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Confused on my First Road Bike Purchase

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

Confused on my First Road Bike Purchase

Old 08-28-14, 04:37 PM
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Confused on my First Road Bike Purchase

Hi folks... I could really use a few opinions.

I'm in the final throws of purchasing my first high end road bike... ever.
All the guys have moved from mountain to road and it's time I caved to peer pressure and joined the club

Well, I've got the decision down to a Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5 105 and a Cannondale CAAD 10 Ultegra 3.
Both are priced similarly and have a close feel when I ride.

I won't be doing any racing, just weekly training.

So, any thoughts? Is the 105 more reliable than the Ultegra?
Will the carbon frame absorb the road bumps better than the aluminum?
Will the upgrade in wheels make a difference?(Shimano RS11 to Mavic Aksium S)

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 08-28-14, 04:52 PM
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both are adequate

just ride them both and buy the one that "feels" better to you
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Old 08-28-14, 04:55 PM
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If this is your first, I would go with the cheaper option. One year from now, you will have a completely different bike anyways as you will learn more and understand what you like/dislike =). G'luck.

(Wheels make a big difference, carbon is always more expensive, and components may make or break how cool your bike is to your friends).
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Old 08-28-14, 04:56 PM
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Two different bikes in many ways. The synapse is an endurance road geometry and the CAAD is iconic racing geometry. If you're just training and cranking out miles, on the surface the synapse is a bike that better fits the bill. But many people ride CAAD frames as daily training bikes and love them.

As far as components go, the ultegra is the XT of road and 105 is the LX. Ultegra has better construction, with metal or carbon parts in some places where 105 may have plastic. But nothing you would probably notice in day to day riding. Both are good. If these are 2014 bikes the 105 will be 10 speed and the ultegra 11 speed. Your decision comes down to what feels better. Ask the shop if you can take both bikes for a real test ride. Bring your shoes and pedals. Ride 5 miles on each one. Many things show up after the newness of being in the bike wears off and a few miles have gone by. Those two wheelsets are about the same.
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Old 08-28-14, 05:02 PM
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Ive been test riding a bunch of bikes lately, and those two are very high on my list.

Out of your questions, I can only answer about the aluminum vs carbon.. It seemed to me, the carbon was overall a smoother ride, even though it was a more race geometry feel. That said, I really liked both bikes, difference in liking one or the other for me is nitpicky. 105 is great stuff, Ultegra is one step up from 105. Id say get ultegra if you can, but dont feel like 105 is crap, because its not at all.

Id also like to mention, if you like the racier feel of the CAAD 10, but you want Carbon..

Check out the C'Dale SuperSIX EVO 5 105. It should cost you the same price as the other two.. my shops at least have them priced identically.

Ive been leaning towards sportive bikes since the get go, but Ive tested a number of race geo bikes.. and I have to say, I have been pleasantly surprised is some ways. Enough that Ive opened my eyes to them more now.

End of the day, get the bike you feel the most comfortable on, and that you can be fitted too so you are riding it in the proper position. Thats whats going to make the most difference long term.
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Old 08-28-14, 05:22 PM
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All great answers so I'm heading off back to the LBS after I walk the dog

SuperSix eh?

I'll let you know how it goes.
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