How good - or bad - are entry level road bikes these days?
As I've stated on another thread, I'm coming back to cycling after a year or two absence. A while back I sold my Specialized Roubaix, which was a wonderful bike. As I recall, it had 105 components, some carbon-fiber inserts, and was WHITE. :love:
Anyway, I need a new bike, and my first test drive was the Surly Long Haul Trucker, which I enjoyed on the very brief, sandle-becladded test ride. As I'm considering my options, I'm concerned that this bike, while terrific for what it's meant to be - a tourer, may in fact disappoint me in the long run, since, for the most part, I'll be simply a recreational road rider.
I'd buy another similar bike like the Roubaix, but the Ugly Reality of budget has a say in this decision. I've begun scouring the bike sites looking at Trek, Giant, Specialized, etc. at their entry level road bikes.
The LHT retails for about $1,250 and that's within my budget. My question is - if I opt for a low-end road bike, given my experience and memories of the Roubaix, will I be disappointed with the components - or, has everything gotten just a bit better since I left the scene?
I'm thinking I could start with a Trek 1.2, for example, and upgrade components down stream, so to speak. OTOH, I don't want to buy a bike and start regretting my decision right away, and The Budget doesn't show signs of an inheritance in my immediate future. :notamused:
I've also visited Craigslist, but that's such a catch-as-catch can, and frankly, I don't want to ride someone else's bike - unless it's one they bought and never used and is "like new" (and of course, getting the proper size on Craigslist is never easy).
So, your thoughts?