Took the Speed D7 out for a real spin - 12 miles or so. Soon as I was out of the parking lot I lost the "it's smaller" sensation and really enjoyed how its teensy tinesy wheels squirted out from intersections. It cranked so nicely over the overpass... It was happy charging into the wind.
Everything was peachy until I turned for the last three miles home... with the wind. That sixth and seventh gear were just like the tippy top gears in the middle chain ring... making the same funky clatterings and making me long to shift into the Carne Grande. There was also an extra vibration at maximum load. My LBS guy said that yes, they'd noticed that the jockey wheel and chain were doing that... and that some of the entry level hybrids they had did the same thing, and surmised that it would wear into place.
I got back and asked "where's the *big* chain ring?" and we went to SHeldon Brown's website to discern gear inches and that, in fact, I had many fewer inches than the 7500 FX. We looked at bigger chain ring effects... and then I remembered that I wouldn't mind higher RPM if I had toe clips, so we talked about trying to do that. (I don't have clipless because I'm cheap and forgetful; it would seem a bad idea to add something to remember when I'm traveling especially since I don't have the habit, and I'd get kinda annoyed if I had the floggin' bike and couldn't ride it 'cause I forgot the shoes.0
What it boils down to, though, is how much would a better bike be worth? OUt on the open road... I wanted POWer. I wouldn't have cared in town... welp, except what I didn't like at all was that the high gear didn't seem happy to be there. It seemed to help to twist the grip past the click point. Must email accordingly.
So. I like the bike lots and lots... and it could be a nice "fling" bike ... but maybe I want something a little more serious