Help Choosing First Bike!?

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by TheLastFranco, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. TheLastFranco

    TheLastFranco New Member

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    So I've been talking to some buddies of mine and the old man from the cycle shop down the street and keep getting pointed in all directions. I'm a newbie trying to start cycling for commuting during the week and long fun rides on the weekends with a group of about 50 people. I've been looking at 3 bikes specifically and aside from small features they all seem very similar to me. First up is the Cannondale Cadd 12 disc 105, then the Trek Emonda ALR 5, and lastly the Giant Defy Disc 1. I've heard the disc brakes are a good addition to have especially if you live in rainy areas, which I do. Other than that the major difference seem mostly cosmetic to me but I would like to get a bike that has good quality, and is going to last me for a while. Any info on what makes each bike different or better than the others would be much appreciated!
     
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  2. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    You get the whole shimaNO 105 group with TREK. No Tektro brakes or house brand crankset or down-market shimaNO components that save the manufacturer a buck or twelve worth of profit. And 105 is decent stuff on any entry level bike. shimaNO pedals are really what I like best of the shimaNO stuff. They's stabile and comfortable mile after mile. I have a carbon Emonda and it's kind of dead feeling, but stiff and a good climber. It descends accurately and shoots through corners well.

    I do not care for the tall head tube (170 MM in the 56 CM size) and I had to order a lower top cover for the headset and slam the bars and I think I could still be 5 to 10 MM lower up front. You might think of getting a frame a size smaller if you want the racer's aero position on the bike...age, flexibility, riding style and preference really matter in this fit area.

    The Bontrager wheels on the TREK are a bit on the heavy side and are noticeably slower to spin up under power than even my cheap Mavic Aksiums. Disc wheels may be just a bit heavier than rim brake wheels and the combination of poorer aero and weight may make the disc rigs a bit slower or you may not notice any loss of speed at all, depending on how you ride, how fast you intended to go, etc. There's a lot to balance out on a bike, detail wise, and the brakes are just one area the test ride is going to answer your questions best for YOU.

    The CAAD is a conventional horizontal top tube design, the TREK is semi-compact and the GIANT is a compact rig. Look at the fit of all three carefully and test ride one of each in your size for at least 1/2 hour per test ride.

    The disc brakes will come in handy for wet commuting and if screaming down mountain descents with lots of braking is in your plans, the disc setup will work a little better.

    All three brands will be good quality and the aluminum frames will be pretty durable and suffer abuse a little better than carbon fiber. The Giant is perhaps the most bang for the buck, but I rate the TREK a better value just going by components.

    Try all three and see which fits you best and feels best under you. Remember that the OEM seats may or may not be a good match to your backside and that seats are the most 'tossed in the spare parts box' item on a new bike. Stem length changes are often called for and don't be afraid to ask the dealer to raise/lower/rotate the bars for your test ride.
     
  3. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Cannondale CAAD12 any day of the week.

    If Bob recommends something then it's no surprise if feels dead to ride. He squirts man jizz over Campag and they really died the last time Hinault won the Tour in '85. Hinault rode the Tour in 86 again on Campag, when LeMond crashed a few times by himself in TimeTrials when his Campag brakes fell off, and the Badger almost smashed his nuts twice on the top tube on the way up just one mountain when his gears decided they needed to be in the 23 1/2 sprocket.

    The CAAD 12 is a great bike. Lively and fun. Don't be put off by the fact it's aluminum, rejoice in the ace ride and fun handling.

    But one thing I agree on with Bob is don't be afraid to get a bike fitting and stuff like the stem swapped out. If you're a tall skinny guy with super narrow shoulders, don't be afraid to ask for narrower bars either. Same deal with the saddle. Ask for a bike fit and if anything seems off in the shop, ask to get it changed or mention that it could be a deal breaker... Most good bike stores will accommodate your needs to keep you as a happy customer.

