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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am really torn between choosing 2 bikes that I am probably going to use for at least the next 5+ years.

1st Choice - 2016 BMC GF01 Disc 105 (2.8k USD)
2nd Choice - 2017 CAAD12 Disc 105 + $1k Wheelset (~2.8k USD together)

I know they are completely different geometry, but I am still in the 20s so I am sure i can adapt to either... Currently I am riding a Specialized Diverge (which i will continue to use as like a bike to do shopping/going to bad parts of town). I am also only considering disc brake models at the moment.

I think the main attraction of the BMC is probably is the frame, but I feel like the CAAD12 is a lot more "bike" for the money.

My main concern for the BMC is that I think they are discontinuing it's GF line and moving their endurance disc line all to their new Roadmachine, so I am somewhat scared of the lack of service parts for the GF01 after buying.

My main concern for the CAAD12 is the 52/36 chainring, I've been riding compact 50/34 and 48/32 so that 36 is kind of "scary" ? Lol. Also, since the CAAD12 is made of aluminum, anybody have experience with it on bumpy roads? There are a lot of bumpy roads in New York City, bulges, dents, weird excess concretes, ramps that have like 2in+ curb etc. So how well does the CAAD12 coupe with those bumps?

Most of my rides will probably be 20-40 miles, and probably 1-2 century a year.
 

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Honesty, both bikes can do what you need. The more important thing is which one feels better to you and which one fits your shape and flexibility. Only riding the bikes can you determine that.

If BMC discontinues the GF line, parts will still be available. Shimano 105 is not different on a BMC as compared to any other bike. The question you'll be asking yourself is if you get the CAAD, will you always be staring at a BMC thinking that's a better bike? That itch may drive you to get that carbon bike eventually before the 5 years.

Both carbon bike and aluminum bikes can be designed to be comfortable or jarring. It has more to do with design than it has to do with the material. The GF01 is designed to be a bit more comfortable and relaxed in both geometry and frame. The CAAD is designed to be a bit more aggressive. For what your doing, they both will perform fine, just does it a bit differently in how they feel.

When it comes down to it, it's a matter of which one feels better and makes you want to ride it more. Pick that one.
 

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What do to you like and dislike about the Diverge? What do you want to change about it for this bike? The answers to that should make the choice pretty apparent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I am riding one of the lower end Diverge, the Sport I think with Sora so there are several things i'd like my next bike to improve on:

1. Weight (the diverge weighs about i think 24lb)
2. Better shifting, the Sora does alright for most of my rides, but being 9 speed there are gaps in some shifts, and it's not smooth when shifting to certain gears. Also the chain ring shifting isn't very smooth either which causes me to not shift as much to accommodate what I need.
3. the roads in NYC is quiet bumpy, and the Diverge Sport isn't very good at absorbing the shock, so it's bit harder for me to pedal smoothly to maintain cadence.
4. my hands are not very big, and braking is quite common around NYC, so my fingers do get fatigued after long rides since Diverge is only using mechanical disc. And I've heard the Hydraulic ones requires much less force for braking.

These are areas of improvement I can think of, but maybe a couple more details. So after much research the CAAD12 and the GF01 (which I am only considering because of the discount for 2016 model) came to be my choices. The CAAD12 seems really good on the "bike" for the money front, while I think the GF01 may be the better frame for upgrades?
 

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Well, I am riding one of the lower end Diverge, the Sport I think with Sora so there are several things i'd like my next bike to improve on:

1. Weight (the diverge weighs about i think 24lb)
2. Better shifting, the Sora does alright for most of my rides, but being 9 speed there are gaps in some shifts, and it's not smooth when shifting to certain gears. Also the chain ring shifting isn't very smooth either which causes me to not shift as much to accommodate what I need.
3. the roads in NYC is quiet bumpy, and the Diverge Sport isn't very good at absorbing the shock, so it's bit harder for me to pedal smoothly to maintain cadence.
4. my hands are not very big, and braking is quite common around NYC, so my fingers do get fatigued after long rides since Diverge is only using mechanical disc. And I've heard the Hydraulic ones requires much less force for braking.

