Sick ... again
Giant TCR vs. Specialized Allez Comp?
In my seemingly never-ending quest to buy a new bike, I've decided to take it a bit slower and really spend the maximum amount of time I need before buying. Given that I live in the Chicagoland area, there isn't too much outdoor riding to be had right now anyway!
Getting to the point ... one of my local LBS carries, Giant, Felt, and Specialized. I went in the other day to take a look at the Giant TCR Alloy. The owner was quite definite in trying to stear me towards the Specialized Allez Comp in the same price range (bit more for the Specialized). He sells both bikes, so I don't see a conflict of interest per se, and it has to be said that the Specialized comes fully loaded with full Ultegra and Ksyrium wheels(http://www.specialized.com/SBCBkMode...4tb86w7.j27005). I do know a bit about the Giant bike and have already looked at the Cannondale R800, which I liked as well. Does anyone have any experience with the Specialized? Ultimately, it'll come down to the test rides, but it's always nice to hear some first-hand remarks. On "paper" I'm liking the look and value of the Specialized.
Last year I went through the exact same decision. I was leaning towards the Specialized (for one because it is American made). It all boiled down to the test ride for me. I tested both and the Giant TCR1 just felt all around so much better. It fit me better, I liked the way it rode better and it just "felt better". So I changed my mind and went with the TCR 1. The wheel set will be the next thing I upgrade, but so far am happy with the Mavic Cosmos. They are bullet proof on the horrible roads where I live, good cheap wheels. Bottom line: test them both somehow and then decide. For me the Specialized felt awkward and weird for some reason.
I think the 2004 TCR comes with different wheel set than mine did so i can't comment on that.
Sick ... again
Hacker - thanks. I appreciate the feedback. You're right, of course. The ride will be the main determining factor - at this price range, almost any of the bikes will be "good" and it'll come down to preference. I just wish the weather would get better so I can really test them out! Have you done any longer rides on the Giant? One thing for me this year is to consistently do longer rides - one 60-75 mile ride each weekend and a couple of centuries throught the year. I'm going to want a certain degree of comfort for this!
 The TCR1 ... is that the TCR Composite 1? If so, I think that's going to be out of my price range [/edit]
FYI specialize allez are made in taiwan/china by Giant, few weeks back I was in the same dilemma as you, between TCR and allez, I went for TCR coz I felt the frame is far more important than the parts, you can upgrade later. In my case I upgrade b4 leaving the shop this gives me better value as all the parts are still brand new.
Originally Posted by hacker44240
I paid USD1400 for my TCR2, upgrade to full Ultegra triple, Xero XR-1 wheelset, selle Italia SLK, Look carbon post, Michelin Pro race slick, ritchey bars, dura-ace pedal. http://www.shutterspeed.com.my/TCR2.htm
The original price for the TCR2 was USD1050, 105 group, tekra brakes, xero XRS wheelset, SRAM cog.
In future if I've more cash to spend I'll just upgrade the wheelset to mavic SSC and I'll consider it done for the time being. So far I've no complain with my TCR in fact I love every minute riding the bike (ok ignore this sentence I'm just being a lil paranoid)
If your bike shop allows you to test both bikes I suggest you test the bike at the hills, a small one will do, you can feel the difference between the allez n TCR.
Sick ... again
You know, I was thinking at one time of buying and S-works frame and a few components, but mainly ripping out the components from my old Trek 1000. I'd get a decent set of shifters with the frame and maybe a set of wheels as well, but just use the old stuff from the 1000 for a season. Then next year upgrade the derailleurs and crankset, cassette etc. I figured after 2-3 years I'd have exactly what I wanted. Then I got to thinking that I could just get the Allez Comp and in 2 years chuck an S-works frame on it and not have to upgrade the components at all!
Originally Posted by skareb
I need someone else to buy me a bike ...
 That's a great setup on the TCR btw ... nice ride [/edit]