thanks again John - great advice.
I was talking about the 1500 wheels ... they have less spokes : look a lot nicer .. but i guess not as strong ..
whats the colour difference between the 04 and 05 ? i thought they were all red.
one last question : i really like the rapid shifter gears on my MTB : i know gears have progressed from the old levers on Road Bikes, i beleive they are incorperated into the brake levers now ? what are they like on the 1200 ?
I think that the new 05 model is a two colour jobby. The UK trek site still has 04 models on it, but the US site has a picture of them.
The gear shifters are the best bit! Can't fault them. They take a little getting used to, you'll probably find that you brake when you change gear for the first couple of times, but once you have the hang of it they are incredibly easy.
In my opinion the best thing about this type of lever is the trim feature on the front chainring. As these bikes are 9 speeds it means that there is a considerable difference in the chain angle when you are in first gear as opposed to being in 9th. The trim feature lets you move the front derailleur very slightly to the right when on the small cogs to eliminate it rubbing against the chain. When you drop down to the big cogs again you can move it back to normal. You do this by moving the left lever around a third of a stroke to the right where it finds a natural notch. When you're on the large chainring you probably shouldn't be in the lowest gears anyway.
They also have a feature where moving the right lever to the left as far as it will go rather than the first click will actually bring you down up to three gears rather than having to go click - click - click. Useful when you're not paying attention and that big uphill suddenly appears! You've probably got this on your mountain bike.
The Tiagras control the shifting by either the main brake lever or a smaller lever on the inside right next to the main lever (one moves up, the other moves down). The beauty is that you can brake and change gear from practically any hand position, except when you are holding the flat part of the bars, but I spend most of my time on the hoods anyway.
The whole setup just makes complete sense. Also, as you are a big fella you probably have big hands too - the Tiagra hoods are a nice big comfy fit for me.
Whatever you go for I've heard that Tiagras are a better option than the lower spec Sora's, though I've never used them. Don't know what the more expensive 105's are like, but maybe someone else could help you out there. Tiagras do for me just fine but I am blissfully ignorant of the other options such as Campag's etc.