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Old 05-30-20, 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by enigma895 View Post
Hello, I want to get into road biking. I was looking to buy a good used road bike on craigslist but I keep hearing all this technical jargon. Can someone please help me understand what does all this mean? For example -
Cannondale R1000 Slice Ultra 56cm with Shimano Ultegra components - 600$
Cannondale is the brand of the bike. R1000 is a range of road bikes that Cannondale used to make.

"Slice Ultra" is a fork that Cannondale used to make. The seller probably saw the "R1000" on the frame and the "Slice Ultra" on the fork and wasn't sure what to call the bike, so they just duct-taped all of the words together into "R1000 Slice Ultra." Pretty normal craigslist behavior.

56cm is a size number for the frame. Here's a photo of a bicycle where I've labeled the top tube and seat tube:

Historically, size number referred to the length of the seat tube. So a 56cm bicycle had a seat tube that was 56cm long. There are a few different ways to measure the length of a seat tube, so the number wasn't always consistent between manufacturers, but it gave a rough sense for how large a frame was.

In the bicycle above, the top tube is level with the ground. Vintage steel road bikes all used to have level top tubes. A lot of modern bikes have top tubes that slope up from the seat tube to the front of the bike:

You'll notice in this photo, I've drawn a purple line to represent roughly where the top tube would go if it were level with the ground. On modern bikes with sloping top tubes, the "size number" is roughly equivalent to what the length of the seat tube would be if the top tubewere level. (I say "roughly" because size number on modern bikes is more a matter of intention than exact measurement.) (Also, there are some exceptions. I know of at least one brand - Black Mountain Cycles - that uses physical seat tube measurement even on their frames with sloping top tubes.)

The Cannondale R1000 had a level top tube, so the seat tube is probably actually ~56cm long.

Very roughly speaking, with how most bikes get sized, a 56cm is around the ballpark of what a 5'10" man might be sold.

This is a 56cm R1000 Slice Ultra with Shimano Ultegra components
Shimano is a company that makes and sells bicycle components. They're the biggest bicycle component manufacturer out there by far.

"Ultegra" is a brand name that Shimano uses for one level in their road bicycle component heirarchy. Currently, Shimano's top-level road components are sold under the "Dura Ace" name, and "Ultegra" is the next level down, then "105", then "Tiagra", "Sora", "Claris", and finally "Tourney" for the lowest-end stuff that they put a name on.
Comparing groupset hierarchy over time is a bit weird. Tech features (such as the number of cogs that a drivetrain has on the rear cassette) trickle down relatively quickly, while build quality trickles down fairly slowly. Dura-Ace components from the 1970s are very primitive compared with even modern Claris, but they're fairly well-constructed even by current standards.

and Mavic Ksyrium wheels.
Mavic is a wheel brand. Ksyrium is a name they apply to a range of wheels they sell, generally in the midrange.

This is a super nice road bike.
The Ultegra components and Ksyrium wheels are huge upgrades to it’s performance.
It's super nice! Wow! Amazing!
Upgrades to IT IS performance? Incredible!

Also, is 600$ fair for this bike? The picture looks good
On the used market, fair is a matter of perspective.

But, to my January 2020 brain, $600 seems pretty steep for a bicycle of that age and not-quite-top-end-ness. My May 2020 brain has no clue what's going on with craigslist right now.

Is buying a used bike a good idea or should I just pay a bit extra and get a new one?
If you don't know what you're doing, new is certainly the safe-ish bet.
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