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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. This is my first post. Here it goes...

Most of comparisons I've seen put the aluminum cervelo soloist up against the Madone 5.2. Bottom line for me is that I can't afford the 5.2. My price range is right around $2000.00, give or take a few hundred. I have my eyes set on either the aluminum Soloist or tct carbon Madone 4.7.

For the money, which of these two bikes is the better buy? There aren't too many negatives with either one.
 

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I spent a lot of time going back and forth between the aluminum Team Soloist, then the Carbon Soloist and the new Madone 5.2. I was coming out of an aluminum Trek 2300 with full Ultegra. Had I made the move to the Soloist, it would have been a lateral move considering it also was full Ultegra.
You need to ask yourself what you want out of your new bike. Aluminum, while great riding, can be harsher than carbon. Honestly, while riding 3000+ miles on my aluminum Trek, I always felt it was comfortable and smooth and I loved it. What you need to understand though is that I purchased my 2300 for $1300 (it was a leftover) with the idea in mind that if I didn't "get" into biking, I didnt spend $3000+ for a carbon bike that would end up sitting in the garage. I rode that bike very happily for 2 yrs but always had an inkling that now I was into riding all year, my next bike would be a step up to carbon. When I saw my first 5.2, that was it, sold my 2300 on Craigslist and bought my new Madone in Dec 08.
After more than 1000 miles, I can say that the carbon bike is definitely smoother, more responsive and generally a better all around bike. My point is that I prefer the carbon although my aluminum 2300 was great. The other thing is that the Soloist, while GORGEOUS, is a more severe racing bike, not an all around training/racing/recreational bike. My new Madone is like a Swiss Army knife - good at everything. Think it through, test ride both before you decide on either. It would suck to buy the Soloist, only to find out that while its beautiful, its uncomfortable on your rides. Hope this helped.
 

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gambike said:
Hi. This is my first post. Here it goes...

Most of comparisons I've seen put the aluminum cervelo soloist up against the Madone 5.2. Bottom line for me is that I can't afford the 5.2. My price range is right around $2000.00, give or take a few hundred. I have my eyes set on either the aluminum Soloist or tct carbon Madone 4.7.

For the money, which of these two bikes is the better buy? There aren't too many negatives with either one.
I'll throw you a curve here. I think the Madones (even the lower end TCT's) are nice bikes, but the 4.5 frameset/ wheelset is exactly the same as the 4.7, yet is priced $650 less. Are the components nicer on the 4.7? Yes. Are they worth $650 more? I'm not so sure.

At this price point I suggest you give the Specialized Tarmac Elite ($1,950) or Comp ($2,400) a look. For sure, they'll ride nicer than the Soloist and (I think) as well as the TCT's but are a better quality frameset for the money. My 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow! What a curve ball! I hadn't considered Specialized. I briefly looked at their website and found the bicycling magazine review for the Tarmac: http://www.specialized.com/OA_MEDIA/pdf/Bicycling0308.pdf

The description of the rider in the article sounds like me: "likes to ride on the road and jump into local triathlons". Though I haven't done my first tri yet, that's something I'm planning for. The Tarmac Elite "offers a good dose of speed but with more comfort than the alloyed-framed, steep-seat-angled tri-specific speed machines in the same price range."

This sounds really tempting. I'll check this out at my LBS, as well as the Comp.
 

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Dwwc said:
why would the Specialze be a better quality frame-set over the Trek? What rational do you base your opinion?
My rational stems from doing as much info gathering as I could manage to find on the design/ manufacturing processes of both TCT and FACT carbon. Several test rides of both came next, and finally down to observations. Checking joints, seams, finish, the cosmetic carbon, if any, warranty (no, they're not the same). Final conclusion? Lower end Spec carbons have the edge, IMO, of course.
 
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