Well, I decided to go test ride some road bikes today, to see what the fuss is all about. Holy derailleur, Batman! I was blown away.
First up, I rode a Specialized Roubaix Comp Triple and had my mind blown away. It was amazing! Light, nimble, responsive, fast, quiet, just fantastic. That said, I had immediate issues with my hands (it was hard squeezing the brakes from the drop bars as opposed to flat bars), with my back (I have lower back issues), and with my neck (from having to look "up" more).
Then, I rode a Cannondale R800 and liked it even more. But it may have been a better fit off the shelf. I loved shifting with the Shimano 105s although it was tricky for me.
Came back into the store, and they had reversed the stem on the Roubaix to put me into a more upright position. Viola! Man, it was SWEET!
I now realize what all the hullabaloo is about regarding saddle comfort, hand pain, etc. A road bike will mean a LOT of adjustments and getting used to some things.
Then the downside. The particular Roubaix was $2,300. The Cannondale was $1,250. The Roubaix was a lot of carbon, the Cannondale was a lot of aluminum. There is a Roubaix with the same geometry in aluminum for $1,300.
So the journey to find a road bike begins. I'm in no rush. I have to try steel as well. And a lot of other brands. But I can see why they're so compelling!
It's going to be harder to climb back on my Trek 3900 MTB now. Thanks a lot, guys! It's all your fault!