Hello everyone. I'm new to the forums here. I've looked around before while trying to find some information, but I've only recently actually become a registered member. I posted in the "Introduction" forum and was recommended to come here with some questions. Here's my story...
After graduating college and gaining some weight (I'm 6'5 and currently weight about 265 lbs), I decided to start going for long walks and even try to run sometimes. I loved running even though I only ran a mile or two 4-5 times a week. I wasn't a "runner", but I just liked the feeling. I've had knee problems for most of my life and this made it worse and eventually I realized that I should probably stop. Now I've decided that I definitely need to do something to get into better shape and cycling seemed to be the best option. I live in central PA, so there is no shortage of long, paved, country roads.
I was torn between a hybrid or road bike for my first bike. I started leaning toward a road bike and tried a couple Cannondale CAAD 9s (58cm and 60 cm) and a Scott Speedster S30 (58cm). The smaller Cannondale felt too "cramped" and the larger one felt slightly too "aggressive" for me. The Scott felt great, but I wasn't ready to commit to it at that point. Then I found a dealer closer to where I live that came highly recommended. They sell Trek, Giant, and Masi bikes. I started considering hybrids again and when I was at this new store, I ended up leaving with a Giant FCR 2. At the time I felt like I'd have a better chance of getting more into cycling on a bike that I felt more comfortable on. I also figured since it was less money, that I'd get a better idea of what I wanted and if I'd get that into cycling before spending more money on a better bike.
After riding for about a month or so, I really love it. I'm not looking to race competitively...mostly I just want to get in shape, stay in shape, and have fun doing it. Now I'm to the point where I really think that I want an actual road bike. I like my Giant FCR, but I think I want something slightly more aggressive...but not the point like the CAAD 9. The upright position on my current bike makes it real easy to stop pedaling so much, and as a tall/big guy, I feel like I don't keep my spine as straight as I would on a road bike where I'd be bending more at the hips.
Anyway, the LBS that I go to and want to continue to support deals specifically with Trek, Giant, and Masi (although they don't keep Masi bikes in stock). My current thoughts on a new road bike are:
Giant TCR Alliance 1
Masi Scpeciale 105
I have some thoughts on pros and cons of each bike, but all in all, I'm leaning toward the Giant TCR. I'm just nervous about the carbon parts of the frame...especially with my size and weight, and especially on the back end of the bike.
Anyone have any thoughts? I'll certainly be doing some more research on my own, but I wanted to introduce myself and see if anyone could give some initial advice.