Cannondale CAAD10 105 or Merckx Carbon EMX-1???

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Cannondale CAAD10 105 or Merckx Carbon EMX-1???

Postby nzmike » Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:48 pm

Hi all,

Getting ready to buy my first ever "serious" road bike and I'm going to rent a CAAD10 50 105 for the weekend (as I can get a runout 2013 50 model for around $1700) and on Monday I'll try a Merckx EMX-1 (carbon frame and forks etc, also has 105 running gear) which is down from near $3K to about $1920 at my LBS. But being a newcomer to dedicated road bikes (I ride a Trek Hybrid right now) what would anyone advise on this choice? For someone at my level (12kms a day commuting, weekend rides 40-60kms, more as I get fitter and lose some kilos!!) is it worth going the extra $220 and getting carbon or should I stick with the alloy frame of the CAAD10?

They both seem to have pretty good specs (though I'm no expert on this) and they both have very good reviews (the CAAD10 has brilliant reviews to be more accurate) so just not sure what to go for.

I know the test ride might just show me straight away which one I prefer but just interested if any experts out there have any opinions on which of the two to get (or maybe even just get the runout 2013 CAAD8 which I can get for about $1500-$1600). I know there are loads of bikes out there under $2K (my top limit) but the CAAD's seem to be the best of them all so not looking at too much else just yet.... the Merckx does seem like an excellent bargain though.

One more Q - when I test ride each of them what should I be looking for, apart from comfort and fit? I'm truly a newbie on dedicated road bikes so just trying to get a bit more knowledge on what to look for before I ride.

TIA for any advice... sorry it's another newbie question!!
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by BNA » Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:47 pm

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Re: Cannondale CAAD10 105 or Merckx Carbon EMX-1???

Postby macca33 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:47 pm

Whilst I love my CAAD10, that Merckx bike seems to be fairly good value and could be the go.....I know, blasphemous from a 'dale rider!

I read a couple of reviews and they seemed positive, calling the EMX-1 the 'sportive' geometry, so, it may very well be right up your alley.

Also, whilst the CAAD8 is a good bike, it pales in comparison to the CAAD10 - so would be out of contention in that group, if it was me doing the buying.

Test ride both the CAAD10 and Merckx and see which one you like the most.

cheers
'dale CAAD10 Berzerker Ult6800 & CAAD10 Team Ult6800

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Re: Cannondale CAAD10 105 or Merckx Carbon EMX-1???

Postby nzmike » Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:28 pm

Thanks for that - guess I should ride before asking! What are the main reasons, after weight, for buying a carbon framed bike?
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Re: Cannondale CAAD10 105 or Merckx Carbon EMX-1???

Postby Duck! » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:45 pm

nzmike wrote:Thanks for that - guess I should ride before asking! What are the main reasons, after weight, for buying a carbon framed bike?

Ride comfort. Carbon naturally absorbs vibration from the road that transfers through an aluminium frame. Reducing that high frequency buzz in turn reduces fatigue on the body.

Due to differences in the various grades of carbon used, the layup pattern of the fibres and the tube profiles, there's a high degree of tuneability in the ultimate ride of a frame - racing frames will sacrifice a little bit of that compliance for stiffness, where efficient power transfer is desired, while less racy frames will have a little less stiffness in favour of a smoother ride. A stiff carbon frame will still reduce that high frequency buzz a lot better than an alloy frame.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Cannondale CAAD10 105 or Merckx Carbon EMX-1???

Postby nzmike » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:00 pm

Thanks Duck, had to read that about 5 times to understand it but I appreciate the detailed reply!

In the meantime I've read some more very good reviews of the EMX1 so I'll see how I feel after riding both.
I do love the paint job and look of the Merckx as well so thinking, for now, it's top of my list given it's price...
but the ride will obviously be the deciding factor.
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Re: Cannondale CAAD10 105 or Merckx Carbon EMX-1???

Postby jpgibson » Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:11 pm

Buy the one you like the look of. Even the stiffest carbon frame can ride ok with a few psi out of the tyres ( I ride a cannondale evo high mod , 25 tyres at 95 psi and its very nice thank you). All bikes will be nice at your budget.
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Re: Cannondale CAAD10 105 or Merckx Carbon EMX-1???

