I'm relatively new to recreational biking and am looking to purchase my first entry-level road bike (although I've been riding a cheap single-speed road bike for 5 years to commute about 5 miles to and from work). I'm just south of 6 feet and weight 195 lbs (and slimming). I plan to use the bike for recreation and commute averaging between 50 and 70 miles/week (to start). I've looked around at several LBS and narrowed it down to four bikes:
Trek 1.1 ($750) with Al frame/Carbon fork, Shimano Claris components, 16 speed
Cannondale CAAD8 ($800) with Al frame/Carbon fork, Shimano Claris components, 16 speed
Specialized Allez ($800) with Al frame/Carbon fork, Shimano Claris components, 16 speed
Scott Speedster 50 ($700) with Al frame/Carbon-alloy fork, Sora components, 24 speed
If all else equal, which bike would you guys buy and for what reasons? I know comfort and fit are critical, but I find all four to be about the same.
It appears the top three compare most favorably and are generally well praised, however the speedster has better components and is cheaper, but I'm finding less reviews. Is that a bad sign?