Righty then, you probably get a lot of first posts like this but I am in need of some advice, or at least some wild opinions partially based on fact.
I've had a slightly knackered Specialized hybrid for the last 2 years, it's been absolutely fine, gets me to and from work every day and I've done a couple of longer (200-ish miles) trips on it. But I think the time has finally come to invest a little more (£800-£1000) on a 'nicer' bike.
After a lot of research and a few test rides I've narrowed things down to a choice between the Specialized Secteur Elite or the Verenti Kilmeston.
If I go with the 2011 version of the Secteur Elite then the specs are fairly similar, although is there a noticeable difference between a SRAM Apex and SRAM Rival setup? The only other noticeable difference is that the Kilmeston has a carbon fork and apparently the stock brake pads that come with the Kilmeston are a little slippery.
So, basically, I'm looking for a fairly comfortable, fairly well specced bike that I can can sling a pannier rack on. Ideally I'd like a triple but the SRAM compact double seems to get very favorable reviews so I'm sure I'd get used to it.
Any thoughts/opinions/suggestions would be hugely useful.