Alright, so I just picked up this bike (Ridley Noah RS) on sale on Competitive Cyclist. It was quite the experience. Their review area of the website is not long enough for me to put all my thoughts there, and I wanted others to know about my experience.
Competitive Cyclist, and Wes in particular, were very quick to respond to emails. Answered all my questions and very helpful in the decision to purchase the bike. I was very hesitant to buy a new bike. My old bike had 25,000 miles on it, but shifting has been sketch for a while now, and I really needed some new motivation to get back into racing. So I decided to finally bite the bullet and upgrade. The deal on this bike seemed to be an excellent option for a lightish aero bike compared to the other bikes I would be able to get from a bike shop or on a team deal. They also were very willing for me to pick and choose parts, so I decided to get it from them. However, that is where things went a bit wrong. Since I chose not to get wheels and a crank (which worked out great for my build and saved a lot of money), it apparently means CC no longer will build the bike, but the information was never relayed to me. So imagine my surprise when I open the bike box and see a box full of components. I think, OK, I can still get this built at a shop. That adds unexpected $200 to my build and a whole bunch of hassle trying to get to a bike shop and bringing all the components in. Part of the reason I buy bikes online. CC was helpful here in the end and refunded some to cover.
So then I began taking a closer look at all the components. The stem size was wrong and the cassette was Shimano instead of SRAM. If I'm building a bike from scratch I want everything to be perfect, so that's not cool. I RMA them back, but they are out of stock of the other items so I end up having to pay double the prices I spec'd my build with and have the hassle of ordering from different places and shipping the wrong components back. Phew. I also had another few items I had paired with this build that were also back ordered, and I had to cancel that order and order separate as well because they just were taking too long. Overall, I ended up having $300 of unexpected costs added to the budget I calculated when I originally decided to pull the trigger on the bike because of back ordered products and miscommunication from CC. Not cool at all.
Finally last weekend I was able to get the bike built. Add an additional $50 of unexpected costs here as the bar tape included from the build was old and basically tore on contact. Great. Other than that, the bike shop built up the bike perfectly. The bike really looks amazing. Finally all the work of having to go through the hassle paid off. I took the bike to get fit the next day, and was riding that afternoon.
Bike Review for those that care:
It rides like a dream. I'm coming from an Aluminum Neuvation bike, and this bike really rides so smooth. It's nice not to feel every bump in the road. The SRAM 22 speed stuff shifts amazing and way crisper than the Rival I had before. Especially love the extra gear, the gear changes are much more linear now. I feel so much of my power being transferred to the road. Before I felt like it was so much work to put 200w down, but now it seems to flow with ease (this may have something to do with my upgrading of shoes as well). I need to readjust the rear derailleur as I can't get it to stick in the 11 cog, which is a major problem on this bike. The reason being? Because I'm gaining speed so much faster. I'm literally spinning out doing 180w in 53-12 on roads I've never had that problem on before. Crazy stuff how this bike likes to go. I always thought people were crazy when they said the bike makes a difference, but it really does! The bike ended up being right at 16.5lbs with pedals and cages.
Overall the CC experience was not one I'd ever like to go through again. I'm not pleased at the additional costs that should have never been added. I'm also not sure why they are constantly out of stock on products, and why they don't always rely the appropriate information to the customer. (This is not my first experience with back ordered products and poor communication from them). My wheels custom ordered from China also shipped/arrived faster than the stuff from CC?? But I'm happy to finally have a new bike and have everything built up the way I wanted it. Now I just gotta spin the pedals and enjoy! Thanks for reading and maybe this will help someone in the future!