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I've had my sights on buying an 09 Cannondale CAAD9 5 with shimano 105 components for ~$1500. However, within the past week my boss tells me that one of his good friends is a manager at a bike shop that sells Trek bikes and he purchased his hybrid bike at cost which was almost 50% off retail. I looked at the Trek website and decided that the 09 Trek Madone 4.7 grouped with Ultegra components would be at my price range at around $1500-1900 if i get it at cost. My question is which one would be the better buy. I know that the CAAD9 frames are high end aluminum. However, the Madone 4.7 frame is Trek's TCT carbon frame versus their higher end OCLV carbon frames. I can't find much about their TCT carbon frames so i'm guessing it's a lower entry level type carbon frame.

My main dilemma now is whether to buy the lower end carbon frame with better components or opt for my initial decision of getting the high end aluminum frame with lower level components.

I must say that both bikes look great so it makes my decision much harder based on aesthetics

If anyone who has experience with both of these products or any knowledge about them feel free to chime in with any suggestions.

FYI - i've only been into cycling for about 7 months and i intend to do some racing once this school semester is over (crits/ stage races)

Thanks



 

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The Cube
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if you intend to race, remember the old saying of don't buy what you can afford ti fix/replace if damaged in a crash. this would lean toward the CAAD and its less expensive everything. Also, did your boss say you'd be able to get the bike at cost, or did the bike shop guy say it? after considering those things, ride both bikes and see if one has such a better fit for you than the other, that it makes the choice easier.
 

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I've seen Madone 4.7's going for around $2,000.00
As this is a starter bike, you'll probably be upgrading later.
Question is, which bike will be better when you've upgraded it?

And this brings up an excellent question.
What's better? High end aluminum or low end
(if anyone can call a Madone low end) carbon?

If it was me, I'd go with the Trek without a doubt.

But ultimately, the ride should decide (not specs alone).

Good luck. Either way, you can't lose.

(PS I went with an entry level Trek Alpha Black Aluminum bike until I could get into a Madone 5 Series or other Carbon Bike...I'll definitely test a Canondale along with other higher end brands when I take that jump.)

My 2 cents. :)
 

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I'm always skeptical of gettig a deal through a "friend of a friend". Also, many shops frown on this sort of thing, so I'd see if I could verify it.

That said, for the same price, obviously the Trek is a better deal. But if you have to "settle" for the Cannondale, you won't be settling for a second rate bike, it's first rate all the way, and you'll probably never notice the difference between the components until you become very discriminating.

Plus, I really don't like those Bontrager wheels.
 

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I just bought a CAAD9 5 and yesterday put on my 500th mile yay!! Anyways, I really like it...I mean REALLY REALLY like it. It just feels quick, and is definately race worthy, but also comfortable enough to do a century ride. P.S. Get the white, don't let anyone talk you into the black...the white is just...well...snazzy.
But if you can get the trek @ 1500, then go for it.
 

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I'm not sure what the warranty is on the Trek, but Cannondale has a great warranty on their frame and the aluminum might hold up better in the very interesting Cat 5 crit scene.

Lots of the guys I ride with have Caad9's for their crit bikes with Sram Red, Force, Ultegra SL, and Dura Ace. Several of them work for a local shop and can get great deals on many other brands, but they all ride Cannondales. To me that says a lot.
 

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You're talking two completely different rides. Different geometries and material. Both bikes are fine, but they are going to feel quite different, and one will be more to your liking than the other. You can't make this decision on paper, or based on the opinion of others on the board. (They aren't going to ride the bike). You have to ride the bikes to make this choice.
 

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definitely ride the bike first. unless cannondale upgraded the aluminum they are using from the 08 version(which I have) to the 09 version you are looking at i would go with the trek. the cannondale doesnt absorb shock very well. you are going to feel every bump in the road. the trek absorbs everything and i love my trek 5.5.
 

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On a different mission...
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You would be surprised how much shock dampening those pencil-thin seatstays on the Cannondale can absorb. The road can still be felt- but is just very muted and diminished greatly. The bottom bracket stiffness and rocketship acceleration will grab your attention more.

I cannot wait for mine to arrive!
 

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I've got a 4.5, and a 5.5 OCLV

G0LFII said:
Right now i'm leaning towards the C'dale. Thanks for all your input guys
I haven't ridden the Cannondale, and can't comment on it; but I have two 2008 Madones, a 5.5 OCLV which I race, and a 4.5 TCT which I train on; All I can say is that the 4.5 is a very good bike, not much difference between the 4.5 and the 5.5 - if you made me ride them blind I don't think I could tell the difference; but the wheels on the 4.5 are heavy and not that great for racing. I'd ride both to see which feels the best, but you can't go wrong with a 4.5 if you make that choice (in my opinion).
 

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EDUC8-or said:
I'm not sure what the warranty is on the Trek, but Cannondale has a great warranty on their frame and the aluminum might hold up better in the very interesting Cat 5 crit scene.

Lots of the guys I ride with have Caad9's for their crit bikes with Sram Red, Force, Ultegra SL, and Dura Ace. Several of them work for a local shop and can get great deals on many other brands, but they all ride Cannondales. To me that says a lot.
Trek gives a lifetime on the frame.
 

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Agreed, the CAAD8/9 dales are the smoothest alum frames, I have ever ridden. Soft where you want it, yet stiff for steering precision, and hammering.

You can flex the seat stays with your hand. On my first test ride, I thought I was riding on an underflated tire.
 
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