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I'm buying my first road bike. I don't plan on racing, but riding long distances, and comfort is one of my top priorities with quality. I tried a 58 Allez in my local shop and it felt like a dream but I only rode for a few minutes. They didn't have a 58 Secteur, so I had to try a 56, and it didn't feel as good because it was too small. They say they can't get the 58 Secteur unless I pay for it. So I don't know what to do ... I don't want to buy the secteur without trying it but I am afraid I might pass on a more comfortable bike. Any tips? Also, would sport (sora) vs. elite (tiagra) make a big difference on these?

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closed as off-topic by Batman, Neil Fein, jimirings May 3 '14 at 17:37

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve." – jimirings
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Too small is too small and you will always regret buying a bike that doesn't fit you. Buy the bike that feels like a dream and you'll always be glad you did. – Carey Gregory May 3 '14 at 3:51
This is more of a discussion question than anything else. I'm voting to place this on hold for now, but you can probably improve this by adding more detail about your circumstances, as per this answer on meta. – Neil Fein May 3 '14 at 16:28

Some possible do's:

  • keep looking until you find a shop that has a Secteur in 58. If you're in the northern hemisphere, remember that this is prime time of year for bike shops. You probably won't find big bargains but you should have a good selection. And 58 isn't extreme at all.
  • do some research - are there any bikes that are close enough to a Secteur that they'd do for a test ride? And that its possible to test? Remember you're testing the frame and the fit, so you could probably compromise on the groupset (for a test).

And some possible don'ts:

  • don't part with your cash up front. Remember you'd be doing so on the offchance that this bike is a good match for you. I can understand why an LBS might say this, but they're being unreasonable if they're seriously wanting to sell bikes. Why should you take the risk? Find a bike shop that's prepared to let you test without obligation.
  • when you do make a decision, try not to break the bank. You say this is your first road bike? Well, one of two things is going to happen. Either you'll decide that cycling isn't for you and the bike will gather dust in the garage (in which case you wasted any money you spent). Or, you'll get so into cycling that after a while you'll decide that the only reason you're not riding faster and longer is because of the limitations of your bike, and you'll start wanting a new one. So my advice is to save your money for the second bike. And for the second bike I guarantee you'll know exactly what bike you want and nothing anyone says on forums such as this will make any difference.

As regards which groupset - go for the best one you can afford. The reason for this is that groupsets cost a lot less when they're bought as part of a bike rather than separately. If you get a lesser groupset now, and want to upgrade parts later, it will work out expensive. That's just down to the manufacturers' ability to bulk buy.

Note also that while Tiagra is ok it is definitely not "elite". I have a bike with an old 9sp Tiagra group, which I would say is acceptable, but if you want "elite" you're looking at Dura Ace or Ultegra, which puts you in a different ball park with regard to cost. My only experience of Sora was testing a bike a few years back - the big limitation then was crappy shifters - although I believe the Sora range now has the same style shifters as the higher ranges. I suspect if you tested Tiagra and Sora side-by-side you'd find either to be acceptable but neither would be brilliant. If you can go higher (105 or Ultegra), great, but be wary about choosing anything lower than Sora.

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