These are areas of improvement I can think of, but maybe a couple more details. So after much research the CAAD12 and the GF01 (which I am only considering because of the discount for 2016 model) came to be my choices. The CAAD12 seems really good on the "bike" for the money front, while I think the GF01 may be the better frame for upgrades?
I was thinking more in terms of handling and body position. But if smoothing out the roads is your goal get the one that takes the bigger tires. I'm pretty sure that would be the BMC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
oh right now that you've mentioned it. I don't have any preference for body position tbh, since I feel like I am quite adaptable.

But handling, yea I'd definitely want something that are more sharp on the corner than the diverge.
 

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oh right now that you've mentioned it. I don't have any preference for body position tbh, since I feel like I am quite adaptable.

But handling, yea I'd definitely want something that are more sharp on the corner than the diverge.
The 'more sharp' choice between the two would definitely be the CAAD.
 

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Well, I am riding one of the lower end Diverge, the Sport I think with Sora so there are several things i'd like my next bike to improve on:

1. Weight (the diverge weighs about i think 24lb)
2. Better shifting, the Sora does alright for most of my rides, but being 9 speed there are gaps in some shifts, and it's not smooth when shifting to certain gears. Also the chain ring shifting isn't very smooth either which causes me to not shift as much to accommodate what I need.
3. the roads in NYC is quiet bumpy, and the Diverge Sport isn't very good at absorbing the shock, so it's bit harder for me to pedal smoothly to maintain cadence.
4. my hands are not very big, and braking is quite common around NYC, so my fingers do get fatigued after long rides since Diverge is only using mechanical disc. And I've heard the Hydraulic ones requires much less force for braking.

These are areas of improvement I can think of, but maybe a couple more details. So after much research the CAAD12 and the GF01 (which I am only considering because of the discount for 2016 model) came to be my choices. The CAAD12 seems really good on the "bike" for the money front, while I think the GF01 may be the better frame for upgrades?
Have you considered upgrading the parts on the Diverge you don't like. You could upgrade the groupset including brakes for less than $1000,, which will help with weight as well. What size tires are you using? Going with bigger tires and less psi will make the biggest improvement in ride quality. The Diverge is a good bike, even the low end model and what makes the low end model low end is the component spec. I have a Specialized Secteur (which is what the Diverge replaced) which was a great bike to start with. But as I rode more, I upgraded components I wasn't happy with, (there are very few OEM parts left on it) and it is now down to 17.5 lbs from 21+ lbs stock and I can ride that thing all day. Now I did buy another bike last year but it is on the other side of the spectrum from the Secteur as it is a Carbon Aero race bike.

If you really want another bike that is fine too just be honest with yourself as to what you are looking for or you will never be happy. The BMC is a lot like your Diverge very similar type of bike. The CAAD12 is a race bike, so the other side of the spectrum from your Diverge, so it will have a different ride from the BMC or your Diverge. If you really want another bike that is great but ride both the CAAD and BMC to make sure what fit's you best. If they are at the same LBS try to ride them back to back along with your Diverge that will give you the best idea as too how they differ as well as which fits you the best.

SS-
 

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My main concern for the CAAD12 is the 52/36 chainring, I've been riding compact 50/34 and 48/32 so that 36 is kind of "scary" ? Lol.
Utterly unfounded fear, unless you are frequently using the 34 with your largest cog (not likely in NYC, methinks). Shift one more cog with the 36 and you're in the same gear you were with the 34 (or lower). Should not be an issue at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Utterly unfounded fear, unless you are frequently using the 34 with your largest cog (not likely in NYC, methinks). Shift one more cog with the 36 and you're in the same gear you were with the 34 (or lower). Should not be an issue at all.
I admit I am not a strong climber, so it was a bit of concern for me, but that may be just due to my fitness XD but NYC does have a lot of bridges, and a lot of random unexpected slopes so I do tend to stay in small chain ring much more often. I am also kind of thinking toward the future when I do ride the century, they most definitely will have long hill terrains and I don't know if the 36 might be too much for me lol. But yes, for the current rides I do, I think the 36 will be fine actually.

