Great info, interview the bike shops because that is what you are really buying. Service, tune ups, advice, repairs, warranty, etc.
Fit, make sure the LBS will get it right. Will they swap a saddle or stem? All those bikes are pretty much the same in the components but design and size might get one maker an advantage to get you a better fit.
I can definitely vouch for Specialized...I have the Tricross Double and have been very happy with it and believe it is a bike that will go the distance. My intention was to buy a bike that I would not grow out of...and I'm pleased to say I believe I accomplished that. The fellow at the LBS rode this same bike and I test rode it, figured if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me.
I speak as a distance road rider as that is the kind of cycling I love to do and look forward to some cross-state journeys, etc.
There may come a day when I might want to buy an additional bike, but I believe I'll always keep this one on hand.
I have read up on Specialized and they seem to stay on the cutting edge of cycling developments and are always refining their products.
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Great post by SCRUFYNERFHERDR. I'd like to add Giant to the list of brands to check out. Make SURE the bike fits you. That's the key here. You ain't comfy, you ain't happy... No matter how much you save. I believe that Giant provides better level of components, dollar for dollar. There are others as well.
Budgets are a double-edged sword. They can confine your prospects but also rein you in from unnecessary overspending.
If the price seems fair and just to you and, more importantly, the bike seems to be the perfect fit for you, by all means make that investment. But do make absolutely certain that this is the bike you want\need. Granted $600 isn't $6,000 but money is money no matter how you spend it. And there's no point in spending it twice. If this bike fails to meet your expectations in any way, unless you can sell it to someone else, that's exactly what you may find you have to do to get the bike you originally wanted to begin with and that'll make an additional purchase most unwelcome.
What I recommend doing is Googling ''Trek 1.1 problems'' and see what others have to say negative about the bike (I got 1,900,000 hits). I'd also recommend Googling ''Trek 1.1 reviews'' (I got 10,100,000 hits) and see what both sides, pro and con, have to say. And *always* weigh anything anyone has to say against what you either know, believe or suspect.
Many Trek stores will let you test ride a bike (up to a certain line). Our local Trek store stops those free test rides at the 5-series (I think). Also consider a Specialized bike. To be honest, I wish I'd have looked at the Specialized line before I bought my Trek. I think I could have spent half the money and gotten very close to the same quality bike\ride - maybe or maybe not. It's a moot point now.
The point is, definitely do your homework, ask, ask, ASK around. Bother, harrass and pester bike mechanics, enthusiasts, novices and anyone you can about not only what you are looking to invest in but also what they have, why they like\hate it and what they'd recommend or do differently if they could do it over again. Make a physical list of pros and cons for the contenders and then make your investment. I think you'll find all of that hard work will most assuredly pay off with each seamless pedal stroke.
I'm new to cycling and looking to get a road bike thats not too much. My local bike store is selling a Trek 1.1 for $600 so I'm saving my money for it. What I want to know is this a good bike to get? I currently own a Trek Navigator 200 and never had any problems with it so I was thinking of staying with Trek. Next year I plan on riding in the Police Unity Tour need to build myself up to that ride. Any advice to a new rider is welcome.
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