Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Bike Suggestions

Old 07-03-15, 10:30 AM
  #1  
titan12
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Bike Suggestions

Hi All,

I am new to the cycling world and looking to buy a road bike but overwhelmed by the number of options and information out there. There are a few bikes I am currently looking at and was curious on your thoughts;

•2008 Trek Madone 5.2 - $1100
The bike has around 1500 miles on it and has been tuned by a Trek dealer (One owner)
Shimano ultegra pedals
Polar CS100

•2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 5 - $800
Low Mileage and yearly tune ups
Shimano 105 pedals
Garmin 510 for an extra $100

•2011 Cannondale Super Six Rival 4 - $1000
Less than 100 miles

I appreciate your help
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Old 07-03-15, 10:37 AM
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#1 criteria: Which one fits you best.

If they all fit the same, I'd go with the CAAD with the Garmin. Assuming that the pedals are the same year as the bike, the new 105s are probably comparable to the Ultegra pedals.
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Old 07-03-15, 10:41 AM
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Get that CAAD-10 and don't look back.
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Old 07-03-15, 11:13 AM
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CAAD and try to talk him into garmin for free since the bike does have outdated 10 speed
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Old 07-03-15, 11:19 AM
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The CAAD10 5 is the best choice but if you're really just returning to the sport and have been "out of the loop" so to speak, you should keep in mind that bikes built before the 11-speed groups were made available may be costly to upgrade. I mention upgrading because such a good frame could really let you grow as a rider and, well, upgrading typically fits into that process. Here's some of the skinny, the number of speeds is dependent on a couple of factors, the shifters, the cogs in back, and the wheels. The shifters are an obvious replacement because they control how many "clicks" you get but the new standard for freehubs, the one that makes changing from 10-spd to 11-spd a breeze, was not available on the RS10 wheels that came on the 2013 CAAD10 5 105, from what I can best tell. New wheels, new shifters, new cassette, new chain, new front and rear derailleurs (the derailleur pull ratio changed too) ... it ($s) adds up quickly. Then there's the BB30 bottom bracket which, total heresay I'll admit, has not been as successful as Cannondale might have hoped.

I don't mean to talk you out of anything. None of what I mention need dissuade you from this excellent bike. But $800 or $1000 or whatever amount you're willing to spend is still a lot of money.

Last edited by cale; 07-03-15 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 07-03-15, 11:43 AM
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The CAAD is tempting, but I'd say Supersix.
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Old 07-03-15, 03:00 PM
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Most important, make sure the one you buy is the one that fits you best.

I have 20,000 miles on my 2011 CAAD 10 - it's a great bike for the money.
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Old 07-03-15, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cale View Post
The CAAD10 5 is the best choice but if you're really just returning to the sport and have been "out of the loop" so to speak, you should keep in mind that bikes built before the 11-speed groups were made available may be costly to upgrade. I mention upgrading because such a good frame could really let you grow as a rider and, well, upgrading typically fits into that process. Here's some of the skinny, the number of speeds is dependent on a couple of factors, the shifters, the cogs in back, and the wheels. The shifters are an obvious replacement because they control how many "clicks" you get but the new standard for freehubs, the one that makes changing from 10-spd to 11-spd a breeze, was not available on the RS10 wheels that came on the 2013 CAAD10 5 105, from what I can best tell. New wheels, new shifters, new cassette, new chain, new front and rear derailleurs (the derailleur pull ratio changed too) ... it ($s) adds up quickly. Then there's the BB30 bottom bracket which, total heresay I'll admit, has not been as successful as Cannondale might have hoped.

I don't mean to talk you out of anything. None of what I mention need dissuade you from this excellent bike. But $800 or $1000 or whatever amount you're willing to spend is still a lot of money.



Should I look at a different model?
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Old 07-03-15, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by dave1442397 View Post
Most important, make sure the one you buy is the one that fits you best.

I have 20,000 miles on my 2011 CAAD 10 - it's a great bike for the money.

