New to this forum- Need opinion on a Trek 1.5 as a first road bike

ive read reviews on the shimano sora opposed to the tiagra, and am leaning more towards a tiagra. so far, i have narrowed down my search to DEFY 2, Specialized Sectuer sport triple, and a scott (im not sure wich model). however i am leaning more towards a 1.5 since the salesman said it was a more comfortable ride, not so aggresive position for long 2-3 hour rides. any opinions?

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All excellent choices

All of the bikes you have looked at have a geometry that will be comfortable to ride for longer distances and time.

I am guessing you looked at a Scott Speedster S30 based on the prices of the other bikes. Definitely go for the Tiagra, if you are interested enough to get a road bike and will be spending 2-3 hours on it a better component gruppo will improve the ride. I know that the Secteur Elt and Speedster both have a compact crank available. The range with compact is almost the same as a triple and saves some weight from the bike. Make sure you try it.

Overall, make sure you test ride all of the bikes. Whatever bike you end up with make sure you get it fit, as that will make a world of difference in how comfortable you are and ultimately how you perform on the bike. Not talking racing, there is no reason to have aches (other than a few sore muscles) after a couple hours riding.

test rides

I just want to validate BowCycle's suggestion that you test-ride your prospective purchase, especially if it's a road bike that you intend to ride for (possibly) hours.

When I was shopping for a cyclo-cross bike, I was convinced I needed a 56cm frame, and even took a friend's for a short ride (she had it for sale), and the stand-over height on it was okay. Then I went to look at a 56cm Doz at Bow Cycle. I took it on a long ride up to Citadel and back, and by the end of that ride my lower back was killing me (it felt fine for the first couple of km). So I switched down to a 52cm frame, and it still felt a little large... until I moved the seat back about 1cm! I ended up buying a 52cm Doz from Bow Cycle and it has been very comfortable, on rides up to 300km.

If your LBS won't let you make a reasonable-length test ride, go to a different shop: it's that important.

Test Rides

I also want to support what Bow has suggested. I went there a few years ago "convinced" that I would be buying bike "A"... tried a few bikes out "just because" and ended up with something completely different based solely on the fit and ride quality. As a previous roadie-racer I poo-pooed the idea of a compact crank too... but ended up on a bike with the compact and still think it was one of the best decisions. A 34t front cog w/ a 12-27 cassette in the back gives you almost the same range as most triples out there. Also consider your tire selection - a 25mm is nice up front, or even a 28mm (yes I have something that beefy on my all-carbon road bike).

Let us know what you end up with, and why.

There isn't enough room

to adequately answer your question. A proper bike fit involves all aspects of the bike including things most people don't think about (eg Crank Length).

Make sure that whatever store you go to will look at saddle height, angle and fore & aft position to start with. Then stem height and length. Ideally you should have the bike mounted on a trainer for this (unless they have a fit kit). Make sure you ride on the trainer in all positions (drops, hoods, bars, standing, no hands) for long enough to get a feel. Push low RPM and high (30 - 100+). Then go out for a ride on the road with it for half an hour. Make sure you find a decent hill (steep and at least a kilometer long - like Edworthy).

Then get out and enjoy once you've made your purchase. And over time bump your time in the saddle up to some nice 4 - 6 hour rides and beyond. It is surprising how much distance you can cover in a day.