Hi all, long time lurker, rare poster.
Long story short, my old ride (2007 Argon 18 Krypton) got wrecked in a crash. Due to the lack of a good manufacturer crash replacement deal, I'm taking the components off of it and saving them for a cross bike (to be purchased some time before next season). In the meantime, I need a new roadie. I don't have a large budget (preferably below $2 000) but I want/need a race-worthy bike, preferably with SRAM. Hence the two options stated in the title. For reference, I am 5'11", 165 lbs (in-season racing weight), and am more of a time trialist than a climber or sprinter.
I'm well aware that the PF is carbon, has a taller HT (by 5mm... big difference, I know), shorter TT... basically less racy geometry. I like that both bikes come with SRAM (full rival on the ZX3, force crank & tektro brakes on the CAAD), have a relatively nondescript paint scheme (BBQ matte black C'dale, naked carbon ZX3), and, at least up where I live, are not "a dime a dozen".
I would just get the ZX3 promo deal frameset + gruppo (and seat post), and scour eBay for other components (bonus: I get to spec the bike with stuff I like/want instead of swapping out the stock stuff). The CAAD9 would see a change of saddle, wheels, and maybe bars. It seems to me that the ZX3 is the better buy - geometry closer to my old bike, which fit me very well (even though I can't ride it before I buy it), plus I can spec it out the way I want. The upside of the CAAD is potentially the final price, the backing of a bike shop (although the closest C'dale dealer is a 2hr drive away), and the BB30 Force crank.
I know there are a million of these threads, but I can't simply just ride them both and see which fits me better (thank you PF). I guess I'm just hoping some people have experience with either bike and can chime in on their relative merits (yes I know the C'dale is a great crit bike, but what else?).
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