I am about 265lbs and looking for a nice road bike. i currently ride a Trek '93 1100. I was looking into the CAAD9 4 and the Giant Defy Alliance. I am 5'11" with a 31" inseam. Any thoughts on those bikes? 105 vs SRAM?
Suggest you test-ride both component groups before making a decision. I switched from Ultegra SL to SRAM Red this year and haven't regretted it. Love the ergonomics of the SRAM levers much better than Shimano (though I haven't tried DuraAce 7900 nor Ultegra 6700), love DoubleTap, and love the speed of shifts. That said, SRAM shifts are decidedly more noisy and less smooth than Shimano. If you value performance, go with SRAM. If you value smoothness and silence, go with Shimano.
From my research (keep in mind it's just research, as I'm still pretty new to all of this), I think the geometry of the CAAD9 frame is much more aggressive than the Giant Defy, which is meant to keep you in a more upright and "comfortable" riding position. It would also depend on whether you want an all aluminum frame, or the composite/aluminum mix of the Alliance frame. I'm about 265 lbs pounds as well, and I feel like I'd be more comfortable riding alluminum...just for MY own peace of mind, but then again, there are many people on here that ride carbon and have no issues at all. Keeping up your research, and more importantly, trying to ride some of the bikes you're interested in will help you determine what you're more comfortable with. Either way...good luck!
If you have realtively little experience with either group you can't lose. If you have some experience with Shimano you will notice a difference between it and SRAM. Whether you like the difference is purely a personal choice.
143, I am 6' 275 and I ride a Ridley Excalibur, with Sram rival components (on sale right now on Competitivecyclist.com for $2400). It came with a Fizik Aliante seat (the best I have ever had); my last bike had a Fizik Arione and it was so bad I couldn't sell it without feeling guilty. The wheels are Fulcum 7 with Michelin Lithium tires-- not 1 flat in a year and a half (knock on wood). The best investment I have ever made-- the same set up is the one they have on their website on sale. I rode a Javelin Cyclecross bike that I put road tires on and would average 15 mph and now I average close to 18mph-- great uphills, great on the flats-- and solid on the descent-- i have not felt the bike flex and the wheels have stayed true
I plan on riding the first three tomorrow. I'm still debating between carbon and a mixed frame. Any opinions. One thing I did notice it that all of these are much lighter than my bike.
I spoke to my friend who sells Trek Madone's in his shop, he said to wait for the 2010 Madones since Trek has priced this bike with better parts and to coincide with the tough economy. He said that you'll get a lot of bike for your money by waiting for the 2010 product line.