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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last winter I fixed up my 10-year-old road bike and got back on the road after years. I'm loving it. I quickly decided that when I hit my first 1,000 miles I would consider a new bike and that time has come.

I'm looking at Giant, Trek and Specialized (each carried by a different LBS). Frankly, I like the Specliazed LBS the best (most knowledgeable and very helpful), but it seems like Specialized has a real price premium compared to Giant and Trek. For example, both Giant and Trek have bikes in the $2,000 range that use Ultegra-level components but Specialized is still using 105 components in that price range. It takes $3,000 with Specialized to get Ultegra level.

I suppose it's possible that Specialized frames/wheels are that much better or maybe they just get a premium.

Obviously it will be most important to find a bike that rides well and is a good fit, but after a 10-year-old Trek just about everything feels great.

Any insights?
 

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Are you sure you're comparing comparable bikes? That price difference looks like aluminum versus carbon.

Can you give specific models? I'm looking at the Trek Madone 4.7 on the Trek site. Carbon frame, Ultegra components, $2800, which seems about right, and compares to the Tarmac Expert Ultegra for $3000. The Madone 4.5 is $2200 and 105.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I thought so - but maybe I'm wrong. For example, Giant TCR C2 is carbon with Ultegra for $2300. I must be missing something but seems like there is nothing below the Specialized model you quoted with Ultegra for $3K.
 

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'On paper' the Giant looks to be the better buy, but I rode a couple of TCR's and a couple of Tarmacs and bought the Tarmac Comp ($2,400 MSRP). :) IMO it's the better frameset, and that matters more.

Dr_John noted some differences between the two, but also note that the Expert comes with Fulcrum's, the TCR/ C2 with Aksium's - so score one for Spec. But components alone don't make the bike.

Bottom line is that fit matters most. Giant's fit me, but a fair number of people have trouble with their sizing. I suggest riding the bikes of interest paying attention to fit, handling, comfort and not worrying too much about components. In the price range you're in, they're going to perform fine.
 
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