I would appreciate some feedback on this burning question. They both seem like nice bikes. Is the 7700 worth the additional ~$400? My LBS is selling their last 2004 model 7700 for $1029, which is $120 below MSRP. That seems like a pretty good deal to me.
I know "worth" is subjective, but is the jump in quality that noticeable? Help me out here -- I'm trying to justify this purchase. LOL
I think you would be happy with the 7700. I have a 7700 and I like it alot. Mine is a 2000 model, but is in new condition. I bought it used with 50 miles on it (according to the seller and I believe him). that said, however, I can't comment on the 7500 since I have never ridden it. But as I see many times in this forum, it goes back to what kind of riding you do. I would say that I'm not sure that $400 worth of "more bike" can be that noticeable.
OK let's break this down a bit with the 7700 you're getting a better drivetrain (shifters, front and rear dérailleur), a 9 speed set up over an 8 speed, better lighter wheels, a lighter version of the fork. You're also getting clipless pedals which if you use them are a wonderful thing but can easily be ebayed away in favor of a set of platforms. You're essentially comparing a Buick to a Cadillac. The Buick is a wonderful car it has a lot of the whistles and bells of the Caddy, but it's still not a Caddy.