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Old 12-01-17, 01:25 AM   #1
ThinkGoofy
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BMC or Giant?

Hello folks, I've been exploring the forum trying to get a better understanding of bikes ever since I started my search for a bike. Previously I've only rode on bikes sold in places like walmart/target and couple weeks ago I visited a lbs and tried out some bikes from Specialized. I was impressed, these bikes felt more solid even tho they were lighter. Now, I'm hoping to get a bike for fitness and possibly some commute. I started my search at Specialized Crosstrail and Sirrus, but ended up at a Giant and a BMC. So here are the two models I'm currently looking at:

Giant Fastroad Comax 1 (2017 or 2018) and BMC alpenchallenge AC01 105 - 2017.

I really like the look of the Giant, but the cost is bit higher (~$1800). As for the BMC I recently found out that my lbs has a closeout sale bringing the price down from $1900 (edited for correctness) to $1200. I think it also looks pretty cool and they seem to have similar parts.

So, I wanted to ask the forum, which one is the better choice? Which bike would serve as a better platform if there were to be future updates? And are there any other, better choices out there?

Thanks!

Last edited by ThinkGoofy; 12-01-17 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 12-01-17, 08:24 AM   #2
Doctor Morbius
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The MSRP for the Alpenchallenge is $1,900 not $2,000. But for $1,200 I'd still get it over the Giant. And I like Giants.
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Old 12-01-17, 09:03 AM   #3
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Nothing wrong with either. Get the cheaper bike.
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Old 12-01-17, 01:02 PM   #4
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Both are very fine bikes, but ... they will fit you differently. I'd base my choice on that in the first instance, if I were you; fit trumps both price and frame material.
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Old 12-01-17, 01:03 PM   #5
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got a shop selling both?, take some test rides. my local has neither , Trek FX line is there.
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Old 12-01-17, 01:35 PM   #6
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The MSRP for the Alpenchallenge is $1,900 not $2,000. But for $1,200 I'd still get it over the Giant. And I like Giants.
Thanks for the correction. For some reason on the lbs website I saw $1999 crossed out and $1199 as the new price.
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Old 12-01-17, 03:29 PM   #7
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In my opinion.. When I was bike shopping.. I test rode a number of bikes before choosing..

Test Ride both.. Weigh out how each bike feels to ride..
Then decide on feels best vs price.. If the BMC feels better and is cheaper... Get the BMC
If the Giant feels slightly better But not a large difference.. Buy the BMC because of the bargain Price..
If the Giant Feels That much better.. To where you feel like you are losing out if you buy the BMC.. then Buy the Giant..

I am only weighing heavily towards the BMC because of the large price difference and I do not know your budget.
Though I do not know much about the BMC company..
I hear amazing things about the FastRoad and I do feel it is an awesome looking bike.
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Old 12-01-17, 04:09 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice all

I'll definitely try to test ride both prior to making the decision.
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Old 12-01-17, 08:23 PM   #9
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Research the BMC company...pretty cool story and different. I too was looking at both these bikes and ended up with a BMC AC02 because the price was a steal. The bike is extremely well made, rare around my town and very fast. Very happy with the purchase and it gets many compliments. Good luck....
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Old 12-02-17, 12:46 AM   #10
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Hi folks, little update and lot more confusion for myself.

I ended up test riding 5 different bikes today (In chronological order below):
  • BMC alpenchallenge AC01 105 - 2017
  • Sirrus Elite Carbon
  • BMC alpenchallenge AC01 Nexus 8 - 2017
  • Giant FastRoad SLR 1 2018
  • Giant Roam 1 Disc 2018

As my first test ride, I enjoyed the ride of BMC AC01 105. The fit of the bike felt good and I liked the smooth shifting of Shimano 105 groupset. However, when I sat on the Sirrus Elite Carbon next I felt something quite different. The bike just felt more rigid, stiffer, and better built. I didn't quite expect that since I didn't feel that way when I test rode Crosstrail sport prior. Ironically though, the chain came off on the Sirrus during my initial test ride. While the shop mechanic got that sorted out I decided to give the BMC AC01 Nexus 8 a try. This bike felt similar to the AC01 105, but the belt drive shifting was quite different. Quite smooth. Only negative to the Nexus was the limitation of 8 speeds. Afterwards, I proceeded to give the Sirrus another go. I felt the same 'wow' which made me unsure about the BMC.

