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Need help deciding on a road bike to get

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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

Need help deciding on a road bike to get

Old 11-07-14, 08:38 PM
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digaz
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Need help deciding on a road bike to get

My price budget is between $1300-$2300

I've narrowed it down to the following

Cannondale CAAD 10 105 5- $1549 - CAAD10 105 5 - CAAD10 - ELITE ROAD - ROAD - BIKES - 2015
Cannondale CAAD 10 Ultegra 3 - $2270 - CAAD10 Ultegra 3 - CAAD10 - ELITE ROAD - ROAD - BIKES - 2015
Cannondale Super EVO Carbon Ultregra $2270 - SuperSix EVO Carbon 105 5 - SUPERSIX EVO - ELITE ROAD - ROAD - BIKES - 2015
Raleigh Militis Elite 2014 $1399 - Raleigh Bicycles - 2014 Militis Elite

Does anyone know if the Raleigh one is any good? And also since the Cannondale CAAD 10 Ultegra 3 and the Super EVO Carbon Ultregra cost the same, which one is better overall? I'm really confused and would appreciate some pointers or advice from the experts on here.
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Old 11-07-14, 09:46 PM
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Before anything, here are my two key rules for those just beginning to look:

1. Know your budget. Having a set budget on buying a new road bike will help you in knowing what you expect to get with your money. Buying your new road bike can be a needlessly expensive endeavor or a great savings, with enough planning on where it is you're looking to spend.

(EDIT: 8/21/08) It is important to also keep in mind that when purchasing a new road bike (especially from a bike shop), you will want to buy a few additional accessories to make your experience better. This includes, but is not limited to, a helmet, pump, jersey and cycling shorts, socks, etc. These can easily cost over $100, so make sure that your budget allocates some spending for these as well.

2. Know your motives. Why do you want to buy a road bike? Are you interested in seriously pursuing cycling, or is this going to be a summer activity? Knowing the reasons for your bike purchase will not only help shape your budget better, but will also help you find the right bike for you.

In addition, one of the most popular questions for new members of this forum is knowing what's a "good" road bike for them. If you know why you want to start cycling, then it's much easier to know what bike will be "good" for you. It may even be possible that a used bike will satisfy your needs, thus saving you money!

===================================

With that covered, here are more in-depth pointers to consider in your purchase:

1. Local bike shops are best! Buying your bike from the local bike shop gives you a sizeable advantage on selection and customer service that cannot be found in a large department store. Bike shop salespersons can fit the bike to your height and width and give you a ride better tailored to you. Furthermore, bike shops receive higher-quality bikes that are more likely to last longer and need less maintenance in the long-run. Also, most shops offer free labor and discounted parts upon purchase, which is usually never provided by department stores.

NOTE: If you do decide to buy your first bike from a big store, then it's HIGHLY recommended that you take the bike to a local bike shop for a full overhaul, as it likely that the store worker who assembled your bike may have done it incorrectly.

2. Do your research.
Bike shop salespeople will tell you lots of things; that's their job. However, the onus is on you as a consumer to do a bit of research and find out whether their information is valid or not. Bike shops usually have a favored manufacturer, and they will attempt to push that brand out, especially over competing brands.

3. Frame materials and manufacturers.
This is a big section, so feel free to skim.

a. Frame manufacturers

The main difference between frame manufacturers is their engineering of their frames (and price point). For example, for carbon fiber frames, Trek has their own patended process (Optimum Compaction, Low Void, or OCLV for short), Specialized has their own process, etc. Nobody will ever agree on a single best manufacturer; if that were the case, everybody would buy that brand!

b. Introduction to frame materials.

Another big difference between frames (and other components, but frames especially) is their materials composition. There are four stable materials used to build frames: aluminum, carbon fiber composite, titanium and steel.

Without digressing to materials engineering, here are some key differences between the main materials, borrowed from another website[1]:

Aluminum

The Good
- One-third the density of steel, allowing the use of big tubes
- Easily formed into aero shapes
- Even cheap frames can be light
- Makes a light frame for a big rider
- Doesn't rust!
The Bad
- One-third to one-half the strength of best steels and titanium (can break)
- One-third the stiffness of any steel, which requires larger diameter tubes
- Modest fatigue strength
- Not easily repaired or straightened
- Big, thin tubes means easy crash damage

Steel

The Good
- Best steel alloys are very strong
- Best stiffness overall
- Long-lasting
- Air-hardened alloys make ultra-high strength affordable
The Bad
- Can be heavy - not the materials for big, light frames
- Rust-prone

Titanium

The Good
- Half as dense as steel, making the lightest most resilient frames
- As strong as most steels
- Wont rust - no paint needed
- Good fatigue strength
- Makes a light frame for a large rider
The Bad
- Half as stiff as steel (and known to be somewhat flexy)
- Difficult to repair
- Expensive

Carbon Fiber

The Good
- Readily molded into exotic shapes
- Excellent fatigue strength; no rust
- Strength and stiffness are controllable
- Low density and high strength make very light strong frames possible
The Bad
- Expensive raw material
- A bomb if poorly designed or made (too stiff or too flexible)
- Can be "notch sensitive" (prone to breakage)
c. Frame building process and cost

Another big contributor to the overall price of the bike is the manufacturing process used in creating the frame of the bicycle. As the complexity of the frame increases, its difficulty to manufacture also increases. This is most evident in modern aluminum frames.

