I'm looking to buy a new bike for the first time in many years, and this seems to be a good group of people to ask for some advice.
I'm a 40 yr old, about 6 feet 4 inches tall and 220 pounds. I have been riding about 150-200 km per week over the summer and hope to increase that next year. My riding interests are recreational/fitness, with some Gran Fondo type events. I'm looking for a comfortable ride that is lighter and stiffer than my 15 yr old touring bike, has decently low gears (I'm weak and heavy). I'm a horrible descender, so something stable on the downhills would be lovely. I am looking to spend in the $1200-2000 price range. In addition, it will have to look good so as not to detract from the awesomeness of my soon to be ordered PdC kit.
I live in a fairly small town (Penticton, BC, Canada), but we do have 2 good bike shops and I would like to purchase locally. The following are the makes/models that have been sugested to me at the shops:
-Giant Defy 1
I've looked a bit at the specs online, and they all seem pretty similar, but I do have a couple questions:
-any strong advantages of triple chainrings vs/ compact crankset? I currently have a triple, and use the granny gears more often than I would like.
-any big differences in performance or quality between SRAM Apex and Shimano 105? I have some S-105 on my current bike and have no complaints.
Thanks for any comments or assistance.