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Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 05-04-14, 03:18 PM   #1
tronnyjenkins 
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I've decided on my first road bike!

...Now tell me if it's really the one I want! Haha.
2014 Specialized Allez Sport.

Plans:
Fun, social rides
Fitness
Transportation
Train up to a 2 day, 150 mile event next spring. (BP MS150).

Budget:
<$900, and that's the top.

About me:
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6'-6'1", 175lbs.
Active
I ride my mountain bike pretty much every day now.
I don't believe in 'buy once, cry once'. I do research.

As of right now it's the 2014 Allez Sport, waiting until they are 'closeouts'. That should be in a just a month or two, yes?
If not, I found some local sources for 2013 models (blue). I just really like that red...

I've ridden the Allez Sport (56cm), Trek 1 series (56cm), GT Attack 3.0 (58cm), and Diamondback Podium 2 (56cm). There was no regular Allez in my size range, and I was kind of upsold by the LBS regarding the components to the Sport.
Am I on the right track? Is there a bike I might be leaving out? Does a newb like me need to spend the extra money to get the sport, or just go base Allez and be happy?

Thanks!
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Old 05-04-14, 03:25 PM   #2
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Well, at the risjk of sounding flippant (and for that, I apologize), if you have oyur mind made up, get the bike. The Allez is a nice entry level bike. I think that, at your height, you will be able to ride a 58cm more comfortably, but that depends on your body structure. I would have no trouble owning one. The geometry, I believe, is more aggressive than the Trek. I am not very familiar with the others you mention.

Go for it!

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Old 05-04-14, 03:39 PM   #3
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Specialized makes very nice bikes but you can do better with the price. $930 for Sora is a bit much. The GT may be better for your money. Not the 3.0 though. Get the 2.0. Do you have Performance Bike near you? The GT Attack with 10 speed tiagra is going for $699. Not red, but has nice red accents on it.

GT Attack 2.0 Road Bike - 2014 Performance Exclusive - Performance Sales Exclusions

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Old 05-04-14, 04:00 PM   #4
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I also agree you can do better for the money competent wise. I would stay away from Sora just because they have the thumb shifter and no other brifter you use down the road will have that. Also makes down shifting in the drops impossible. Fine if you stay on the hoods all the time but if you want to get more aero it can hold you back. There are better deals and there is always ebay and craigslist. You can get a much nicer second hand bike for that money than a new one
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Old 05-04-14, 04:58 PM   #5
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Specialized makes very nice bikes but you can do better with the price. $930 for Sora is a bit much. The GT may be better for your money. Not the 3.0 though. Get the 2.0. Do you have Performance Bike near you? The GT Attack with 10 speed tiagra is going for $699. Not red, but has nice red accents on it.

GT Attack 2.0 Road Bike - 2014 Performance Exclusive - Performance Sales Exclusions

Ha, Performance is where I test rode the GT and DB. I'll take a look at the Attack 2.
So, I'm confused by the remark by rms13 about the Sora and thumb shift. It seemed to operate the same as the Tiagra on the Diamondback I rode??

Also, the Performance salesman (mgr) brought up the fact that GT use 6000 series aluminum vs the stiffer 7000 on others. Should I even bat an eye at that?
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Old 05-04-14, 05:19 PM   #6
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The older Sora had a thumb shifter, the new Sora doesn't have it. If you like the GT, the frame is just fine. I just wouldn't give a grand for a bike with Sora. Spend the $700 for the Tiagra bike and use the other $200 on accessories you will need like spare tubes and basic tools.

If they don't have the GT in stock they can order it for you. They have in in your size online. At this price you're looking at GOOD bikes, not GREAT bikes so none are far superior really. Just stay within your budget and make this fun and not a head ache. If you like red as I do, you can always add red to the bike. Red Bar tape would look nice with the red accents. You can also get tires with red stripes.

