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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I have been lurking on this forum and looking at others "what should I get?" posts for the past 2 weeks. I didn't want to get one started because I was able to gather info on the 2010 Allez elite and Giant Defy 1 (both around 1100).

Went into a few more bike shops today and found a GT road bike that I like that costs a little bit more than the other two but has ultegra all around

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1078818_-1_1512507_20000_400306

I went to another bike shop and found a 2009 Specialized Roubaix Compact for $1499.
https://shop.sunrisecyclery.com/item/41746

I put that carbon bike on hold.

Is it worth it to spend $1499 for full carbon but only 105s, not ultegra, and an FSA crank? Or should I go ~$1500 for full ultegra and just carbon fork and seat stays?

Im lost now....
 

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No Bonk Zone
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If I were in your shoes I'd look at it from another perspective.

Being a rider looking to get your first road bike, I'd shy away from a full carbon bike that is easier to break due to a stupid fall or similar spill, especially if you are going to get some road shoes and you're looking to learn how to clip into and out of SPD clipless pedals.

The first few (or several) times you ride with road shoes/clipless pedals are almost certain to include a couple of falls as you learn how and when to unclip yourself before you fall...

With that said, I'd opt for the GT Alu bike with the carbon fork/seat stays over the all carbon ones...

Good luck.
 

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More carbon fiber please!
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Doolab said:
If I were in your shoes I'd look at it from another perspective.

Being a rider looking to get your first road bike, I'd shy away from a full carbon bike that is easier to break due to a stupid fall or similar spill, especially if you are going to get some road shoes and you're looking to learn how to clip into and out of SPD clipless pedals.

The first few (or several) times you ride with road shoes/clipless pedals are almost certain to include a couple of falls as you learn how and when to unclip yourself before you fall...

With that said, I'd opt for the GT Alu bike with the carbon fork/seat stays over the all carbon ones...

Good luck.
I'll disagree with the falling down issues. I never had any problems going clipless years ago. And I went that route on a mtb before even getting a road bike.
 

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I also learned to use clipless pedals without falling. Adjust them loosely. The 105 components are suppose to be a pretty good entry level. I have never ridden with them. Just feel how they shift and brake. You may find it to be a small difference and you can always upgrade them if you get into it more. I would ride all the bikes and find what you fall in love with. There are a lot of great alluminum bikes out there also.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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Sharing my experiences, assuming the bikes in question fit equally well, I wouldn't hesitate to buy 105 over Ultegra. One bike I have has 105 and the other Ultegra and for all intents and purposes, I can't tell a difference in shifting or performance. If I were pressed to say which shifted slightly better, it's the 105 equipped bike, but that could be due to a number of factors - some not even relating to the components.

As far as falling and breaking CF, I wouldn't fret over it. IMO lower end CF actually is less apt to suffer failures than the high end/ high modulus variety, because there is more material (thus, more weight). In the example cited by one poster, he recommends a bike with CF stays, which are as likely to fail as a full CF bike. Also, in my (limited) research, I've seen examples of failures occuring more frequently with these mixed materials bikes due to bonding issues.

Lastly, I think it's telling that you put the Roubaix on hold. You could've done the same with the other bikes, but didn't. But to be sure, I suggest riding it again - out on the roads and for some duration. If you walk away from that still undecided, then consider riding some of the others again, narrowing the field as you go.
 

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The roubaix is a great bike, I myself was going to buy the Allez but at the last minute decided to go carbon instead. Very glad I did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the input so far. The carbon specialized is on hold right now for 10 days. The other bikes are available in abundance in my area so I did not place them on hold.

I might be leaning towards the allez elite because of the money saving. I'm just getting into biking and that ~$350 difference can go a long way towards buying pedals, shoes, gear, and a bike computer.

