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I am just getting into biking and the bikes are so far advanced than what i remember the last time i bought a bike. I have been to several bike stores in my area to talk to them, but i wanted to gain some knowledge before i know if they are telling me the truth or trying to sell me a bike. I do like Specialized and Orbea i have ridden Giant and Cannondale, but wanting to know the big differences if any, or if i am paying for a name. I would like to buy a good frame that would be worth upgrading components later on. Any advice would be great. Also i have heard several things about the battle of aluminum or carbon or both and wanted some opinions on that.
 

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ark09 said:
I am just getting into biking and the bikes are so far advanced than what i remember the last time i bought a bike. I have been to several bike stores in my area to talk to them, but i wanted to gain some knowledge before i know if they are telling me the truth or trying to sell me a bike. I do like Specialized and Orbea i have ridden Giant and Cannondale, but wanting to know the big differences if any, or if i am paying for a name. I would like to buy a good frame that would be worth upgrading components later on. Any advice would be great. Also i have heard several things about the battle of aluminum or carbon or both and wanted some opinions on that.
If I were you I'd go to the wrench science website for their fit calculator. This will give you a good idea of the approximate size you should be riding.

Fit is more important than materials. Any of the big names you mentioned are fine in their quality.

Once you have the correct size approximated, I would prioritize importance of components this way. from the top down. Saddle, shoes/pedals, bars, size/volume of tires, wheels.

These components are going to have the most effect on comfort as they are your contact points between your body and the bike and your bike and the road. Components from sram, campy, and shimano work well from their cheapest lines to the top.
 
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