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Old 07-09-07, 07:41 AM   #1
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Opinions please

I've been looking at road bikes and I got it down to these, I think. I have one dealer that carries Trek, Cannondale and Specialized. Another store has a Marin with the relaxed geometry. I know the Cannondale is a touring bike, but wanted to throw it in for the opinions anyway.

Trek Pilot 2.1, $ 1500
Specialized Roubaix triple $ 1500
Cannondale T 800 $ 1300
Marin relaxed fit $ 1200

I was looking at the Jamis Aurora, but the bike is pretty similar to what I have, and the Cannondale may be as well. I really do like the steel, but the steel bikes are pretty expensive. So I know it will come down to fit, but just say they all felt pretty good. They are all pretty close in price which one would you get. I was thinking Waterford before, but didn't care for the long head on it. I would really like the Rivendell Rambouillet, but the cost is a little to much, unless I wait for a while. The only thing about the Rivendell is, I'd be buying the bike without trying it on and I like to see what I'm buying as well. So that's what I have running around in my head and I thought, if I find out what would be a good bike, I can start doing more research on it. Thanks for any replies, thoughts, or opinions.
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Old 07-09-07, 07:51 AM   #2
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Just keep trying them until one speaks to you. They are all fine bikes. If you are looking at the Pilot and Roubaix, you should also ride a Cannondale Synapse as it has a very similiar geometry.
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Old 07-09-07, 09:07 AM   #3
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I have two of the bikes you list (well almost, one is a double instead of a triple). I have a Specialized Roubaix (double with compact crank) and the Cannondale T 800. Here's my take on both of these fine machines.

The Roubaix: On the positive side. It is light, which you can feel when climbing or accelerating quickly. It is very steady at fast speeds, and is comfortable for multiple hour riding. On the less than positive side. Its steering tends to wander a bit when moving slow (under 5 mph). So, I have to pay attention more when doing really steep climbs. While the carbon does dampen vibration, it does little to lessen road thumps or bumps. It has (I know this is a matter of personal taste) way too many logos on it. It feels like a rolling billboard to me. It has no eyelets if you're interested in fitting racks. Finally, if you damage the frame, you're screwed (the new replacement cost for a frame quoted to me by my LBS is $1,200).

The Cannondale: On the positive. It is very comfortable for all day riding. The gearing allows you to climb walls if you want. It has great manners, even when fully loaded for touring. It, probably because of the longer wheel-base, wheels and tires, soaks up road vibration and bumps quite well. On the less than positive side. It is heavy, and can feel slow until you get it rolling. The components are not up to the same level as found on the Roubaix. While the Sora stuff performs OK, it isn't as crisp as Ultegra.

I ride them both a great deal (Roubaix 1,200 miles this year. Cannondale 900 miles this year.) When I want to ride faster, the Roubaix gets the nod. When I have rougher roads to ride, or stuff to carry, the Cannondale gets used. However, I ride my Jamis Eclipse the most, and it would be the one bike I would keep if I could only have one - heavens forbid.
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Old 07-09-07, 09:35 AM   #4
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Gee, George, I don't know what to say!
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Old 07-09-07, 10:17 AM   #5
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I can't help George because I'm in the same situation. I'm looking at two of the bikes you mentioned, the Trek and the Specialized along with the Synapse Hopedalehills mentioned. Just to make it interesting, my ATF LBS has a 06 Giant OCR-C 3, with all carbon frame, that he'll sell for under $1500. AHGGG! Good luck with your decision, please keep us posted.
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Old 07-09-07, 10:30 AM   #6
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Go ride em. You're the only person that can decide what's best for you.

Ride em a lot--several times. Try to make the decision B4 you buy.

Remember the saddle problems?
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Old 07-09-07, 12:26 PM   #7
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I agree with everyone else. Ride them. I have the Cannondale T800. I use it for a bit of everything, but where it shines is when it's all loaded up. I will tell you I get smoked by a lot of people on regular road bikes though. It is a pickup truck, not a sports car.
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Old 07-09-07, 01:01 PM   #8
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I agree with everyone else. Ride them. I have the Cannondale T800. I use it for a bit of everything, but where it shines is when it's all loaded up. I will tell you I get smoked by a lot of people on regular road bikes though. It is a pickup truck, not a sports car.


You know Mike, after I started the post and took off for a 20 mile ride, I thought the same thing. I don't think at this point I could get anything better. I better quit thinking about it and keep riding. Thanks for all the replys. I promise I wont do it again.
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Old 07-09-07, 01:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by HopedaleHills
Just keep trying them until one speaks to you. They are all fine bikes.
That's the bottom line - they are all good machines. The one that fits you best, and feels the best to you is your new bike! Good luck in your choice.