I will ride all of them again, supposedly the GT might be going on sale this week so I will see where that is sitting price wise on Wed. There is a model of the GT that has SRAM RIVAL on it. it is ~$150 less, would that be a huge step down compared to the ultegra?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
dharrison said:
The roubaix is a great bike, I myself was going to buy the Allez but at the last minute decided to go carbon instead. Very glad I did.
Grrrr....
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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Harlow said:
Thanks for all the input so far. The carbon specialized is on hold right now for 10 days. The other bikes are available in abundance in my area so I did not place them on hold.

I might be leaning towards the allez elite because of the money saving. I'm just getting into biking and that ~$350 difference can go a long way towards buying pedals, shoes, gear, and a bike computer.

I will ride all of them again, supposedly the GT might be going on sale this week so I will see where that is sitting price wise on Wed. There is a model of the GT that has SRAM RIVAL on it. it is ~$150 less, would that be a huge step down compared to the ultegra?
Rival competes with 105, so no, it's not a huge step down from Ultegra, but I would opt for 105 over Rival - just my preference. It's best for you to ride both then decide, because SRAM and Shimano use different methods of executing shifts, so you may find you prefer one over the other.
 

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Milk was a bad choice.
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Well in my experience, if you buy the all-aluminum Allez, you're gonna be looking really hard at the Roubaix about 6 months down the road. If you can afford it and you really believe that you are going to bike enough to get your money's worth, then I think the Roubaix sounds like a good deal. And I wouldn't worry about 105; I've had both 105 and Ultegra and I can't say that I can tell a difference.
 

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You have decide which is more important to you, a carbon frame or better components.

1. Don't buy into the hype that you need Ultegra.. 105 is an outstanding group....hundreds of thousand of people ride it every day....

2. Don't buy into the hype that carbon is automatically better than aluminum.. It's just not true

You will have people here giving you both sides of the argument..that is why you are confused..their opinion is what works for them...not you

I won't tell you which I prefer because it's meaningless to what you need to be happy on a bike.

Pick out a couple of bikes and ride them....buy the one that speaks to you....
 

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Harlow said:
Any other options?
If you're confused, take a step back and think about your intended uses and goals. Alu is cheap, light and stiff, so for entry level bikes and racing it's hard to beat. If you're leaning more towards group/ distance rides, all else being equal, I think CF does offer slightly better ride qualities.

There's really no bad bike in your group, but you have to narrow the field based on uses, test ride some viable candidates and choose what fits/ feels best in your prive range.
 

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I agree with Dave.....

But will add my experience anyway. I have a specialized allez with tiagra, sora that was my first bike. It was fine until I got really into riding/racing. I still ride it on the trainer/rain/winter/commuting and it has ~8000 miles on it. It is definately a rougher ride than my madone, but not overly bad. My main complaint is the "less precise" shifting compared to my ultegra and more flexable drive train (190lbs sprinter). But that was not a concern until I got serious about racing.

105 is fine. And if you are considering SRAM rival, make sure you test ride it. I have Rival on my cross bike and like it just fine, but I don't think I would switch to SRAM for road..

The main thing is to find a bike that fits you well and serves your needs. Fits your geometry, budget, and riding needs.
 

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This doesn't sound like anything a test ride can't solve.
Forget what they are made of and decide which you think rides/fits/feels better. Just make sure you use the same air pressure in the tires on each so it's apples to apples.
 

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Hank Stamper said:
This doesn't sound like anything a test ride can't solve.
Forget what they are made of and decide which you think rides/fits/feels better
. Just make sure you use the same air pressure in the tires on each so it's apples to apples.
But wouldn't the OP need to test ride the bikes to find that out? :confused:
 

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Don't buy a bike based on being afraid of crashing it... You can blow up a frame of any material in a crash. Buy the one that you enjoy riding the most! If there are 2 or more that are tied in that category, then go for what appeals to you: upscale components, favorite color scheme, coolest frame shape, whatever... All I'm saying is that life is too short to ride a bike you don't like. :)
 
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