I have been lurking for awhile and reading a ton of info on the forum. This is a fantastic site with lots of good info and advice.
I am new to "hard core" road cycling. I currently ride an '04 Cannondale Adventure 400 that I use for commuting to work and general cruising around (added a rear rack & panniers, fenders and lights. Definitely not going to set any speed records on this thing). I want to up the ante a bit and start going on some longer rides. In addition, I am riding in the PMC (Pan-Mass Challenge) in August and the Cannondale is not going to cut it.
After reading all of the posts in the "under $700 roadbike" thread, I started to get an idea of what I am looking for. I like the idea of a steel frame (in high school, rode an old Peugot from the 70's that me and the old man rebuilt from the ground up. Great bike, still have it, will probably reincarnate as a single speed).
So to make a long story short, I went down to the local LBS to take a look at the Bianchi Strada. They didn't have any on hand but they did have an Eros. Absolutely beautiful. On closeout for $700 and it is in my size (or so I think, I didn't get to ride it because it was pouring down rain outside. Going back in a few days to take it for a spin). Anyways, I get back home and look up on the Bianchi site to get the specs. After doing a little detective work, it turns out is a 2001 model!!!! How does a bike sit around in a shop for 5 years without selling? Seems a bit suspicious to me. Is $700 too much (original retail was $1100 back in '01), or should I try and talk the guy down to $600 (or lower). Or just walk away and stick with the original plan of looking at the Strada?
Sorry for the long post. Any and all input is greatly appreciated.