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  1. #1
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    2009 Trek 2.3, Tarmac Comp, or 2008 Cervelo Team Soloist

    Looking to purchase my first bike to get involved in the cycling sport. I went to several LBSs today and my brain HURTS!!! From reading many threads on this site, I was looking to purchase a bike with minimum 105 components. I rode a 09 Trek 2.3 ($1600), Spec Tarmac Comp ($2400), and a Spec Roubaix ($1800). I preferred the first two bikes over the Roubaix. I have no experience whatsoever in this sport and can't wait to get involved. But with no experience, I can be honest and say I didn't feel much difference in the 2.3 and the Tarmac. I had great experiences in both LBSs so I couldn't even use that to sway me one way or the other.

    Also, I called another LBS that was a little farther today and found out that they had a 08 Cervelo Team Soloist for $1600. I looked online and those had the Ultegra components. So, another piece to my puzzle.

    To the layman, the Cervelo looks to be the one to choose, although I have yet to ride it.
    Just looking for some advice from those involved in this sport. It's giving me and my wallet a headache! At least with running, I just put on socks and shoes and run out the door!!!

  2. #2
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    Tarmac should be comfier than the 2.3 or Soloist. In theory, more carbon means better shock absorption, all else being equal.

    That said, the Soloist is probably the fastest and most well-regarded of the three and is also the one that you can later save for a dedicated criterium bike when you eventually get a more advanced road racer. If you want a good value in an all-rounder take a look at a Fuji Team at your local Performance store as well.

    Make sure whatever you buy fits you right. That's much more relevant than what the stickers say.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenBike
    Looking to purchase my first bike to get involved in the cycling sport.
    Do you mean that you plan to race eventually? If so, what kind of racing appeals to you? If not, what kind of riding will you do?

    You may think that racing is a test of power, stamina, and reflexes. In fact it's more of a contest to see who can endure the highest levels of self-inflicted pain for the longest time.
    Lugged Steel Treks

  4. #4
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    i'd go for the soloist , you may be able to pick up a second hand carbon soloist for a decent price .
    undefeated winner of the lantern rouge

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reynolds531
    Do you mean that you plan to race eventually? If so, what kind of racing appeals to you? If not, what kind of riding will you do?

    You may think that racing is a test of power, stamina, and reflexes. In fact it's more of a contest to see who can endure the highest levels of self-inflicted pain for the longest time.
    Yes, after getting used to the initial pain that I will inflict on myself, I hope to "race." I lean more towards distance events in running and hope to do so on the bike. I'd like to make sure that I purchase a bike that I will be comfortable for long training rides as well as perform my best on short distances.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsAPaddlin
    Tarmac should be comfier than the 2.3 or Soloist. In theory, more carbon means better shock absorption, all else being equal.

    That said, the Soloist is probably the fastest and most well-regarded of the three and is also the one that you can later save for a dedicated criterium bike when you eventually get a more advanced road racer. If you want a good value in an all-rounder take a look at a Fuji Team at your local Performance store as well.

    Make sure whatever you buy fits you right. That's much more relevant than what the stickers say.

    what does this mean... the one that you can later save for a dedicated criterium bike when you eventually get a more advanced road racer...Im hoping to get something that I won't have buyer's remorse over or have upgrade-itis a couple weeks later.

    Also, is it normal that both the Tarmac and 2.3 felt the same to me? I rode about 20 minutes on each and the differences between the two weren't so much that I could explain them. I thought after the fact that I should've maybe spent more time on one of the bikes and try the other a day later...

    in regards to FIT, either shop will do a whole fitting for me so I assume that whichever bike I get will be fit to my measurements. I've seen many times here that FIt is the most important. Is FIT a natural feeling thing or is it a measurement thing or is it both. I was hoping that by just hoping on 1 of these 2 bikes (i havent tried the soloist yet)I would be able to tell right away that "this was the one" but I didnt get that feeling. they both felt good considering the circumstances.
    thanks for your help!!!

