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  1. #1
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    New to biking...looking for advice

    Hello everyone,
    I'm relatively new to recreational biking and am looking to purchase my first entry-level road bike (although I've been riding a cheap single-speed road bike for 5 years to commute about 5 miles to and from work). I'm just south of 6 feet and weight 195 lbs (and slimming). I plan to use the bike for recreation and commute averaging between 50 and 70 miles/week (to start). I've looked around at several LBS and narrowed it down to four bikes:

    Trek 1.1 ($750) with Al frame/Carbon fork, Shimano Claris components, 16 speed
    Cannondale CAAD8 ($800) with Al frame/Carbon fork, Shimano Claris components, 16 speed
    Specialized Allez ($800) with Al frame/Carbon fork, Shimano Claris components, 16 speed
    Scott Speedster 50 ($700) with Al frame/Carbon-alloy fork, Sora components, 24 speed

    If all else equal, which bike would you guys buy and for what reasons? I know comfort and fit are critical, but I find all four to be about the same.

    It appears the top three compare most favorably and are generally well praised, however the speedster has better components and is cheaper, but I'm finding less reviews. Is that a bad sign?

  2. #2
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    I've had several since 1999 but have settled on my beloved 2001 Litespeed Tuscany and my latest, a 2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO
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    I've owned a Specialized Tarmac and wasn't impressed with it. Sold it after 9 months.
    Trek and Scott are good but I have to recommend the Cannondale. I bought a CAAD 10 today. The ride is awesome. The CAAD 8 is basically the same frame with slightly lower quality components. Get it and I think you'll be very happy.
    Let us know which one you get an post pics.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon

    I thought of that while riding my bicycle -- Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    Unsolicited advice: It's CYCLING. You're not a biker unless it's motorized
    But, you're always allowed to be both, just not at the same time.

  4. #4
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    I must be out of the loop. Where does Claris fit into the grand scheme of Shimano road components?

    The Cannondales always have the gorgeous aluminum frames, but I might go with the Scott because everyone already has a Trek and I'm still mad at Specialized over trying to sue their former employees into the ground.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011), 2011 Windsor Shetland (2011-2014)
    Current Linux Usage (by machine): Arch: II openSUSE: II

  5. #5
    Senior Member Yankeetowner's Avatar
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    Road Bikes: 2014 Giant Propel Advanced 1; 1989 Klein Quantum, 2013 Giant Defy 2, & Mountain Bike: 2013 Cannondale Six
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    I'd go with the cheapest (Scott), since if you're like most people, if you get into it you'll want to upgrade within the year. If you don't get into it, then why spend more than you must?

    I bought a used Giant Defy, and 7 months later upgraded to a Propel with Di2. No matter the brand of bike, the electronic shifting is fantastic, and if you progress you should at least try it.
    ECCLESIASTES 10:2

  6. #6
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    I gotta vote for the CAAD8. I have a CAAD8 frame and I put Campy groupset on it. It's a great bike for the money, and you can upgrade components before you out-upgrade the frame. I think Cannondale makes some of the best AL frames ever.
    Dale, NE9V
    2005 CAAD8 - Campy/Boyd/Brooks/3T | 2001 LeMond Alpe d'Huez | 1971 Dawes Realmrider

  7. #7
    Senior Member JBerman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post
    I bought a CAAD 10 today.

    That's awesome Ron. I'm jealous!

  8. #8
    Senior Member JBerman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    I must be out of the loop. Where does Claris fit into the grand scheme of Shimano road components?
    2300/claris/sora/tiagra/105/ultegra/dura ace

  9. #9
    Senior Member JBerman's Avatar
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    I'm typically a bargain shopper, so I find a LOT of value buying used (paid $600 for my mint S20 with full 105). Another strategy could be if you are buying the bike new at a shop, go with the shop that has the best customer service, since you will likely be dealing with them in the future frequently (tune up, wheel truing, accessories). I say this because many bikes at the same price points tend to be very similar.

    Also, take them all for a spin, and see which one feels the best.

    I know there is a difference between the Scott S20 and S50, but I absolutely love my speedster. It's incredibly responsive and comfortable. I've done a century and 200k on it and love it.

  10. #10
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBerman View Post
    2300/claris/sora/tiagra/105/ultegra/dura ace
    I am still riding a Sora/Tiagra (with D-A bar-end shifters) CX bike with 32mm slicks on it. I wouldn't mind an upgrade to 105 9sp if I could do it on the cheap.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011), 2011 Windsor Shetland (2011-2014)
    Current Linux Usage (by machine): Arch: II openSUSE: II

  11. #11
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    Triple or double is the choice I see. If you are located in an area with hills, mountain or piedmont the Scott would be the choice as it has a triple to better deal with hills.

  12. #12
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sedges View Post
    Triple or double is the choice I see. If you are located in an area with hills, mountain or piedmont the Scott would be the choice as it has a triple to better deal with hills.
    I run with a 50/34 double that worked both in the Santa Cruz mountains and also here in the piedmont.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011), 2011 Windsor Shetland (2011-2014)
    Current Linux Usage (by machine): Arch: II openSUSE: II

  13. #13
    Senior Member JBerman's Avatar
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    I wouldn't buy a bike just for a triple. I run a 50/34 and I have yet to be in the smaller chainring. With my 11/28, I can't imaging ever really needing the granny gear...Well, on 6-gap I will

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    I love my Cannondale :-)
    Just a fat guy who likes going fast
    Roadie: 2013 Cannondale CAAD10 4 Rival Mountain: 2013 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disk 29

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