This guy asked for advice in a forum and guess what happened next...


New Member
Jan 6, 2016
Hey guys, I need your help to pull the trigger on a shiny new road bike (as early as this weekend)...

About me: 30 yrs old, San Francisco, 6'2", 175-180lbs depending on last time I ate a burrito, have proven to myself over 3 years that I am "in" to cycling. I do 2-3 20 mile rides/week in Marin Headlands north of Golden Gate Bridge, the occasional 50-70 miler up and back to Mt. Tam, and have a few centuries under my belt. I am going to do some mass start races this year that I signed up for on USA Cycling website, easing my way into competitive riding. I like to push myself to go fast and enjoy racing my buddies up Hawk Hill.

First bike: Cannonade CAAD 10 105 (Aluminum frame) -- love this bike. Light weight, super fast, yadda yadda, but believe it or not I weighed 110lbs in July and dropped 30 lbs by October just by not eating **** anymore (a story for another post)... then I found a new energy, a new speed within myself, and the need to "treat" myself with a new ride (I told myself initially I'd get a new bike if I got to 195, but kept dropping weight and feel great).

New Bikes Considered:
Specialized S-Works Tarmac Dura Ace $7999
Specialized Tarmac Pro Race (Dura Ace) $5500
Trek Emonda SLR 8 (Dura Ace) $7499
Cannondale Super-Six Evo Hi-Mod Dura Ace 1 $7990
Cervelo R5 (Dura Ace) $7500
**Any others I should consider?**

I've ridden all of these except for the R5 and the S-Works (will ride S-Works this weekend) and narrowed down my preferred attributes: Fit (no major complaints on any of these, and nothing a pro fit won't be able to dial-in for me based on my rides thus far), Dura Ace (or equivalent), mechanical groupset (I've ridden and love the electronic shifting but still prefer Dura Ace, a lightweight wheelset -- preferably carbon -- that I won't feel the urge to upgrade, solid reliable crank, not too worried about aero (could lose 5 more lbs to improve there) at this point, lightweight carbon frame that is super stiff yet smoother than my current aluminum frame (low bar!).

Please give me your suggestions upon evaluation of my situation.

If it helps, a few observations:
Really like the S-Works, maybe the most; it's at the high end of the range, but the geometry is fine even if slightly more aggressive than the Emonda. I just don't know if the S-Works upgrades from the Pro Race version are worth all that money (Roval CLX40 / Carbon Crank / Carbon handlebars / Fact 11r Frame in the S-Works vs. CL40s, Alu crank and handys, Fact 10r carbon in the Pro Race). Also, the S-Works color way in blue and white looks incredible (yes, look is a factor for me), thought the Pro Race black looks sweet too.

The Emonda I rode today is INCREDIBLY lightweight, and sits up taller than the Specialized frames, though the slight improvement in comfort didn't reveal any game-changing epiphany (still leaning toward Specialized geo) and it has alloy wheels rather than carbon. The reviews I read / watched pointed to that being the first upgrade on this bike. Also noteworthy it has a Dura Ace crank rather than the Specialized in-house crank -- not sure this matters too much, but maybe one of you knows.

The Cannondale is a great bike and a great value (I can get 10-15% off MSRP above from LBS) but feels too much like my current bike, and I liked the Trek and Specialized bikes on the ride more. It feels like more of the same (a complement to my aluminum CAAD 10 -- the BEST beginner bike I can recommend).

I also really like the Bianchi brand, but don't think they have a bike that fits in this price range this year, and they certainly don't have one in this price range with Dura Ace components and the celeste color (weird, but I am a fan of that color).

This is a huge purchase and I've saved up a while for it, so I know what I'm getting in to. I have done a lot of research (could write a few more pages here), and asked tons of people (friends and shop employees) about this, and I've gotten a lot of good advice from reading previous form posts, so thought I might as well launch a thread of my own. Thanks again in advance.
Damn, 5,500-8,000 is a lot of bike..I don't think their's any way you can go wrong with spending that kind of cash...I'm a semi noob (8 months or so) and can still say you don't ride enough for the full benefits of a "bling bike". Many of the more experienced guys tell me that the difference between a 8,000 super bike and a 2,000 dollar bike is a few seconds per mile.

