So I'm well into the process of selecting my first road bike.
Riding a hybrid now- loving it for what it is and keeping it for family trail rides which I really enjoy - but wanting to carry more speed over greater distances and join up in some roadie group rides with local buddies of mine. Early test rides revealed a clear preference for a more endurance-oriented bike with decent or better vertical compliance.
My only regret with my hybrid purchase is that I would have purchased a more up-level bike had I known I was going to get hooked. So with the road bike, I definitely wanted to get something beyond entry level, that I wouldn't feel the need to upgrade any time soon. This led me to try a number of full carbon / Ultegra bikes in the $3-4k zone.
Bikes ridden include:
Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3
Trek Madone 5.2
Trek Emonda S6
Pinarello Rokh (2013 model)
Giant Defy Advanced
Giant Defy Composite
As you can imagine, none of these bikes sucked. The standouts were the Cervelo R3 (the most fun, the lightest and quickest-feeling with the most nimble handling, but the worst of the bunch for comfort over the rough craptastic roads I ride) and the Rokh and Emonda, both of which felt so buttery smooth, like I could ride them till my legs fell off before I ever got saddle-weary.
Which leads me to my problem and my main question (though by all means shout out any thoughts you have about any of these or any others I should try). I'm at the Pinarello / Cervelo dealer and spot a bike that just kind of appeals to me in terms of looks. I thought what-the-heck, I'm here, why not ride it? And I really kind of loved it. A lot. Fit me like a dream. Soaked up road imperfections really well. Felt quite lively and fast (though frankly, the R3 made all of the others seem a bit subdued). Just in terms of seat-of-the-pants impression, I felt I liked it as much as the Emonda and Rokh.
So what's the problem? The bike in question was a Felt Z5 with 105 group. Certainly closer to an entry level bike at around half the price of most of the others.
Z5 - Felt Bicycles
Now I have heard the school of thought that once you decide you are into this cycling thing - and I certainly am - buy the best bike you can afford. I can afford the others. So am I crazy to be leaning toward the cheaper bike? Am I setting myself up for a bad case of upgradeitis? Thing is, I can't think of much I would change just based on that one fairly extended test ride on the Felt.
I'm not in a super rush to pull the trigger - but I'd welcome any and all thoughts.