I am a newbie to the forum. I just bought a new Giant Fastroad SLR 1 and I really like it. This particular forum seems to be dominated by Specialized and Trek (both great brands) discussions. I thought I might try to add a voice for Giant.
I casually starting looking for a new bike last January. I snowmobile during the winter so I was in no great hurry to pick up a new bike knowing I could not ride it until April. I decided I wanted a flat bar road bike with disc brakes and composite forks that was biased towards road riding. I have a 2002 Jamis Tangier that works just fine on trails. During my search, I looked at Giant, Specialized, Trek, Raliegh, Surly, Felt, Jamis, Cannondale and Fuji (boy do I have a doozy of a Fuji story). I was focusing around the $1,000 price range but I was prepared to go a touch higher.
I narrowed things down to the Sirrus Comp Disc and Fastroad SLR 1 primarily because I liked them the best and they both were readily available in my area. I settled on the Fastroad SLR 1 for four reasons:
1. The Giant was roughly $100 less than the Specialized yet the running gear was EXTREMELY comparable.
2. I thought the Giant frame was more "trick" and exotic looking. It looked to me like the Giant simply had more technology and new thinking in the frame.
3. I liked that the Giant ran all of the cables inside frame the tube. I noticed the Comp Disc still had one cable outside the tube and I didn't like the design.
4. I liked the color scheme on the Giant.
If I learned anything during my search, there are TONS of great bikes out there and competition is fierce. People can buy a helluva bike for $400 (or less). It's a good time to be a bike buyer and bike rider!!!