Get your kicks on a 66
I rode many bikes, multiple times, many on the same day. Trek, Giant, Fuji, Cannondale and a few other brands. My initial price point was about a grand. I figured that I’d start a the “good” level and work my way up to the “better” and try out a few “best” but did not expect to buy a high end bike. My goal was to find the bike that fit best and then worry about the brand, material, components, and features.
I also considered picking up a used bike. Rusty here in Portland buys and fixes up used bike to sell at swap meets and on his TallRides site. I went over and took a spin on a few of his rigs. At about $200-400 a bike it was tempting to pick up a pretty good bike, but I was on a mission to find “the” bike. I will continue to keep an eye on Rusty’s site. It seems very logical to have a city rig that I can bolt up down town without too much anxiety about someone ripping it off.
I liked the Giant and Cannondale bikes best from a fit the body stand point. The Giant OCR1 and OCR A1 had a 58.5cm seat tube and 61cm top tube on their compact geometry. The bike was in my price range and the components fit my needs. I road a few of them but did not get the fit like a glove feel.
I then turned my attention to Cannondale. I rode an 63cm seat extra large CAAD8 and a custom 66cm CAAD8. I think that as soon as I took the 66cm out for a test ride it was all over. The size, weight, components all fit. I felt like it was the first bike I was on that I was not over extended over the font tire or above the top tube. The price point was about twice my original budget but there was no denying that if I compromised on fit to save a few bucks that I would end up spending more in the long run.