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Choosing a new bike with 2k max! Would value your opinions

Old 04-25-11, 05:44 PM
  #1  
fetzer
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Choosing a new bike with 2k max! Would value your opinions

I have narrowed my choice down to 2 bikes: Tarmac and Allez. I know I am comparing carbon to alu., but I like both bikes. From a parts standpoint, the are nearly identical. Sram apex, mavic cxp22, seat...
I think there is about a 1.25 pound difference between the two. My initial reaction to the Allez frame was more impressive, but I could feel the vibration difference with the carbon.
I thought about going with the Allez and upgrading the wheels to ksryium elite which would shed about a pound off the bike. Or, I thought it would be better to go with the "better" carbon Tarmac as a stock bike.
I did try Giant and Trek (not available at 2k with Sram) and Scott, but like Specialized better.
My ridding style is usually 2-3 hrs, mainly on weekends.
What are your thoughts about the frame, weight, possible wheel improvements...etc.
Thankd for your help.
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Old 04-25-11, 05:49 PM
  #2  
fishymamba
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Tarmac. Can't really compare those two since the Allez is a begginner bike and the Tarmac is kinda high level.

But I would get this instead:
https://www.cannondale.com/bikes/road...ix-5-105-16454
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Old 04-25-11, 07:02 PM
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Santaria
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Cannondale Six or the CAAD10-5 or the CAADCX with Rival.
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Old 04-25-11, 08:18 PM
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I agree i just got a caad-10 with 105 ,bike is super smooth, as smooth as many carbon bikes ive ridden.
Frame is so stiff.Bikes just wants to go fast
if you havent seen a caad-10 go to Lbs and check one out they look great.
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Old 04-25-11, 08:30 PM
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I was in your same situation this past week. Had a budget of $2k and wanted to get my first road bike, I ended up getting the CAAD10 with 105. Great bike. Between the two you mentioned, I'd go for the Tarmac if you can drop the extra $$. But would recommend trying CAAD and SuperSix.

Like everyone will suggest here (cause I just went through the same), test ride all the bikes and go with the one that is more comfortable for you and the one YOU like the most.

Wow, I've been in this forum for about three weeks and am already sounding like a loyal Cult of CAAD member... haha...
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Old 04-25-11, 09:40 PM
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squamish5
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the OP didn't mention CAAD. ................go with the Tarmac
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Old 04-25-11, 10:02 PM
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darb85
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Tarmac, youll be happier in the long run
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Old 04-25-11, 11:14 PM
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https://www.competitivecyclist.com/fr...bike-9279.html

Certainly has my eye, $1999.

Last edited by rhoadrhat; 04-26-11 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 04-26-11, 12:30 AM
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Windsor the Hour, or an Origin8
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Old 04-26-11, 02:40 AM
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as biased as i am.. (cannondale fanboy)... im still gonna have to throw a vote for tarmac.
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Old 04-26-11, 05:04 AM
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Two thoughts:

1. Since the frame materials are radically different, you should make sure you're buying the material that meets your goals. They definitely perform differently and the weight difference, at this point, is really negligible. If you're worried about a couple of pounds, lose weight yourself.

2. Always, always, always buy the best drivetrain component group you can afford. This, above all else in my opinion, makes or breaks a good bike riding performance experience.
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Old 04-26-11, 05:16 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by fetzer View Post
My initial reaction to the Allez frame was more impressive, but I could feel the vibration difference with the carbon.
I'm curious - in what ways did the Allez feel more impressive?
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Old 04-26-11, 05:25 AM
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I'm gonna go against the grain and recommend the Allez. I recently picked up an Allez Elite, and so far it's an excellent bike. It's holding up very well for 50-70 mile rides.

For the $650 price premium of the Tarmac with Apex over the Allez Apex, all you get is some more carbon on the bike -- same components, same wheels, same geometry. For 2-3 hour rides, I don't think it will really matter that much. You can probably get the same ride feel by use 25c's and let out some air in the tires. Unless you're cruising at 25+ mph, it won't affect your performance.
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Old 04-26-11, 06:08 AM
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I'm going even further against the grain and suggesting a Scott CR1 Team...

EDIT: Or, for even a better value, the Speedster S10... That pushes you into Ultegra, but it's an Alu frame.
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Old 04-26-11, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by fetzer View Post
My initial reaction to the Allez frame was more impressive, but I could feel the vibration difference with the carbon.
I thought about going with the Allez and upgrading the wheels to ksryium elite which would shed about a pound off the bike.
Without resorting to the princess and the pea sensitivities so rampant on here, this statement is quite telling. Take a deeper look at how your position differs on the two bikes. Did you feel more comfortable because of the position of the bars relative to the seat? It could just be a case of color or being more in range of the target market on the one.

