Just because it's an "entry-level" model doesn't mean it has to look the part. The CAAD8 shares plenty of race-proven DNA with its more expensive siblings, but offers newer riders smart details like gel-backed handlebar tape and a a slightly taller headtube for a more forgiving ride. If you're looking for bike to pull occasionally commuter duty, though, look elsewhere—there's nary a rack mount to be found on this performance-minded model. A Shimano Sora 9-speed drivetrain and FSA compact crank offer plenty of get-up-and-go, and because it comes sans pedals, the bike's eminently reasonable $940 price tag leaves plenty of extra coin for a par of clipless pedals.

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