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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


Im new here and hopefully to road cycling. Im looking to spend around £600 - £800 on a first road bike and have narrowed it down to four (not very good narrowing I know!) They are: Cannondale CAAD8 which I love the look of straight away, Giant Defy 3 again a great looking bike, Fuji sportif 1.1 compact and a Scott Speedster 40. I know going off looks alone is not the way to choose here but I want to be excited about the bike I buy and that's the feeling I get when I look at the Cannondale and Giant but whereas they come with Sora Shifters the Fuji comes with Tiagra(Which apparently is better?) Is it true you need long thumbs(which I don't) to change gear when in the drops with Sora? Out of the four I look the look of the Cannondale and Giant but know Fuji is also a quality bike. Ive only seen these online so haven't tried any yet. No doubt when I go to the shop ill have my head turned by something else! Im initially just riding for fitness and with friends so nothing too serious. Im not a big guy about 5ft 8in and 12stone if this helps. Any advice would be great please.
 

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The only way to determine which bike works best for you, is for you go to your LBS and actually test ride these bikes for yourself. Of course, the Shimano component hierarchy with regards to road bikes, goes from 2300 to Dura Ace is this manner: 2300 < Sora < Tiagra < 105 < Ultegra < Dura Ace (the absolute best). Sora is a great entry level groupset and Tiagra is even better. Only purchase a bicycle if it feels absolutely perfect. It must feel very comfortable and ride very smoothly. Changing gears should feel like a very easy thing to do. Also, Cannondale, Giant, Fuji, Jamis, and Raleigh are all great bicycle companies.
 

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I was in a similar situation like you in the past. Try to get a bike that comes with better components. Just dont go too low-end unless you are really cash strapped. Long time ago I was short in cash and I couldnt wait to save up more and ended up buying a bike with the lowest-end components. I was unhappy after awhile and went to replace with better comps and at the end, I spent more money on the bike. Then I realized with a cheap frame installed with good components doesnt go well either or it could just be me. It becomes like a money pit and I just dont like the entire bike, then sold it away at big loss.
 

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Is it true you need long thumbs(which I don't) to change gear when in the drops with Sora?
It was true with the old Sora "thumb button" shifters (ST-3400-series and below). But it's not true with the new ST-3500-series Sora shifters. Those operate like all other Shimano dual-control road shifters.

It's possible that the Cannondale and the Giant bike in which you're interested come with the new ST-3500-series Sora shifters. But you can't bet on it. I've seen plenty of 2013 model-year bicycles that were equipped with the old ST-3400-series Sora shifters. So you need to ask the seller if the bike in which you're interested has the old ST-3400-series Sora or the new ST-3500-series Sora shifters. On the other hand: is it really important for you to be able to shift into a higher (smaller rear sprocket) gear from the drops?
 

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The new sora are pretty sharp, and actually remind me of my 9spd ultegra I'm running now. Plus the action is spot on. Some of us still love the old style shifters.

For your first bike go with what feels the best, don't worry about weight or darn near anything else. Just be comfortable and happy.

To many people get all caught up in the parts and technology, but in the end it's you on a bike on a beautiful section of road.

Bill
 

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Buy the bike you like the looks of as crazy as that seems...as long as it rides comfortably of course. Why looks you scream? because in the long run you will want to ride a bike that looks nice to you; and ugly bike won't give you any motivation to get on it. Weird I know, but it's like that for some people.

I like the fact you are being logical about your purchase and not going out and buying a $5,000 bike for a first bike. About 83% of people getting into any kind of physical hobby quit after 3 months, then with cycling a lot of these people end up with expensive garage art.

If it matters, of the four I like the Cannondale the best too, and I also like Scott as a second choice, the other two are kind of ugly in my opinion. Either of those two bikes though will be decent starter bikes and the frames are nice. Even though the included components are on the lower end you can upgrade later as they fail to Shimano 105 for not that much money.

Most of all try to have fun cycling, don't make it a chore. Find a variety of places to ride to, or if limited where you live put the bike on the car and drive half an hour somewhere else and ride from there. If you find yourself not getting motivated join a local cycling club that has a variety of skill levels. Come back to these forums and talk about your problems with cycling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys that's been a great help. I've already been down to my LBS and am gonna go have a play on a turbo roller with a couple of the bikes. The Giant and Cannondale have the upgraded ST- 3500 Sora so I won't have a problem with the thumb issue. As most of you have said its about what suits me best. I had a look at a local club as I would prefer to ride with other people but this particular club were saying you have to be able to ride at an average of 20mph for 50-75 miles!! Is this Bradley Wiggins club or something! So I think I'll check out some other clubs. But thanks again all for your help.
 
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