I have kind of narrowed my choice down to these two bikes. I don't ride off road and don't plan to. I want a sturdy commuter bike (I'm a big guy...290) that is tough with some speed. I test rode the 2007TriCross Comp a couple days ago and aside from some moderate left outer knee pain (new shoes, cleats, pedals....no wonder) it rode very nice. The paint job is just weird. They gave it an intentional 'distressed' look....like the paint had literally been scratched off or rubbed off in various places. When I first saw it I was like, 'What did they do to this new bike? They really banged this thing up." When I was checking it out and rubbing the spots the mechanics in the shop said, "Yeah...that freaked us out too until we called Specialized and they said it was designed that way." To my mind that's just some dudes (the designers) with either too much time on their hands or trying to be too cool. I told the guys at the shop today that if I was a causal customer and I saw that bike I would probably just pass on that bike thinking it was way too high priced for a beat up model. They said that the reactions by the customers were split between "I hate it...what a stupid idea," to "this design rocks!" To each their own. I also am not a big fan of a bike that looks like it has been majorly scratched/damaged, but I can get over that based on the bikes performance and components.
I am going to test ride the Trek Portland and besides seeing it on a website, a label of "commuter bike," disc brakes, and nice components I don't know anything else about it. What I found interesting about this bike is that most bikes I have seen (in my price range) have mostly Shimano 105 components but with a rear derailer that is Shimano Ultegra. But on the Portland....it has 105 everything except for the FRONT derailer which is Ultegra. Pretty strange. Not sure what that's about.
Sooooo.....does anyone on here have a 2007 version of either that they have been riding recently or last years model? I'd like the hear about each. To my mind I have narrowed the search down to these two and want some information from owners to see what they think. Thanks.