Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Rawshack
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Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Postby Rawshack » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:02 am

Hi everyone,

First post, so be gentle...

Currently, I'm riding a Trek FX 2 for commuting, but I've started riding more often and also doing slightly longer rides at the weekend, so I'm looking to upgrade. Commuting is going to be my bread and butter (approx 10km to the Melbourne CBD) so I'm looking for a flat bar - I've tried drops but they're not for me, especially when I'm bombing down Exhibition Street first thing in the morning.

I've looked at three new contenders for a new bike - the Cannondale Quick 3, with carbon forks, disc brakes and the Shimano Sora groupset. Other options are the Merida Speeder 400 with the same setup but 105 groupset. The option is the Trek FX 4 (Tiagra) but the frame doesn't feel like a significant change from the FX 2, despite the carbon forks.

I loved the Cannondale; it felt lighter, more responsive and significantly faster than my current ride and felt like a proper upgrade to my current ride.

Thoughts?

Rawshack
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Re: Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Postby Rawshack » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:29 pm

Or, on reflection, do I try something like the Giant Contend 1 as a gateway into dropbar road bikes (read a few reviews that suggest it's a good solid commuter)

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MichaelB
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Re: Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Postby MichaelB » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:41 pm

Welcome !

Can't help specifically with those bikes mentioned.

Seems like you have actually test ridden them which is a good start. At the end of the day, they are good brands with good level of components. Whilst Sora may be a level or two below 105, it also depends on which year they are. Often, the previous years 105 is the same as this years Tiagra (for example).

And for what you want to do riding wise, they serve you well.

If amongst the three that you have tested, the price is equal, the one that makes you smile is the one to go for.

Enjoy !!

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rodneycc
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Re: Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Postby rodneycc » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:08 pm

Good initial post and sounds like you have already put a bit of thought into it.

I've recommended the Merida Speeder 400 in the past so I know its a solid bike choice. The Cannondale name is a quality brand so you know the frame will be good and Sora components are a lot better than they use to be (but the 105 should be a lot slicker on the Merida). If the Cannondale is the bike that does it for you then don't hesitate to grab it if it ticks all the boxes better than the others and feels like a really good upgrade. Another to put on your test list is the Giant Cross City 0 disc . A really nice flatbar bike, prob the best I've test ridden a few years back now though.

Flat bar vs Drop bar is a matter of choice and your riding conditions. Drop bars are good at distance rides with hand placements so with me rides over 30kms I were having a few troubles with my hands and the drop bar solved all those issues. But if you are not doing longish rides with lots of small commutes then flatbar whatever you like mostly is fine. The Giant Contend is a good bike also the Defy Advanced for the $$ if you are getting right into it.

Also just remember sizing is everything. So a couple of mm here and a mm there make a huge difference so most important is get the size right first time or you will be going back for bike #2 before you know it!

Anyway all the best.
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Duck!
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Re: Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Postby Duck! » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:21 pm

MichaelB wrote:Often, the previous years 105 is the same as this years Tiagra (for example).

Not true at all. Shimano currently work on a four-year production cycle for their groupsets, with only minor, if any mid-model updates. The overall design theme trickles down through the levels with each subsequent year to give a family resemblance, but the technical & construction material specs tend to remain fairly constant - and distinctly different at each level - across the generations. The only time Tiagra has matched (well, in reality surpassed) 105 was with the previous-generation 4600-series, the first 10-sp. version of that level, which passed over the hidden gear cable design shifters in favour of the older exposed cable design (which were in fact rejigged previous-generation Dura-Ace), which worked a lot better. In all other respects the previous-generation 105 was still technically superior.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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10speedsemiracer
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Re: Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:58 pm

Of the 3, I like the Trek from a bang-for-buck perspective. Tiagra is fine for your use, and a step up from the Sora on the Cannondale. Has a nice mix of components, and there's a reason we see so many Fx's floating around as commuters. Tough as nails. For the money though, another option would be the Giant Fastroad SL1
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which is also Tiagra 10sp, hydraulic brakes etc etc
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MichaelB
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Re: Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Postby MichaelB » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:43 am

Duck! wrote:
MichaelB wrote:Often, the previous years 105 is the same as this years Tiagra (for example).

Not true at all. Shimano currently work on a four-year production cycle for their groupsets, with only minor, if any mid-model updates. The overall design theme trickles down through the levels with each subsequent year to give a family resemblance, but the technical & construction material specs tend to remain fairly constant - and distinctly different at each level - across the generations. The only time Tiagra has matched (well, in reality surpassed) 105 was with the previous-generation 4600-series, the first 10-sp. version of that level, which passed over the hidden gear cable design shifters in favour of the older exposed cable design (which were in fact rejigged previous-generation Dura-Ace), which worked a lot better. In all other respects the previous-generation 105 was still technically superior.


Cheers for the clarification. Probably meant to write 'generation' instead of 'years'. :)

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Re: Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Postby Rawshack » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:06 am

Thanks for the tips everyone - I'm going to go and try the Merida and the Fastroad and the Contend 1 this weekend. If I can handle the drop bars I'll maybe opt for that but, the 105 setup on the Merida is looking good.

