How much "worse" are these than Sora brifters? Wife and I went to a bike shop today, and really liked the sales woman, so we are going back when they get the Specialized Sequioa in my wife's size so she can take it for a spin. Me, while I liked the look (and price) of the Trek 1000, the Trek 1.2 I sat on felt pretty good. I was giving the Treks a bit of a nod over the Specialized (for myself, not her) as they had more clearance for fenders--I plan to ride more often than her, and if I upgrade next year, this would become a rain bike.
Anyhow, wasn't until I got home that I found out that the 1.2 uses 2203 brifters instead of Sora. I'm pretty sure that Sora will work just fine for me; but 2203? I'm planning on 2k miles this summer. I really don't want to go past the $900 mark, and I am specifically after a beginner's bike.
[The 1.2 has a higher head tube than the 1000. That, and the closest 1000 was 2cm smaller than what I *think* I want. Sitting on both the Specialized Allez and the Trek 1.2 gave me good feelings; am waiting for some trial rides; but the Specialized has almost nil for fender clearance.]