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Good morning,
This is my first post, but I have been reading a lot. I used to ride 20 years ago, I enjoyed it, I had a Panasonic DX4000 for those that have been around. I now run, but it gets old. I test rode the Alliance and Tarmac, honestly because I have not been on a road bike in so long they both feel fine. I only road them for a very short time, maybe longer would have been better. I really feel I will have to ride for a while to better understand what type of fit I want.

So besides which one feels better which do you think is the best overall value-

2009 BMC Road Racer SL01 with SRAM Rival from Competitive Cyclist $1699 plus no tax and I have a coupon for free shipping.

2009 Tarmac Comp with full 105 for $1995, it was $2700, this is the price on it now so I may be able to get free pedals or shoes or something as well.

2009 Giant TCR Alliance with 105 and Integra for $1799, it was $2299 I think, this is the price listed on the bike so again I may be able to get something thrown in.

I will start off just getting back into bike shape, I do not see myself ever racing, but will do rides with friends.

I wanted to keep my budget around $2K

I like the BMC the best from a looks stand-point, but the other 2 would come from a LBS. Keep in mind I will more than likely move in the next 6-8 months so a relationship with the LBS I buy from will not happen, I will be gone.

Thank you all
 

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I say BMC, but I love the brand. My step-father has the SL01, its a nice bike.

FTR I just set my best friend up with a full Ultegra Tarmac Expert Carbon for $2200 s you can do better me thinks.

Just get the BMC, its exclusive and no one will have the same bike on the route as you.
 

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A big fan of the BMC

I've had a BMC Racemaster SLX01 for approximately 2.5 months and have fallen in love with it.

To provide a frame of reference, I also have a titanium Serotta Concours and a carbon fiber Look 381i. I fully expected the BMC to provide a much harsher ride than the other two and have been completely surprise at its comfort. I've done multiple longer rides on it, including 2 century rides and multiple metric centuries. Because of its ability to provide a comfortable ride, I'm seriously contemplating selling the other two...
 

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I recently bought the SL01 from Andrew at Competitive Cyclist, He was great to deal with...
I decided I wanted to change a few things:
  • I took off the EA50's, that knocked $250 off the price and went for the 08' EA90 slx at Performance Bike, currently $499
  • Swap to the Ultegra 12-23 cassette and chain - it's just better
  • Swap to a FSA Wing Pro Compact bar
  • Yokozuna Reaction Cable Kit
  • Arundel Gecko Grip Bar Tape
  • I also ditched the saddle, as I had a nice one already.
The bike is not light, or made in Switzerland, but I like it anyway.

I'm liking the bike. The local bike snobs are up in arms, :p :p :p

The look is polarizing:cool: , I thought I was buying a Specialized up until I came across this bike...
 

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colombo357 said:
Wow, that handlebar and stem setup is totally ruining the look.
I'm working on it - I have to move the hoods, cut down cable housings, and redo the bar tape... But screw how it looks for the most part; as long as I'm comfortable it looks awsome to me... I might flip the stem but don't count on it.


Carnut12 said:
I do like that it is full carbon, but at $1995 plus tax it would be $400 more than the BMC. BMC comes with better components.

Tough Decision
I look at it this way- If or when I feel the BMC is holding me back, that's a pretty big if there. I will have a good gruppo to put on a shiny new frame. But at that point I kinda doubt I'd be looking at a lower end Tarmac frame.
 

· Cycling induced anoesis
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NEO Dan said:
I look at it this way- If or when I feel the BMC is holding me back, that's a pretty big if there. I will have a good gruppo to put on a shiny new frame. But at that point I kinda doubt I'd be looking at a lower end Tarmac frame.
When you compare the advances in technology for the past four years that 'low end' Tarmac offers a lot for the money, especially considering that it was an S-Works Tarmac back in '06. It's a perfect example of how trickle down technology can benefit the consumer. I don't think you can say the same for aluminum bikes.

But that aside, IMO fit trumps all else, so higher end components don't matter if they're bolted to an ill fitting frameset. And speaking of framesets, considering their geo dictates fit/ feel, handling and (to some extent) ride, I think it would be smart to place a priority on IT rather than components that can be swapped out on a whim.
 

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Since the Tarmac is not available with a SRAM Compact Gruppo, I want to ask what is the makeup of both bikes; so we can understand where you are coming from.
For the price, the Roadracer's a great bike. I use it as my primary commuter, but during the summer, I commute on both. My Tarmac and Roadracer are both Dura Ace/Ultegra. Even with WH-7850-SL/road tubeless on the Roadracer, I just enjoy riding the Tarmac a lot more. I guess I just don't like the aluminum feel. Can't figure out what else it would be - both are set up with exactly the same reach, drop, seat height, set-back, etc.

Again, don't get me wrong - RoadRacer/Rival will be a nice bike. And given the OP's choices, I'd probably go with it. But when I have a choice, I always grab my Tarmac.
 

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Was in a similar place over the last couple weeks (CC BMC SL01 vs. others locally). Locally I'd ridden a 2008 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 SL (full Ultegra) which might have come down close to my budget, Fuji Roubaix from 2009 with full 105 group (didn't care for it), Specialized Roubaix Comp Compact Rival (loved the bike, too much $$, loved the Rival), and a 2008 Specialized Tarmac Elite (too small) and a Jamis Xenith Comp (fast, decent ride, pretty aggressive feeling).

What I found was that I really liked the shifting on the Ultegra and Rival bikes more than the 105's.

I was really, really leaning towards the BMC, but a long-time friend who's been cycling for decades was pretty concerned about the seatpost.

Because of my inseam, I'd be running a pile of seatpost out of the XL frame (we figured about 9 - 10" of post). The BMC is a proprietary seatpost - and not cheap to replace if you happen to break it. I know it's unlikely that the post would fail, but I was swayed to look for bikes that don't use proprietary components if possible.

I ended up finding a full Rival Salsa Podio for $1360. It'll be here next week. I'm stoked as all heck for it to get here.
 

· n00bsauce
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Two things. Consider headtube length. Being someone just getting back into riding you'll probably start out with a more upright riding position. This may change as you get more miles under your belt and flexibility returns but initially most new riders start out more upright. The frame with the longest headtube in your size will give you more options for adjusting your riding position between more and less upright. It's hard (and sometimes looks goofy) to get bars high enough with a short headtube. It's a lot easier to lower bars with a tall headtube.

Top tube length. Make sure it will suit the reach you need. It's much better to get a frame that falls in the middle of your range than one at either end of your range. Yes, you can adjust for top tube lengths with your stem, to a point. You just have more options with a top tube that is in the middle of your range.

Compare the frames and see which one has the dimensions that better suit you. Forget about test rides. You won't be able to do a legitimate comparison without testing with the same wheels and components and this is unlikely. Even then, a short ride won't tell you anything. To fully appreciate differences you would have to test ride each bike for weeks, know what you're looking for and have a point of comparison (a bike you know and like). "Harsh" frames can become magically compliant with a change of tires from 23c to 25c with accompanying lower tire pressures.
 
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