So, I'm been plotting and scheming to purchase my first tri-specific bike for a while now. I first started looking in earnest late last summer, but decided to push the purchase off until now. I've been seriously looking for the past few weeks, and plan on finally (*finally!*) making the purchase within the next two weeks. I have basically narrowed the search down to two bikes:
Here's the dilemma: I love love love the girly colors of the Slice. I feel silly to admit it! A local shop has a few in stock, and is building one up in my size for me to take out on a test-ride next weekend. I already sat on one in their shop - that was slightly too big - and I just loved the look and feel of it.
BUT - I also really like the look of the B16. It's slightly more hardcore - doesn't necessarily scream "girl power!" in the way the Slice does. Also, the B16 is a significantly better value for the price - the prices of the two bikes are about the same (both in the $2200 range), but the B16 comes with an Ultegra component set, while the Slice comes with 105. If I wanted to upgrade on the Slice, I'd need to shell out $3200 for the Rival groupset, which isn't something I'm willing to do right now (I'd rather do other things with my money, haha).
Either way, this bike is going to be a significant upgrade over my current ride - a 2008 Specialized Dolce, sized 54. For those counting at home, I am 5'3 - whoever sold me a size 54 bike essentially took advantage of me in my first season. I walked into a shop, took the guy at his word that I needed a 54, and just assumed I was supposed to spend most of my time riding feeling like I would topple over. This past season I had a comprehensive fit done by a local pro rider, and was essentially told that the bike was too big (something I already knew). I've been instructed that this purchase should be in the 48-50 range, and I should seriously consider 650 wheels. So, as long as the new bike FITS, I know it will be a HUGE improvement over my current set of wheels.
That said, I want this to be a bike I can grow with. This bike is going to see me through some pretty long miles this summer in the lead up to Louisville. It's hard to overlook the fact that the B16 comes with a significantly better group-set for the exact same price. I took a S22 (they didn't have a B16 in 50 in stock) out for a quick spin today, and felt very comfortable on the Felt (ha-ha). So that is the way I'm leaning. I anticipate making my purchasing decision next weekend after my Slice test-ride.
Any suggestions? Thoughts? Is the B16 a better bike for the purchase price?