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  1. #1
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    2013 Diamondback Airen 4 vs. 2012 Cannondale Synapse 5 105

    Which women's bike would you recommend for a first-time beginner triathlete?

    The Airen 4 has Shimano Ultegra components with alum/carbon fork frame. The Synapse has a Shimano 105 components also with alum/carbon fork. I can get the Airen for $1300 and the Synapse for $1200.

    I am measured to fit a 52.5" frame... the Synapse I'm looking at is a 51" and the Airen I can get in a 52".

    Recommendations? Other suggestions?

  2. #2
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    They are fungible. Ride them both. Which one fits you better. If the fit is the same, which one is cheaper or prettier to the eye. Most important is which one feels better to you.
    Last edited by crbeals; 07-08-2013 at 10:04 AM. Reason: Learn me some grammer

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by klynshoe View Post
    Which women's bike would you recommend for a first-time beginner triathlete?

    The Airen 4 has Shimano Ultegra components with alum/carbon fork frame. The Synapse has a Shimano 105 components also with alum/carbon fork. I can get the Airen for $1300 and the Synapse for $1200.

    I am measured to fit a 52.5" frame... the Synapse I'm looking at is a 51" and the Airen I can get in a 52".

    Recommendations? Other suggestions?
    I believe the Synapse does have a lighter carbon fork (or at least a fork with carbon blades) which should minimally soak up road chatter, and transmit less vibration through to your hands. That IMO, is worth it over the

    By the time you get to the point where you'll be able to appreciate and utilize the difference between Ultegra and 105, you'll either love the sport and move onto to a better bike. Both are excellent and light years ahead of any other "beginner" dept store bikes.

    I would go with C-dale based on the sheer number of glowing reviews, but ride them both. However, I feel that in the beginning it's the overall package rather than just the machine; the accessibility of the shop, friendliness of the folks, service perks, etc.

  4. #4
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    Are you being steered towards the highest end model of this particular bike because of inventory or whatnot? You could get an Airen with a lower equipment spec and be just as happy.

  5. #5
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    Are you buying a bike just for a sprint tri? Do you know if you like road biking?

  6. #6
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    I am getting a road bike to start my journey of getting into biking for fitness and I hope to do regular sprint triathlons working my way up. I hoping this will be my intro bike and plan to invest in a better bike maybe in 3-4 years from now.

    I am also looking at the 2013 GT GTR Series 1 bike. Performance Bike is selling it for $1299 - it has some Ultegra/Tiagra components on a alum/carb frame. I haven't seen any GT bikes in any other bicycle shops and wondering about the quality of the brand.

  7. #7
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    I don't know if it makes any difference but you don't have to just look at women's bikes if you are average sized, I am 5'3" (32 bike inseam) and I don't have WSD. (I didn't want a woman's bike). I got both my bikes form Bikes direct, as I have a live in mechanic. A lot of bang for my buck. As you are looking at Performance then I assume you are looking at online pricing.

  8. #8
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    BikesDirect.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfonsina View Post
    I got both my bikes form Bikes direct, as I have a live in mechanic. A lot of bang for my buck. As you are looking at Performance then I assume you are looking at online pricing.
    I'm looking at BikesDirect.com. I don't recognize any of the brands... is there a reason for this?

  9. #9
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    Because branding is where the big boys put the money. It is what you pay for.

  10. #10
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    didn't even know Diamondback had a second road lineup until now.

    between the 3, GT has the best value, but it's still a matter of which fits best. Really try your luck with the GT at that price. Also looks coolest imo.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfonsina View Post
    I don't know if it makes any difference but you don't have to just look at women's bikes if you are average sized, I am 5'3" (32 bike inseam) and I don't have WSD. (I didn't want a woman's bike). I got both my bikes form Bikes direct, as I have a live in mechanic. A lot of bang for my buck. As you are looking at Performance then I assume you are looking at online pricing.
    5'3" is average sized? I thought the whole point of WSD was for women who are < 5'5...a majority of the WSD sizes cater to shorter women IMO. do I have it in reverse?

  12. #12
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    Apparently @ 5'3" is the average size of the American woman. Maybe WSD might be a necessity if you are a tiny woman, but WSD as I see it is marketing, period. Add 20% to the MRSP, paint it pink and call it WSD. Women are just like men, built differently from each other. What do little men ride? They are not riding WSD pink bikes called Sheila.

  13. #13
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    There is a proportional difference between the sexes. I'm six feet, my fiance is 5'9" and her inseam is longer than mine, she's all leg longer than long jeans and all. So, her seat, drop and reach would be different on the same sized frame. I guess that's what WSD aims to do, shorten toptube. Some companies also change the gauge of tubing...seeing as she's 100 pounds lighter and yet with a longer inseam she probably isn't flexing it the same way I am. I think if done correctly, WSD is not a gimmick.

    If 5'3" is average, WTF is "tiny"? Not sure I ever saw an adult who is shorter than 5'2" and not handicap so certainly not average.

  14. #14
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    I am that height and i have tons of friends who are shorter LOL. I call 5 ft and under tiny, 5'3" is not that small on a woman.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9W9W View Post
    There is a proportional difference between the sexes. I'm six feet, my fiance is 5'9" and her inseam is longer than mine, she's all leg longer than long jeans and all. So, her seat, drop and reach would be different on the same sized frame. I guess that's what WSD aims to do, shorten toptube. Some companies also change the gauge of tubing...seeing as she's 100 pounds lighter and yet with a longer inseam she probably isn't flexing it the same way I am. I think if done correctly, WSD is not a gimmick.

    If 5'3" is average, WTF is "tiny"? Not sure I ever saw an adult who is shorter than 5'2" and not handicap so certainly not average.
    Lol! Yes, more women are built like that than men. Including me. (But certainly not all women). A taller woman is generally too tall for the average women's bike. I'm 5'7", and can use a men's 50-52, or a women's 53-56, depending. There aren't many womens bikes that will work for a woman who is much taller, with the exception of a few brands. My arms and legs are both long, though, and sometimes, the reach on a women's bike is too short, but that can be remedied with a longer stem. Good women's geometry assumes shorter arms and shorter torso, so a more upright. Supposedly, the average height for an American woman is 5'4", but that is petite. I know quite a few female cyclists in the 4"10-5'2 range, and they most often benefit from women-specific.

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