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Am I Crazy to Pass-up on This? $1600 '05 Tarmac Comp... but its double...

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

Am I Crazy to Pass-up on This? $1600 '05 Tarmac Comp... but its double...

Old 04-22-08, 12:15 PM
  #1  
samersereau
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Am I Crazy to Pass-up on This? $1600 '05 Tarmac Comp... but its double...

Let me start by saying... Sorry for posting a new thread even though I have one already going, but I just found an "offer I can't refuse" or os it seems.

I have been looking to make my first road bike purchased and last night I narrowed it down to 2 choices.

See http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=410103 for those 2 choices but essentially I decided on the Cannondale Synapse 6.

Upon going to another local bike shop, closer to my work. I ended up getting into a discussion with the owner. He presented this option to me.

2005 Specialized Tarmac Comp
Original Price $2200 (2008 Models are $2400) Will sell it to me for $1600
Said he had trouble selling it because of its color (Black and Silver) FYI I think it looks it cool.
Ultegra STI shifters, rear der, and 105 everything else!!!
Obviously a Full Carbon Frame see other details below (mind you '08 has different components)
http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=34010

Vs.

What I was considering...

'08 Cannondale Synapse 6 $1179
58cm
Rear Cogs - Tiagra components (9 Speed)
Sram PG-950, 12-26
Breakset - Tiagra
Handlebar - Control Tech Compact Is this some 3rd Party Handlebar?
Seat doesnt matter, going to swap out for Brooks or Alias anyways.
Chrome/Red/Black
http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/08/c...el-8RAS6T.html

'07 Synapse Alloy 2 $1169
56cm
105 Components (10 Speed)
Rear Cogs - Shimano 105, 12-25
Handle Bar - Cannondale C3, 31.8 mm Name Brand Handlebar as compared to above
Breakset - Cannondale C3
Midnight Blue
http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/07/c...el-7RAS2T.html


$1600 is at the TOP of my price range, I can't afford a $1900 Roubaix and I certainly couldnt get this bike at '08 retail of $2400

So here is my dilemma...

The '05 Tarmac is a Double (which he said he would be happy to convert to a compact for no extra charge)
THe '08 Synapse is a Triple

I have been told that since I am a heavy rider (255 lbs) that rides on rather hilly routes, I NEED a triple.

Questions...
1. Will I learn to use a compact?? Is it true that a Triple is ideal for me?
2. Is this a deal that I would be a fool to pass up on??
3. I may do some group rides with my local bike shop, its unlikely that I would ride with these guys near my work. Should I feel guilty buying a bike from someone other then them. Or will they understand?

4. At my size should I worry about a carbon frame?

I confess that I am noobie that has been riding a hybrid for the last several months. I rode the Synapse last night and enjoyed it. I will ride the Tarmac on Thursday and assuming that it feels nice I will make my decision then.
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Old 04-22-08, 12:38 PM
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Not to be rude (I am 6'4"), but unless you are like over 7' tall, you don't need a triple, you need to lose some weight. A compact double will do just fine. As for carbon frame strength, don't worry about it. At all.

Also, that sounds like a sweet deal. the FACT frames are pretty tight.

And regarding question 3, don't worry about it. Ride what you like. I bought a Trek and ride with the dudes from the Specialized / Orbea dealer as well as the guys from the Cervelo dealer.
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Old 04-22-08, 12:54 PM
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If the Tarmac is your size, then that's a fantastic deal.

I've always been a skinny freak my entire life, so I can't speak from experience here, but I think you'd learn to ride pretty much any set of gears. If they'll set it up with a compact, I say take them up on that, assuming you already have the other gear you'll need in addition to the bike (such as pedals/shoes, shorts, bottles, etc).

If buying this bike would stop you from getting the rest of the gear you'll need, (particularly the shorts, IMO), then you'd be better off looking elsewhere.
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Old 04-22-08, 01:05 PM
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I weigh more then you and I am riding a carbon bike with a compact. Unless you have really long hills where you ride you won't have issues with it. I went from a triple to a compact double and have not missed the triple at all. It took some getting used to but not a big deal. I live in Oklahoma so although we don't have mountains (I think we have one and it's not much of one) it is not flat by no means.
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Old 04-22-08, 01:09 PM
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you can always have the small compact gear that matches the small gear of the triple.
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Old 04-22-08, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by munkyv22 View Post
unless you are like over 7' tall, you don't need a triple, you need to lose some weight.
Isn't this a chicken-before-the-egg argument? I mean, it's the person's first road bike, and we'd like him to ride as much as possible. Riding more certainly helps loose weight. With the right gearing riding is more comfortable, and will encourage riding longer and more often. Or should he wait till he's 176lb before buying a road bike?