I'll keep you posted :)

Rawshack
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Re: Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Postby Rawshack » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:16 am

10speedsemiracer wrote:Of the 3, I like the Trek from a bang-for-buck perspective. Tiagra is fine for your use, and a step up from the Sora on the Cannondale. Has a nice mix of components, and there's a reason we see so many Fx's floating around as commuters. Tough as nails. For the money though, another option would be the Giant Fastroad SL1
Image
which is also Tiagra 10sp, hydraulic brakes etc etc


I agree the Treks are solid rides - I love my FX 2. Felt that the frame on the Cannondale was a little lighter and absorbed the road more, but it's hard to tell.

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Ivanerrol
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Re: Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Postby Ivanerrol » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:40 am

I.M.H.O.

When I tested out the Merida Speeders they seemed very “hybridish”. i.e. a very upright seating position.

This may or might not be part of your criteria.

Some of those bikes labelled “flat bar road bikes” are really hybrids. The more you spend on the line of bikes the more faltbarish they seem to become. i.e. Speeder 900 or 500 or the more expensive Specialized Sirrus range equipped with road components rather than mtb stuff.

You really need to ride them to make sure you get what’s comfortable or what you desire.

I ride bikes with endurance geometry. Riding on the hoods is not much different than the true flatbar.
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Rawshack
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Re: Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Postby Rawshack » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:58 am

Ivanerrol wrote:I.M.H.O.

When I tested out the Merida Speeders they seemed very “hybridish”. i.e. a very upright seating position.

This may or might not be part of your criteria.



That's a fair point and I guess my main criteria is something that I can ride a little quicker/longer than the FX 2 and something that I can happily ride through traffic. I'm testing a few out this weekend so I'm going to be interested to see how I get on with the drop bars. There is a certain degree of comfort and security with flat bars (for me) and maybe i need to get out of that comfort zone

1Rowdy1
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Re: Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Postby 1Rowdy1 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:26 am

As it is mainly for commuting check to see if you can fit a rack to the bike that you chose (if you think you'll need one, that is), I'm not sure the Fast road can take one.

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Mububban
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Re: Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Postby Mububban » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:58 pm

Rawshack wrote:I loved the Cannondale; it felt lighter, more responsive and significantly faster than my current ride and felt like a proper upgrade to my current ride.


When I was cross shopping road bikes, I didn't expect to feel much difference as I don't have years of experience and can't pick up on subtle nuances. however I was surprised to find out how much of a difference in "smile factor" I found with different bikes in the same sort of category. Some I rode and they did nothing for me, although I'm sure they're capable and would not disappoint. But one in particular just put a huge smile on my face and felt brilliant compared to the others.

All the bikes you've listed will serve you well, but test ride them all, and buy the one you can't stop thinking about riding :D
When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!

Rawshack
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Re: Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Postby Rawshack » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:17 am

So, Saturday was B-Day and several hours spent admiring, looking, touching, riding. Reading that back, it sounds very wrong, but never mind. Let's continute.

My first stop was at 99 Bikes in Clifton Hill to try the Merida 400 Speeder flat bar and the Scultura 400 roadie. Very similar bikes, both fitted out with the 105 groupsets, but the Speeder had carbon forks and disc brakes. I took the Speeder out first and it was good. Solid ride, the gears shifted crisply and I was able to bomb around my test circuit much more comfortably than on my FX 2. However, going up a hill back to Queens Parade, I realised that I was struggling a little and when I finished, I couldn't escape the feeling that it wasn't going to be the significant change from my current hybrid.

So I swapped over to the Scultura and I had my 'road to Damascus' bike moment. I zipped through my circuit and then ate that climb for breakfast (it was 11am by that time, so probably more brunch, but never mind). Holy Cow. Now I got why I had been struggling so much on my morning commute. Great bike and I thought I had a winner.

However, my sensible self (actually, more my partner) suggested I go try that Giant Contend 1 before I committed to anything. So, off we trekked to the Giant Store on Lygon street. After a little back and forth I finally got on the bike and hallelujah... I found my ride. A lower spec than the Scultura (going down from the 105 groupset to a Sora), but the frame just felt that little more comfortable... the tires that little more comforting to someone coming to their first road bike. The shifting was crisp and solid and I glided down Lygon street with no qualms at all zipping around the increasingly busy Saturday morning traffic.

I also got a solid deal on the 2018 model, so overall very, very happy and now I can see why so many people were suggesting I try the drop bar over the hybrids. Only thing to note is that I swapped out the factory fit 25mm tires to a set of puncture resist 28mm.

Thanks to everyone for their help

Al

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10speedsemiracer
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Re: Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:11 am

glad you found your bike. enjoy.
Mmm, SunTour

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Mububban
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Re: Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Postby Mububban » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:32 pm

It's all about what makes you smile :) Enjoy!
When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!

Rawshack
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Re: Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Postby Rawshack » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:38 pm

I think I'll be posting in six months asking for advice on my next upgrade ;)

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Mububban
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Re: Cannondale v Merida v Trek

Postby Mububban » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:31 am

Rawshack wrote:I think I'll be posting in six months asking for advice on my next upgrade ;)


Ooooh yeah......6 months is optimistic :D

I was having major upgraditis, but then life got in the way. So plans for a new bike were shelved, instead I was able to afford a $800 wheel upgrade which transformed the bike.
When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!

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