Buying First Road Bicycle: Need Your Advice

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by berg517, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. berg517

    berg517 New Member

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    Hi Everyone! I'm new to the forum and just getting into road cycling. I have stopped by 4 or 5 LBSs and test ridden a number of different bikes from different manufacturers. I think at this point I have narrowed is down to 2 top contenders based on bike specs and comfort as well as LBS customer service. I am currently trying to decide between the 2012 Cannondale CAAD8 105 and the 2013 Trek Madone 2.1 C.

    http://www.cannondale.com/2012-caad8-5-105-19853
    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/sport/madone_2_series/madone_2_1/#/us/en/model/details?url=us/en/bikes/road/sport/madone_2_series/madone_2_1

    It appears to me (being the new guy that I am), that the bikes stack up pretty well technically with both having ALU frames with Shimano 105 shifters and front/rear derailleurs. The big difference appears to be the crank (FSA Gossamer, BB30, 50/34 for the Cannondale versus Shimano R565, 50/34 compact on the Trek) and the cassette (Shimano Tiagra 4600, 12-28 on the Cannondale versus Shimano Tiagra 12-30 on the Trek). There is also a difference in the hubs and rims.

    Besides the specs, the Cannondale is going for $1250 (on sale from $1450) and the LBS is offering free tune ups for as long as I own the bike plus 10% off everything in the store (I also believe this is good as long as I own the bike). The Trek is going for $1430 and the LBS is offering free tune ups for a year and 10% off anything I purchase at the time I purchase the bike.

    For the money (an assuming they are both comfortable, which appears to be the case after a rough fitting and a 5 minute test ride on each), is there any reason not to go with the Cannondale? I saw online that there were some problems with the FSA Gossamer crank on the Cannondales, but I believe that was corrected.

    Also, I noticed that the LBS with the Cannondale has a 2012 CAAD10 105 listed at $1670, which assuming it will also be discounted like the CAAD8, would that be a worthwhile step?

    http://www.rideonbicycles.net/product/12cannondale-caad10-5-compact-130041-1.htm

    Any advice on which way to go would be appreciated.
     
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  2. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    If all other aspects of the bikes are equal to you, then you probably should go with the Cannondale due to the better after purchase service contract. Yeah, get all of those goodies in writing so that you don't get burned a year or two down the road when you take the bike back for a tuneup. With the Trek, you will probably get two tuneups as most bikes need a little tweaking a month or two after purchase to compensate for cable stretch and machine relieved spoke tension, and then one more tune up near the end of your year.

    The biggest difference between the CAAD 8 and the CAAD 10 is that you get a better wheelset with the CAAD 10. It might be worth it, but only marginally.

    Don't worry about the FSA Gossamer crank. Their problems are pretty much all behind them now.
     
  3. berg517

    berg517 New Member

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    All the aspects of the 2 appear the same to me, especially if the FSA crank problems aren't an issue anymore. I do think the service package from the Cannondale shop is better...good advice to get it in writing. I think I'm leaning towards the CAAD8. I dont know that the upgraded wheels on the CAAD10 are worth it this early in the game, and that's something I can change later if i decide to.
     
  4. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    That's teh way I would go too. I did forget to mention that a minor tune up is typically around $60.00, but most bikes that get ridden a lot need a major tune up at least once a year which can run as high as $160. If you are getting lifetime tuneups for that bike, you will be able to upgrade the wheels from your savings in a couple of years.
     
  5. berg517

    berg517 New Member

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    Yeah, I was aware of the average tune up costs, but hadn't thought of the fact that the savings from the tune ups would pay for any upgrades in a fairly short period of time. Thanks for pointing that out. I think im going to go with the CAAD8, but I might take the Trek for one more test ride before I take the plunge.
     
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