Fast forward, I got to another bike shop hoping to test ride the Giant Fastroad Comax 1. Unfortunately, they didn't have any in stock. The closest thing I could find was the Fastroad SLR 1, so I gave that a go. I didn't get the 'wow' sitting on the Giant, but the bike felt solid yet nimble. And then I proceeded to try the Roam 1, since I did see that getting mentioned quite a bit on this forum. This bike felt very different compare to the other four. It felt more comfortable, but didn't feel as agile or nimble.

Out of the five, I can say for sure I am not interested in the BMC Nexus and Giant Roam 1. I'm hoping to find a lbs with Fastroad Comax 1 available to test ride, but now I am starting to consider having a second look at Sirrus.

I understand that in the end it comes down to personal preference, but I was hoping to hear from other folks who may have ridden multiple brands/model to provide some insight on their experience on Specialized vs Giant vs BMC.
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Old 12-02-17, 02:21 AM   #11
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Research the BMC company...pretty cool story and different. I too was looking at both these bikes and ended up with a BMC AC02 because the price was a steal. The bike is extremely well made, rare around my town and very fast. Very happy with the purchase and it gets many compliments. Good luck....
Do you mind sharing a bit more detail regarding your experience? Which aspect other than the price steered you towards the BMC over the Giant? Any specific qualities of the BMC that seemed to be better than the Giant?

Thanks!
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Old 12-02-17, 06:26 AM   #12
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Do you mind sharing a bit more detail regarding your experience? Which aspect other than the price steered you towards the BMC over the Giant? Any specific qualities of the BMC that seemed to be better than the Giant?

Thanks!
I've owned and absolutely enjoyed a Giant Escape for years before I decided on the BMC. Where I live all you see is Trek, Giant, Specialized and Cannondale. I wanted something a little different and have always been attracted to European bikes. I really want to try the Canyon bikes when they arrive but couldn't pass up the good deal on that BMC. As soon as I saw and rode the BMC I just knew....sort of like you did when you rode the Sirrus.
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Old 12-02-17, 08:13 AM   #13
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Hi folks, little update and lot more confusion for myself.

I ended up test riding 5 different bikes today (In chronological order below):
  • BMC alpenchallenge AC01 105 - 2017
  • Sirrus Elite Carbon
  • BMC alpenchallenge AC01 Nexus 8 - 2017
  • Giant FastRoad SLR 1 2018
  • Giant Roam 1 Disc 2018

As my first test ride, I enjoyed the ride of BMC AC01 105. The fit of the bike felt good and I liked the smooth shifting of Shimano 105 groupset. However, when I sat on the Sirrus Elite Carbon next I felt something quite different. The bike just felt more rigid, stiffer, and better built. I didn't quite expect that since I didn't feel that way when I test rode Crosstrail sport prior. Ironically though, the chain came off on the Sirrus during my initial test ride. While the shop mechanic got that sorted out I decided to give the BMC AC01 Nexus 8 a try. This bike felt similar to the AC01 105, but the belt drive shifting was quite different. Quite smooth. Only negative to the Nexus was the limitation of 8 speeds. Afterwards, I proceeded to give the Sirrus another go. I felt the same 'wow' which made me unsure about the BMC.

