I've been commuting for the past 6 months an an old Trek 1000 entry-level road bike, and I'm looking for something different (mainly something that can take wider tires). I've been looking at bikes on BD, and I have a few options I'm considering:
I'm planning on checking Boston-area LBSes for used, too. I mainly use my bike for getting around, but sometimes I just want to go for a longer ride - there's nothing like a good ride in the sun, rain, snow, whatever for de-stressing and feeling free. I also have dreams of (maybe!) doing some light (2-3 day) touring.
I feel like I know how to decide between different kinds of frames or different brakes, but I don't think I know how to analyze how much to pay for better components. What is the biggest difference? As far as I can tell, it's just weight and maybe shifting smoothness. On my current bike, which has old Sora components, I have no complaints about braking or shifting - I had to fiddle a lot with the rear derailleur and indexing when I first got the bike (in terrible condition), but now it works great.
And honestly, it doesn't seem like 3 or 4 pounds will make much difference - my current bike is probably about 26 or 27 with fenders, saddle bag, lights, so that's maybe 200 pounds including my laptop or school supplies or whatever. Even if I were just going for a ride unloaded, I weigh a lot.
I'm sure this question has been asked before. But I want to get my own answers.