When looking at the bike, take some time and investigate its corners. What you will notice is that the cheaper frames will have smooth, but cake-like corners and that higher-end aluminum frames will have very smooth corners that flow into each other. Some bikes (usually high-end) will even have cap-like ends (lugs) that attach the corners together. This is because the former is much cheaper to do, at the expense of aesthetics and (sometimes) quality.

I will discuss shortly how to determine which manufacturer is better for you.

4. Components. Like frames, components are often subject to endless holy wars over which is better (for reference, do a search on Shimano vs. Campagnolo vs. SRAM). Again, the differences lie mostly in engineering, price and location of manufacture. The choice is mostly a matter of preference, though I always recommend against buying the lowest end, as quality issues quickly become apparent (i.e. Shimano 2200).

Finally, the best way to find out which bike is best for you is simple:

5. GO FOR A TEST RIDE!
When you buy your first car, you would drive it a little to see how it performs, right? The same concept applies for bikes. None of the differences and debates matter until you try it for yourself. Naturally, you will not be able to see every deficiency until you actually own the bike for a while, but at the very least it will help you weed out immediate problems and narrow down the choices for you.

Before you take the test ride, ensure that your bike is properly fitted to your body. I know that lots of smaller bike shops already do this, but I have been to one in particular that did a very quick fitting that left a lot to be desired.
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Old 11-07-14, 10:15 PM
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I'd also plan on buying a saddle, so leave some $$ in the budget for that too, and think about pedals and shoes.

Bill
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Old 11-07-14, 10:16 PM
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Which Cannondale is better, the CAAD 10 Ultegra or the EVO Carbon 105? The answer is YES.
Seriously, in order to answer your question you need to describe the type of riding you do. The CAAD series, especially the 9 and the 10 have a reputation for being good race bike, right out of the box. The EVO carbon frame absorbs shock better than the alloy CAAD frame providing a smoother ride. What do you plan to do with the bike? IMHO, looking at the Cannondale bikes you're evaluating, I think you should be talking with your LBS folks. If they're good at their jobs, they should be able to steer you to the correct bike based on how you intend to use it.
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Old 11-07-14, 10:23 PM
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Go test ride some and see what you like. It really doesn't matter what I like, I won't be riding your bike.
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Old 11-07-14, 10:52 PM
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Also you say Evo Ultegra but link to the Evo 105. If it's the 105 that you're looking at, I got a 2013 Supersix 5 at the start of this season for 1700 Canadian. so you should be able to do better than that. Go ride them.
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Old 11-08-14, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by roccobike View Post
Which Cannondale is better, the CAAD 10 Ultegra or the EVO Carbon 105? The answer is YES.
Seriously, in order to answer your question you need to describe the type of riding you do. The CAAD series, especially the 9 and the 10 have a reputation for being good race bike, right out of the box. The EVO carbon frame absorbs shock better than the alloy CAAD frame providing a smoother ride. What do you plan to do with the bike? IMHO, looking at the Cannondale bikes you're evaluating, I think you should be talking with your LBS folks. If they're good at their jobs, they should be able to steer you to the correct bike based on how you intend to use it.
But aren't both of those considered race bikes? Maybe some would say CAAD is more appropriate for crit races, but I would've assumed riders of each bikes would generally do same type of riding. CAAD vs Synapse I totally understand but with EVO other than the frame material what would be the difference in terms of doing different type of rides?
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Old 11-09-14, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by chipndale9 View Post
But aren't both of those considered race bikes? Maybe some would say CAAD is more appropriate for crit races, but I would've assumed riders of each bikes would generally do same type of riding. CAAD vs Synapse I totally understand but with EVO other than the frame material what would be the difference in terms of doing different type of rides?
I'm not a racer so commenting on racing would be inappropriate. I'm a club rider and as such I would opt for the full carbon bike as I have with my two current rides. You need to hear from one of the racing folks here on the forum. But I would add that you seem close enough to a decision that you need to ride both bikes. At this point in your decision, a good LBS would let you ride the bikes, and I don't mean in the parking lot. When I bought the Giant, the dealer was disappointed that I only rode the bike for 30 minutes. He expected a 20 or 30 mile ride. I suspect your bike shop will want you to ride the bikes and make a decision to buy one of them.
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Old 11-09-14, 11:18 AM
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Reason for editing, to assume the best and not the worst.

Last edited by surgeonstone; 11-09-14 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 11-09-14, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
Please people.
When you see stupid posts like this by a " newb" with less than than a 100 posts then rest assured, you have entered the domain of stupid trolls. Encourage them not.
Argue not for they are stupid and are immune to the rules of logic and grace.
Call a spade a spade and depart with a "Fair thee well thou most stupid of trolls".
Huh? Am I missing something here? The 'newb' (and I guess I am one myself too) just asked for a little help to decided on which bike to buy. How is this trolling?

