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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently shopping for my first road bike and am trying to figure a few things out. I'm mainly considering the Giant Avail 1 and Felt ZW30. I haven't ridden either of them yet and am being fitted at my bike shop next week.
The main differences between these two bikes are: components: the Giant has 105's, the Felt doesn't; frame: the Giant is all aluminum, the Felt has a carbon fork and carbon seat stays; wheels: the Felt makes a 'petite' bike that has 650c wheels, the Giant only has 700c's. I am 5'1" and a little less than 100lbs. I plan to ride recreationally, but want to be able to keep up on group rides and do some sprint triathlons for fun.

How much do each of these differences matter? If you had to choose between a nicer frame and nicer components, would you go with the bike with the better frame? (It's also about $300 cheaper for the Felt).

What are people's thoughts on wheel size, given my extremely small frame (I also have short legs relative to my torso).

I'm definitely a newbie and appreciate any suggestions!! :)

Super Moderator
19,519 Posts
Fit is everything. Go with the one that comes in your size. From the looks of things it might very well be the Felt.

1,449 Posts
I agree with il sogno that it should come down to fit. Handling (which is often a function of fit) and ride quality are important, too.

As for the components, I assume the Felt comes with Shimano Sora. That groupset will serve your purposes just fine. You can always upgrade as parts wear out. Don't get me wrong; I'm a sucker for higher end components, but they're not as important as fit and handling. Also keep in mind that you can improve the ride quality of any bike by using better tires and--especially at your weight--running them at a lower pressure.

My opinion on 650c wheels depends on the bike's geometry. In an effort to avoid toe overlap, some manufacturers use some pretty screwy geometry. I, personally, would rather have a bike with a small amount of toe overlap and 700c wheels, but if Felt fits and/or handles better, then I wouldn't let the 650s be a deal breaker. For the record, I'm short, too, and both of my road bikes (including a custom bike) have a bit of toe overlap and 700c wheels. It's just something I have to be mindful of.

Test ride both bikes--and any other bike you can. You may find that you have a strong preference for one or the other.

Good luck. Let us know what you decide.

Colorado Springs, CO
629 Posts
I look for three things:

a) Carbon fiver forks
b) Triple chain ring (if you live in an area with hills or will do a lot of climbing)
c) Good fit

You probably have tried a bunch of bikes, but there will be one that will stand out among the others as a really "nice" ride. You just have to try a lot of bikes.

Also, if your hands are small, look for the smaller shifters/brake levers that are probably standard on WSD bikes. Nothing like trying to move around levels that are built for guys with big hands.

I have found that there is a definite break point in price/quality of parts/weight in these three ranges:

a) $800 to $1600
b) $1600 to $3200
c) $3200 to $5000
d) $5000+ (obviously you are racing, have tons of money, or are totally obsessed with riding)

You'll know the bike when you ride it because it will feel correct, proper, ride nice, and fit well without too much adjusting (that is what the bike fit is for to dial in the tweaks to make a good ride a great ride). I spent 6 hours trying out bikes at a bike shop before settling on a Trek Pilot 5.0 (wonderful bike!). I knew "it" was the bike about 10 seconds after getting on it. Also, make certain that you are looking for the right kind of bike. If you get a bike built for racing it will be a lot different than one built for touring & serious riding.

Happy bike hunting!
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