Help needed to find my next road bike

Hi everyone,

I have been cycling on roads for more than a decade now and I have owned several road bikes from entry aluminium level to entry carbon level (cannondale synapse carbon).

I am now looking for my first high end road bike. I recently have had the opportunity to ride a high end level road bike (Merida Scultura 7000-e) and I loved everything, lightweight, comfortable, sweet electronic shifting, it was amazing compared to the bikes I have used since I started.

There are so many choices ! I have narrowed them down to a small list, and I would like to have some thoughts about it. I'm not a racer and my primary concern would be comfort. Then weight, then esthetics. I have done a bike fitting 10 years ago, I'm wondering if it would be worth it to do another one again. Regarding budget, I would say in the 6000-7000 euros range maximum. So I have mostly had a look at the endurance market, with groupset ultegra di2 :

So my short list is as follows :
1) Cervélo Caledonia 5 : 7.8 kg, 6600 euros
2) Giant Defy advanced pro 1 : 7.64 kg, 5300 euros
3) Trek Domane SL7 : 8.71 kg, 6000 euros
4) Specialized Aethos pro : 6.74 kg, 6500 euros
5) Canyon Endurace Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Aero Di2 : 4300 euros
6) Merida Scultura 8000-E : 7.27 kg, 6000 euros
7) BMC Roadmachine 01 four : 7.9kg, 6800 euros.

I have seen other options as well, such as specialized roubaix, Wilier Zero SLR, Canyon Ultimate... So much choice !

Would you have some thoughts ? The canyon is by far the cheapest option at 4300 euros, how good a choice is it ? The lightest would be the specialized aethos. The Domane is suprisingly very heavy so I don't think I will go for this one actually.

Thanks for your inputs !

Comments

  • singleton
    singleton Posts: 2,523
    Hi,

    When I started reading your post my first thought was that a Cannondale Synapse Carbon is not really an entry level bike, and if someone was asking me to suggest a good, fast, comfortable bike then this would be high on my list - and the di2 version is 4.5k so in your budget.

    However, I guess you want something else, here are a few thoughts and questions:
    - Is there any reason why the Cannondale SuperSix isn't on your list?
    - Don't fixate on small amounts of weight.
    - Spending this amount of money on a bike without either riding one, or having a good idea of the stack reach you need is a risk
    - I've not ridden one but I'm sure the canyon is very good, try to find some internet reviews
    - If you loved everything about the Merida Scultura 7000-e, why not just get one of those?
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,836
    For the price difference I would almost certainly go for the Canyon but I have a feeling that waiting times for them are veeery long which may put you off.
  • bobo696
    bobo696 Posts: 57
    singleton said:

    Hi,

    When I started reading your post my first thought was that a Cannondale Synapse Carbon is not really an entry level bike, and if someone was asking me to suggest a good, fast, comfortable bike then this would be high on my list - and the di2 version is 4.5k so in your budget.

    The Synapse carbon was OK, I had it for a year roughly. I say entry level because it was a cheap set-up (I think it was sram apex). I sold it because I moved to another country almost a year ago. But now I'm looking to upgrade.
    singleton said:


    However, I guess you want something else, here are a few thoughts and questions:
    - Is there any reason why the Cannondale SuperSix isn't on your list?

    Actually this would be another choice as well ! I don't really have any brand loyalty so I'm curious about exploring other options.
    singleton said:


    - Don't fixate on small amounts of weight.

    I know, but at this sort of price, I don't want to buy a bike as heavy as the synapse, which cost me around 1000 euros and weighted 8.2 kilos.
    singleton said:


    - Spending this amount of money on a bike without either riding one, or having a good idea of the stack reach you need is a risk

    I found the bike fit file from all those years ago, unfortunately it doesn't say the ideal reack and stack needed... I feel very comfortable on my current bike though so I can use its reack and stack as reference !
    singleton said:


    - If you loved everything about the Merida Scultura 7000-e, why not just get one of those?

    Actually I remember 2 things. The first is not crucial, but I found the esthetics very boring... and even more important, when I was climbing out of the saddle, my knee was sometimes touching the handlebar, at the plug level, it was quite annoying...
  • elbowloh
    elbowloh Posts: 7,078
    I'd also have a look at what is actually available at the moment. There are are death of bikes and wait times are long for some models.
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame
    Tall....
    www.seewildlife.co.uk
  • singleton
    singleton Posts: 2,523
    If you are comfortable on your current bike then that's a good guide for stack and reach measurements for you next one.

