Another Newbie looking at Road Bikes (Cannondale, Moser)
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Another Newbie looking at Road Bikes (Cannondale, Moser)

    Hello all,

    I've been lurking for a while, and so first I must say thank you to everyone who contributes here on the site and forums--it's been an excellent source of information for me!

    I would like to start cycling more seriously. I'm in college, and my goal is to ride 20 miles three times a week. I also hope to work up to some longer weekend rides. My girlfriend rides seriously and has raced in the past, but neither of us have plans to race now. We will be recreational / fitness riders.

    I've been to all the local bike stores around and have had the opportunity to test ride lots of bikes! I'm looking to make a purchase in the very near future and am seeking advice.

    Three frontrunner bikes from local bike stores:
    2012 Cannondale Supersix 5 (105 components). (specs linked). I can get this bike brand new from the store for $1800. I think this is a good price, though it does stretch my budget. I road a Supersix with Apex at another bike store, and I have to say it was the first bike I really felt like I connected with. It was really responsive, fun, and seemed to fit me perfectly. This bike is identical other than groupset, but the shop will give me a much better price. It's also really a beautiful bike (black and white).

    The same store has a 2012 CAAD8 with Tiagra (specs linked) in the same size. From what I'm reading, it sounds like the 2012 CAAD8 shares a lot of features with the CAAD10--a truly legendary aluminum frame. They are asking $900 for this frame, in the Liquigas paint scheme. I've test ridden this bike and it fit me well. It was a really nice bike, but maybe missing the "wow" factor I felt on the SuperSix.

    We have another bike store nearby that sells mostly Italian bikes (De Rosa, Pinarello, etc). They are also the main Northeastern US Importer of Francesco Moser bikes. He has a customer's bike (used) for sale. The bike is about three years old, so I gather it was built some time in 2008 or 2009, and has about 800 miles on it. The frame is a Moser Speed. The frame is triple butted aluminum with a carbon fork, and Moser's steel and carbon frames seem well-regarded, but I haven't really been able to find much information on this entry-level aluminum frame. Here is a link to Moser's website.

    The bike has ten-speed ultegra components (including brakes). It's a triple, and it has a Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheel set. It also includes water bottle cages and a spare tube. He is asking $1000 (firm), and says the components alone are worth that price. Sounds like a good deal. Seat tube and top tube lengths are almost identical to a size 54 Cannondale SuperSix, so i think it's the right size. I've ridden it about 20 miles with no real discomfort. Here are my concerns:

    1. I don't know what iteration of ultegra components this bike has. From what I understand, there is Ultegra 6700, 6600 SL, and 6600, and each one of the later groupsets improves on the earlier ones (is this right?). I am having trouble finding out what year each of these were introduced or how to identify them. On ebay, newer ultegra groupsets are selling for $300 more than the older ones, so it seems significant. How does the Ultegra on this bike compare to the 105 on the Supersix?

    2. Are Moser's aluminum frames of comparable quality to the cannondales? The shopkeeper spoke highly of them, but I am again having trouble finding info on this specific frame (Moser Speed).


    Any advice at all will be greatly appreciated! What would you do, in my situation? I'm looking to make the purchase Tuesday. Happy riding, and cheers!

    Chris



    Some other background information:
    I was also considering buying a bike from Craigslist. I don't really know how to inspect them, and this makes me a little nervous--I probably wouldn't know components that were completely thrashed from those that were next-to-new. That's why buying a used bike from this bike store seemed like a good compromise--I know he's checked over the bike and everything looks o.k. In particular, there's a 2009 Madone 5.0 with Ultegra listed near me for $1200. Should I be seriously considering this option? There's also a 2012 CAAD10 105 near me.

    I've read that having a bike fitted to me at a LBS is absolutely invaluable. Finding the right fit is very important to me, but from my experience at my LBS, they just size you to a frame and adjust the seat height, and possibly adjust seat fore/aft. They would probably replace the stem with a longer/shorter one at no charge if I asked them to, but I wouldn't know what stem length I needed--would they be able to know this by watching me ride the bike? Or is it a "ride a few hundred miles and then you'll know" kind of thing?