    Ride the bikes and see what takes your fancy. Everyone's perception is different. The last time I bought a complete bike I had a short list of a half dozen bikes. I ended up riding 8 and buying the last one I rode. I still have that Cannondale SuperSix Hi-Mod that I bought 5 years ago and have no intention of replacing it until disk brake standards become more standardized and I ride a bit more in the wet :p . The bike that I almost bought was the 7th bike I rode - a Cannondale CAAD. The other bikes were top of the line Cervelo's, Trek's, Merckx and Pinarello's. The CAAD had the same fun yet stable handling of the SuperSix but didn't had the same stiff-yet-buttery-smooth vibration damping of the carbon frame. That said, none of the bikes I rode had the ride quality of the SuperSix - even the bizarre Specialized Roubaix S-Works. That CAAD was more comfortable than the Cervelo R3 and the Trek carbon granite dull as dirt frame that I test rode. If I rode crits and short rides I'd have taken the CAAD but for the longer rides that I did, that was the deal breaker. Small details like a comfy ride become big details after 12+ hours on mountain roads.
     
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  4. Dahlia

    Dahlia New Member

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    You seem like someone who knows what they are talking about. I bought a bike last spring when I was having car trouble and didn't want the expense of having to call cabs or get my daughters boyfriend to drive me. I bought a cross between a city and a mountain bike (or that's what is is advertised as) and I don't like it. I thought it would be better for me than a straight mountain bike since I do mostly city riding, but I have a bad back with scoliosis and arthritis and I found that my balance didn't feel very secure on it. It has large wheels and narrow tires which I thought would be great for speed and ease of pedaling but the instability I feel is frightening and I never get a comfortable ride. It's a 7 speed Schwinn and I bought it brand new but I just cant enjoy it. I used to do a lot of biking and have had everything from a brand new CCM mountain bike that was really heavy and rugged and an old Giant that was more street bike than mountain and rode great though I bought it for $60 used. I like a large frame because I have long legs and I'm tall but I don't want too much extra weight because I'm getting older. If I wanted to keep it $200 and under for a new bike could I get one? I paid more for other bikes but I'm tired of paying so much for something I don't use that much anymore, but I still want something good enough that I will enjoy riding it. What do you recommend?
     
  5. Sunflogun

    Sunflogun Member

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    I think this totally depends on what we are aiming, if it's just for recreational use it's not that important.
     
  6. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Quote by Swami:
    "The CAAD 12 is a great bike. Lively and fun. Don't be put off by the fact it's aluminum

    All THREE of the OP's choices are...aluminum. Dumbass. Does that sound like he's "put off"?

    They will all have, to some extent, the ride properties of alloy frames and the strong/weak points of alloy frames.

    A lot of the CAAD 12 Disc reviews mention the craptastic OEM disc brakes. From constant howling and screeching to lack of power (and replaced with other brands). Also mentioned repeatedly is the less than on par FSA crankset...an almost-house brand profit-maker.

    All three choices would make decent 'first' road bikes. Decide first on fit, secondly on spec, third on price.
     
  7. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    Praxis rings. Best $160 you can spend if you have a POS FSA crank. ;)
     
  8. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Or...

    Toss the cheap FSA crank on eBay and match up the group with a complete shimaNO crankset.

    Getting the shimaNO crankset is value already built into the TREK, but 105 cranksets are dirt cheap so swapping one onto any of the OP's choices is not too much of a pain.
     
  9. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. You may want to consider WHICH TYPE of brakes the people with whom you ride with have on their bikes ...

    Because you may-or-may-not want disc brakes ...

    Most disc hubs + rotors add a lot of rolling weight ...

    AND, cost.

    And, while the idea of commuting on your bike is admirable ...

    If you aren't already doing so, then you may find that riding in the rain to go to-and-from work will not be feasible ...

    Buy some cycling rain gear (including the 'rain' pants) ...

    Walk around for a half hour in the rain while wearing your 'new' rain gear ...

    Consider whether-or-not having dry-or-wet clothes to wear will be achievable with the cycling rain gear OR whether you will need/want a change of clothes/(pants/etc.).

    That's a long way of saying you may want to consider a bike with "regular" brake calipers.
     