This is my first road bike so how does one ensure the fit is correct?
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Old 07-03-15, 03:36 PM
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What would be the advantage of the CAAD 10 over the other Carbon bikes?
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Old 07-03-15, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by titan12 View Post
Should I look at a different model?
I would look for a model with Shimano 105 11-spd 5800 on it. But that's me. That CAAD10 sure is sweet, though. Haha You have to be ready for some quick and precise handling. It is a bike that will fully engage you and require your complete attention. I'm sure tons of young guys and gals will say it's great for long distance riding but frankly the "endurance" category of bike was invented to offer a smoother ride and more "predictable" (read boring) handling. That's more my type of bike.
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Old 07-03-15, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by titan12 View Post
This is my first road bike so how does one ensure the fit is correct?
Buy from a LBS where they will fit you and ensure you get on the best bike possible. You won't get as much bike new not your budget will still get you something good and ensuring you get on the best type of bike for the riding you will do and a proper fit are with the premium on your first bike.
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Old 07-04-15, 06:46 AM
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What is the advantage of the CAAD 10 over the other carbon bikes on the list?
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Old 07-04-15, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by cale View Post
I would look for a model with Shimano 105 11-spd 5800 on it. But that's me. That CAAD10 sure is sweet, though. Haha You have to be ready for some quick and precise handling. It is a bike that will fully engage you and require your complete attention. I'm sure tons of young guys and gals will say it's great for long distance riding but frankly the "endurance" category of bike was invented to offer a smoother ride and more "predictable" (read boring) handling. That's more my type of bike.


What is the advantage of the CAAD 10 over the other carbon bikes on the list?
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Old 07-04-15, 09:14 AM
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The bike is $200 less than the next inexpensive bike. That's a lot of money. What exactly do the other bikes offer that is worth more?

The Madone has similar mileage (as best as I can tell) and brings higher level components and a Garmin unit. But the component group includes 39/53 cranks and a 10-spd 11-25 cassette. That's not wide enough for me. Bikes that are very expensive initially (The 5.2 Madone retailed for over $2k) tend to depreciate faster, especially with the recent changes that have made Shimano 105 equipped bikes appear more attractive to many buyers.

The Super Six is not a bike that I, admittedly, know much about. But what are you getting in exchange for the $200 extra? Groupset appears of good, not exceptional, quality but that was already assured with the 105-equipped CAAD10. The bike frame is composed of a different material. Ride it and see if you get a magical feeling. If you're like me, you may not notice much difference in ride quality or handling. There is no written rule that says that one material has to be better than the other. It all comes down to build. Cannondale has earned a good reputation, deservedly so, for their metal frame bikes. I would get the Super Six if it came with a warranty but light use (less than 100 miles) means little if it is without warranty. You have to compare it to the CAAD10 to see if the amount wear (and therefore its value) is actually any different.

So there you have it, by process of elimination the best bike works out to also be the least expensive.
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Old 07-04-15, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by titan12 View Post
What is the advantage of the CAAD 10 over the other carbon bikes on the list?
Do you know what size you need? Are they all the same size? Check then allbout and see which are in the best condition and fit the best. They are a wash for components. 2 generation old Shimano ultegra vs 1 generation old 105 vs SRAM Rival. Gearing matters. If you live someplace with lots of hills a compact crank and wide cassette is better but if you live someplace flat, the standard cranks and close range cassette might be better. If you are buying used carbon you need to make sure you know what you are looking at for signs of damage, crash etc and id be weary of 7+ year old carbon bike (although others might say no big deal)
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Old 07-06-15, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by cale View Post
I would look for a model with Shimano 105 11-spd 5800 on it. But that's me. That CAAD10 sure is sweet, though. Haha You have to be ready for some quick and precise handling. It is a bike that will fully engage you and require your complete attention. I'm sure tons of young guys and gals will say it's great for long distance riding but frankly the "endurance" category of bike was invented to offer a smoother ride and more "predictable" (read boring) handling. That's more my type of bike.
Would you be concerned with buying a used bike with roughly 600 miles on it?
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Old 07-06-15, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by titan12 View Post
Would you be concerned with buying a used bike with roughly 600 miles on it?
A lot of people around here do 600+ miles per month so that's nothing to be concerned with. But I also take mileage claims on used bikes with a grain of salt anyway. You really have to have a trained eye when checking out the used bike (or bring along a friend who does). Someone who knows about bikes can tell if the bike has been well cared for. And a well cared for bike with thousands of miles can be more reliable than one with low mileage and no maintenance. Being able to spot potential crash/drop damage is also good if you are buying used not to mention people that swap out components for lesser components before trying to sell a bike
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Old 07-06-15, 03:19 PM
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Welcome, you are in for a hell of a good ride...

They all sound good choices to me. I know CAAD bikes ride great. Not the historically characteristic aluminum ride, it's much closer to the feel of steel. The recent 105 groupsets work flawlessly as much of the innovations from the upscale models have trickled down.
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Old 07-06-15, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Tiglath View Post
Welcome, you are in for a hell of a good ride...