The smart choice here is to go with what makes you happy not what should be nicer and thus make it a better choice. An aluminum frame with a good wheelset and tires will be quite comfortable for cruising around a couple hours a week.

For some reason the Allez has always had something hard to define that appealed to me. I think it lies in it being very subtly designed in a very classic race style. A number of the other brands offerings make concessions to being more appealing to out of shape people in the market for a bike than they do to keeping it utilitarian. Meaning they design away little bits of versatility to tailor it towards short rides at a slow pace on flat ground. Overtly looking the racy carbon bike does not make it so.
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Old 04-26-11, 06:15 AM
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I got my non-current Tarmac with Dura Ace and Ultegra for 2K. Shopping hard and being patient can save you big bucks!
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Old 04-26-11, 07:23 AM
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As respect to fit, the geometry of the Allez and Tarmac are exactly the same so that can be replicated for both. Also, as far as the Allez being entry level and then inferior compared to CAAD 10 - I call BS. The Allez is every bit as nice. I've had my butt on both and there's a reason why the Allez frameset is sold out and Specialized is making a rather unprecedented 2nd production run to have some framesets avail. this summer.
It's a great bike and would work well for what you need, plus a wheel upgrade would make a big difference. The 2011 Tarmac Elite/Comp is also quite a step up from the 2010 of the same level. The trickle-down of the 2010 Expert model in this case, made a significant impact as far as stiffness and comfort.
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Old 04-26-11, 07:38 AM
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I'd follow these simple rules
1. What fits you the best, Cannondale is going to have totally different geometry than Specialized. Get a bike that FEELS right first and foremost.
2. Get the best components within your budget
3. Weight the options of where the money is best spent: The Allez Elite is a wonderful bike. If you can save $600 over the Tarmac, think about what you can do with that $600: Buy a nice set of shorts/bibs, shoes, helmet, gloves, etc etc. Don't buy the more expensive bike, blow your budget and then not have enough money to buy the gear it takes to actually ride regularly in comfort. Because if you do that, you won't want to ride
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Old 04-26-11, 07:45 AM
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Buy cheap buy twice!
You will forget the $600 after a bit of time.
You will always have the Allez or the Tarmac.
Buy the one that you want the most.
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Old 04-26-11, 08:06 AM
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The allez is a great bike. The only time I feel like Im riding aluminum is when I hit a pothole or bump. I ride the allez more than the madone.
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Old 04-26-11, 08:07 AM
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You really can't go wrong with either frame.

And I'd bet that the two frames are pretty close in weight. I"m personally not a big fan of low-end carbon frames. I find they deaden the ride and tend to be a bit flexy.

Also, as someone who used to race a Specialized E5 aluminum frame and now races a Caad 9, the Spec. E5 was much nicer frame.
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Old 04-26-11, 10:27 AM
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I am in much the same position, started at a lower price point but think I can talk myself (or more accurately, my better half) into $2k. I have a Specialized today which I'll keep (Sora drivetrain, main reason I am upgrading), not necessarily brand loyal but staying with LBS is one advantage.

I'm looking seriously at the Roubaix, but also like the looks of the Felt Z6 or Cannondale Carbon 6 (have not ridden either yet), both look very competitive, whether with 105 or Apex (need to decide drivetrain first). I like the idea of riding something not so common, Masi was in the mix but I've developed a negative assessment given the lack of information on the company itself, engineering and design, etc.

What else did you consider first before those 2 options and what made you eliminate others?
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Old 04-26-11, 10:17 PM
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Buy the one that feels the best, you may want to check out the Specialized Roubaix as well. The Tarmac and Roubaix are the same price with the same components but the Roubaix is more relaxed. I love my Roubaix!
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Old 05-02-11, 08:12 AM
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Wow! Thank you for all of your input.
I rode the allez, tarmac and rubaix this weekend at my lbs. I could notice the difference in smoothness with the carbon bikes but I was not able to ride an allez with the ksyrium upgrades.
I felt most powerful on the tarmac and could notice the difference in handling compared with the rubaix.
The advice I was given by the lbs was to go with whic feels best, but to consider that if I was to ride long distances, i may like the rubaix better in the long run.
Still can's decide...I am going to go again this week to ride again with a clean mind.
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Old 05-02-11, 10:01 AM
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Also, I forgot to mention that I did try a Cannondale CAAD and did not like the feel. I also tried the Synapse, Madone 4.5 and 4.7, Pinarello FP2, Scott CR1.
I just like the feel of the Specialized bikes...
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