Fast forward, I got to another bike shop hoping to test ride the Giant Fastroad Comax 1. Unfortunately, they didn't have any in stock. The closest thing I could find was the Fastroad SLR 1, so I gave that a go. I didn't get the 'wow' sitting on the Giant, but the bike felt solid yet nimble. And then I proceeded to try the Roam 1, since I did see that getting mentioned quite a bit on this forum. This bike felt very different compare to the other four. It felt more comfortable, but didn't feel as agile or nimble.

Out of the five, I can say for sure I am not interested in the BMC Nexus and Giant Roam 1. I'm hoping to find a lbs with Fastroad Comax 1 available to test ride, but now I am starting to consider having a second look at Sirrus.

I understand that in the end it comes down to personal preference, but I was hoping to hear from other folks who may have ridden multiple brands/model to provide some insight on their experience on Specialized vs Giant vs BMC.
You've answered your own question(s). They are all -- all of them -- very fine bikes. One is 'floating your boat' -- that's how it works. Subtle and not so subtle differences in geometry, handling, etc. add up. That's why 'test rides', however limited, are so important.

Last edited by badger1; 12-02-17 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 12-02-17, 10:43 AM   #14
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Hi folks, little update and lot more confusion for myself.

I ended up test riding 5 different bikes today (In chronological order below):
  • BMC alpenchallenge AC01 105 - 2017
  • Sirrus Elite Carbon
  • BMC alpenchallenge AC01 Nexus 8 - 2017
  • Giant FastRoad SLR 1 2018
  • Giant Roam 1 Disc 2018

As my first test ride, I enjoyed the ride of BMC AC01 105. The fit of the bike felt good and I liked the smooth shifting of Shimano 105 groupset. However, when I sat on the Sirrus Elite Carbon next I felt something quite different. The bike just felt more rigid, stiffer, and better built. I didn't quite expect that since I didn't feel that way when I test rode Crosstrail sport prior. Ironically though, the chain came off on the Sirrus during my initial test ride. While the shop mechanic got that sorted out I decided to give the BMC AC01 Nexus 8 a try. This bike felt similar to the AC01 105, but the belt drive shifting was quite different. Quite smooth. Only negative to the Nexus was the limitation of 8 speeds. Afterwards, I proceeded to give the Sirrus another go. I felt the same 'wow' which made me unsure about the BMC.

Fast forward, I got to another bike shop hoping to test ride the Giant Fastroad Comax 1. Unfortunately, they didn't have any in stock. The closest thing I could find was the Fastroad SLR 1, so I gave that a go. I didn't get the 'wow' sitting on the Giant, but the bike felt solid yet nimble. And then I proceeded to try the Roam 1, since I did see that getting mentioned quite a bit on this forum. This bike felt very different compare to the other four. It felt more comfortable, but didn't feel as agile or nimble.

Out of the five, I can say for sure I am not interested in the BMC Nexus and Giant Roam 1. I'm hoping to find a lbs with Fastroad Comax 1 available to test ride, but now I am starting to consider having a second look at Sirrus.

I understand that in the end it comes down to personal preference, but I was hoping to hear from other folks who may have ridden multiple brands/model to provide some insight on their experience on Specialized vs Giant vs BMC.

There is no Right or Wrong when it comes to the Solid Bike Companies.. Often you will get an answer.. They are all Great Bikes.. Why? Because they are.. And those commenting will be basing things on their own experience and for their own reasons. All are Valid.. BUT.. that doesn't mean it fits you best.

I Test Rode many bikes before really ending up on Giant.. and my wants are a bit diff than yours.. I wanted a bike that was fast enough.. But more geared to go on and off road.. Good on Various Terrain and ability to hold weight was more important than speed..