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Old 07-09-07, 01:04 PM   #10
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George I road the Pilot 2.1 for two years and if you want a nice bike with upright geometry the Pilot is a good bike. I put 8,000 miles on mine with no problems. The only reason I am not riding it now is that I decided I wanted a bike with more race geometry and a CF frame. I don't think I would pay $1,500 unless that includes pedals. I got mine for $1,000 and I am sure you should be able to get the bike minus clipless pedals for $1100 or so.

I also road the Roubaix when I bought the Pilot the ride were very similar but I got a better price on the Pilot.
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Old 07-09-07, 01:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by George
Trek Pilot 2.1, $ 1500
Specialized Roubaix triple $ 1500
Cannondale T 800 $ 1300
Marin relaxed fit $ 1200

Not knowing any of these bikes- just a main point that everyone will tell you- Test ride the lot. The one for you will tell you straight away.

From the manufactures you have listed- I have over the years made a few observations.


Trek make a good bike but Bontrager stuff is over- rated. It is marketed as top quality but I am afraid that most of it is mediocre. Specialised make good bikes but in the lower reaches of their models- the own brand stuff is not good- The same goes for Giant by the way. Cannondale have a repution for a hard ride on their Aluminium frames that can get a bit Tiring in a short space of time. Marin seem to have dropped out of the Main line in the past few years and from what I have seen- is showing in their latest models still being old technology and a bit heavy.


So that tells you the bad points. Trouble is that they are all good bikes- so it is back to that test ride again- And for a respectable ride aswell.

Edit-Some of these bikes will be set up with a very low bar position. Do not worry about this too much as with a longer raised stem this can be changed. What cannot be changed though is a frame that is the wrong size. Do not get sucked into getting a frame that is the wrong size though- as this is the one they have got in stock
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Old 07-09-07, 01:24 PM   #12
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George, although I don't own carbon, I do ride 3 steel bikes. From Rivendell, I bought a Romulus in '93. It was a slightly less expensive version of the Rambouillet and no longer made. Same geometry, fork, and most of the tubing. I was dubious when, after a long conversation about my riding over the phone, they suggested a 57cm when normally I ride 54. Out of the box, the bike fit like a glove. I would always be careful of buying a pig-in-a-poke, but in this case it worked very well for me.

The bike is a good steel bike with all the usual advantages and, of course, that drawback of somewhat more weight. (Tell you what, George, promise to lose a couple of pounds around your middle and it all evens out). It has a pleasant and lively "twang" feel over bumps and nicely damps road buzz on the chipseal cheese grater roads I frequent. It's a great all day cruiser, loves to go straight, and is great at 'locking in" on wide downhill sweepers. In fact, descending is one of its best attributes. Although, given its sport-touring geometry, not as quick to turn as my old crit steel bike, I have no qualms riding it in someone's draft. Climbing doesn't feel quite as instant power-to-pedal-to-go as my crit bike, but spinning up hills these days I don't care.

You might pm Big Paulie....I believe he has a Rambouillet. The Riv people are conscientious to deal with and their bikes are keepers.......but I surely understand your hesitancy to invest $$ and your cycling experience over the phone.

In a world of plastic, there's something brawny, individualistic, and arms across chest about steel. And fewer worries about replacing the frame! (I'm sure Riv would send you a frame if yours structurally failed. I plan to pass mine on to my son. Not sure what those carbon folks will do.

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Old 07-09-07, 01:38 PM   #13
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I plan to pass mine on to my son. Not sure what those carbon folks will do.
I have only daughters, so it's a non-issue for me!
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Old 07-09-07, 01:38 PM   #14
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George, although I don't own carbon, I do ride 3 steel bikes. From Rivendell, I bought a Romulus in '93. It is a slightly less expensive version of the Rambouillet. Same geometry, fork, and most of the tubing. I was dubious when, after a long conversation about my riding over the phone, they suggested a 57cm when normally I ride 54. Out of the box, the bike fit like a glove. I would always be careful of buying a pig-in-a-poke, but in this case it worked very well for me.

The bike is a good steel bike with all the usual advantages and, of course, that drawback of somewhat more weight. (Tell you what, George, promise to lose a couple of pounds around your middle and it all evens out). It has a pleasant and lively "twang" feel over bumps and nicely damps road buzz on the chipseal cheese grater roads I frequent. It's a great all day cruiser, loves to go straight, and is great at 'locking in" on wide downhill sweepers. In fact, descending is one of its best attributes. Although, given its sport-touring geometry, not as quick to turn as my old crit steel bike, I have no qualms riding it in someone's draft. Climbing doesn't feel quite as instant power-to-pedal-to-go as my crit bike, but spinning up hills these days I don't care.

