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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always wanted to get a road bike and done a little bit of research on what im looking for. I think I have narrowed it down to a Cannondale CAAD 8 or Synapse. I am looking for a road bike to get in better shape but I also want a good enough bike that will last me a long time and one that I could enter group rides with. From what I have been told my first bike should be around the $750-$1000 mark.

I like the idea of buying a reliable used bike that has no damage but buying new offers the lifetime warranties.

Anyone have any advice?
 

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I have been road cycling for about 5 years, my first and current bike is a cannondale r700 (the predecessor to the caad8). I got it as a leftover from the previous year, marked from 1500 down to 1200. Awesome bike with decent components, a lot of things i would miss if i were riding an entry level bike.

One thing to keep in mind is that like motorcycling, all the crap adds up... shoes, pedals, saddle, air pump, tail pack, shorts, jerseys, helmet, etc etc depending on how into it you get!
 

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If its your first start off with anything. I had a 1970 classic with full Campagnolo and Reynolds tubing( it was given to me) and it could keep up with the newest carbon fibre bikes. Learn how to repair ride in groups and then upgrade. I have upgraded now but still with metal. I have a Cervelo S1 its aluminum with carbon forks and seat post. If you can find a Cervelo S1 they are awesome light, Strong and Fast. They will also be worth a bit one day as Cervelo has this year discontinued this line only to make carbon bikes. If you fall and I have many times they wont crack. The Cannondale is also a great choice.



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Yeah I figured it was all going to add up....

The real question is why all of the fun sports are so expensive???!?!? haha
Bikes in general are just like any other project. Once you get into the modding addiction starts. I dont have a road bike but I have a Gary Fisher Wahoo Disc that I keep throwin money at. Im glad it hasnt taken over my life yet.
 

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I would like to add that in any kind of cycling your bike will come with a "component group" consisting of things like cranks, brake levers and calipers, fr and rr derailers bottom bracket,etc..

There are two main companies and one new one. Shimano, Campagnolo, and new SRAM.

The component group has various levels, i run shimano, so i will give you that list. It starts at the top of the line called Dura-Ace, then ultegra, then 105, and sora.

So Dura-ace is lighter and more durable than ultegra and in turn lighter and more durable than 105. These kits are not cheap and therefor buy as good of a kit as you can, and sometimes bikes come with a combination of say ultegra cranks but 105 for everything else. Now how much better or more durable the kits are has always been over for debate, but what is not is the weight. The more money you spend on road cycling the lighter your bike tends to be.

Carbon bikes with dura-ace kits tend to be as light as they come, but we are talking that people in cycling literally count the amount of grams in regards to how much lighter something is, when clearly they are still 10-20 pounds overweight. So you will find that people have more money than need in regards to a bike. The way i see a lightweight bike working is that if you have a 15lb bike and the guy next to you has a 16lb bike, then your muscles are doing 1lb less of work moving you down the road. The way the rest of the world sees it, is they all think they are Lance, and want the lightest most expensive bike available.

But I might suggest you start cheap knowing your going to ride for a year or two then upgrade later on, everyone who sticks with it does. Plus its fun as hell to be the new guy on an older or cheaper bike that shows up to group rides kicking hell out of everyone on the $5,000+ bikes!! Because there are alot of 40 somethings like me out there who have really nice bikes who can't use them to full potential until i drop a few pounds.

If you want to have some fun looking at how much everything weighs.
go to http://weightweenies.starbike.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hmuchmo1, Where would I go to find a good reliable road bike for cheap? I want to make sure im getting the right bike because I would hate to get something that is uncomfortable, too little or too advanced for my skill level and end up hating it.

How much would you recommend for the first bike?
 

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The thing I personally dont get for the guy who is buying a bike for exercise/fitness, is this, why would you care if you have the lightest bike. I would be more concerned with reliability than weight. If you have to work a little harder to move that 17lb bike vs a 15 lb bike then you are better for it. Unless you have dreams of entering the tour de france then go the economy route, and just get a well built bike that has some visual apeal to you. Things like components are just like a motorcycle, when your ready, sell your old crap and go balls out on that ultra high speed stuff.

btw i got a early 90's schwinn i got for $150 that works great, little beat up but gives me something else to do than run or go to the gym.
 

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Craiglist, etc., are going to be your best bet for saving some $. On the other hand, there are a lot of over priced used bikes out there and you may not find the right one for you.

First, find a bike that fits you! Getting the right size and set-up are going to be key. If you are uncomfortable and not properly fitted, the whole experience may suck and you'll give up quick.

Second, decide what you want to really use it for. The CAAD8 and the Synapse are rather different bikes. The CAAD8 is going to be a stiff bike with a little more aggressive geometry. You will feel the road a lot more due to the frame, but it is a more lively and stiff frame. The Synapse geometry is better fitted for longer distance riding and keeps you a little more upright.

Shimano 105 is a nice lower level group of components, but don't worry if you go into tiagra/sora, etc. These are both components that you may find on bikes in your price range. If you can, find a 105 equipped bike.

So...you really need to determine what kind of riding you want to do and then pick a specific amount you are willing to spend. As others have mentioned, the extras can add up (but they make life on a bike a little more comfortable.
 

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I have been looking at a Specialized Allez Double. Any thoughts on that?
The Allez is a good bike. Assuming you are looking at new bikes, see if your budget will allow you to bump up to the Allez Sport Compact. It would give you the Taigra / Sora mix and 9 speed vs. The 8 speed on the double. You would probably be content a little longer with the sport compact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well from what I have been reading the difference between the 8 and 9 speed is very small especially for a new rider. I know quite a few people that have been riding road bikes for a long time and all told me to stick with a double.

I have decided that 800-900 is what I want to spend on the bike as I will have to buy all of the other bits (gear, shoes, pegs, etc.)
 
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