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I am in the market to buy my first road bike (I got the bug this past fall after renting road bikes to ride in bike-a-thons). I found a great LBS and have narrowed my choice down to either a Madone 5.2 vs. Serotta Fierte vs. Serotta Coeur d'Acier. I rode the the 5.2 and Fierte and was more partial to the Fierte's ride but the 5.2 was much more appealing on the eye (they both priced out about the same). The LBS also had a Serotta Coeur d'Acier frame that was a bit more exciting (red/white/blue) than the white or black choice of the Fierte (but upped the price by $500). Any advise would be appreciated.
 

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The CDA is as fine a bike as you can find anywhere. I loved my Fierte's ride but if you can get a CDA for $500 more that is a steal. Plus the CDA probably has an F3 fork and the Fierte comes with an S-3 or brand other than a Serotta brand fork in many cases.

Give us some details regarding the model years, components, etc. You can go to the Serotta forum and ask a question. The members will be glad to help you. The search function on the Serotta forum will also yield much lavish praise for the CDA even though it is not even close to being the most exotic or expensive Serotta.

I am sold on Serotta's. I had a DS dropout crack on my Legend and the folks at Serotta turned it around in less than 3 weeks including overnighting it to me so that I could ride my new bike in RAIN last summer. Warranty claim and no questions asked. I mentioned that I had hit a chuckhold and they said "no chuckhole should cause a dropout to break'. Plus when they fix them they do it right. To get proper alignment it requires them to replace both dropouts, which they did. You cannot find a company that will stand behind their product better than Serotta on the rare occasions when there is an issue.
 

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bondbike said:
I am in the market to buy my first road bike (I got the bug this past fall after renting road bikes to ride in bike-a-thons). I found a great LBS and have narrowed my choice down to either a Madone 5.2 vs. Serotta Fierte vs. Serotta Coeur d'Acier. I rode the the 5.2 and Fierte and was more partial to the Fierte's ride but the 5.2 was much more appealing on the eye (they both priced out about the same). The LBS also had a Serotta Coeur d'Acier frame that was a bit more exciting (red/white/blue) than the white or black choice of the Fierte (but upped the price by $500). Any advise would be appreciated.
Depending on the geo (specifically HT lengths), it's possible you're looking at more/ less saddle to bar drop on these bikes - that may matter to you. The Fierte comes stock only and has a taller HT for a more upright riding position. The Madones come in pro and performance fit, with the latter also having a 3 cm taller HT. The CDA is custom, so if selected, the bike shop you're working with should use the measurements from the fitting to recommend the appropriate geo.

I have a 1991 Serotta Colorado so I appreciate the companies craftsmanship and the resultant ride. IMO the CDA is going to have that refined steel ride, but the Fierte has built a solid reputation for value and performance. So far, this may read like I'm an opinionated Serotta fan, but thats really not the case.

I've ridden the Madone and it's a great bike. Rides and handles with the best of them, but (and this may not matter to you) IMO the ride is somewhat disconnected (almost too smooth for my tastes). If I had these choices and decided on a CF bike, I'd opt for the Specialized Tarmac (assuming it fit).

That aside, all three have their own separate and distinct personalities, so if at all possible ride all three, then decide. If the LBS doesn't have a CDA built up, Serotta may be able to provide a demo. The one advantage to going custom is that the bike will be built to your specs, so fit should be optimal - and that (more than gear) will keep you riding.
 

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The best advice is to pick the one you enjoy riding the most. My personal taste is steel (above CF). I've had a few classic Italian bikes, but recently added a Serotta CSI, no longer made, to my small stable. The Serotta is a lovely ride. Handling is spot on.

Among the 3 you've listed, I'd go for the CDA. 'Twould be amazing. I can't imagine that you would be sorry to have spent the extra $ 500. Ride on.
 
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