sloping top tube, 56cm is definitely too small for a tall rider. However, the sloping toptube puts the bars higher and that changes things a bit.

      I know Aldi measured that 56 from the crank spindle to the top of the seat tube, but actually I would have preferred to know it to the point on the seatpost which is horizontally back from the top of the steerer tube. As this is roughly the equivalent length for non sloping toptube frame.

      They don’t show that measurement but just estimating from the pictures above it seem to be about 10 to 11 percent longer than the 56cm as given. So I’d estimate about 61 to 62 cm equivalent.

      BTW Pen. Was the main problem one of too much drop (to the bars) or was it the bars too close (aka toptube too short)? Or was it a combination of the two that made you feel like a “bear on a bike”?

      • corn fed says:

        I have a reasonable high end bike but still this aldi bike is a perfect in lots of way of enjoying your time. I bought this bike for far good reason because is not just a bike its the rider out best the ride. I have climb Mt cutha many times on a fixie but not on a entry level roadbike so this will be perfect teraphy training bike if my fixie is too much for the day. as a result I am a fast climer and have a great endurance. this humble bike make me a better rider than my highend roadbike. as like I said ” its not the ride its the rider.

  51. Jonny says:

    Well Chris,

    I agree with your review and found the same when I purchased the ‘Road 7000’ bike…

    Given my experience with bicycles and the applied mechanics, I had no problem assembling the bike and found it performed well…

    I will add that your on the money, if you don’t have the technical experience with torque specification then get help, due to the damage over tension with cause to the components for all bikes or the components failing through being lose… This scenario could end very badly for the rider of any bike..

    Aldi have lifted their game form the earlier Crane Bikes released and I don’t want to make any further comment on the other releases, sort of saying they were crap… Sorry Aldi…

    However, this is the second bike I’ve purchased from Aldi which included the Flow Mountain Bike release last year and would recommend it for entry level without a second thought…

    Just some back ground for my riding experience is that I have payed nothing short of between $3000 to $5000 for some of my bikes I still considered entry level and I have a reasonable understanding for what is value for money, so well done and a competent review regardless for what other people have insinuated that your were induced to produce this review…


  52. Pen G. Uin. says:

    Hi Chris,
    Sorry for late reply,
    It was a combination of more bar-drop than I’m used to, and the seat being close to the steerer tube. I had the seat all of the way back, and the bars set the only way they could be set.

    In future specials, ALDI should specify adjustable handlebar stems, ergonomic bars, and sprung seatposts. That combination would surely appeal to a wider audience?

    I’m still seeing many road-bikes for sale at my local ALDI, may make the above modifications myself if the price comes down…

  53. Luke says:

    Ozbargain member Aussie1312 says this is most likely a reboxed Polygon Strattos S2 $579 at Bicycles online.
    See his comment here –

  54. David says:

    A so-called friend roped me in to do the Sydney to Gong this year (I’ll get him for this), so I had to get a pushy since I haven’t owned or ridden one for approx. 40 years (being old-ish as i am).
    Not knowing where to start and on the strength of the original review I bought this bike, so I thought I’d post a comment here.
    I’m in-between the height guidelines so went for the bigger size.
    Setup was quite easy and w.r.t. torque setting I went by feel. So far so good.
    The plastic part of one of the toe clips was squashed and hard to get the foot in so I took both off, my intent is to heat it up and reshape it but that’s in the to-do list, probably when hell cools down.
    I’d heard of gear changers in the break levers but had never used them. Cool!
    I sometimes ‘crunch’ the changes especially when going uphill but I put that down to ‘still learning to anticipate, you silly bugger’.
    There is some chain noise when in the lowest 2 or 3 cogs (so I get to hear it just about every hill). Not sure if that’s supposed to happen but doesn’t seem to have damaged anything – not yet anyway.
    There are a couple of other noises here and there when under strained pedaling which could probably use some expert opinion, but I need to pace the expense.
    All in all, compared to what I remember from the old days, this bike is great. But I need to bear in mind it’s the only one I’ve tried.
    Longest ride so far has been 40 KM along Sydney’s M7 shared way, so almost 1/2 way to what’s coming in the November ride. I hear it’s a good day out.

  55. If the gears crunch when changing gears – then it is about technique. You don’t want to be pedalling very hard while changing – rather you pedal a bit softer.

    This means when climbing hills which mean you put a lot more power, you try and change before it gets steep or try and back off the power. It is a bit tricky and about practice.

    If you have change noise in the cogs, then it may need some slight adjustment. If it sits perfectly in the top gear and bottom gear without noises then the ‘limit screws’ are probably find and you need to adjust the cable – this is the ‘barrel adjuster’ on the rear derailleur. When you turn, it is about 1/4 turns. You turn and then life the rear wheel off and pedal and see how it should in the gears and changing the gears.

    Spotting the source of the rest of the noise can be difficult… welcome to cycling.

    All the best for your ride – keep on riding regularly and on the day it will be more enjoyable. There are a couple of hills on the trip from Sydney to The Gong, but remember, it is not a race so pace yourself.