At 6'2" 175-180 pounds, you aren't fat, but you may be "cycling fat" based on the burrito comment. I bet 5-10 pounds and a 2,000 dollar bike would give you a much greater boost in speed. I'm a decent rider, but know some of the more experience riders can out last, out sprint, out gun me in many areas. One of the areas that I can keep with that fast guys or get ahead of people who are my speed on the flats are hills. I attribute this mostly to being 6'4" and weighing only 165 pounds. Have you heard the phrase "don't upgrade, ride upgrades?If you are at your ideal weight disregard, but if you are going "all in" i'd suggest to train more and have a clean diet.

I've tried to talk myself into "speeding things" up with a super bike and still kid myself once in a while. I hope other more experienced riders reply to this and give their feedback. Many here have saved me from wasting hard earned cash. I'm kind of going off on tangents, but I meet a guy that is up in the ranks in many starva segments in my local area. I assumed that most of the 20 mph hotshots were riding "super bikes". I was wrong, his bike was older than mine by a few years and very basic. The only thing upgraded from his basic (Caad 8 i think?) was a 400+ wheel set. The next week next time I met him, he was keeping up with 15-16 mph road riders with a mountain bike, hill climbing like a beast..

Back to the bike..If you got the cash, get which one looks the coolest and is the most comfortable for you. Again, I doubt you could go wrong at that price point. Expensive bikes look cool, most likely ride great and most would love to have one if not for cost. Just don't think it will turn you into superman,lol...

Some of the fast guys I know do double, maybe even triple that weekly. Up the mileage progressively, eat a clean diet and track your data with a power meter (you can afford it). Post the one you do finally get, I bet it'l look great.
Edit--- I weighed 210 lbs, not 110. @Uawadall -- thanks for the thoughtful response. I hear ya. I am riding much more now that I am slimmer and am getting faster. Putting in the time in the saddle continues to be priority #1.
My gosh, I'm well impressed, with all the research and your clear progress and dedication! Well done you!
I'll always say take the most comfortable bike, the one that feels the most like you... with such a huge purchase, all the time and effort and dedication, you must love YOU on the bike, I've seen too many people take the best looking, best stats or latest model bike, wanting so bad for that to be the bike for them... and then end up disappointed because the bike doesn't suit them... good luck! Cant wait to see what you decide!
I think this is a case of what is called "over shopping". :D

Heck, I've done about 30 centuries, some with as much as 12,000 ft of climbing and any of my road bikes were more than good enough at prices of $2200 and less.

I say pick one that fits, lifetime warranty on the frame and has a pretty paint job, then get on with it. :p
**Any others I should consider?**

Have you heard of BMC? :D

They have some solutions for ppl wanting to spend 8k for a race bike. :p :D

Handmade by Robots Yo! :D

Or maybe something... "Classic". :p Like a stainless Cinelli? :)

Special order only! 0.3mm Frame wall thickness! Dont D-lock slam it to any polls. :p :D


Thanks everyone. I went with the 2015 Cannondale Supersix Evo Hi-Mod. The local bike shop I went to had a great price as it was a close-out and knocked even more off when I got it, so was able to get out the door for ~$3k. That was a lot of money for me, but far less than some of the other bikes I was recommended to consider (per my original post). The best thing about it is that I really like it and find myself waking up before the alarm to go for rides. The wheels just roll faster, very happy I chose it.
The last bike I bought was in 2003 when I got my Lemond titanium Tete de Course. I paid $2,000 for just the frame and then put my components from the Lemond Zurich on the bike. Assembled, my bike was worth $2,800, and it easily could have been $3,500 if i bought all new components, Shimano Ultegra, never Dura Ace or anything Italian. My Lemond titanium was the result of an insurance settlement after a car stopped in front of me, otherwise, I'd still be riding that Lemond Zurich, which was a very good, solid bike. I had no idea that bikes were selling for $8,000. I have seen some $3500 to $4000 bikes in the local bike shop, but I have seen just as equally better bikes for much less at anywhere from $600 to $1,000. Perhaps this OP starter is quoting bikes in California bike shops. If that's the case, I'm glad I live in Virginia because a new bike would be unaffordable for me.