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Old 05-06-14, 08:36 PM   #1
odgtivr6
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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?
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Old 05-07-14, 04:43 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 05-07-14, 07:41 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 05-07-14, 08:41 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 05-08-14, 06:52 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 05-08-14, 09:26 PM   #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.
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Old 05-08-14, 09:56 PM   #7
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I bought a CAAD 10 today.

That's awesome Ron. I'm jealous!
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Old 05-09-14, 07:18 AM   #8
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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
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Old 05-09-14, 07:24 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 05-09-14, 07:37 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 05-10-14, 08:05 AM   #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.
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Old 05-10-14, 08:15 PM   #12
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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.
I run with a 50/34 double that worked both in the Santa Cruz mountains and also here in the piedmont.
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Old 05-11-14, 05:26 AM   #13
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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
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Old 05-12-14, 03:14 PM   #14
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I love my Cannondale :-)
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