I asked this in the road forum, but I'm thinking that maybe over here people might have some different thoughts. I've got a choice between 3 bikes. I added the specs below.
I will use this bike for solo and group riding. I hope to regain some of the speed that I used to have, but am realistic enough to accept that touring is more likely than racing. The reason for shopping for a new bike is that I've decided that my old one is just not suitable for the riding I'll be doing.
I rode the Fuji Team on Sunday and it seemed nice. Haven't ridden the other two, but I think they will also ride nice.
If I buy from Performance, I'll get lifetime tuneups. However, I can do my own wrenching, and carting the bike up to the store will actually take more time than just fixing small things. If I do buy from Performance, I envision maybe taking it in for occasional tuneups, but I'll do most everything on my own. Doing the final assembly, and even some disassembly and reassembly, on the the Mercier from BD doesn't worry me, I've done plenty of repairs on cars, bikes, the radio control boats I race, and radio control planes I fly.
I've done lots of reading on compacts versus triples. The place I live is what I'd call hilly. There are many little feeder streams that run into rivers, or the lake that was made by damming up the rivers. These streams created lots of nice little valleys that I can't avoid no matter which way I go. The gearing on my current bike is too high, even with a 28 on the back, for many of the hills. Perhaps when I lose 50 pounds and get in better shape, it'll be better, but I don't want to blow out my knees trying to get there. On the downhills I end up in the big ring and the smaller cogs. When I actually get to ride on a flat, I can easily hit 18-20 already, and in a few weeks, I'm sure I'll be cruising over 20. From what I've read about compacts, the combination of uphills, downhills, and flats that I currently ride on will result in a significant amount of shifting on the front rings. The reason this matters is the two bikes from Performance are compacts, but the one from BD is a triple. I've just about convinced myself that I'd be happier with a triple.
The Fuji has a carbon frame, which is supposed to provide a good ride. The Tirreno has carbon in the seat stays and chain stays, which seems to be a decent compromise. The Mercier has a steel frame that's supposed to be durable, easier to repair than the others, and has a weight of around 19 lbs, which is in the same range as the others. Lots of people seem to really like their steel frames.
The lowest price is the Tirreno from Performance. For under $900 I can get mostly Ultegra with a few other things mixed in. The Fuji and Mercier end up at about the same price when I figure discounts, taxes, etc. The Fuji seems to come with slightly lower components than the other Tirreno while the Mercier looks to be supplied with the best quality components.
The Scottish side of me says go with the Tirreno. It's got good components and has the best price. Many people have already said to go with the Fuji because it's got the carbon frame and Fuji makes good bikes. The Mercier has the advantage of being a triple and having the best components, but I wouldn't get the free tuneups (some value even though I do most on my own), would be dealing with someone out of town, and is essentially just a name from olden days that's been stuck on a new frame.
So, having said all that, does anyone have any suggestions to help me decide?
Here are the specs:
Tirreno Razza 1000 (net around $882 from local Performance store)
Frame: 7005 Aluminum w/ Carbon seatstays/chainstays
Fork: Carbon blade w/ Alloy steerer
Headset: FSA Orbit IS-2, 1 1/8” Integrated
Crankset: FSA Gossamer Mega Exo Carbon Pro Compact, 34/50T
Bottom Bracket: FSA Mega Exo
Shifters: Shimano Ultegra STI 10-speed Double
Levers: Shimano Ultegra STI 10-speed
Handlebar: PZ Racing Carbon, Anatomic Flat Top, 31.8mm clamp
Stem: PZ Racing Carbon, 31.8mm clamp
Front Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra, Double, 31.8mm clamp
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra, 10-speed
Cassette: Shimano 105, 11/23T, 10-speed
Brakes: Cane Creek SCR-5
Wheelset: Velomax Vista
Tires: Hutchinson Top Speed, 700 x 23C
Pedals: Not Included
Seatpost: Carbon/Alloy, 27.2mm x 300mm
Saddle: Selle Italia XO Trans Am Special Edition
Chain: KMC DX10S
Grips/Tape: Cork w/ Gel
Mercier Serpens from Bikes Direct: ($1295 shipped)
Frame Reynolds 853 double-butted High Grade Air Hardened Steel
Fork Reynolds Ouzo Comp Carbon Fiber / Aluminum Steerer
Headset FSA 36deg Sealed Cartridge Bearing for Threadless
Crankset Shimano NEW 30 speed Ultegra 6600 52/39/30T
Bottom Bracket Shimano NEW 30 speed Ultegra 6600 Triple Integrated with Crankset
Front Derailleur Shimano NEW 30 speed Ultegra 6600 Triple
Rear Derailleur Shimano NEW 30 speed Ultegra 6600 Triple
Shifters Shimano NEW 30 speed Ultegra 6600 STI (Flight Deck Compatible)
Cassette/Freewheel Shimano NEW 10 speed Ultegra 6600 12-23T
Chain Shimano NEW 10 speed Ultegra 6600
Hubs Ritchey Pro Aero Black anodized, sealed precision bearings
Rims Ritchey OCR Aero Pro, black anodized with machined braking surface
Tires Kenda Racing Kontender Lite 700x23c
Brakes Shimano NEW 30 speed Ultegra 6600
Brake Levers Shimano NEW 30 speed Ultegra 6600 STI
Handlebar Ritchey BioMax Ergo Butted Aluminum 6061
Stem Ritchey Threadless
Tape/Grip Deluxe Cork
Saddle Turbo Style Velo Racing
Seat Post Ritchey Comp 27.2mm
Seat Clamp Mercier SL Machined Aluminum
Fuji Team ($1299 minus 10% club back available at local Performance store)
Specs attached, couldn't find them in text format.