As I’ve mentioned, I’m in the market for a new road bike. My budget isn’t huge so I’m looking at entry level. I’m trying to stay well below $2000, preferably closer to $1000 but as I shop I realize that might not be in my best interest. So obviously at my range, there is some give and take. My question is, where would you give and where would you take?
I know an alloy frame will save me money, but a composite frame will be more forgiving on 5 hour rides – especially considering Toledo’s fabulous roads. At my price range we seem to be looking at the Sora, Tiagra, or 105 components. Some research shows the Tiagra or Sora to be less than desireable, others say it’s OK. The 105 seems to be the best option at this price.
Now looking at frames, I can get a well kitted alloy frame at a low price. If I move to composite, I get less as far as components go. I’ve found the Specialized SL4 Sora composite bike which has a nice frame, as the name alludes to, the components are Sora. There is the Giant Defy Composite 3 which has Tiagra components. Then we have the Giant Defy 1 which is alloy but has the 105 set. Both Giant and Specialized also have upgrades of the bikes I mentioned that do come with the 105 set, but I don’t know if I can afford to go that route.
So, considering that I’ll be riding this bike 10+ hours a week with one 5+ hour ride in there and considering the budget thing. Do you go with the carbon frame and settle on components, or alloy frame with better components? Or try really hard to come up with money beyond my comfort zone to try to get composite with the 105s?
I’m open to input, what things did you consider when buying your bike?
try really hard to get both. If you are riding 10+ hours a week you are going to want the best components and comfort or you are going to kick youself later. I had a bike with Sora and they were crap. I fought with the shifting all the time. I managed to get a full carbon, full ultegra Giant for about $1800 (I think it was a TCR comp 2) Was a great bike for many years. I’ve heard that with Giant, you tend to get more bang for your buck then with specialized, Trek etc. Perhaps you could find last years model of this for sale somewhere?
Thanks! The Sora has been completely redone for 2014. So they are better, the shifter has been changed out to match the style of the 105, etc. I’m still wary of them though. I definitely can’t afford anything running ultegra as they are all up around $2500, I think the 105s might be my tops. I’m actually having a hard time finding any last year models. I’m going to keep trying that route to save loot. I figured it’d be easy to find 2013 models right now…
I had found a used 2013 TCR on craigslist, but it got sold before I could look at it. The Defy line has a more relaxed geometry that I like, it’s designed more for the longer rides, but it benefits my busted joints!
Yeah, I think 105’s are pretty good from what I hear. So maybe a carbon frame with 105’s would be the way to go? Also, don’t get a triple. They suck. lol. Compact double. Have fun!!
Yup, definitely the compact double! I think I’ve narrowed it down to one from Giant and one from Specialized. I wish they had both at one shop. I’ve rode each now, but I’d like to ride them one after the other.
I appreciate your advice, I’m in brand new territory here!