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Seeking "First" Road Bike Suggestions

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

Seeking "First" Road Bike Suggestions

Old 07-01-19, 10:48 PM
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Seeking "First" Road Bike Suggestions

Hi all!

Although I spend most of my time in the C&V section, I am looking to purchase my first modern bike. My experience with cycling has been limited to commuting to class on my '85 Peugeot P8 and riding through campus.

I am looking to begin going on longer distance rides and participate in other cycling events. I live in South Florida where the roads are flat and snow is almost non-existent. I am almost 6' and about 170 lbs. My P8 is a 57 cm and feels about right (I know having the shop do a proper fit would be better).

I would like to buy something that I can grow with...so I was thinking a bike with at least a Tiagra level groupset. Other than that, I don't have much of a preference.

Some bikes I was looking at are:

BMC Teammachine ALR TWO
Specialized Allez Elite
Cannondale CAAD12 105
Cannondale CAAD Optimo 105
Felt FR-40
Scott Speedster 10

I am looking to buy new for this purchase

I would appreciate suggestions on other aspects I should consider, the bikes listed above, or any others I should check out.

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Old 07-01-19, 11:05 PM
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For alloy, doesn't get much better than the CAAD12. The Allez is also nice, but much more aggressive and twitchy.
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Old 07-05-19, 06:46 AM
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Of the bikes listed CAAD12 105.
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Old 07-05-19, 06:55 AM
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Just a hint: go for the fit first. All modern bikes are good, but nothing is more important than fit.
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Old 07-05-19, 07:31 AM
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I’ve got a Trek Emonda SL 5 which is 105 and love it. It is really my first modern road bike as all I had as prior bike was a ‘72 Schwinn and a friend let me use his Specialized Roubaix for a while, which was also nice. The Emonda is said to be a mix between the race/endurance set-up.
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Old 07-05-19, 08:15 AM
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This is purely my opinion, formed over years of riding, research, and spending a lot more money on bikes than cars...and learning a lot by spending money for things I didn't need, or regretted buying, because if I'd spent 10-20% more, I could have had a much better component, part, etc., which I ended up buying anyhow. I am also assuming you intend to ride it as spec'd (at least initially).

1) What's your budget? That will narrow your range, and you may be surprised to find that you can afford a lot more bike that you originally thought. Remember, "Buy nice, or buy twice."
2) Lowest group you should consider, IMHO, is 105, at least the front/rear mech and levers. Period. If you can afford the extra for Ultegra, it's worth it, in the long run, but NOT necessary.
3) If you want something you can grow with, and that you will keep riding...DO NOT get a pure racer, stick with the frames that are described as "endurance" or "all-road" (code for endurance bikes that can be comfortably ridden on rough roads and gravel). The aggressive riding position (and handling) of a pure racer could be off-putting. You ant a bike that is a "easy" to ride, and confidence inspiring. The aggressive stuff can come later.
4) Test ride, test ride, test ride. Fitting is critical for bike setup, but with test riding you can figure out pretty well what size frame you will need. Also, remember, just because that P8 is a 57, does not mean you will automatically be a 57 in every geometry. I ride from 52 to 54, depending on the frame, and specifically how I want it to fit for how I intend to ride it.
5) On fit, as you ride the bike more, expect that you may need to make some adjustments...flip the stem, remove some spacers from the steering tube to lower the bar, you may even need to move the seat position a little bit. This is normal, and in my experience, the tweaks are almost always minor, but can make a huge difference as you get more comfortable, and you are able to tolerate longer and longer rides.

Also, we're at the end of the model year. Upside, you may find a good deal on a bike, because shops need to get their remaining stock out of inventory, and you may find a bit of a discount. Downside, they may not have your size in every bike.

Good luck.

Last edited by Badger6; 07-05-19 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 07-05-19, 11:03 AM
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Trek Emonda ALR, Domane ALR, either of those as cheap as you can go with Shimano 105 groupset.
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