I dare say when you post something stupid like you have that you are the one trolling. Just calling a spade and spade.
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Old 11-09-14, 11:43 AM
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digaz
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Huh? Am I missing something here? The 'newb' (and I guess I am one myself too) just asked for a little help to decided on which bike to buy. How is this trolling?

I dare say when you post something stupid like you have that you are the one trolling. Just calling a spade and spade.
Sigh, I don't know what to say or feel anymore about some of the people on this forum. I thought this was suppose to be a friendly community where I could go to ask for help and seek advice. Hence, I am new to road biking, and I may not have some of the same goals as some of the people on here, but please learn how to respect others.

Anyways thanks for those who are open minded and understand that I am not your typical or average "road cyclist"

Thanks mcours2006, it's glad to know that there are some good people out there.
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Old 11-09-14, 11:45 AM
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the cannondales you listed have racey short headtube. Make sure your flexibility can handle those. If not, look for endurance version, cannondale synapse, specialized roubaix etc.
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Old 11-09-14, 11:51 AM
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Maybe I am wrong, in which case my most sincere apologies. Even if right, my responses are neither intelligent, warranted or needed. My apologies again.

Last edited by surgeonstone; 11-09-14 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 11-09-14, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Huh? Am I missing something here? The 'newb' (and I guess I am one myself too) just asked for a little help to decided on which bike to buy. How is this trolling?

I dare say when you post something stupid like you have that you are the one trolling. Just calling a spade and spade.
And perhaps there is a bit of trolling in my over the top response. Guilty as charged.
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Old 11-09-14, 12:02 PM
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Mind if I asked how did you narrow down to 3 Cannondales and one Raleigh? Is that what's available near where you live? Is Cannondale a brand you relate to and like?
If not I'd recommend that you expand you search as there are many other quality bikes out there.

I sat and rode as many brands and models as I could and I understand that buying locally from a shop I trust and like is important (as I'm the type that support the local shops) but I WOULD NOT buy a bike I don't like or doesn't fit me just because the dealer is close to me.


Originally Posted by digaz View Post
My price budget is between $1300-$2300

I've narrowed it down to the following

Cannondale CAAD 10 105 5- $1549 - CAAD10 105 5 - CAAD10 - ELITE ROAD - ROAD - BIKES - 2015
Cannondale CAAD 10 Ultegra 3 - $2270 - CAAD10 Ultegra 3 - CAAD10 - ELITE ROAD - ROAD - BIKES - 2015
Cannondale Super EVO Carbon Ultregra $2270 - SuperSix EVO Carbon 105 5 - SUPERSIX EVO - ELITE ROAD - ROAD - BIKES - 2015
Raleigh Militis Elite 2014 $1399 - Raleigh Bicycles - 2014 Militis Elite

Does anyone know if the Raleigh one is any good? And also since the Cannondale CAAD 10 Ultegra 3 and the Super EVO Carbon Ultregra cost the same, which one is better overall? I'm really confused and would appreciate some pointers or advice from the experts on here.

Last edited by TheRef; 11-09-14 at 12:04 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 11-10-14, 08:54 AM
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@Bunyanderman thank you for such a great post! I'm pretty new to cycling and there was a lot of stuff I didn't know.
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Old 11-10-14, 09:11 AM
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To get the best advice OP should still answer why s/he wants to get into road cycling and what kind of riding s/he intends to do. It's all well and good that you're not a typical or average road cyclist. That's great. What are you then?

Otherwise, rest assured the good folks at your LBS will ask that same question and you need to have an answer for them.
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Old 11-10-14, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by paulie719 View Post
@Bunyanderman thank you for such a great post! I'm pretty new to cycling and there was a lot of stuff I didn't know.
[h=3]Sticky: Introduction to the Road Cycling Forum: References and Newbie Questions Answered Here , This is where I just copy/pasted the article. There is a lot of info for you in this thread. It is stuck (or stickied) to the top of the forum,[/h]
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Old 11-11-14, 09:50 AM
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The Cannondales listed are all nice bikes. I do not know much about the Raleigh, as I never see them where I ride. I am sure that it is a good bike. There are plenty of other great bikes in that price range as well. If you have already looked at the others and narrowed it down to this than forget that part of the advice.
Knowing whether or not you are going to race is kind of important.
I personally like the Evo better but that is because it absorbs the road a little better than the CAADs do. I do not race though.
Personally, I think that you should go with the lower priced bike. Ultegra is nice but there is nothing wrong with 105 or even Tiagra. They are all good quality and you will notice very little difference between them. If you really love biking you will probably end up buying another bike in 2 years when you have truly figured out your style and what you like. Thus, I would be more price oriented on my first ride. That advice was given to me and I appreciated it as I was torn with many of the same issues that you bring up at the time. I liked my first bike but I learned a lot since then and got the bike that I love for my next one.
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