Postby nzmike » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:04 am

Good advice jp, at this stage it's the Merckx as the carbon frame seemed like a nicer ride (not surprising) and I liked the gearing better.... the Cannondale's lowest gear just wasn't low enough for me on the hills around where I live, though to be fair with better fitness it would be OK (or I could change the cassette later but that means more $$$ which I'd rather not have to spend).

I also found the Cannondale a really harsh ride but the bike shop had pumped the tires right up so maybe you're right, riding with a few psi less might soften it a bit.
Also, the Merckx dealer (Clarence St Cyclery) set the EMX-1 up for me really thoroughly so it felt great. I'm not convinced the Cannondale was fitted for me with the same care (which is annoying as I paid $110 to hire it for the weekend).

I do realise I'm probably not really "getting" what a road bike is about when I complain about a harsh ride but coming from a hybrid I was amazed at how just hard road bikes are.... yes, probably a bit naive but I was sort of expecting this glorious smooth ride and instead got a severe bone rattling around our pothole-ridden roads.

There's a Bianchi and a Specialized model in two LBS's that are also carbon (both 2012/13 run out models, which is fine by me) so I'll try to do test rides on those as well and see what I think.

To be honest I'm now a bit undecided though - really wondering if I might be better to spend the money on something like the Trek 8.6 DS (when it comes out) or another lightweight hybrid (suggestions anyone?) as I'm thinking a hybrid might still suit me better.... it's more comfortable (and easier to control) for commuting, doesn't shake my teeth out on the sh*thouse roads we get in Sydney and does also mean I can do the odd trail ride..... but then the idea of a road bike still really appeals.

Conclusion: Confused!!
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Re: Cannondale CAAD10 105 or Merckx Carbon EMX-1???

Postby diforget » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:34 pm

Hi nzmike,

Hope you don't mind me to ask which LBS can you get the Merckx at that price.

I been looking around and could not find the same price for the model mentioned.

Thanks
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Re: Cannondale CAAD10 105 or Merckx Carbon EMX-1???

Postby jacks1071 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:09 pm

Duck! wrote:
nzmike wrote:Thanks for that - guess I should ride before asking! What are the main reasons, after weight, for buying a carbon framed bike?

Ride comfort. Carbon naturally absorbs vibration from the road that transfers through an aluminium frame. Reducing that high frequency buzz in turn reduces fatigue on the body.

Due to differences in the various grades of carbon used, the layup pattern of the fibres and the tube profiles, there's a high degree of tuneability in the ultimate ride of a frame - racing frames will sacrifice a little bit of that compliance for stiffness, where efficient power transfer is desired, while less racy frames will have a little less stiffness in favour of a smoother ride. A stiff carbon frame will still reduce that high frequency buzz a lot better than an alloy frame.


Very big generalisation. Each frame should be judged on its individual merits and not on the material it is made of.

It's an absolute load of rubbish that carbon = comfort. Carbon frames can be designed to provide many different qualities.
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Re: Cannondale CAAD10 105 or Merckx Carbon EMX-1???

Postby misterhorsey » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:35 pm

I have a CAAD10 105 and I love it. I didn't test ride other bikes, I was swayed by good reviews, good specs, a low level cult following and a price that was at a deep discount and difficult to refuse.

I think buying a bike can be a bit like buying a television. When you're in the shop comparing different models its clear that there are differences between them all, but the differences can be marginal around the edges and the choice overwhelming.However, once you've made your choice and you've taken it home you'll forget about the other options.

Same as with a bike. Get one that that you feel something for, that gets you excited to ride it, that doesn't dent your wallet too much. Get a proper bike fit and replace those parts that need to be tailored to your body. Then the many different alternatives that seemed so critical at the time will be forgotten as your huffing and puffing on a ride. But i think the key is you should be happy with your choice at the time you make it.

Cos there's no perfect bike and there's always N+1 to address this inherent 'fault' with bikes.
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