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  1. #1
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    Croix de Fer Thoughts? Compare to a Cannondale R700?

    I'm new to road biking, and looking for my first bike. I've been a runner for years, and have decided that I'm just not thrilled with the pain running causes anymore. A coworker who rides recommended looking at steel framed bikes, and the Croix de Fer seems a good "entry" level bike. I'm going to test ride the Croix de Fer this week, in comparison with the Cannondale R700 and Specialized Allez.

    What should I look for in test riding the bikes? Should I be able to notice the differing ride quality between the aluminum bikes and Croix de Fer? What else is better on the Croix de Fer vs the Specialized Allez?

    I want a bike that I can do some serious exercise with, have fun, and grow into. I've never raced or participated in bike racing before (but lots of running races), but racing seems a possible fun (if casual) thing to do in the future. Can I grow into the Croix de Fer? Are there obvious reasons why the Croix de Fer is better then the $650 Allez?

    Thanks. Looking forward to riding!

  2. #2
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    The short answer....If you think you might race eventually I would probably go with the r700 from what I've read the caad 8 frame is very comfortable and fast. The Lemond is ox platinum steel and should ride very nicely, it's likely a little heavier. The Allez seem to ride more harsh than the other 2 when I tested it. You should also ride all three and then make your decesion.

  3. #3
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    I started out looking at the allez and the croix de fer. The croix was *much* smoother than the allez. In addition to the harsh ride, I found that the price for the allez was a little high for the components that $pecialized puts in the build kits. In the end, I bought a sarthe, which is an identical frame as the croix but ultegra 10 spd instead of ultegra/105 mix 9 spd.

  4. #4
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    I test rode the Croix de Fer and the R700 back-to-back last year when I was shopping. The difference was easily noticable. Make sure you have the same tire pressures in them - don't just ride with whatever they have off of the rack. The Cannondale felt lively and quick, but really jarring over bumps in the road. The Croix de Fer was definitely smoother, though not as "Racy"-feeling. As I was buying a bike for long-distance riding (the Death Ride, with lots of miles of training beforehand), I wound up getting a used (steel) LeMond Zurich. If you plan on racing and sprinting the R700 might be better for you.

  5. #5
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    no cannondale's!!!!!!

  6. #6
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    I currently own a 2005 Cannondale R700, which is a CAAD 7 frame. Awesome bike- lightning quick, fairly comfortable- a very competant entry level road racing bike. Before I bought it, though, I tried several Lemonds and liked them all. The Lemonds were just a hair slower in responsiveness-both in handling and acceleration. But they felt more comfortable to me. I ended up getting a good discount on the R700, so I ended up buying it.
    After about 1000 miles on it, I still like the bike, but wished I had gone with something a little more comfortable rather than with speed. I test rode a 2005 Versailles (steel/carbon mix) that made me drool when I rode it before buying the R700. It was smooth as butter and just as quick as the C'dale, but also $450 more at the time. I recently came across a used 2006 Versailles at an unbeatable price, and snatched it up.
    So currently both are sitting in my garage, and I've been able to ride them back to back. The C'dale still feels super responsive and fast, but on anything but really smooth pavement, the ride can be buzzy and harsh. The Lemond feels slightly more stretched out (mainly 'cause I got a shorter/higher rise stem for the R700), but it's much more comfortable still, and handles corners just as well. I know it's not the same frame as the Croix, but personally I still find the Lemonds to be a better day to day, comfortable, long ride/fitness bike.
    In the end, I'm going to end up selling the C'dale, and keeping the Lemond. Makes me wish I had just bought the Lemond in the first place.
    For you, ride each as much as the sales person will let you, and decide for yourself.

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