I really liked the Roam and the Talon.. I wanted a good enough on the road.. but rugged enough to handle being tossed around on rougher terrain.. Though being that Most of my travel will be on road.. I then decided to go with a Rigid fork instead of one with suspension.. I did have a budget on a Bike.. so I had no sky is the limit budget.. Mine was $500- under 1k but really wanted to try to be at $800 or lower.. Saying that.. I finally Tried the Toughroad SLR 1 and 2.. It fit me Very well.. and I got a lot of what I wanted in a Bike without sacrificing needed things..
It was $890.. Plus I wanted to add some stuff to it.. Im now over $1000 in.. But thats fine.. I like customizing to fit me best and I feel its worth it.. I feel it is probably some of the best money I ever spent..
If I want Faster Later... I will switch out the drivetrain for a Faster one.. and change out to thinner tires.. I don't even need to change bikes..

The point of that was.. You have to be happy with YOUR decision.. You don't want to buy a bike and be like.. yea.. This is good.. But that other Bike Felt soo good... If a feeling is only marginally better but the price diff is so much greater.. then yes go with the cheaper bike and mod it for comfort later..


I will suggest since you are still test riding.. Try the Giant Anyroad and the Diamondback Haanjo.
Diamondback and even Raleigh really has been impressing me with their $1 per what they give you on a Bike.. PLUS..
you can get HUGE Discounts $200-$1500 off some bikes.. and even at their stock price without the discount..
they are Giving you so much for what you pay to the point of when I want a second bike.. I will probably own a Diamondback..
Offering High end components on bikes that normally go for much more than what they price theirs at.. and if you throw their insane discount it.. Hell yea Gimme haha
I found out about this after I made my purchase.. and no.. I do not regret my purchase.. But.. next Bike.. based on how I ride the one I have now..
I will want a bike that has full suspension.. and Diamondback has done that well with a great price attached.

Last edited by Juggy_Gales; 12-02-17 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 12-02-17, 06:13 PM   #15
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When I was looking for a hybrid, I rode Specialized Sirrus, Trek FX, Giant Toughroad.. and a few other. Ended up with Surly Troll and Karate Monkey ( yes, both :-). Still prefer steel.
Sirrus was a very close contender - what derailed me was a very limited range of tyre width Sirrus ( sepcially higher models) will accomodate. Check how wide tyre each of the bikes will accept - if you plan to stick to paved roads, Sirrus is one of best; if you plan to hit some unpaved roads, or wander a bit on rail trails or even further into the woods on some fireroads - you want wider tres ( somewhere around 2", or 700x50 like Toughroad carry from the get go.

Good luck !
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Old 12-03-17, 02:15 AM   #16
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Another update and perhaps bit of clarity:

Following the advice I received here, I continued on with test riding additional bikes. Today I tried out:
  • Giant Fastroad Comax 1 2018
  • Specialized Sirrus Sport Carbon
  • BMC Alpenchallenge AC01 105 (Again)

The Fastroad was fast. I think it was the fastest bike I've ridden and the fit was great. Overall, a very well-built machine. The lbs owner was willing to provide a 5% discount on it, but the price of the bike still stays pretty close to $1700.

The Sirrus was somewhat of disappointment. Even tho the construction felt solid, the bike felt heavy(?). I did not feel the 'wow' on this one. It felt very slow to start and get upto speed from a stop.

I ended up test riding the BMC again by chance. The sales rep I was speaking with actually thought it may be a good bike to try out after the Sirrus and I've been meaning to give it another chance so I gave it another go. Perhaps due to test riding it right after the Sirrus, but it felt better than the first time. The bike was actually a larger size, but nevertheless it still impressed me. The biggest difference I noticed was when I started the bike after a stop. It felt so much lighter and springier to get going than the Sirrus.

Now I am strongly leaning towards the BMC for the price, functionality and feel. The Fastroad is fast, but it is hard to justify the $500 price difference for the speed I'm not particularly looking for at the moment. I'm thinking maybe I can start out with the BMC and if I really want more speed I can always make the upgrade then. Also, the more I see it, the more I like the green of the BMC.

I will probably give the BMC final test ride along with any others that may interest me before making my final decision. So that's the end of my update. Feel free to provide any inputs.

