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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a newbie, but oldie. Haven't ridden in YEARS. My 19 year old Gary Fisher mountain bike is pretty much shot, so I'm shopping for a road bike now. I'm 44, fat, somewhat bad knees so I'd like to start riding again. God, the technology is wonderful, but I'm wondering if others notice more than I do! I test drove three bikes at the LBS, what great service and no pressure to buy. I did the Specialized Roubaix Elite and their entry one in the Roubaix line, I did the Cannondale Synapse 5 in CF and the R6 in aluminum. So three different styles I guess you could say. I think the owner was waiting for my epiphany, but I really didn't see a whole lot of difference! All I do know is this much: I like the 105 groupset over the ******, or whatever the next one down is in the Shimano line. I will be buying from them so it will be one of those two manufacturers, but I'm somewhat ashamed I didn't notice this huge difference. They were all just great. Just makes my decision harder. He told me if that's the case to keep testing them, or go based on color, but to sleep on it. Just thought I'd share.
 

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if you haven't ridden in years, i think you'd be less likely to notice the differences. Same thing as buying a performance car, a set of golf clubs, a nice guitar vs. crappy one. Without experience, you don't know what to look for.
 

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A ride around the parking lot is different than a century or 200 miles per week.

I've been on a Ti bike for almost ten years but have a real interest in getting a Specialized Roubaix. A buddy of mine has one and claims he can really tell a difference on long rides.

Since I've always had a bias against C-dales, I won't comment on them. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In general I liked the Specialized better. The Cannondale R6 may have been somewhat quicker or more responsive, but it was the lower component set and I didn't like the feel of the shifters and brakes as much. I'll have to decide between carbon or aluminum now.
 

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Color works

They might all fit you adequately, so there may be no huge difference. If you're buying a bike to get back in shape, anything that feels good will work. The frame-material thing is not as big a deal as many people think, IMHO. Good, comfortable, high-performance bikes can be made of steel, alu, ti, CF.

Just get it soon, and take advantage of the good-weather season. Your body will thank you.
 

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Laminarman said:
Uh...dumb question but why? I know they can engineer materials to produce different feels. It is one of fatigue or breakdown or longevity? Weight? I thought weight was not much of a difference between them.
Probably my long time bias against aluminum. :D

The old alum frames were either large tube, bone jarring machines (Klein, Cannondale) or flimsy small tube bikes like Vitus. I actually had a Vitus for a long, long time but finally stopped riding it as I couldn't trust the glued joints after 20 plus years.

When you look at many bikes produced in recent years, many had carbon on the back even if the main frame was Ti or aluminum. So maybe that's where the "good ride" comes from, although I'm also convinced that it cut manufacturing costs.

The carbon roubaix has a strong reputation for comfort.

Finally the carbon models usually cost more than the aluminum models so they have to be better, right?
 

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Not dumb question

Laminarman said:
Uh...dumb question but why? I know they can engineer materials to produce different feels. It is one of fatigue or breakdown or longevity? Weight? I thought weight was not much of a difference between them.
Dumb statement. You're right: not a big difference. Slightly lighter weight (all else equal), and some say carbon handles vibration differently (less "buzz"). Not worth worrying about too much.
 

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sounds like you need a ride that's more comfortable and less aggressive. I dont know enough about bikes to tell you which of the ones you're considering is more comfy, but I do think you should consider adding that as one of your criteria.

That was one of my criteria and I ended up getting a NOS 05 Lemond Buenos Aires on closeout. Which should be another of your criteria - look for bikes that are on close-out: you'll get a better frame, components etc for a lower price than an 08 or 09 (08s will soon be on clearance too)
 
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