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Old 02-16-18, 04:13 PM
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WhyFi
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Location: Got a castle in - er, Minneapolis, that's where I dwell!
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Originally Posted by pesape View Post
Without quoting everyone... I kind of landed on Specialized when I bought my first bike. I was happy with the Secteur, so was trying to stay with Specialized. Is there a reason outside of maybe cost that I should steer away? Are they generally more expensive than other brands for similar components?
Specialized makes some fine bikes and, in general, there's a lot of price-point parity. In this instance, though, It strikes me as a little more spendy that the competition.

Originally Posted by pesape View Post
The Diverge sounds interesting because it's purpose more aligns with what I like to do. Are there other brands (and which models) that I should at least take a look at? Again, I like the idea of the Diverge, but if I were to spend $3000, that amount of money definitely warrants some research.
There's a growing segment that typically goes by 'gravel' or 'adventure' - it sounds as if anything in this range would take care of your wants/needs. These bikes are often quite similar to another category of bikes, the 'endurance' category, except they'll generally take some wider tires (often up to 40mm or more). It doesn't sound as if you're going to spend a lot of miles off the pavement, and it doesn't sound as if the conditions will be that challenging when you are off-pavement, so I would think that just about any disc-equipped endurance bike that'll clear ~32mm tires would work just dandy.

Originally Posted by pesape View Post
One other question - Can you actually negotiate with a bike shop? $3000 (if I go that route) is a ton of money. I'd love to get it for a lower price. Hell even the tax will be $300 on that.
You can always ask. Typically, shops are more willing to deal if it's a bike that's in stock and/or a previous model year. Some shops won't concede much, if anything, on the price of the bike, but will often cut you a deal on apparel/accessories bought at the same time, so if you need any other stuff, it might be good to have that list in the back of your mind going in.
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