So I'm a 29 year old guy who's looking to buy my first road bike in about 8 years.
I grew up mountain biking, had a Gary Fisher Hookooekoo and then when I got to college I also had a Raleigh road bike that was originally my dads which I rode a lot.
6 years ago I moved to NYC, no bike, and after I few years I joined the hipster craze and picked up a Bianchi Pista. Sold that a year ago after deciding that fixies are not as much fun as gears and going out for a 30 mile ride.
That being said, now I'm looking to get back in and was originally thinking of a budget at around $1000.
I just got back from test riding a Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Sora at one shop and a Ridley Icarus at another. Both are nice bikes, the shop I rode the Bianchi at only had a 55cm in stock and said they couldn't get my size, 57, in the Sora, only the Tiagra which would arrive mid-week. They said the factory was out of stock. Guy was very nice and seemed cool, but the shop was kind of a hole in the wall and also did a lot of rentals.
The Icarus was a sweet ride, they had my size, and the salesman said we could work a deal. Shop was totally different, very clean and sold a lot of fixies and urban bikes as well.
Still, both bikes are a little above my price range (both bikes are around $1200) and other than componentry (Bianchi was Shimano, Ridley was SRAM) I'm not really sure which I liked more. I've never heard of Ridley before, but they are a Belgium company and seem like they have a good racing pedigree.
At the second store I also rode a Giant Defy 5, but I wasn't to thrilled with it. Obviously, it's a completely different bike and about $500 cheaper, and it just didn't seem as snappy as the other two.
I'm not really sure what to do, both rides are great albeit a few hundred more than I was hoping to spend. However, I'm a little concerned that my price requirements are a little too low for the performance/quality that I want and the Ridley salesman said he was willing to make a deal. It also comes with 3 years service (not sure about the Bianchi). Also, the fact that Ridley is a smaller company is appealing to me as well. It'd be nice to be on something different.
Has anyone ever heard of Ridley before? I tried comparing the two frame geometries and it seems as though the Ridley is a little more aggressive?