Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: NE Central Iowa
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FWIW, I do my own oil changes and intend to do as much service as I can in my garage. If I need any complicated service done, it will certainly go to a bike shop. Some of us have to buy only what we can afford. Hardrock goes on sale at Scheel's, but not the Specialized dealer, so I can only afford it from Scheel's. Yep, for me that $60 makes a big difference.
There is a Specialized dealer in Cedar Falls, but they aren't on our list of companies to get gift cards from - too far away (although I did visit and was very impressed - Bike Tech was the name). I thought about getting a Trek, but the 820/3700 was the only thing in my price range at the LBS. Then Scheel's put the Hardrock on sale, I test rode both bikes, and decided to get the Hardrock.
What bike shop are you speaking of when you say the most experienced in the country? I've heard good things about Mike's Bikes in Marshalltown (the Trek dealer), which is where I test rode the 820.
Also, Go Cyclones.