They all sound good choices to me. I know CAAD bikes ride great. Not the historically characteristic aluminum ride, it's much closer to the feel of steel. The recent 105 groupsets work flawlessly as much of the innovations from the upscale models have trickled down.
I had a CAAD9 and CAAD10 and I would describe them as much closer to carbon. Very stiff
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Old 07-06-15, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
A lot of people around here do 600+ miles per month so that's nothing to be concerned with. But I also take mileage claims on used bikes with a grain of salt anyway. You really have to have a trained eye when checking out the used bike (or bring along a friend who does). Someone who knows about bikes can tell if the bike has been well cared for. And a well cared for bike with thousands of miles can be more reliable than one with low mileage and no maintenance. Being able to spot potential crash/drop damage is also good if you are buying used not to mention people that swap out components for lesser components before trying to sell a bike

With that said would you buy from the LBS and pay a premium (roughly $500 more) plus have to buy pedals? Also, from reading forums, buying second hand voids the lifetime warranty from Cannondale, would this be a concern?

If I bought used I have already decided to get a fitting and tune done before riding
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Old 07-06-15, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by titan12 View Post
With that said would you buy from the LBS and pay a premium (roughly $500 more) plus have to buy pedals? Also, from reading forums, buying second hand voids the lifetime warranty from Cannondale, would this be a concern?

If I bought used I have already decided to get a fitting and tune done before riding
I'm cheap so no I wouldn't pay the premium to buy from an LBS especially if I needed to buy all the other accessories. I would do a lot of research including how fit my bike and get approximately the right size. I would start with competative fit calculator to get a ballpark of what size to buy and then read a lot of fitting articles to see how to set up the bike and fine tune the fit after buying it. I would also watch a ton of videos on youtube about tuning bikes (deraileurs, brakes, truing wheels etc) and be prepared to do everything myself. Most warranty are not worth much because the odds of your frame falling apart without a crash are rare and warranty won't cover crash damage.

I might still shop around at LBS especially now with new model years starting where you might find deals on previous year. I would also consider Performance Bike if there is one local to you because a lot of the bikes they sell like the Fujis are good deals for the price. I would also consider local taxes because where I live, 9% sales tax makes a big difference when you are spending $1000+ on a bike (well, not a big difference but an extra $100-200 that could be spend on accessories)
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Old 07-08-15, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
I'm cheap so no I wouldn't pay the premium to buy from an LBS especially if I needed to buy all the other accessories. I would do a lot of research including how fit my bike and get approximately the right size. I would start with competative fit calculator to get a ballpark of what size to buy and then read a lot of fitting articles to see how to set up the bike and fine tune the fit after buying it. I would also watch a ton of videos on youtube about tuning bikes (deraileurs, brakes, truing wheels etc) and be prepared to do everything myself. Most warranty are not worth much because the odds of your frame falling apart without a crash are rare and warranty won't cover crash damage.

I might still shop around at LBS especially now with new model years starting where you might find deals on previous year. I would also consider Performance Bike if there is one local to you because a lot of the bikes they sell like the Fujis are good deals for the price. I would also consider local taxes because where I live, 9% sales tax makes a big difference when you are spending $1000+ on a bike (well, not a big difference but an extra $100-200 that could be spend on accessories)
Is a Garmin 510 with accessories worth $100? Is this a necessity for a beginner rider?
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Old 07-08-15, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by titan12 View Post
Is a Garmin 510 with accessories worth $100? Is this a necessity for a beginner rider?
A garmin or any computer is certainly not necessary for anyone but with that said, I couldn't live without my Garmin 510. 520 just came out which is about $300 new. Garmin 510 will still cost you about $250-300 new so $100 is a good deal
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Old 07-08-15, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
A garmin or any computer is certainly not necessary for anyone but with that said, I couldn't live without my Garmin 510. 520 just came out which is about $300 new. Garmin 510 will still cost you about $250-300 new so $100 is a good deal
I'd add that for a beginner, a smartphone with a ride tracking app (e.g. Strava, MapMyRide) should suffice in the beginning. If you get a HRM, Power Meter, or Cadence monitor, then you might need to upgrade. Also, the dedicated cycling computers are designed so that you can constantly see the data, but with a smartphone, you probably just want to look at the information at stops or at the end of the ride, because if you keep the screen up, it will drain the battery pretty quickly. Also, if you're doing rides over 4 hours, a smartphone might need to be recharged sometime during the ride. But most beginners don't do 4 hour rides for a while.

Pro cyclists trained for decades without a computer or smartphone.

GH
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