    You can adjust stack height with spacers - but this usually impacts reach a little.
    You can adjust reach with stem length, but if you make a big change here then it will give you other handling impacts.
  • wayneabs
    wayneabs Posts: 63
    The Cervelo Caledonia has top reviews all round and looks the business with it's internal routing and capacity for larger tyres for a more comfortable ride


  • davep1
    davep1 Posts: 836
    That is a dreamland budget for me! I would say at least 3 of the 7 bikes in your list are endurance/sportive bikes, similar to the Synapse; I personally would want something different. But do you have another bike to ride when the conditions aren't favourable? A bike at this budget will cost more in maintenance and wear and tear; if you only ride on dry summery days it doesn't matter too much, but if you have to ride through winter and rain, that will be a significant additional cost.
    My best bike is a Giant Propel from 6 years ago. I spent £1600 on it, so it wasn't bottom of the ladder, but was nearer that end than the top. I got to test ride a £2.5k Propel, which was fantastic. It was so good I thought long and hard about biting the bullet and spending the extra money; given I have done over 30,000kms on the one I did buy, I probably should have done.
    For that kind of money, I would demand a good test ride. I would want to try a titanium bike too, everyone that has one swears by them, especially if you only have one bike.
  • PMark
    PMark Posts: 160
    edited April 2021
    As has been said, when you are spending that kind of money, you need a bike fit. One of the reasons you liked the Merida so much, might have been because it fitted you better than the Synapse.

    Also an endurance bike is always going to weigh more than a full on racing bike as they generally come with wider/heavier wheels and larger tyres, helping to make them more comfortable. So don't get too hung up on weight if you are looking for something comfortable.
  • tetley10
    tetley10 Posts: 693
    Get the one that gives you the fizz.
  • froze
    froze Posts: 205
    $5,000 (USA) plus for a bike is a lot of money for a bike, what do you hope to gain by spending so much? Did you know that from 1960 to 2016 the average speed of the TDF has only gone up by 1 3/4 of a mph per hour? And that's with all the fancy aero and CF bikes we have today! the other weird part to what I just said is that from 1960 till 2016 the average miles fell by 500 miles yet the cycling days remained the same, so really the reason the average MPH went up is due to less miles.

    So again, the question goes back to what do you hope to gain from a $5,000 plus bike that you can't get from a $2,500 bike for example? Ridley has a nice bike called the Fenix SL with Shimano 105; or the more aggressive Felt FR Advance also with 105; or a very stiff racing bike, the Orbea Orca M30; or the BMC Timemachine SLR02. Any of those bikes would be fantastic bikes.

    Even if you are now racing in the amateur cat levels I knew people who raced with mid level bikes and 105 components, I still see them locally racing with that sort of stuff.

    I hope I didn't come across as a jerk, I apologize if I did. This crazy hobby that we both enjoy has gotten crazy in prices, and I think we get caught up in all the whiz bang technology and it all that stuff really is...is snake oil! Remember, the bike doesn't make the rider, the rider makes the bike.
  • bobo696
    bobo696 Posts: 57
    Thanks for all the answers!

    Davep1 : this is a big budget for me as well! As I said I never spent more than 1000 euros on any bike and have always bought them second hand. But now that I have a bit more stability in my life I want to treat myself to a very nice bike.
    Currently I'm cycling on a 500 euros btwin triban 120, which is actually quite comfortable. I will keep this bike as my everyday bike and winter bike.

    PMark : yes I'll definitely do a fit before. I went this week to a specialized store and they do a "retul fit". They also have S-works tarmac and Roubaix as test rides for a day, so I'll definitely try the roubaix to check how it feels. I want comfort it's true but I don't want to sacrifice performance, and I would be disappointed to pay that sort of money to have a bike as heavy as my previous synapse which weighted 8.5 kilos.

    ‌Froze : no worries, I wasn't even looking at these even a year ago. I know I will be happy even with a bike half my budget. I definitely know that I will be much more faster sheding 5 kilos of fat than buying a 7 kg bike haha. It's only for my personal enjoyment, I tried di2 for a few days and I loved it, so I want one for myself, even if I know that mechanical is perfectly fine. But it's the same with everything, not only bikes. Why buy a porsche when an audi is already more than enough? You can drive just as fast with a vauxhall haha. I want a nice bike because it's my favourite hobby and because it's a time in my life where I can both afford and enjoy it. Where you are right though is that price still matters, for example the endurace of canyon has almost everything I'm looking for and is the cheapest of all, by far, so why spend 2k more for the same overall quality? That's also why I'm asking for your thoughts.