These are not a need, but these will even throw a bit of red in for you Vuelta Corsa Pro Road Wheelset - Road Bike Wheels / Wheelsets
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Old 05-04-14, 05:23 PM   #7
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Man, that Attack 2.0 looks very similar to the Series 2.0! What ARE the differences?

2014 Gtr Series 2 - Performance Bikes - Road Bikes - GT Bicycles - 2014 Bikes

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Old 05-04-14, 05:24 PM   #8
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The older Sora had a thumb shifter, the new Sora doesn't have it. If you like the GT, the frame is just fine. I just wouldn't give a grand for a bike with Sora. Spend the $700 for the Tiagra bike and use the other $200 on accessories you will need like spare tubes and basic tools.

If they don't have the GT in stock they can order it for you. They have in in your size online. At this price you're looking at GOOD bikes, not GREAT bikes so none are far superior really. Just stay within your budget and make this fun and not a head ache. If you like red as I do, you can always add red to the bike. Red Bar tape would look nice with the red accents. You can also get tires with red stripes.

These are not a need, but these will even throw a bit of red in for you Vuelta Corsa Pro Road Wheelset - Road Bike Wheels / Wheelsets
You guys rock. These responses are the reason I came here.
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Old 05-04-14, 05:38 PM   #9
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Ha, Performance is where I test rode the GT and DB. I'll take a look at the Attack 2.
So, I'm confused by the remark by rms13 about the Sora and thumb shift. It seemed to operate the same as the Tiagra on the Diamondback I rode??

Also, the Performance salesman (mgr) brought up the fact that GT use 6000 series aluminum vs the stiffer 7000 on others. Should I even bat an eye at that?

Sora use to use thumb shifters, not any more though.

As far as the allez, it's an awesome bike and buying sora will keep the price down on an awesome frame.

I am 6'2 and ride a 56 caad10. If you're flexible, the 56 will probably be fine.

If your not flexible you may want to go with a 58.
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Old 05-04-14, 05:49 PM   #10
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My entry level is a Scott Speedster and I love it. Aero frame, internal cable routing, rides aggressive and tons of fun. Also has carbon seat post and fork. Not sure of the pricing, I got my 20 (105 Components) for 1200 but the tiagra and sora both much cheaper.
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Old 05-04-14, 08:32 PM   #11
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Is the base allez the same frame as the e5 smartweld because I have heard that's a really good race bike. If its the same then I say the allez is a good buy. My trek retails for 950 or something and has sora shifters and they are fine. I race with the bike and it shifts, not the best, but for a first bike it's a
perfectly good starting point.
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Old 05-04-14, 09:07 PM   #12
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e5 is different. Kinda like the caad8 v caad10.
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Old 05-05-14, 06:23 AM   #13
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Anyone know if the Performance Bikes exclusive GT Attacks are the same frames as their numbers series?
That seems like an odd decision by GT's sales department if so. Same bike, different paint (like 2% different), way cheaper?
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Old 05-05-14, 07:14 AM   #14
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Is the base allez the same frame as the e5 smartweld because I have heard that's a really good race bike. If its the same then I say the allez is a good buy. My trek retails for 950 or something and has sora shifters and they are fine. I race with the bike and it shifts, not the best, but for a first bike it's a
perfectly good starting point.
No, it is not.
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Old 05-05-14, 12:45 PM   #15
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As of right now it's the 2014 Allez Sport, waiting until they are 'closeouts'. That should be in a just a month or two, yes?

I've ridden the Allez Sport (56cm), Trek 1 series (56cm), GT Attack 3.0 (58cm), and Diamondback Podium 2 (56cm).
Thanks!
What were your impressions of the gt? I assume a performance retail bike?

I'm not sure if it's a good idea to wait 2 months on the bike of your choice. Some manufacturers under-estimated demand this season, so inventory may not be as generous as in years past.
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Old 05-05-14, 05:37 PM   #16
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What were your impressions of the gt? I assume a performance retail bike?