  10. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    ShimaNO apparently still doesn't make a 52/36 crankset, nor one that will fit the stupid BB30 bottom bracket on a Cannondale, without an adapter. Which is why C-dale uses shitty FSA cranks on their lower end models.

    I have an almost new Ultegra crankset in my basement that I took off my wrecked Madone. :(
     
  11. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. Riding position DOES matter ...

    It would probably be beneficial for YOU to figure out what riding position is more comfortable for you before you consider spending any money (regardless of how modest-or-much an amount) ....

    To achieve the more comfortable riding position ...

    YOU may want to consider EITHER some Hi-Rise BMX handlebars or some "Stingray"/("monkey") handlebars ...

    OR perhaps you might be more comfortable with DROP handlebars which are found on most Road bikes (a more expensive option).
     
  12. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. FSA may not make the best cranksets, but they are certainly better than some of the cranks found in Shimano's lesser component lines ...

    And, IMO, the Gossamer line of cranks are equivalent-to-or-better-than Shimano's 105 cranks ...

    And FSA's chainrings have better ramping-and-pinning than 105-and-below chainrings ...

    OF COURSE, ramping-and-pinning are superfluous for people who use Campagnolo shifters!

    I reckon that FSA's more expensive cranks could possibly be compared with the Ultegra cranks; but, Ultegra & Dura Ace chainrings ARE better than all other brands of similar vintage (while I have found that ramping-and-pinning are superfluous when using Campagnolo shifters, it doesn't hurt AND it probably helps an infinitesimal amount compared to an unramped-and-unpinned chainring).

    BTW. Changing the cranks for aesthetic reasons (i.e., cosmetic continuity) is certainly a valid endeavor, but be aware that the shifting may suffer if you don't pony up for better-than-105 chainrings.
     
  13. PanjoJames

    PanjoJames Member

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    My first road bike was an old 76 Nishiki and now I am riding a Felt. I did a bit of reading, visited several shops, and tried out a few dozen bikes. In the end, I picked the one that was within my set budget at the time and felt "fun" to ride. I worried less about the details and more about whether or not I was actually going to take my bike out and use it for more than going from point a to b. Lots of people will tell you lots of things about what is "best" in bike. Find what is "best" for you by knowing the many many options out there. GL!
     
  14. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Quote by mpre53:
    "ShimaNO apparently still doesn't make a 52/36 crankset,"

    Huh? They've been for sale all summer:
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/shimano-ultegra-6800-double-11-speed-chainset/rp-prod108725
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/shimano-105-5800-11-speed-double-chainset/rp-prod116491

    When I ditched the stupid 50-34 compact that came on my Emonda last December I had a hard time shopping around the compacts and then new hip thing for 2015, the mid-compact tooth count, just to find a racer's proper 53-39. Shimano must have ramped up production of the 52-36 and the retailers really stocked the Hell out of them in anticipation of folks ditching the now 'obsolete' and 'old' tooth counts.

    Who knows? Maybe the next big thing for 2016 will be a return to the good old 52-42 that was the standard for several decades!


    "nor one that will fit the stupid BB30 bottom bracket on a Cannondale, without an adapter."

    Yeah, it's Praxxis or Wheels Manufacturing for now, but even the Pro Tour teams have been doing that for a couple seasons. I am surprised shimaNO has not offered up their own PF30 BB or at least sold their own adapters. Maybe they don't have enough semi-permanent glue in Japan to quiet down all the squeaks and ticks the stacking up all the 'press fit' plastic and alloy pieces parts generate?


    "Which is why C-dale uses shitty FSA cranks on their lower end models."

    It's just my opinion, but I think done it's maximize profits. Buying FSA is less costly and they can do one-stop shopping and obtain both the crankset and BB from the same source. Cheap saddles, house brand cranks, cockpits and wheels, KMC chains, take-off quality tires, frames sourced in the land of cheap labor...I'm surprised we're not all on Yoeleo bikes.