You might pm Big Paulie....I believe he has a Rambouillet. The Riv people are conscientious to deal with and their bikes are keepers.......but I surely understand your hesitancy to invest $$ and your cycling experience over the phone.

In a world of plastic, there's something brawny and arms across chest about steel. And fewer worries about replacing the frame! (I'm sure Riv would send you a frame if yours structurally failed. I plan to pass mine on to my son. Not sure what those carbon folks will do.
Have to agree with crosschain that steel is good and it sounds like rivendell look after their cistomers.

And it is great to have a quality bike up against the Mass produced. And that is only 3 days after me getting the Boreas.
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Old 07-09-07, 01:44 PM   #15
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And that is only 3 days after me getting the Boreas.
Stapfam....Ride report and description plus more pics of the Boreas please....or have I missed them being posted?
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Old 07-09-07, 01:53 PM   #16
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Stapfam....Ride report and description plus more pics of the Boreas please....or have I missed them being posted?
You haven't missed them but I want to get decent pics of some of the finer points on the frame and I am shatterred after the Day out yesterday. Plus a few more miles on it would not go amiss to get a better ride report. Might be nearer the weekend.
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Old 07-09-07, 02:09 PM   #17
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George I road the Pilot 2.1 for two years and if you want a nice bike with upright geometry the Pilot is a good bike. I put 8,000 miles on mine with no problems. The only reason I am not riding it now is that I decided I wanted a bike with more race geometry and a CF frame. I don't think I would pay $1,500 unless that includes pedals. I got mine for $1,000 and I am sure you should be able to get the bike minus clipless pedals for $1100 or so.
Two weeks ago I had an opportunity to purchase a brand new 2006 Pilot 2.1, from a Trek company store, for $850. Had to clear them out to make room for the incoming 2008 bikes.
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Old 07-09-07, 02:50 PM   #18
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I plan to pass mine on to my son. Not sure what those carbon folks will do.
I say let your kid(s) buy their own carbon bike!!
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Old 07-09-07, 03:02 PM   #19
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I say let your kid(s) buy their own carbon bike!!
No, I have him indoctrinated. He stares straight ahead seeing nothing and intones: "Steel is real" over and over. Good kid.
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Old 07-09-07, 03:06 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
Two weeks ago I had an opportunity to purchase a brand new 2006 Pilot 2.1, from a Trek company store, for $850. Had to clear them out to make room for the incoming 2008 bikes.
And you didn't do it???

WTF???
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Old 07-09-07, 03:47 PM   #21
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You already know what my advice is George, but that would not do much for the bike shop economy would it? OR help to scratch your itch for a new bike...
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Old 07-09-07, 03:55 PM   #22
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I just going to wait, I like the steel one I have and I know that's what I want. I really like the Rivendell and I'll just have to wait. I have been looking for used ones, but you don't see any, that tells me something. Even if I did find one it probably wouldn't fit. I'm thinking down the road when I get old, I'll probably just be cruising anyhow. I just have a bug right now, to go fast, but after I posted this thread and went riding on my steel bike, I just about had my mind made up. I like tradition and that's what the Revendell reminds me of. I guess you just have to wait for some of the good things in life. Thanks everybody for their time and replies, but I think I'll go the CC way and get the Revendell. I remember the first time I seen it, I called my wife to show her, that's the one. I probably should have kept my Trek and waited with the Jamis, but everybody's happy and that's real good to. My son is riding the Trek like there's no tomorrow. He has a Giant about 18 years old and must weigh 35 pounds. Anyhow, I'm just rambling, thanks again.
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Old 07-09-07, 04:58 PM   #23
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I guess you just have to wait for some of the good things in life. Thanks everybody for their time and replies, but I think I'll go the CC way and get the Revendell. I remember the first time I seen it, I called my wife to show her, that's the one..
George, you make good sense. I'm telling myself the same thing lately even though I'm frustrated w/the waiting involved in my new bike. But you are so right, it's worth waiting for the good things in life.

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Old 07-09-07, 05:16 PM   #24
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And you didn't do it???
Well, for one thing, it was white. And we all know that white is the new pink.

But the biggest reason was that as I was taking a test ride, I caught myself thinking, 'I don't enjoy riding this, and won't ride it much if I do buy it, so am I buying it solely because it's a great deal?' I concluded that the answer to that question was yes, and so I passed on it.
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