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Hello. I'm yet another mountain biker looking to get into road riding. I am debating two Schwinn products, both 2005 models, a Fastback Comp @ $800 (internet) vs. a Fastback Pro ($1300) at my LBS. I like buying from an LBS, but the cost of the sales tax ($91) more than offsets the cost of having the other bike assembled if I mail order it ($65).
The major differences, as near as I can tell are that the Pro has Ultegra vs. 105 and it comes with a carbon crank (and a bit more carbon in the frame). As a new rider, would it be overkill to purchase the more expensive bike? Would I be able to notice the difference? I sit worth an extra $500 to a novice? I really need some guidance on this one. Gotta admit, that Red and Black Pro looks really cool compared to the more "Plain Jane" Silver of the Comp.....
Thanks!
 

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Question of fine differences...

Wolfie,

I was also facing the same question between the Comp and the Pro, not with the 2005 models but with the 2006 models. The upgrade from 105 to Ultegra is definitely worth something. I know that on the 2006 Pro, it has a Mavic Aksium wheelset and the Comp has a Gipiemme Wheelset, and my co-workers swear by Mavic. I have not heard great things about Gipiemme wheels, not to say you couldn't upgrade if you wanted to. I would also ask what kind of riding you are going to be doing. In my case, this is my first road bike purchase, and I see the potential of really getting into it, so I didn't mind spending the extra cash, because I can't see myself "growing out" of the better bike, and I could see that happening with the less expensive bike. So you should look at the Wheelset difference between the two and how much you will be riding. I think the difference between the carbon crankset and the chromoly crankset is going to be stiffness. The carbon is going to be stiffer and will offer a better power transfer than the chromoly. Hope this helps, I am new to road cycling myself as well, so I am no expert, but my co-workers are competitive racers and have had good advice for me. Good luck!
 

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Wolfie1992 said:
Hello. I'm yet another mountain biker looking to get into road riding. I am debating two Schwinn products, both 2005 models, a Fastback Comp @ $800 (internet) vs. a Fastback Pro ($1300) at my LBS. I like buying from an LBS, but the cost of the sales tax ($91) more than offsets the cost of having the other bike assembled if I mail order it ($65).
The major differences, as near as I can tell are that the Pro has Ultegra vs. 105 and it comes with a carbon crank (and a bit more carbon in the frame). As a new rider, would it be overkill to purchase the more expensive bike? Would I be able to notice the difference? I sit worth an extra $500 to a novice? I really need some guidance on this one. Gotta admit, that Red and Black Pro looks really cool compared to the more "Plain Jane" Silver of the Comp.....
Thanks!
If you're confident of the fit and getting support/satisfaction from the internet vendor then I see no problem going that route. The ultegra and carbon bits aren't going to make you any faster, so if you need the $500 why not? My buddy on his $750 Specialized drops me and my $3,000 bike all the time (too much in fact). I know he enjoys riding as much as I do and doesn't seem to exhibit any bike lust per se.

You say you're a newb so be sure you do your research before you buy online or you might get burnt. It can be done but caution. The vendor, not the bike is what I'd be most worried about. Oh and the fit as everyone says.
 

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FYI

Once you get strong enough to tell the difference, you'll notice the carbon cranks are most likely a bit softer than the alloy cranks. If you don't believe me, take a look at Ale Jet, Boonen, McEwan, Bettini, Zable, etc. The big boy sprinter don't ride carbon; not stiff enough. Not that any of us mortals will ever tell much of a difference.

TB
 
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