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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, this is my first time on this forum -- what an awesome place! I'm looking into buying my first road bike (have been riding a MTB in previous years), and I could use some input. I test drove a 47cm (I'm 5'3") C'dale Synapse Feminine 7 today at REI, and I really liked it. Granted, it had Sora components, but I felt the frame was really nice. If I had gotten it, my total would have come out close to $1050 with tax.

My other option would be to buy an '07 Synapse Feminine 3 from a friend of a friend. The trouble with this option is that this bike is currently located on the east coast (while I'm on the west). The total for that bike would also be $1050 plus shipping. The frame size is also 47cm, and it has 105 components. I am tempted to buy this bike even though I haven't test ridden it, but I think it is quite a step up from this years Synapse 7. What do you guys think?
 

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tonisaurus said:
Hello, this is my first time on this forum -- what an awesome place! I'm looking into buying my first road bike (have been riding a MTB in previous years), and I could use some input. I test drove a 47cm (I'm 5'3") C'dale Synapse Feminine 7 today at REI, and I really liked it. Granted, it had Sora components, but I felt the frame was really nice. If I had gotten it, my total would have come out close to $1050 with tax.

My other option would be to buy an '07 Synapse Feminine 3 from a friend of a friend. The trouble with this option is that this bike is currently located on the east coast (while I'm on the west). The total for that bike would also be $1050 plus shipping. The frame size is also 47cm, and it has 105 components. I am tempted to buy this bike even though I haven't test ridden it, but I think it is quite a step up from this years Synapse 7. What do you guys think?
So the things you have to decide on are actually, do you want to pay the premium for a warranty or not. Some people need that for whatever reason. I personally don't know how knowledgeable your REI store is on bikes either. The main reason I bought new when I got my first road bike was to have the correct fitting and get their support with adjustments being a beginner that didn't know many bike oriented people (I was kind of the first one of my professional school friends to have a "nice" modern non huffy/non vintage bike. I've never had to use the warranty, but then again I'm sure other people have.

On the other hand, if you have a good local bike shop (or if your REI has good mechanics, knowledgeable staff, and they give the same treatment as a good LBS) and maybe a few more experienced bike friends, you might want to get the upgrade from the friend of a friend. I have a Giant OCR2 which came with Tiagra (a step above sora I believe), and I upgraded to 105 (even with a steep discount from a sponsor for our cross country charity ride, it was a few hundred dollars). 105 is mechanically solid, a great worthy upgrade, and worth the money, especially if you're getting it for the price of a new sora based bike.

Boiled down, if you need a warranty and ability to bring it in for (should be free) adjustments, then go REI.

If you have a good friendly LBS (thankfully there are a few local to me that give free basic adjustments any ways because they know I'll spend and have spent money there at other times) with maybe at least one or two knowledgeable friends, I'd go for the upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is great advice, sscooterguy :D . Thanks so much! Fortunately, I do have a few friends knowledgeable in the road bike department, and I am close enough to about three or four LBSs. I think I'll be getting that upgrade!
 
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