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Discussion Starter #1
I will be purchasing my first road bike with 05's tax return. My limit is $1700. I ride a DH/freeride bike right now. The type of riding that I will be doing is recreational/fitness. When I ride I dont really have a plan on how far I will go or how long.

I have been comparing both the R900 and the Allez Comp and they seem fairly neck and neck. Room for upgrading is possible in the long term (I'm a student w/ little cash)

Suggestions for other bikes are welcome. I prefer a double chainring and a bike that has race oriented geometry.

thanks all!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
come on, no replies. Am I not considering a pricy enough bike for this forum?

I got more replies on a mountain biking site.
 

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I have an Allez Sport (105 / Tiagra combo) and it's always served e very well... Great bike other than the stock Allex wheelset.

I find you get some really good bang-for-your-buck from Specialized, definatley more so than with Canondale.

Just my opinion.
 

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You can't go wrong with either, but there are three bid differences in the two bikes - the frame, components and geometry/fit. (The wheels are both Mavic Aksium, so that answers the other poster's response.)

Geometry/Fit:
This is the most important thing. You need to makes sure the bike fits. Cannondale is a traditional geometry, Specialized is compact. It doesn't matter what the frame is made of or what components you have if the bike doesn't fit you. You need to ride the two to see which you like riding better. Some people say the compact and traditional work out the same, but I prefer traditional geometry and ride a Cannondale. You might like the compact geometry.

Frame:
I think you get a better frame with the Cannondale. The Caad 8 frame is awesome. It is one of the best aluminum frames on the market, IMO. It is also made in the USA , which matters to some people. The specialized frame is solid and comes with carbon seat stays. Some people like them, others don't. You can do a search to see what others have to say about them. Both frames, however, will serve your needs and last a really long time.

Components:
Cannondale gives you Campy Veloce, Specialized gives you Shimano 105. The Veloce probably ranks between 105 and Ultegra. But in my opinion, it is really about feel. Campy and Shimano have different hoods and different shifting mechanisms. Some people prefer Campy, others Shimano. You will have to make that decision. One note of warning, the Cannondale comes with Cannondale Omega brakes, which have gotten terrible reviews.

Hope that helps.
 
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