I spent a good deal of time reading on here before buying my bike, and I thought I'd do a writeup to give back to the community. I especially wanted to help new riders like myself, in case they were interested in the same bike.
Once I rode this bike, I knew it was the one. The Giant Escape 0 and Cannondale Quick 3 were very strong runners up, but the Sirrus Comp was closer to where I wanted to be.
One thing I don't understand is why most bike manufacturers won't post weights online. This kind of drives me nuts. Stock from the factory with nothing more than the water bottle holder, my bike weighed in at 23.1 pounds. It's size large. For reference, my wife's XS size Giant Escape 2 is 4.5 pounds heavier. My 6 year old daughter's 20" Schwinn cruiser from Target is a full 7 pounds heavier.
I mentioned in another thread that the only thing I really didn't like about this bike was the saddle. I haven't ridden in years, but with only 3 miles on the first day, my sit bones were in protest. Seat adjustments didn't help after the first day, so I bought padded shorts. They helped a little, but after 5.5 miles on the first day, I was still in a lot of pain, especially later that evening. I rode 7 miles today, and pulled the saddle.
I was in search of something more comfortable, and read some reviews on here about the Serfas lycra dual density saddle. I was a little disappointed when I got to REI, because it looked gigantic compared to the stocker. I realize comfort trumps aesthetics, and that extra pound and a big funny saddle would probably allow me to ride longer. I explained my plight to one of the REI guys, and told him I'd like to work my way up to 15 miles within the next month or so (I'm really out of shape). He said that the dual density might not be the best choice if my rides get much longer than that, and recommended the Respiro athletic, which is also a gel seat, but maybe a better balance.
My bike was set up and I was fitted to it, but I had a rear brake squeal that would wake up the dead from higher speed stops. My neighbor heard it, and after he told me he worked at a bike shop in CO, he told me how to angle the pads to take it away. I went home, and after a few moments with an allen wrench, the squeal was completely gone!
I rode a few miles this afternoon with the new saddle, but am unsure if it is really any better.
I'll report back soon, as I intend to update this thread about the bike. I got a little bit of hand numbness after the longer rides, so gloves may be in order next.
Thanks for reading my thread, here's some pics of the bike: