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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just moved to Austin, TX for the summer, leaving both my mountain bikes at home. I'm normally a pretty competitive XC racer, but taking the season off as I've got a summer job here.

Want a good road bike, ideally best performance/dollar. Going to ride to work in the morning (and end up at the company fitness center for a lift and shower) and then ride again leaving work and eventually end up home. Ideal amount for now is 1000-1500, then I could get something more race-worthy when and if I want to race, though if a 2000-3000 bike would be race worthy I could shake it now.

Went to a huuuge bike shop today, Bicycle Sport Shop, on the south side of the city. Rode bikes 'til they closed (and man am I hooked on the speed). I was pretty happy with the Allez Elite Double (though the shifting is slow, at the price I cannot complain). Also tried a Tarmac and a couple Trek's. The tarmac was very very fast but IMO not worth the price difference to me yet.

So three questions.

1.) Is the Allez a solid choice?
2.) What are some other good choices?
3.) I build my mountain bikes--in my price range is it practical to build a road bike?
 

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My experience

I just got back into road biking, and had to go through the bike selection process again. It sounds to me like you will want to get a 105-equipped bike, minimum. The Specialized bike is okay (IMHO), but there are definitely others. I decided on a 2005 Schwinn Fastback Comp. I got Performance Bike to match an online deal I found ($799 out the door). I think this is a pretty damn good deal for what this bike offers. Some things that set the Schwinn apart from the Specialized is carbon seatstays, upgrade to 105 brakes, snazzier wheels and, I'm guessing, price. You would have to upgrade to the Allez Comp to get a comparably equipped bike from Specialized, but then the price goes up another $500. You might also consider the Trek 1500, which will run you about $1,050, but I think the Fastback Comp is a better proposition. Or, if your determined to spend closer to $1,500 you could get the Schwinn Fastback Pro (which has the new 10spd Ultegra) for around $1,300. Now that's a race-worthy bike.
 

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Lots of good recommendations here. I was shopping in the same range, and picked up a alu/carbon Ultegra10 triple rig from Supergo for $1100. You can get a helluva lot of bike nowadays for $1 - $1.5K.

Let us know what you decide.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the suggestions guys.

Seamus said:
Let us know what you decide.
Took the bus to the bike shop again yesterday and rode a few more. They had a two ring version allez elite, and I loved it. The components aren't super hot for the $1200 price (105, mostly) but the frame just felt right to me, so I thought I'd swing it.

Already put about 40 miles on it (not even 24 hours lol), they go by sooo quickly. And road riding is so fast! It feels incredible to pass a car down a hill (I just hope I don't get ticketed in teh 30 zone lol).

Now all I have to do is keep remembering to shift down at stoplights and such.
 
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