I’ve really narrowed my search down to Giant and Specialized. I’ve tried each, I like the geometry, I like the looks, and I like the reviews. So for each bike level I’m looking at, I have one option from each company. Earlier I posted about the Giant Defy 1 here’s the Specialized Option. The Secteur Elite Compact was a nice ride. Again it’s an alloy and has that composite fork I think is necessary. This one has Tiagra components which might give the Defy 1 an edge. The main reason I like this one is that I rode it and it’s real nice. Also, a local shop has a 2013 model at a really nice deal right now.
I’m not sure about alloy bikes, but if I do decide to save the money I’m torn between these two options. My task is to decide just how much I like the composite frame option and how much difference it makes at the entry level price point since I’m obviously not going to be getting the best composite frame out there.