    Dorel is the debil...and so is Spesh, WREK and the rest of them. Look at the 2015 Wilier Catalog...they are just as guilty of cutting corners even if they do order FSA stuff painted/decaled all up to match the Wilier brand.

    Don't get me wrong. Most folks are perfectly content to ride the latest trends in features and corner-cutting. The media and tech writers have everyone hanging off their latest reviews and evaluations. And I'm not really slamming FSA or OVAL or Hollowgram or any brand or manufacturer. It is more that I'm old school (and just plain old!) and think that a bike should be built with matched components...even if they are shimaNO ones.
     
  15. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I mentioned the ride quality and the fact that it's aluminium to quell the usual bullshit debate that it'd be "stiff" that always seems to come up by default.

    All the specs I see show the bike as having the all conquering Cannondale Si chainset. Only you would be stupid enough to chuck the best crank on earth into the weeds or on eBay. FSA doesn't seem to appear on any of the CAAD12's specs.

    http://www.cannondale.com/nam_en/2016/bikes/road/elite-road/caad12/caad12-disc-105-12

    Cheap saddles are a must for complete bikes as it's one of the items that probably gets swapped out straight away anyway. Test rides would literally be a PITA without then - although for you and your leather chaps, it might be deemed as fun when paired with the over priced and completely junk Campag ball grease... ;)
     
  16. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Quote by Swami:
    "mentioned the ride quality and the fact that it's aluminium to quell the usual bullshit debate that it'd be "stiff" that always seems to come up by default."

    I will readily admit that you can quell an adult discussion and debate better than aluminum can quell buzz, thuds and a road feel that's deader than your brain cells.




    "All the specs I see show the bike as having the all conquering Cannondale Si chainset.Only you would be stupid enough to chuck the best crank on earth into the weeds or on eBay."

    The chicom-built crankset thrown on the 105 CAAD is NOT the "all conquering" USA manufactured version of the 10-spoke
    SI crankset installed on the bikes that get entered in races. It's not even close. Moron.



    "FSA doesn't seem to appear on any of the CAAD12's specs."

    http://www.cannondal...d12-disc-105-12

    Oh...really???

    [​IMG]


    You are a completely, utterly worthless retarded dipshit. mpre53 brought up a valid complaint regarding the manufacture and general spec'ing of entry level bikes from all manufacturers...including Cannonwhale.

    Who the Hell do you think it is that manufactures the chainrings on that SI abortion crank???

    Crank:
    Cannondale Si, BB30a, FSA rings, 52/36
    Go back to your shitmaNO crap and stay out of the adult discussions. You act more like your brother, Alf, every day. How the Hell did you manage to make it out of the third grade? Next to Alf, you've become THE gold standard on this forum for illuminating your stupidity with a neon light. For fuck's sake, grow the Hell up.





    "Cheap saddles are a must for complete bikes as it's one of the items that probably gets swapped out straight away anyway. Test rides would literally be a PITA without then - although for you and your leather chaps, it might be deemed as fun when paired with the over priced and completely junk Campag ball grease... ;)"

    Other than for the reason of making an extra dollar or two there is absolutely no logical reason to install a saddle on production bicycle that everyone on the planet throws in the parts box. None.

    TREK has finally realized this and started putting much better designed saddles on their bikes. A well design and constructed saddle may cost pennies more to manufacture, but it will add value to a larger percentage of the pool of buyers. Not everyone need toss the saddle because of it being designed like the typical English overstuffed arm chairs or the retards that sit in them.

    At least the Italians will usually make an attempt to spec a useable saddle, not the ass hatchets you Commiefornians seem to prefer when you ride away from a wild night at the Blue Oyster Bar.

    No manufacturer will ever spec an OEM saddle that works for everyone, but when looking at the intended market, purpose of the bike, place in the model line and such it really isn't rocket science to bolt on a saddle that's not completely worthless crap...something you're an expert on the subject.
     
