I’ll be heading to Jacksonville Beach for vacation and through googling one of their models (I don’t recall which) stumbled onto something rather unexpected. There’s a storefront you can buy these bikes at, assembled, just off the I-95 corridor in Jacksonville. When I called they said yes, at the online price, not everything in stock, but they could order it in, with warranty (of some sort, I didn’t inquire deeply because I’m obviously not going to be around there much). 7% sales tax.
Any thoughts comparing these two specifically? The owner of the Specialized Allez suggested he’d go to 900 instead of 999+tax for the super strada. So there is a real difference, but not an overwhelming one. I figure it maybe mostly comes down to how I like the feel, especially for the shifting mech? Anything else to be on alert for with the comparison, or buying used generally? On the one hand it feels silly to ask because I’ve bought a few used bikes, but this would be the first I’d be spending real money on.
BD is fine. The usual problem is assembly but you’ve gotten around that already.
I’d still recommend having someone local adjust the hubs and check the wheel tension… as well as give it a look over. The frame is no better or worse than any other given the materials and price point. Just don’t be fooled by BD’s stated values for savings, they grossly exaggerate how much you are saving vs the competition. You do save money, but not nearly as much as they suggest.
I can’t speak to the overall quality of those bikes, but the following may be helpful:
(1) Those Mavic Askium wheels on the Motobecane perform well for wheels at that price point. I have an older pair and was impressed by how much they improved the bike’s efficiency and smoothness. They are a nice upgrade from low-end wheels.
(2) The frame weight and ride quality of bikes around $1,000 seems to vary dramatically, at least judging from the sample I have seen. Some are very light and ride well; others feel like they are made from construction scaffolding and/or transmit every road imperfection directly to your spine.
(3) Before you buy, see if a local Cannondale dealer has a “new old stock” CAAD10 or CAAD12 and can offer a similar deal. That is a truly racing-grade frame. And if your repair and maintenance skills are weak, perhaps warranty coverage through someone in your city is in your best interests.