=============================

...and I wanted to say thanks to everyone for adding your 2 cents on my bike search. I am reading all the posts and taking your inputs into account as I make this journey
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Old 12-03-17, 03:01 AM   #17
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Another update and perhaps bit of clarity:


I will probably give the BMC final test ride along with any others that may interest me before making my final decision. So that's the end of my update. Feel free to provide any inputs.

=============================

...and I wanted to say thanks to everyone for adding your 2 cents on my bike search. I am reading all the posts and taking your inputs into account as I make this journey

I think that is smart thinking, I would like to try out the comax sometime... that is a sexy lookin bike too
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Old 12-03-17, 04:48 AM   #18
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Remember, there is always +1...

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Old 12-03-17, 05:29 AM   #19
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Hi,
I have a similar post on this Hybrid forum, After much research and trying out different bikes I have just picked up a BMC Alpenchallenge 02 Deore, I have always heard great things about BMC but with it being a pretty unknown brand I wasn't sure. The bike is fast and very responsive, I am tall and the XL frame fits me really well.
I wanted a bike to use in the city and the countryside, the BMC fits the bill for me.
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Old 12-04-17, 06:49 PM   #20
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Another update:

I completed my third test ride of the BMC along with Sirrus Elite Carbon and Sirrus Expert Carbon. Also, I learned what might have caused me to feel that 'wow' on the sirrus previously.

The BMC was the first one I got on at the lbs. I tried the medium (again) and confirmed it is the right size for me. One thing that still puzzles me is that even though this bike has aluminum frame, I honestly cannot tell any difference compared to a carbon frame based bikes. Everyone I've spoken with said carbon frames are supposed to be better at absorbing vibrations and what not...but I really couldn't tell the difference.

Sirrus elite carbon - women's: The sales guy didn't mention it was women's, but while test riding I found the mini tag that denoted the bike as women's version. After closer inspection, I realized this one had a saddle with better padding compared to men's version (expert carbon). The first Elite Carbon I test rode was also women's version due to no availability of men's version. I think this was a big reason why I felt more comfortable on a sirrus vs the BMC on that first test ride visit.

Sirrus expert carbon - men's: The difference between elite and expert is that the expert has the Future Shock on it and the Shimano 105's instead of Shimano Tiagra's. I did notice the Future Shock during a bigger bumps I went over and thought it was cool. But I felt it wasn't really worth the price tag for me.

So here is the list of contenders for me:
- BMC: Light as carbon aluminum, Shimano 105's, $1200 + $150 gift card
- Sirrus Elite Carbon: Carbon frame, Shimano Tiagra's, $1270 (Sale price) + $150 gift card
- Sirrus Expert Carbon: Carbon frame, Shimano 105's, Future Shock, $1740 + $150 gift card
With bikes from other visits:
- Giant Fastroad Comax 1: Carbon frame, Shimano 105's, tubeless wheels, $1690 (with 5% discount from the lbs)

I've yet to make my purchase, but I feel BMC might be the one for me. I'll swap out the saddle as my first upgrade, but I don't really feel I may benefit from paying the extra $$$ for the carbon frame or the Future Shock. But there is a part of me that is still thinking about the Fastroad...that bike was fast and good looking. Just felt different from the other bikes. Any inputs/thoughts would be appreciated.

Also, I am just curious, but does anyone have a bike with Future Shock? Do you like it? When do you feel that it is most useful?

Thanks for reading!
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Old 12-04-17, 07:26 PM   #21
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Another update:

I completed my third test ride of the BMC along with Sirrus Elite Carbon and Sirrus Expert Carbon. Also, I learned what might have caused me to feel that 'wow' on the sirrus previously.

The BMC was the first one I got on at the lbs. I tried the medium (again) and confirmed it is the right size for me. One thing that still puzzles me is that even though this bike has aluminum frame, I honestly cannot tell any difference compared to a carbon frame based bikes. Everyone I've spoken with said carbon frames are supposed to be better at absorbing vibrations and what not...but I really couldn't tell the difference.