  17. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Just a three-minute cut & paste of a few of the bargain basement parts bin cranks used by Dorel in the construction of the latest line of Cannonwhale products:

    Truvativ Firex, 1/8", 42T
    Shimano Deore, 48/36/26
    Shimano Alivio, 48/36/26
    Shimano M171, 48/38/28
    FSA Vero, single ring, dual Alloy chainguard, 48T
    FSA Comet 38T with chain guard
    FSA Omega, BB30, 50/34
    Prowheel, 24/34/42
    Shimano M371, 44X32X22T 9-speed
    Shimano M522 Alivio, Hollowtech, 42/32/24
    FSA Gossamer, BB30, 52/36

    Cannowhale, like most of the spec/price point selling manufacturers on the planet, build literally dozens of their models using full FSA cranksets and FSA chainrings.

    "Cannonwhale...When only a chicom Dorel will do!"
     
  18. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    WHOA! SO, SO SAD ...

    Gee, Bob!!!

    I can't believe it!

    I know you haven't been firing-on-all-eight, recently ...

    BUT, are you sure you want to continue to disparage ME when you were wrong about the Ultra Torque crank installation?!?

    It's not that I haven't made mistakes ...

    Regardless, ONE clear evidence that YOU aren't right-in-the-head is that you recently bought a Trek Émonda which was only equipped with Shimano components!

    Really!?!

    WTF?

    Did you have a fall + concussion which was so bad that you don't even remember it?

    OR, was someone holding a gun to your head?

    OR, do you have another excuse?

    Are you channeling 'Allen Nader'?

    And the most obvious manifestation of a current mental disorder is your inability to recognize Shimano's Di2 shifters (below, from another thread)
    [​IMG]

    Third Grade?

    Fourth Grade?

    Whatever!?!

    AT LEAST ...

    I learned how to tell the difference between different objects & to associate the right label to objects -- this is a square, this is a triangle, this is a circle, etc.

    And, I subsequently learned to recognize the difference between a pair of Shimano Di2 shifters and those made by other manufacturers ...

    And especially, I subsequently learned to keep Shimano shifters off of MY Road bikes!
     
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  19. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Bob,

    You're grasping at straws.

    A set of chainrings does not a chainset make. Those are Cannondale cranks. End of story. The best BB30 cranks on the planet. It's like saying Niballi uses Campag cranks because he has Campag chainrings.

    The cheapest CAAD8 has FSA cranks. The CAAD12 does not. Just because your buddy mpre say they do doesn't make it so. Odd that he calls BB30 stupid, yet it has stood the test of time (at least a decade) and has been proven to be very reliable, easy to maintain and much better than the BB it replaced. Shame that couldn't be said about Spanky Campy's UltraWank and that hirth joint.

    Saddles are very personal choice, a bit like pedals. Unlike pedals, you can't really sell a bike without a saddle. I don't know of a production bike that comes with my saddle of choice. Nor do I know of one with a seatpost mounted dildo that you have... ;)

    It seems ironic that someone keeps bad mouthing Shimano stuff, yet he's the only one that has a full Shimano groupset. Weird.

    I don't have Shimano cranks. If you would have read anything I've written in the past decade you'd know that to be the case. I have Cannondale Si SL cranks, exactly as you pictured, and a set of Rotor 3D+.
     
  20. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Quote by Swami:
    "A set of chainrings does not a chainset make."

    The Hell, you say!

    mpre53 said: "Praxis rings. Best $160 you can spend if you have a POS FSA crank."

    He was talking about the RINGS. As in...the part of the crankset that most infuences shifting. As in...improving the craptastic shifting the cheaper FSA cranksets and rings are noted for. Period. End of discussion.

    Once again, Swami said"
    "FSA doesn't seem to appear on any of the CAAD12's specs."

    And on Cannonwhale's website under CAAD12 it clearly stated:
    FSA rings, 52/36


    Wrong.
    Again.
    End of discussion.

    But, do feel free to spend 8 pages proving yourself wrong. It worked spectacularly well for your brother, Alf.

    And I do hope you enjoy your FSA crankset.

    My Hirth Joint will do another metric today...as long as Alf doesn't tweak some mythological '1 MM Air Gap' into in after faking a measurement of the Q-Factor.
     
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