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For the last two years I had been riding a steel mid 80's Bianchi that a good friend who was into the sport loaned me. After a discussion with my wife (pretty sure it was the same discussion that you had), we agreed that I could spend up to $600 for a new bike. Needless to say, there was not much at the LBS in this range so I started looking online.

Looking at craigslist one night I found someone selling a Trek 1.1 about a mile and a half from my house. Right size... right price. I did some quick research and my greatest concern was the "bottom of the line" Shimano components.

I am just over 1k miles into this bike with the 2300 set and the only problem I have had was the result of my own doing. I was on a 40 mile Sunday ride with the LBS group and there is a hard right into an 18% incline and did not try and move to the small chain ring until I was almost at a dead stand still. I slipped the chain and after 10 seconds and a quick hand pedal to the right ring I was going again.

I have no idea of what the longevity of the 2300 will be but I have ZERO complaints about it so far. I have ridden bikes with Shimano DuraAce as well as decent Campy components... Are they better. Yes. Do they shift cleaner? Yes. Can I afford them? Yes but it is not where my priorities are.

I am a 200 lb, 40 year old man and have no illusions of being a world class rider. I can hang with the B group pace line in the 23 to 27mph range and usually finish in the middle of the pack. I have to say that there is a a bit of pleasure in finishing ahead of regular riders who are younger and on more expensive bikes.

There is some truth to the thumb shifters not being in a great location when you want to shift in the drops but like everything else, you learn to adjust and I honestly cannot say that it is worth plunking down the extra change for upgraded components now. Pocket the money and save for the next bike you will be buying.

I read on one of the other forums that the number of bikes you need to own can be broken down to a simple mathematical expression where A = the number of bikes you have and A + 1 is the number of bikes you need.
 
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