My names Jeff and I'm a 6 foot tall, 288 pound (130kg) cycling newbie. I'm 31 years old, married and I'm the father of two, soon to be three children. Money is very tight and buying a bike may not be the best idea for us but I have to do something for my health that will help me lose weight and will keep my attention. I've been trying bikes at three local bike stores and I the first thing I can tell you is that I did not like the Trek bikes in my price range so they are out. They just weren't comfortable. Tonight I tried a 2010 Specialized Allez which featured Shimano 2300 components for $679.00 and a 2009 Fuji Newest 2.0 outfitted with Sora/Tiagra for $739.00. Both of them were 58cm bikes and both of them are within the amount of money I'm able to spend from my tax return without risking my wife having a stroke.
Things I liked about the Fuji:
- Very padded, comfortable saddle.
- Slightly more relaxed riding position.
- Felt a little more stable when pedaling while standing vs. the Specialized.
Things I disliked about the Fuji:
- Shifting felt sloppy.
- Components felt cheap despite being sora/tiagra.
Things I liked about the Specialized:
- Faster acceleration.
- Shifting was light and crisp despite having Shimano 2300 vs. the Sora/Tiagra of the Fuji.
- Handling was responsive and exciting.
Things I disliked about the Specialized:
- The saddle, while still relatively comfortable, was noticeably less so than the Fuji.
With regards to the sloppier feel of the shifting on the Fuji, I should point out that the store clerk said that the shifting was off after examining the bike. Unfortunately, I had to leave before I could re-test it. I am returning on Saturday to re-test both of these bikes.
My reason for making this post is simply to ask anyone who reads this with any insight into these bikes, other bikes they'd recommend, anecdotes about things people have told them about these or other bikes or anything else they think would be valuable to me in my search for health and happiness to please take a moment and offer me a word.
Thanks in advance for your time.