I'm not sure if it's a good idea to wait 2 months on the bike of your choice. Some manufacturers under-estimated demand this season, so inventory may not be as generous as in years past.
Pretty much my impressions. Honestly, I'm so new at this that I only know what to look for based on my research, but it seemed like similar quality to the Specialized. I mean, they're all made in Taiwan anyway.I guess the only thing that may be a touch different is the GT has more relaxed geometry compared to the Allez? I think I have that correct....
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Old 05-05-14, 08:12 PM   #17
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I'm not sure why people speak about the "value" of the bicycle based on its parts rather than "the ride". The last time I bought a bicycle, there was only one bicycle that I felt really "at home" with.

Just as a side note, if you had any doubts about the long term performance of Sora against Tiagra or 105, then you could take a look at 9 speed Microshift bar-end shifters: MicroShift Bar End Double/Triple 9 speed Shift Levers - AEBike.com

Bar-end shifters can last longer and this particular model (BS-T09) can be used in indexed or friction mode. Friction mode means you'd rarely have to adjust the derailleurs. You have manual control over the tension in the cables in friction mode. Your bike could then become a reliable "tourer".
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Old 05-05-14, 09:43 PM   #18
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That settles it. I'm going to go ride as many bikes as the LBS will let me. Haha. May have to go to two places to ride all the different ones I want.

Still can't see any difference in the GT Attack 2.0 vs the GTR Series 2.0. That one is very high on my list at the moment...
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Old 05-06-14, 04:46 AM   #19
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Pretty much my impressions. Honestly, I'm so new at this that I only know what to look for based on my research, but it seemed like similar quality to the Specialized. I mean, they're all made in Taiwan anyway.I guess the only thing that may be a touch different is the GT has more relaxed geometry compared to the Allez? I think I have that correct....
Well, I was just wondering what your impressions of the GT were on your test ride.

Be sure to check yelp and/or google reviews of the bike shops you're interested in. Reviews have been discouraging for the performance shops nearest me.
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Old 05-06-14, 06:39 AM   #20
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Well, I was just wondering what your impressions of the GT were on your test ride.

Be sure to check yelp and/or google reviews of the bike shops you're interested in. Reviews have been discouraging for the performance shops nearest me.
Sorry, I misunderstood your post. When you said "performance retail bike" I thought you meant like a retail bike (as opposed to custom) that performed well ;-)

So to answer your question, it did perform well. (This is the GT Attack 3.0 mind you. They didn't have the 2.0, but can get it obviously). I actually could tell a SMALL difference in the rigidity of the frame vs the stiffer 7000 Aluminum on the Diamondback I rode at the same time. I specifically rode over some pavement cracks to see if I could tell. In my inexperience, it made the ride quite nice. I just don't know if that makes it less 'racy' for the fanboys. The components were nice. I didn't find any qualms with the Sora performance. Anything I left out?

As to Performance Bike, I have honestly never been inside until my test ride. I didn't check reviews yet, but the manager was the person who assisted me. He seemed to genuinely know what he was talking about, didn't try to push me toward one specific bike, and made sure we were looking at bikes that were the right size. I would buy a bike from him.
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Old 05-06-14, 09:54 AM   #21
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Thanks for the info! I checked the geometry charts and the performance version of the GT has slightly different geometry compared to the GT on their website.
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Old 05-10-14, 10:24 AM   #22
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Anyone know about the Nashbar bikes? I'm about to go ride some bikes, but also saw this. 105 components...
$799
NB-105A
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Old 05-12-14, 06:46 PM   #23
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Well, bought an Allez Sport today! Got close out pricing because it is a 2013 model!

Thanks for the help folks.

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Old 05-12-14, 07:28 PM   #24
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Bars are too high and you should slam that stem.

Nice looking bike.
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Old 05-12-14, 08:18 PM   #25
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Enjoy the ride and the road! Be happy and enjoy your choice : )!
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