To the OP: I started riding at 245lb, very hilly terrain, and I definitely liked that triple. For me it made the difference between dropping it to the lowest gear to spin up the mountain and feel like I had energy for the rest of the ride, and bailing out on the ride discouraged. I've dropped a lot of weight since then, but I'm still not a strong climber and like the idea that I can finish a pretty tough ride, even if I grannied it on some sections. I haven't used a compact crank; I think the 34 would be a low enough granny gear, but I like having the 42 tooth ring in the middle for lots of situations and would hate to give it up.

I suppose another good question might be: how long have you been riding already, and on what? Do you have a triple on what you are currently riding? How long are the rides you take, and how much elevation gain do you make during those rides?
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Old 04-22-08, 01:26 PM
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i honestly don't feel much of a difference between a triple and my 34 x 27
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Old 04-22-08, 01:33 PM
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Compact crankset will be fine.
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Old 04-22-08, 01:59 PM
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Our late friend Sheldon Brown has a gear calculator on his website.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/index.html

Using this tool I entered the data for all four configs of the three bikes above.

I have attached the jpgs of each as reference.

This shows that the difference between the Tarmac with a compact double and either of the Cannondales at the lowest gear is marginal.

That said I would ride all three bikes for as long as they will let you and go with which one feels the best to you.

I would not however leave the standard double crank on the Tarmac. I am an old guy and live around many hills and love my low gears.

Note I found the data for the Tarmac cassette 11-28 on the archives section of the Specialized website.

Ride safe.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
07 Synapse.jpg (82.2 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg
08 Synapse.jpg (80.4 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg
Tarmac C-Double.jpg (71.4 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg
Tarmac Double.jpg (76.0 KB, 14 views)
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Old 04-22-08, 02:05 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by shatdow View Post
Isn't this a chicken-before-the-egg argument? I mean, it's the person's first road bike, and we'd like him to ride as much as possible. Riding more certainly helps loose weight. With the right gearing riding is more comfortable, and will encourage riding longer and more often. Or should he wait till he's 176lb before buying a road bike?

To the OP: I started riding at 245lb, very hilly terrain, and I definitely liked that triple. For me it made the difference between dropping it to the lowest gear to spin up the mountain and feel like I had energy for the rest of the ride, and bailing out on the ride discouraged. I've dropped a lot of weight since then, but I'm still not a strong climber and like the idea that I can finish a pretty tough ride, even if I grannied it on some sections. I haven't used a compact crank; I think the 34 would be a low enough granny gear, but I like having the 42 tooth ring in the middle for lots of situations and would hate to give it up.

I suppose another good question might be: how long have you been riding already, and on what? Do you have a triple on what you are currently riding? How long are the rides you take, and how much elevation gain do you make during those rides?
I understand what he meant, I do need to loose some weight (Down 21 in 2 1/2 months) I am sure that we help quite a bit in getting me up those hills.

In regards to your last questions. I currently ride on a 2002 Hybrid. I ride about 3x a week. One good 30-40 miler and two 10s. I hope to increase that once I get a comfortable road bike. In regards to hills... check out one of my 40s at the the following link. As you see, its a 550ft ascent and 427 ft decent.

http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...hung/899875213

Additional Question....

Should I be concerned that the Tarmac is more of an "aggressive" riding style. The synapse I was looking at was a bit more relaxed. Can't that "aggression" be changed by a raised head stock or spacers?

Last edited by samersereau; 04-22-08 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 04-22-08, 02:21 PM
  #11  
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As others have said, you'll be fine with the compact. No need for a triple. If you can afford it, jump on it.
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Old 04-22-08, 02:27 PM
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Yeah, you can get a stem that's flipped up but make sure the shop fits you properly.

The compact double with an 11-28 or whatever shouldn't be a problem at all. If you have 550ft ascent and 427 descent in our 40's ride, then you should be fine with a compact. You should actually not even need the 11-28. That's like a highway overpass, not a hill.

You'll get stronger as you ride more, then you'll be wondering why you got a compact in the first place.