  7. #7
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    Don't ever think you're buying a bike for life. These things are just tools: the point is just to ride, not own a bike in and of itself. Also, if you've not spent much time on the bike recently, you are not going to appreciate the finer distinctions on a 20 min test ride. Don't worry, you'll acquire your own tastes and preferences soon enough, which can be fun. You can, however, still apply a little long term thinking based on your interests, which seem to be ride for distance first then get in some competition.

    Aluminum bikes have a rep for being rough on uneven road. The younger/lighter/better shape you are, the less this matters. Al is however light and stiff for racing, esp. for the money. Given your priorities, I would avoid the aluminum Trek. A lot of people who have $5000+ carbon racers hang on to a Soloist (or a good Cannondale) for short bunch sprint races. The Soloist in particular is known to handle well when ridden aggressively.

    A low-level Tarmac or Roubaix is probably not worth it unless all you plan to do in the next few years is rallies and group rides. These bikes are good for comfy, reliable "LSD" (long slow distance). Even then, there are better buys from the likes of Fuji and Jamis. Note that the higher Tarmacs are a different story: those are great bikes, just too pricey unless you get lucky.

    In three years, if you ride seriously, you won't have much use for the 2.3 or the Tarmac. You will however probably keep and continue to ride the Soloist for certain things.

  8. #8
    jaydub_u
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    Personally, I don't totally buy into the "carbon is comfy and alum. is harsh" argument. At least not when comparing simular price levels. I was in this decision process just 4 weeks ago. I picked 3 bikes to try out. 2 carbon and one alum. (soloist, or S1). All were in the same price range. 2200 bucks. I rode all 3 several times and I can tell you that I coudn't tell a noticable difference in the ride quality. All were set up to fit me properly. All were nice but in the end, I chose the Alum. Cervelo S1. It had a better group, Ultegra compared to 105 on the carbons. The cervelo felt faster and the ride was comprable. And I am not any lean spring chicken. 51 years young, 240lbs and 6 feet tall. I love this bike. Everytime I go out into my garage and see it, I want to ride it. I have averaged about 70 miles a week on it and as the days get longer, I will ride more.

  9. #9
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    Last year I purchased a Specialized Allez to get started in the sport. I was a nice bike but a bit harsh. I am a 210lb rider. This year after a great deal from a local lbs I traded my Allez in for a carbon Time Eddge Racer with Centaur group, I love it! It is far more comfortable on long rides and feels much faster.

    I know they are different price points but the difference amazed me.

  10. #10
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    I can can very confusing

    You might expand your selection a little and look at other options. I bought a new bike last year and it came down to a test ride. After riding a couple of bikes I knew right away which one I preferred. Don't do the ride around the parking lot routine. See if they will let you take a bike out for at least a ten miler. I have been doing business with the same LBS for over 19 years. I went a lot from the advice and recommendations from the owner and head mechanic. Unfortunately you don't have that option. Chances are the bike you buy now will be replaced in a few years or sooner. So buy something nice, but don't break the bank....

  11. #11
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    undefeated winner of the lantern rouge

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the link...it may be helpful after I take it for spin this weekend. I'm leaning towards the soloist at this point, but who knows how I'll feel after this weekend's shopping. It peaks my interest that this bike in 09 retails for $2200 and i'd get the same version (minus new paint scheme) for $1600. If it isn't as comfortable than the Tarmac I should at least be able to get it close right? And Im hoping that it would be able to double as a part time tri bike with some adjustments...

  13. #13
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    Soloists were originally sold to be switchable b/w road (on drop bars) and aero (in the TT bars) seat positions. This should help you later do tris.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsAPaddlin
    Soloists were originally sold to be switchable b/w road (on drop bars) and aero (in the TT bars) seat positions. This should help you later do tris.
    That's exactly what I wanted to hear. I just didn't want to be locked into one style of riding. From reading other posts, I've seen others few comment on riding the Soloists on century rides but for the most part, most say that it's not as comforting riding a Soloist on long distances. And, you're right, the first bike won't be my last but just want to make an educated decision as I do in electronics, homes, and in everything. Thanks!

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