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First Bike and Trouble Deciding

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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

First Bike and Trouble Deciding

Old 06-24-18, 04:11 PM
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MajWoody
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First Bike and Trouble Deciding

My first post here but I've been lurking for weeks now. I'm looking to get my first road bike and thought I had it narrowed down to a Domane ALR4 Disc and a Cannondale Synapse 105 Disc Aluminum. Then, I saw the Diamondback Century 5 Carbon. The Trek is about $1600 but comes with the full Tiagra set. The Cannondale is $1500 with full 105s but hybrid mechanical disc. I then saw a deal to get the Diamondback Century 5 for $1600. The Century gives me hydraulic disc, 105s, AND carbon frame.

Is there any reason at all to avoid the Diamondback EXCEPT for it not coming with the LBS year or two-year service and fitting thrown in? I've been handy with a wrench for more than 30 years and work on my cars and Harley. I think if I'm going to be serious about this, I should learn how to do proper maintenance.

Anyway, any thoughts?
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Old 06-24-18, 05:42 PM
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Like many of the other brands, Diamondback makes some cheapo mass-market bikes but they also make some really nice ones. With a 105 groupset and in the $1600 range, this will be one of the nicer ones. I think either one would serve you well. If they both fit equally then it's a toss-up. Take the one with the color you like the best.
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Old 06-24-18, 05:43 PM
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The price difference is from the different retail models, as well as the DB being on sale. If anything breaks you will probably have to pay at a shop to process the warranty. If you are genuinely confident in your own wrenching and fitting then much of the value of an lbs sold bike is going to be less important to you.
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Old 06-24-18, 05:57 PM
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11 speeds trumps 10 any day for a new bike if it is within you budget, IMO.

I'd probably go for the Cannondale. Mainly because I imagine they make a better bike, though I have not dealt with either Cannondale or Diamond before. So as I said, I imagine they make a better bike.

If I felt that I'd get decent service and warranty from both Cannondale and Diamond, then bike weight would be the next thing I'd look at. Assuming of course that you've test rode both and they fit equally well. I've seen some low end carbon bikes that are several pounds heavier than some less expensive aluminum bikes.
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Old 06-24-18, 06:11 PM
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I have the DB Podium disc. The Podium is their race model. They also sponsor a World Tour team that rides the same frames so no they aren't cheapo. It's the most amazing bike I've ever had in 3 decades of cycling. It hurts to say it, but on chipseal roads it's probably smoother than any steel bike I ever had. The Century Carbon is basically an endurance version of the same frame. I believe it also has the same wheelset as my bike, the HED Flanders C2+. Someone weighed theirs and said it was like 1640g, which is pretty light for a disc wheelset. It also has double butted spokes. Most 105 level bikes come with cheaper, heavy wheels with straight gauge spokes, probably the other two bikes you're looking at as well. For the corporate discount price I wouldn't even look at another bike. If you take into consideration that you'll probably never want to upgrade the wheels that's even more money saved there.

FWIW, my bike was delivered 4 days after ordering and it comes with bottle cages, a cool mini-torque wrench (so you don't over tighten the seatpost clamp), block off plates if you go with a Di2 group and a spare rear derailleur hanger.
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Old 06-24-18, 06:25 PM
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Of the three, Id get the Cannondale.

If value for the dollar is utmost priority, Id look at Fuji honestly. Or maybe Giant.
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Old 06-24-18, 06:40 PM
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If you're pretty confident that you can select the right size, I'd go with the DB. I've fondled one of their Podium frames and they're very nice and hydro 105 is great (my Haanjo came with mech 105 and I swapped it out for hydro when I found a good deal on an upgrade kit).

Also, the 2017 model, with 6800 Ultegra, is only 150 bucks more. Totally worth it, IMO.

Edit: uh oh - just noticed that the Century 6C Carbon has 8000-level Ultegra for just under $1900. That would be very tempting. But the frame isn't red, so it's not as fast. Tough choice.

Last edited by WhyFi; 06-24-18 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 06-24-18, 06:56 PM
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Thanks for the great feedback everyone. Definitely a lot to think about.
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Old 06-24-18, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
If you're pretty confident that you can select the right size, I'd go with the DB. I've fondled one of their Podium frames and they're very nice and hydro 105 is great (my Haanjo came with mech 105 and I swapped it out for hydro when I found a good deal on an upgrade kit).

Also, the 2017 model, with 6800 Ultegra, is only 150 bucks more. Totally worth it, IMO.

Edit: uh oh - just noticed that the Century 6C Carbon has 8000-level Ultegra for just under $1900. That would be very tempting. But the frame isn't red, so it's not as fast. Tough choice.
Where is the 6c being sold for under $1900?
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Old 06-24-18, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by MajWoody View Post
Where is the 6c being sold for under $1900?
On their site with the corporate discount. **** - looks like they only have one left, though - a 56.
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Old 06-24-18, 08:10 PM
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First bikes.... are the toughest decision.