    • David says:

      Thanks for the response/comments/recommendations Chris.
      I think the front derailleur needs to be moved in a bit to the left (when looking at the bike from the rear). I say this because the chain rubs against it in the lower gears i.e. when on the big cogs; also when going from the small front disk to the large one occasionally the chain gets pushed too far to the right and comes off, so the thing seems to be too far to the right (or to the outside of the bike).
      No biggie, there must be a way to adjust that.
      Thanks again, and there’s no fear of me taking the ride to the Gong as a race ;), slowly does it…

  56. For the front derailleur there are two ‘limit screws’ on top of it. One limits the movement left and the other the movement right. Again, it is 1/4 and 1/2 turns so by adjusting the screws you can solve this one. Always check by pedalling with the rear wheel off the ground (a bike stand is easiest) to ensure that it continues to shift well after adjusting.

    All the best

  57. Andy says:

    Thank you Chris! After reading your review on this bike I purchased one today. Assembly took 30 minutes with basic tools. As you stated everything was factory adjusted.Took it out for a ride and loved it. It’s lighter and smoother than my twenty year old Wheeler Proline 2800 Mountain Bike (by3.5kg) which has had mainly road use and is still doing a great job. The bonus was that the Aldi bike had just been discounted to $349, can’t argue with that,still had your review been negative I would not have purchased the bike. Your comments made a lot of sense. Your review treated it simply as a bike out of a box with no prejudice and from my old bike to this bike there is a world of difference. For me the maths was simple, for every kilo I shed riding the bike the gross mass I’m transporting goes down. So why spend thousands on a lighter bike….. just opened a can of worms didn’t I? We shall see how I feel about it in six months or when I need something repaired and my local guy tells me to take a hike. Having said that, I went to him first and his cheapest roadbike on display was about 2k that’s a lot of money for a first Racer. One other factor came into my decision to go cheap, our local roads are terrible and are more suited to a Mountain Bike than a decadently expensive Racer. Andy

  58. ChrisG says:

    Got one a month ago, Large frame. I’m 183cm, 90kg, 51 years old,and have ridden literally all my life, with occasional periods of hard training and 200 – 300 km rides. Yes, it’s a cheapy, but almost unbeatable value, and with a bit of maintenance and gentle treatment, it should serve well. I immediately changed the pedals (cheap SPD M520’s) and shoes, and immediately changed the saddle (flatter/harder/hollower). Kinda compulsory if you know what you are doing – and setup and comfort are very important. Works well, feels spot on. If you are on a budget – highly recommend. A couple of small points where I slightly disagree with the initial review (which was excellent btw). The extra weight is just not a big problem unless you are riding at a very high level, and the tread on the tyre is so close to meaningless performance wise I would challenge anyone to measure a significant difference in performance. The compact 34/50 chain rings are perfect for older, or slower riders, giving a more practical gear range. The only thing I really dislike is the shape of the bars on the drops. Not a biggie, as unless you are racing like a maniac, you won’t spend much time down there, and also its a fairly cheap upgrade latter if it really annoys you.

    All in all, a big thumbs up, a great value product.

    Lets Ride!!


  59. ChrisG says:

    Oh, one more small thing, if you are not an experienced bike mechanic, get some help with assembly. Almost everything that was pre assembled was either loose or maladjusted or both! Not a big deal at all if you have some tools and knowledge, or help from a friend.


  60. Andy says:

    Used to build my own BMX’s in the late 70’s, still around to tell the tale. Have tools and will go over every nut and bolt this weekend. Same age as you, just shorter and lighter 175cm and 70 kg the medium bike works well. Found the drop bar rather odd, thought it was me :-), I like the soft seat !!!! I just pulled the clipons off my old mountain bike and put the Aldi ones on the mountain bike, works for me when I take the kids for a ride I don’t fall flat on my face every time I stop to help them. Is it normal not to have a guard on the front sprockets, seems a bit dangerous? Have a pair of Northwave bike shoes atm, they feel a little tight even though I’ve purchased larger to accommodate wide foot. Which brand makes the most generous width fitting in your opinion ? Thx for advice 🙂


    I was the cycling buddy for a friend who purchased and share the setup and issues in the forum. Essentially gears and brakes need to be properly setup.

  62. Murray says:

    I had my eye on this bike when I first saw it at $399. Being an Aldi bike at that price I’d image if it was a ‘brand’ bike anywhere else it’d be maybe $600 or more. It then dropped to $279. Suddenly even more tempting but still, not sure…. I just went to Aldi and noticed it had dropped again!…..wait for it…you’re going to hate me….$140 !!! Yay, so no prizes for guessing I’m now a proud owner, just got to assemble it. Great article too Chris Jones, after that price I did a little research and the article swayed me for sure. 🙂

  63. Peter says:

    Hi Murray, Which Aldi is this?

    • Murray says:

      Hi Peter, I bought the bike from Miranda NSW, the stand-alone one. No stock there anymore though. There’s also one around the corner in Westfield Miranda. It may have some stock; each store seems to differ with availability of these specials or clearance items and also on the discounted price as well. Once they hit $140 they didn’t last long. It may or may not help but I have previously phoned the main Aldi contact number for something else and they seem to have access to know which store has what in stock.