I think lastly, I am struggling on decide which bike would be a better "resale" after 5-6 years of service if both didn't have a crash and pretty regularly maintained...
 

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I do tend to stay in small chain ring much more often
Okay, but are you in the largest cog often? If not, you're not going to run out of gears if you switched to a 36, or a 39 for that matter. You've probably got way more gear range than you need now.

Stop thinking about the 34 or 36 in isolation; it's the gear ratio that matters, not the size of the chainring alone. 36/30 is about the same ratio as 34/28. It's not any harder because of the larger chainring. The labeling of "compact" and the like has created a lot of confusion, IMHO. You'll understand it better if you forget the labels and just do the math.

I think you're overthinking this. I'd suggest you take both bikes on test rides as long as you can, and buy the one that feels best to you.

BTW, I live and ride in a hilly place (not big mountains, but much hillier than the City), and have done some hilly centuries (8,000-10,000 feet of climbing) and I still manage fine with a 39 small ring (39/26 lowest gear ratio). I'm no superclimber in anyone's estimation, and I'm 66 years old. All of these bikes have plenty of gears for your needs.

And personally, I say screw resale value. You can't accurately predict it anyway, and riding a bike you enjoy less, just because it might be worth 500 bucks more if you happen to sell it, is a lousy bargain IMO.
 

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I just don't picture a CAAD being a good bike for someone who rides in a big a city and is saying he isn't that strong.

The CAAD is pretty much a good out and hammer fast bike. I had a CAAD 9 myself and live in Boston and while the bike was fine for fast rides outside the city it was not a good bike for riding in the city at all IMO.
Then again loads of people ride track bikes with no brakes in the city so what do I know. I think they are dimwits but maybe that's just me.
 

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Here are a couple of cheap recommendations to try (that are related to shifting and gaps between gears) before purchasing a new bike.

The rear shifting should be smooth. It may just require tuning from your LBS, your chain may need to be replaced, or require more frequent lubricating.

I believe your 9-speed SORA has an 11-32 cassette with the following cogs: 11-12-14-16-18-20-24-28-32. If you don't need/use all your cogs you can purchase a new cassette with closer ratios (example 12-23, 12-25, 12-27, 13-25, 14-25 to name a few) or you can modify your existing cassette. For example my daughter never uses the 11 & 12 tooth cogs (essentially leaving her with 7 usable cogs with large gaps between some of them), therefore I modified the cassette to be a 13-14-15-16-18-20-24-28-32.

Just food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the great tips and replies! i just went to try out the CAAD12 at a LBS and surprised how Cannondale does their sizing... i am a 52 on specialized, and a 50 on the CAAD12 still runs a bit big on me! I then tried the 48, which was much better.

I am going to see the other LBS which carries the GF01 and see.

But from my research, it seems like you could kind of turn the CAAD12 into a more cushy ride by raising the stem a little, and changing the seat post to the Cannondale speed save carbon post, etc. anybody know what kind of tire clearance the CAAD12 have?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
How often do you ride outside of NYC. Seems like a lot of money for a city bike IMO.
i am planning to start biking outside of the 5 boroughs at least once a week, since I just joined a bike club, so hopefully I'll begin riding further away from the city.
 

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But from my research, it seems like you could kind of turn the CAAD12 into a more cushy ride by raising the stem a little, and changing the seat post to the Cannondale speed save carbon post, etc. anybody know what kind of tire clearance the CAAD12 have?
That's not the case. Tire and PSI adjustments are the only thing that can make a bike more cushy.

The CAAD is a great race bike for people who race or train as if they do and don't want to spend a ton of money on a bike worthy of it. I might be misreading but nothing you have said would indicate that a CAAD or any aggressive race bike would be a good choice for you.
 

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I prefer the BMC over the C'dale, but would pass on both. An expensive CF or thin-walled aluminum bike in NYC? I'd baby the hell out of it. I'd worry about every scratch, every time I lean it on something, or if the chain, cable, or u-lock rubs against it (oh and it's a thief magnet)--it's just not worth the worry. I'd go steel. Kona Wheelhouse. Reynolds 853. Discs. $1600. Invest the $1200 and buy a nice bike when you move out of the urban jungle.
 
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