I love cannondales, but that being said, get the Tarmac after being fit on it properly. You'll love it.
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Old 04-22-08, 02:28 PM
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Glad to hear you're dropping the weight and getting in shape! I had a very similar riding schedule and setup before I got my current bike. As others have mentioned, and riversiderider provided the hard data for, a compact doesn't sacrifice significant low-end if it's paired with a 12-27, so you're fine there. The value is definitely there on the Tarmac.
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Old 04-22-08, 02:34 PM
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Questions...
1. Will I learn to use a compact?? Is it true that a Triple is ideal for me?
2. Is this a deal that I would be a fool to pass up on??
3. I may do some group rides with my local bike shop, its unlikely that I would ride with these guys near my work. Should I feel guilty buying a bike from someone other then them. Or will they understand?

you could use a standard double or a compact, if in doubt I would try for a compact. You don't need a triple.
2. Yes, buy the tarmac
3. Not at all, if you are offered a better deal there then why not? Mind you you will prob need to take your bike to the other shop to get fixed and/or maintained.
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Old 04-22-08, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
Yeah, you can get a stem that's flipped up but make sure the shop fits you properly.
If I do this, will the Tarmac have a similar ride to the Roubaix or Synapse for that matter?

I plan to do mostly long casual rides on rolling hills, after reading a ton of threads about "Roubaix (similar to synapse) vs. Tarmac" I am affraid of getting an uncomfortable aggresive bike...
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Old 04-22-08, 02:40 PM
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Editing double post:

The 'ride' itself is very subjective and can be adjusted with wheelset/tire/pressure choices. You want the fit to be similar.

If the drop is less, then you're going to have a more 'comfortable' position.

Last edited by ridethecliche; 04-22-08 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 04-22-08, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
Editing double post:

The 'ride' itself is very subjective and can be adjusted with wheelset/tire/pressure choices. You want the fit to be similar.

If the drop is less, then you're going to have a more 'comfortable' position.
Sorry, I am kind of an noob still. So your saying if I add a flipped up stem, the bike will ride a bit more like a Roubaix?
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Old 04-22-08, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by samersereau View Post
Sorry, I am kind of an noob still. So your saying if I add a flipped up stem, the bike will ride a bit more like a Roubaix?
No, the roubaix has a diff frame geometry, it would just be a more upright position, al la roubaix, but it still doesnt have the zerts if i recall and the geometry's still not the same, just more comfy
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Old 04-22-08, 04:01 PM
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Is this a deal only a fool would pass up?
Well, it's a three year old bike... so clearly others have.
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Old 04-22-08, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by tekhna View Post
Is this a deal only a fool would pass up?
Well, it's a three year old bike... so clearly others have.
Good point. But keep in mind he doesn't have it ticketed at $1600. I forget what he has it at but its not that low.
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Old 04-22-08, 06:00 PM
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Whether you need a triple or not depends on a lot of things, the least of which is what people here think. We have no idea as to your condition, general health, riding terrain, etc. Moreover, many riders here live in areas where freeway overpasses are considered climbs, or would rather risk knee injury than the chance their peers might ridicule them for riding a triple.

That being said, a compact double is almost as good (not the same as, but almost) as a triple. For that big of a deal, I'd make do with the compact.
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Old 04-22-08, 08:19 PM
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In my humble opinion, go for the Specialized, which is full carbon (versus the other that are alloy/carbon). I made the mystake of buying an aluminum/carbon bike based on price and ended up spending more later for a full carbon, so if you can afford the full carbon, go for it. To me, the frame is the most expensive part of the bike to replace, so if you can start with a nice frame, go for it!! (Ultegra and 105 compnents are jus fine, too)

Perhaps you may get an even lower price at the end of the month or by paying cash? Looks like the owner is really looking to get rid of it. (I'm assuming the size fits you. )

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Old 04-22-08, 08:31 PM
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Test ride and see if it's comfy. If it works well and fits, go for it.
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Old 04-22-08, 09:10 PM
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I just bought my 07 Tarmac Comp in January for 1600 out the door. I couldn't be happier with the bike, but in the end its all about fit.
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Old 04-22-08, 09:43 PM
  #25  
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My current bike is a Giant OCR3. Today I test rode a Roubaix and an Allez. Both had the compact gear set. I am a noob as well so take these comments for what they are worth. I liked the Allez over the Roubaix. The main reason was the flex and bounce of the all carbon frame(Roubaix). It’s something I’m not used to and because of that I was more comfortable on the Allez. I didn’t do any climbing with either bike so I can’t comment on the compact vs triple. I will say I liked the vibration damping of the specialized bikes over my Giant. Definitely a much smoother ride. The most important thing for you to do is ride each bike before you make a decision.
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