Join Date: Jun 2014
Bikes: Specialized Sirrus Elite
I bought a new Specialized Sirrus Elite last August, moving up from a 10?-year-old Sirrus hybrid with carbon front forks. I was pretty surprised to find that I ended up spending another $1000 to get this bike set up the way I wanted it. I am 6'2" with a 32" inseam, and I ended up with an XL frame. The stock 2x10 gearing included a front big gear with 50 teeth, which was just not tall enough. I want to be able to accelerate on a downhill. Specialized is only too happy to offer alternate front gears; I ended up with their biggest available, at 53 teeth. This of course means a longer chain, which in turn means the smaller front gear had to be swapped out. Ka-ching! The stock seat sucked, and Specialized has a lovely selection of optional seats. I ended up with the women's narrow gel model -- the men's gel model was too wide for my butt. Ka-ching! My old rear rack and fitted pack can't be used on a carbon bike -- WTF? I had to switch to a post-mounted system, which in turn meant replacing my carbon post with a Thomson steel post. Ka-ching! The hardest thing to accomplish was, to get the handlebar angle just right. I finally got the right set of shims in place when the bike was tuned up this spring.
So after all this, how does it ride? I am really very pleased with the SRAM 2x10 gearing. Unless I am going uphill, I am in the higher front gear and can get by with shifting only the rear derailleur. The hardest thing to get used to was the change in hand position. My old bike had a drop bar with a second set of brake levers on the crossbar. I rode with my hands on the crossbar brake levers/shifters, in a vertical position. Now I grasp the crossbar when I ride, and my hands are in a horizontal position. It feels natural now, but it has taken me months to get used to it. The carbon frame seems to have a little give to it, so when I go over bumps it's not quite as jarring as with my old aluminum hybrid. The bike feels like it fits me better, and it seems somehow easier to ride fast. I don't think I am any faster, but I think I can ride fast longer, if that makes any sense.
All in all, I think it's a beautiful bike and definitely worth the money. If you buy a bike in this price range, I recommend you find a bike shop that sells a lot of high-end bikes. You know what the bike should feel like when it's set up correctly, but you won't know how to get it there, and your salesman won't either unless he's done this before.
FWIW, this is my commuter bike, May - October. I ride 5 miles to the LRT, then take the LRT to my office building. On my way home, I ride 15 miles along a lovely urban creek, then around a couple of lakes. The scenic route.
Last edited by DaveTMpls; 06-28-14 at 02:26 PM.
Reason: edited to clean up typos