The utmost important requirement of any bike.... is that it fits well. Well.... unless you just plan to only pedal down to the Dairy Queen, grocery store, errands, or local pub. For short trips size isn't that important. But most serious road cyclists ride enough miles that size really DOES matter. And it ain't just size either. My first bike (which I rode thousands of miles) was just a tad too big... and I was never able to "adjust it" to fit right.

My (designed in Waterloo) Trek 1.1 fits like a glove. And after some time getting to know about and select a good saddle.... it's a bike I can live on.

My CAAD 10... is a much better bike, same size as the Trek, 3+ pounds lighter, and is even adjusted to the same dimensions. The CAAD is comfortable... but it isn't the same as the Trek

I've had a few bikes. I limit the total number I own at any given time. So I buy and sell bike from time-to-time... rotating my herd. . I've often times found 30 year old bikes with practically no miles on the original tires, brakes, and bar tape. Yet the bike hung unused in a garage decade after decade. Make sure you test ride whatever bike you chose. Make sure you know what your bike size is... and why. And be OK with imperfect choice. That first bike is a hard selection to get right.
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Old 06-25-18, 03:43 PM
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So I hesitated on the Century 6 carbon in my cart today and it went out of stock. The search continues but I appreciate all the feedback.
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Old 06-27-18, 08:43 AM
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I'd go C'Dale out of those options.
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Old 06-27-18, 09:48 AM
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Don't wait too long to make a decision. If you don't start getting some experience on any bike, then you'll never have any thing to base what may or may not make a good bike for you.

Don't blow all your money on your first bike. It's unlikely it will be the perfect bike for all the different ways you might want to ride a road bike.
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Old 06-27-18, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by MajWoody View Post
Is there any reason at all to avoid the Diamondback EXCEPT for it not coming with the LBS year or two-year service and fitting thrown in? I've been handy with a wrench for more than 30 years and work on my cars and Harley. I think if I'm going to be serious about this, I should learn how to do proper maintenance.
"A year or two of free service and a quicky fit" are worth almost nothing, especially for someone who's handy. If you watch some videos on how to move the parts for a fitting you can probably get to as good a (road) position as most fitters, and better than the 15 minutes they'll spend on a free fit. For the service, the free adjustments will be some adjustments to cable tension. Again, a couple of minutes watching Park Tool or whatever videos will allow you to make the same adjustments yourself, and you'll pay more attention than the guy at the bike shop they have do the free adjustments.

It's like the car dealer throwing in a few free oil changes to get you to pay full price for the car. It's a terrible deal for you and great for them. Bikes are much simpler than cars or motorcycles, especially in terms of how accessible all the parts are. Get the right bike without worrying about the free throw-ins. And if you have trouble, you may have a "mobile bike tech" guy with a trailer or a Sprinter van or the like who will show up and do great work for cheap. My guy is going to work on my bike this Friday, in fact.

And yes, DB makes some great bikes if you get their high-end stuff. The Andean was all over Kona last year.
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Old 06-29-18, 11:51 AM
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I would definitely try and test ride each bike I'm considering and try to have them set up as closely as possible. A few miles on each bike will definitely not give you a great reference, but it should give you an idea of how it handles, how comfortable and compliant it is. One may be a little quicker handling for example. You may like this or you may want more stability. While test riding, intentionally find rougher stretches of road and see what the feedback is like on each bike. You may find you prefer either a more damped feel or like a little more feedback. I don't know a great deal about Diamomdback bikes, but Trek and Cannondale are both very good and their lower priced bikes certainly benefit from R&D and racer feedback on their higher priced models.
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Old 07-04-18, 08:25 AM
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Finally found a gently used Trek that fit well and rides great! It'll serve me well as I learn what I like and don't. Thanks for all the feedback everyone!
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Old 07-06-18, 03:56 AM
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Nice looking Trek! Have fun.
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Old 07-07-18, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by MajWoody View Post
My first post here but I've been lurking for weeks now. I'm looking to get my first road bike and thought I had it narrowed down to a Domane ALR4 Disc and a Cannondale Synapse 105 Disc Aluminum. Then, I saw the Diamondback Century 5 Carbon. The Trek is about $1600 but comes with the full Tiagra set. The Cannondale is $1500 with full 105s but hybrid mechanical disc. I then saw a deal to get the Diamondback Century 5 for $1600. The Century gives me hydraulic disc, 105s, AND carbon frame.

Is there any reason at all to avoid the Diamondback EXCEPT for it not coming with the LBS year or two-year service and fitting thrown in? I've been handy with a wrench for more than 30 years and work on my cars and Harley. I think if I'm going to be serious about this, I should learn how to do proper maintenance.

Anyway, any thoughts?
30 years with a Harley? Well, I'd hope you were handy with a wrench!
Seriously, though, depending on how friendly your shop is, the real advantage of the complimentary service may be that they'll walk you through things - it could be more like a series of tutorials. But then it's not like anything is particularly complicated, or you'd need much help, so if the bikes at my shop weren't compelling, I wouldn't hesitate to get the Diamondback. The local shop could still help if necessary, it just wouldn't be complimentary.
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