I have just given up on my clunker and started looking for a good novice bike primarily for weekend rides and commutes. I have found a handful that fit my meagre budget...
1. Giant TCR with Ultegra ($1899)
2. Wilier la Triestina with Shimano 105 ($1699) - or an Izoard with Ultegra at $2599 if I sell my pancreas, apparently I don't need it.
I've spoken to folks at JT and Trak and they were both very helpful though I did not realise when I started how much there is to learn. My existing bike weighs about 72kgs and does not do hills.
Have also looked at Merida and Felt F5. I wanted to keep it under $2k as I have just started and am trying to avoid my lovely wife beating me with a stick. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
When you tell your wife that you have just spent thousands more than budget, tell her by SMS. That way you can avoid that stick, ( until you get home :)
Keep your pancreas, you need it.
I am riding a 2011 model Merida Scultura Evo 904 at the moment and I absolutely love it. Mine is a 60cm frame (XL) and weights 8.8kg.
The 2011 model has a full Shimano 105 groupset which gives it an edge over the new 2012 model because that only has a couple of Shimano 105 components whilst the rest are no name brands.
When the 2011 was considered the latest model it costed around $2800 but I picked mine up in December for $2000 and about a month or two ago I saw them advertised for $1800.
It's a fantastic bike but the Giant TCR for that price is great value for money but whatever you personally feel most comfortable on is usually the best option. Good luck!
Ask anybody who has diabetes if you need your pancreas.
If you want to do hills and are only of average fitness consider a triple on the front.
Where do you think your riding will take you in the next few years?
Would sitting down and writing a list of what you want and what you hate about the "clunker" be a useful exercise?
Making the list can force you to consider the compromise you will probably be forced to make.
For instance you may want a light bike but this may come at the sacrifice of robustness.
Skinny road tires are easier to go fast on but are less stable.
If you carry some gear for your commute some sort of rack may be nice however if following the rules is important I would imagine racks would be sacrilege.
existing bike weights about 72 kgs? or 7.2kgs?
I get the Giant with Ultegra - better groupset over 105
+1. Plus the TCR frames are pretty good value.
I'd go for one with Ultegra as well. People say you can upgrade your groupset but if you are on a tight budget this is not realistic anyway, so your better off with good components straight up. And like someone else said, pedals, computer, helmet, lights, knicks all makes the costs soar over your initial budget.
definitely over capitalize than under capitalize! worst thing you can do it get something and wish you spent the extra couple of $ and got what you needed...not wanted...NEEDED (remember that when talking the Minster for Finance after you buy it)
if it is within budget go for the Ultegra. i have got 105 and it is fine for what i use it for but i keep telling my wife i NEED Di2 but she just glazes over and talks about something else =-)