I recently sold my geared road bike and have been spending pretty much every waking minute since then trying to figure out what I was going to replace her with. I’ve literally spent hours talking to bike shop people, surfing the web, reading reviews, riding bikes and generally obsessing over this upcoming purchase.
After all of this research and shopping, I’ve come to the conclusion that just about any of the new carbon fiber rocket ships available today will be an improvement over my previous bike and likewise, any limitations that will come about on my rides will be more about my ability than any bike that I happen to be riding.
In the end, I had narrowed it down to 3 or 4 different bikes all of which were similar in that they were all from the performance/comfort category. Specialized has the Roubaix, Cannondale has the Synapse and Giant has the Defy Advanced. They’re all very similar as far as comfort and spec and each manufacturer has an offering at various budget levels.
With this being the case, and with margins being so tight that most all the dealers had pretty much the same offers, it really came down to which dealer I was most comfortable working with.
It turns out that Chris at Eden Bicycles in Castro Valley was by far the most helpful and most tolerant of my constant questions and emails. It was pretty obvious he understood what I was looking for and wanted to help me make the right purchase decision.
Of course, by the time I finally analyzed the decision to death and was ready to pull the trigger, the bike I wanted wasn’t available any longer and wouldn’t be for another month. It was here that working with a local bike shop, and a generally good guy, really paid off.
I had decided on the Defy Advanced 3 which is the lower spec’d bike. But since they all share the same frame, it was a good base to start from and upgrade later. It turns out that the Advanced 3 wasn’t available. So, I looked into the Advanced 2. A little more than my budget, but by now I was emotionally invested in this bike and wasn’t giving up.
Nope, that one’s not available either. So, what Chris is going to do for me is to order the Defy Advanced 0 (the top of the line model) remove some of the components and re-build the bike with components that will allow me to get the bike I want at a price that fits my budget. (which has only gone up slightly since I started this search)
The other cool thing I found out was that the Advanced 0 is the only frame in the Advanced line that has a full carbon steerer and not the aluminum one on all the other Advanced models. (another bonus!!)
I’m totally stoked about the new bike and can’t wait till he gets it in and starts building it up. Pretty sure with the short week, it won’t be this week, but that’s ok. I’m a very patient person – ok, that’s a total lie. I’m not at all patient and this waiting is driving me insane!!!!