Sirrus elite carbon - women's: The sales guy didn't mention it was women's, but while test riding I found the mini tag that denoted the bike as women's version. After closer inspection, I realized this one had a saddle with better padding compared to men's version (expert carbon). The first Elite Carbon I test rode was also women's version due to no availability of men's version. I think this was a big reason why I felt more comfortable on a sirrus vs the BMC on that first test ride visit.

Sirrus expert carbon - men's: The difference between elite and expert is that the expert has the Future Shock on it and the Shimano 105's instead of Shimano Tiagra's. I did notice the Future Shock during a bigger bumps I went over and thought it was cool. But I felt it wasn't really worth the price tag for me.

So here is the list of contenders for me:
- BMC: Light as carbon aluminum, Shimano 105's, $1200 + $150 gift card
- Sirrus Elite Carbon: Carbon frame, Shimano Tiagra's, $1270 (Sale price) + $150 gift card
- Sirrus Expert Carbon: Carbon frame, Shimano 105's, Future Shock, $1740 + $150 gift card
With bikes from other visits:
- Giant Fastroad Comax 1: Carbon frame, Shimano 105's, tubeless wheels, $1690 (with 5% discount from the lbs)

I've yet to make my purchase, but I feel BMC might be the one for me. I'll swap out the saddle as my first upgrade, but I don't really feel I may benefit from paying the extra $$$ for the carbon frame or the Future Shock. But there is a part of me that is still thinking about the Fastroad...that bike was fast and good looking. Just felt different from the other bikes. Any inputs/thoughts would be appreciated.

Also, I am just curious, but does anyone have a bike with Future Shock? Do you like it? When do you feel that it is most useful?

Thanks for reading!
It's fine to take your time.. It is a pretty big purchase.. It seems like the LBS is helpful and patient with you as well which is good..

I think the BMC if you like it and it fits you well.. and is that much less expensive.. Id go that route..

The CoMax is a bad ass bike and would be my fav of the bunch aesthetically and everyone keeps saying how fast it is haha
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Old 12-04-17, 07:27 PM   #22
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I have an older version of the Sirrus (2015) with the Zertz and the new Specialized Roubaix Expert with Future Shock. Although two very different bikes, the Roubaix with the Futures Shock rides like a dream. With the Future Shock, I don't feel the bumps of uneven pavement and it doesn't suffer when I climb hills. My arms/shoulders/hands are also far more comfortable when I compare to my other road bikes.
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Old 12-06-17, 01:24 PM   #23
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You need to definitely try a mens Elite Carbon before you make your purchase, considering you've now ridden the women's version twice.

I have a Sirrus Elite (aluminum) and I too got the wow factor all three times I test rode it, especially compared to the lower Sirrus offerings.
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Old 12-07-17, 12:11 AM   #24
ThinkGoofy
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Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
You need to definitely try a mens Elite Carbon before you make your purchase, considering you've now ridden the women's version twice.

I have a Sirrus Elite (aluminum) and I too got the wow factor all three times I test rode it, especially compared to the lower Sirrus offerings.
I did try the men's Expert Carbon and from what I understand, Expert and Elite share the same frame. It's just that Expert has better components + Future Shock.

I felt good on the Sirrus, but about the same as BMC. Considering that Sirrus with Shimano 105 costs about $1700 vs BMC (with Shimano 105) costing about $1200 I can't justify the $500 extra cost for the carbon frame. I am leaning strongly towards the BMC at the moment. Only thing that is making me hesitant is the fact that the bike I'll most likely be getting is the one I tested (with front reflector broken off for some reason...). Even though the lbs told me they will replace it I still have an iffy feeling about the bike (Just keep wondering what caused that reflector to break off in the first place).
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Old 12-09-17, 08:42 PM   #25
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Thanks everyone for providing your inputs here. Today I went to the lbs and picked up the BMC. Really excited to ride tomorrow!
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