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Advice on first 'proper' road bike

ph0u203dph0u203d Posts: 7
edited January 2013 in Road buying advice
Hi all.

I'm in the process of selling my Specialized TriCross (58 cm 2011 model - on that famous auction site until Sun 6th Jan if anyone's interested) which has served me well over the past two years, but I'm now looking to step up to a 'proper' road bike. I mainly intend to use it for 2-3 hour rides at weekends, sportives & occassional multi-day efforts like the c2c (which I did last summer on the TriCross), so the emphasis will be more on comfort than pace, but an increase in speed/performance from the TriCross would be very welcome. I'm 6'3" with a 36" inside leg so will need a largish frame.

Having done a fair bit of research on-line, I've come up with a shortlist of the following:

Cannondale CAAD10 (105 groupset, Tektro R580 brakes, Shimano RS10 wheels)
Cube Agree GTC Pro (105/Ultegra groupset, Shimano BR-R561 brakes, Mavic Aksium 5 wheels)
Giant Defy 1 (105 groupset, Tektro R540 brakes, Giant P-R2 wheels)
Specialized Roubaix Sport (105 groupset, 105 brakes, DT Axis 1 wheels)
Trek Madone 3.1 C H2 (105/Tiagra groupset, 105 brakes, Bontrager wheels)

The above is mainly based on reviews, price (all pretty similar apart from Defy which is £200-300 cheaper) & availability at my LBS. As you can probably tell, I've not yet decided whether to go for a better spec alu frame (Cannondale & Giant) or a lower spec carbon frame (others). Of the latter, the Cube sticks out as the best spec (I think), although the 2013 models seem to have a poorer spec than their 2012 equivalents. I have read comments from a few people that the Cannondale geometry may not be so well suited to my intended use, but the BikeRadar/CyclingPlus review ( ... 5-12-45526) suggests it may have enough comfort for long rides. So this could be one to chop from the list, along with the Roubaix which I've read does have a somewhat over-relaxed geometry that wouldn't be so suited to spontaneous impersonations of Mark Cavendish.

I was hoping to further narrow the list down to 2-3 before popping down to my LBS. Any thoughts on the above?

Any advice would be greatly received. Thanks. :D


  • neebneeb Posts: 4,467
    It's difficult to give meaningful advice, they are all perfectly good bikes and the choice has to come down to what fits you best and what feels most comfortable/enjoyable to ride. Take some test rides! Also try to get some good advice on sizing and set-up.
  • Finlaz22Finlaz22 Posts: 169
    I'll echo neeb by saying that it's largely down to feel and looks. At that sort of price bracket you're not going to get huge differences. The Cannondale is very highly regarded though. Ultimately you will warm to some more than others when test riding.
  • Cannondale CAAD10 (105 groupset, Tektro R580 brakes, Shimano RS10 wheels)
    Giant Defy 1 (105 groupset, Tektro R540 brakes, Giant P-R2 wheels)

    they are quite different kind of bikes. are they comparible?
    2015 Trek Domane 4.5 Disc
  • The Cube is the best specced for wheels and groupset and will probably save you an upgrade in the future.

    Other than that, all are pretty well regarded bikes from what I've read.
  • bmxboy10bmxboy10 Posts: 1,958
    Firstly i am no expert. Based on what you have said i would not go for the more agressive Caad or Cube though they are both really good bikes. The Roubaix may be what you need but the spec is a bit poor. if i were you i would try to find a bit more dosh and get this as i dont like to ride the same as everyone else. ... us-apex-13

    This is a sportive frame with decent groupset and gearing range. if you buy via fat Birds you can spec the bike to your requirements i.e. 105, campag etc. The bike is a modern version of the Mistral and Euros both of which got great reviews in the past.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,425
    Sounds like you discounted the Cannondale as you think it's too racy, shame as that would be my pick but you might be right of course. I feel that you wouldn't go far wrong with Trek - nice frame. There are other options - like this ... _road_bike (not sure quite how 'relaxed' it is) or Genesis bikes.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Specialized Roubaix Sport (105 groupset, 105 brakes, DT Axis 1 wheels)

    I bought the SL3/Ultegra version this year and still have my CAAD5/Dura Ace (won't be that different from CAAD10). I run the same set of wheels on both bikes so can make a good comparison.

    There's little in it weight wise and both are beautifully finished. The CAAD5 with tyres at 110psi transmits a lot of road noise and has a racier position, but it's a nice bike. The Roubaix is stunningly good, with tyres at 120psi it's like a magic carpet and just glides over bad surfaces. My nephew noticed that I no longer try and avoid small potholes and the like. The position isn't too upright but it's very comfy as are the larger diameter handle bars and the superb Toupe BG saddle.

    I did a seven hour ride on the Roubaix and only my legs were sore, best money I ever spent. If I won the lottery tomorrow I'd still ride it.

    You're betting comparing a carbon Synapse than the CAAD10. I wanted one of those originally but the bike shop at the end of my road is a Specialized dealer and I wasn't going anywhere else. - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
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