Alright, I've had my eyes on a new road bike now (for well over a year), and it looks like it's gonna happen in the next two-three weeks.
My wife gave me the green light to purchase whatever road bike I wanted (several months ago), provided that the savings account is not affected. In other words, I had to sell some of my stuff laying around the house, to fund my bike purchase. Can't complain, she's being practical: sell unused items for usable items.
Anyhow, after going through and listing old gadgets, electronics, books etc on Craigslist... fielding phone calls, emails, and making transactions. There is exactly $1,312 in my bike fund. This has taken me almost a month to scrape together (and don't have much left to sell).
I'd really like to get a Specialized Tarmac. Test rode one at the Sea Otter Classic and loved it. Also, the crew I've been commuting in with, ride a nice mixture of Italian and US Carbon and Aluminum road bikes. It's rubbed off on me, and would like to have the same aero advantage that they do (plus a second bike). I've also always wanted to ride a carbon bike (the inner geek), so this is a good opportunity.
So, which model do go for?
Tarmac Elite Mid Compact ($2100) or the Tarmac Sport Mid Compact ($1800).
Both are Shimano 105 equipped. The Elite has better wheels, bars and 105 brakes... While the Sport has Axis brakes and shallow drop bars.
Is it worth the extra $300 for the Elite?
This is a really big purchase for me, and the first new bike (always buy used) ever. Really looking forward to this, but want to make the best decision for the long term. I know many of you would prefer aluminum or steel, but this is probably the only chance that I'll have to go "all out" and get what I want.
Should have enough items sold around the house to purchase the Sport model shortly, however the Elite will take a good bit longer.
Looking forward to your input.