    I've ridden a Roubaix and a Synapse. Both of them were undeniably very comfortable bikes, and similarly responsive. But I didn't find them as "fun." I'm young, in decent shape, flexible (I rock climb), and don't plan on doing centuries right now. So I'm leaning towards the "racier" geometry of the Supersix/CAAD/Allez/Tarmac type bikes.

    Right now I'm riding my dad's old bike, which is a 1996 Diamondback Expert. He is taller, though, so his bike (58.5 cm) doesn't fit me properly, and I'm starting to feel some discomfort. I'm 5'9", maybe 5'9.5." When I've visited bike stores, they've generally fitted me to a 54" frame.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    My first ever bike purchase was a cannondale r400, in 1986. I went to the shop to pick it up and unbenkownst to me, my cycling fiend uncle called the shop and matched my payment, which rendered a Francesco Moser World hour record Ltd edition with Campy Victory, and Mavic MA40 wheels.
    Although it's 25 years later, and you're a bit older than I was at the time, I'd say ride the Moser. Make sure it fits. Does it "speak" to you? The geometry of Moser may be slightly different. Possibly a shorter chainstay length, and possibly a slightly lower bottom bracket. Regardless, when I did this purchase, back in the day, I didn't have any experience with cycling, handling, geometry, stiffness, etc. But there was just "something" about that Moser. I could feel it, but couldn't articulate it. Turns out that the lower bb aided stability.
    If it were me, I'd go for the slightly older ultegra components, and Mavic wheels are incredibly reliable, and sturdy.
    You will not see someone riding around on a Moser, and although it may not be a factor for some folks, I personally buy into the "charm" and "mystique" of Italian + Cycling as much as anyone.
    Lastly, If you are looking at Cannondale, I believe the Caads are less expensive with a better groupset.
    whatever you do, good luck to you.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    A few thoughts.

    It seems like it's a good time of year to be a buyer. I'm not sure when the model changeover occurs but this seems to be the season of bike shows and introduction of 2013 models and it seems there are more than a few sales going on out there. That is, clear out the old inventory before the end of cycling season and prior to Christmas and the new model year. It seems the Cannondales you are looking at reflect this.

    The Moser seems to be about fairly priced though I don't know much about that particular frame either. I was watching a Scattante (Performance Bikes) aluminum frame w/Ultegra on ebay for a while. I could have got it for about $700 plus tax and shipping but let it go. It relisted and ended up at $840 I think. And that's a house brand bike. So the Moser seems in the ballpark. Since he is firm on price, it would be worth asking if he can sweeten the deal with some extras - fit session, helmet, clothing, gloves, floor pump, etc.

    That bike had the old Ultegra with the external shifter cables. They have been since revised to be hidden along with the brake cables if that's important for you. Also, most will say there is minimal performance difference between Ultegra and 105 so you will like either. In general, I would probably recommend to get a higher quality frame with 105 than a lower quality frame with Ultegra.

    I think you should set your budget a little more firmly. I know for me I usually have an idea of price and quality when I'm searching for a large purchase. Invariable, I have to downgrade my quality or upgrade my budget (I usually up my budget) though.

    With that in mind, I don't mind buying used. I'm a pretty good mechanic so if the frame is in good shape and the parts of of good quality I can usually get it to almost new. The frame though is the key - right size, structurally sound and good paint. It seems like you know what frame size you want so that's a good start. From there a good visual inspection can tell a lot about how it was maintained or ridden. Many bikes are seldom ridden so there can be great deals out there. If you're not sure, have it inspected by a shop. And if the price is right, a good shop can tune it up for a reasonable price too. I''ve been looking for a while on ebay for a bike for my daughter. Most of the aluminum frame bikes with good components are in the $900 to $1,000 range with the carbon frames about $400 higher.

    Good luck

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Being that I just picked up a 2012 CAAD 10 5 about a month ago I would say test ride it, very similar yo the supersix slightly lower price point.

    You won't regret it at all.

    ExChef
    ExChef

    -----------------------------------------
    2014 SuperSix Evo 6
    2012 CAAD 10 5
    2011 GF/Trek Cobia
    1983 Fuji Monterrey (Project)

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