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Fuji CCR-3 vs. Giant Defy 2 vs. Felt z75/85/100 vs. Cannondale Synapse 6

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

Fuji CCR-3 vs. Giant Defy 2 vs. Felt z75/85/100 vs. Cannondale Synapse 6

Old 08-23-11, 08:40 PM
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DP Roberts
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Fuji CCR-3 vs. Giant Defy 2 vs. Felt z75/85/100 vs. Cannondale Synapse 6

Yes, this is another noob "What bike should I buy?" thread...

So I'm about to buy my first road bike. I started biking this past spring by dusting off my 20-year old mountain bike I had in the garage. I'd like to get a road bike for general fitness riding, and work my way to longer rides (maybe eventually charity centuries and such). My budget is about $1000.

So, I'm looking at the more relaxed, endurance geometry bikes. The common advice on this forum seems to be "forget about the brands, just buy the one that fits you from the LBS that gives the best service". So, I tried out several different versions of the Specialized Secteur, the Cannondale Synapse, and the Giant Defy. All the bikes were basically okay. I didn't really notice differences in fit or comfort - mostly, I noticed that I liked how the 105 & Tiagra shifters felt, but I didn't care for the Sora or 2300 parts. After 4-5 different bikes, I was beginning to think no bike would really stand out.

Then today, I wandered into my local Performance Bike shop. They seemed just as helpful as the "major brand" LBSes, which surprised me (and which is why they were at the bottom of my list). They ended up showing me a Fuji CCR-3. I hadn't planned on considering a carbon bike, but it was within my budget so I tried it. I really liked it! The aluminum bikes seemed to transmit every single rock or seam in the road directly to my body, but the Fuji didn't.

I don't know if it was the carbon frame or the seat or what, but I really liked it, with one exception - I seemed to be reaching further than I'd like to the handlebars - definitely further than the other bikes. They measured the stem at 120mm (on a 50cm bike), and said that they could put a 90mm stem on it instead. If I want the shorter stem I'll probably buy the bike & join the Performance club, and then use the points the next day to buy the new stem and pedals.

The one brand I didn't get to try was the Felt. I really like the looks of the Z series. Now that Tiagra is going to be 10 speed, Felt is supposedly going to have a Tiagra model in the Z series, the z75, but I like the looks of the 105 z85 too. Plus, the new Defy 2 will be the new Tiagra.

Part of me wants to wait another week or two (or more) and try out the new 2012 bikes - a few more weeks on the old MTB won't kill me. On the other hand, if I haven't been able to really make any distinctions between the aluminum bikes I've already tried, why bother? Also, the CCR-3, besides being carbon, is also the cheapest, and gets Performance points.

So, I'm really leaning towards going back to Performance tomorrow and getting the Fuji CCR-3. Is there any reason NOT to get the Fuji (assuming that changing the stem makes it fit properly), or to wait for the 2012s for the aluminum bikes?

Here are links if anybody wants to see them:
Fuji CCR-3, $999. More info w/ geometry here

Felt z85, $1150 (No info on the z75 Tiagra yet, but it's on some Japanese sites if you want to use Google Translate).

Giant Defy 2 $1075.

Canndale Synapse 6 Tiagra $1099.

Last edited by DP Roberts; 08-24-11 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 08-23-11, 10:46 PM
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ArchEtech
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I can only speak about the Fuji. I had a ccr-3 for a while. I'm a heavy rider so it was maybe a bit flexible up front , but I got rid of it from fitment issues. It's a very smooth ride. It's designed as a sporty touring race bike I believe. Slightly relaxed posture and road absorbin comfort. I also think for a full carbon bike it's hard to beat the price point of it as well as other Fuji. The stock seat was bad, the wheels were bulletproof but heavy. I think it's a great first road bike without a huge investment if you want to upgrade in a year.
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Old 08-23-11, 11:52 PM
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Oh, hell, if you like the ride get the CCR-3. It's a damned fine way to get a carbon bike for a grand, and it has a decent warranty.

I used to sell CCR-3s and 2s that we got on clearance, and they pleased many customers and we never got one back. One thing to watch for is sizing. Use the XS S M ML L XL size designations for reference, not the stated seat tube length. For instance, if you ride a 58 in most other brands, your size on the CCR will probably be 55.
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Old 08-24-11, 01:31 AM
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basically the same setup (ok the rd is different) but for 999.99 before taking advantage of 20% off, you save about $300.

use that money upgrade to shimano 105: rd, fd, and shifters. then use the store credit towards 105 shifters.
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Old 08-24-11, 09:59 AM
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Is there a particular reason I might want to upgrade the Fuji sooner than the other bikes? Do most people want to upgrade after a year or so anyway?
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Old 08-24-11, 10:04 AM
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Buy one and don't upgrade it. I just bought a Z100 and I love it! It's cheaper at around $820.00, and you'll have to buy pedals, shoes, helmet, water bottles, cages, seat post, tubes, multitool, and other stuff. It will easily add up to about $1050.00 for the complete package; it's something to think about.

I'm not going to upgrade mine. it's a triple, with sora front and rear derailleur's. You know what? It shifts. Upgrading to 105's would cost me somewhere on the ballpark of 400.00 for the package. What would be better in the long run is to ride it for a year or two, sell it for $600.00, and put the money towards a new bike that is a better fit, more agressive, better components, ect.

However, do what you want.
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