I'm torn between the women's GT Grade Sora ($1149) and the Norco Search S2 ($1399). The former is aluminum with a carbon fork and as its name suggests has the Sora groupset, while the latter has a full steel frame and 105s. Either way I go, the LBS will need to order the bike in as its not readily available. Also, the price and component disparity is due to my height (5'2") and bike availability in my size.

I rode the unisex Grade Sora in a size large than what I'd need to get, and while the bike handled very well and felt very light I felt every bump in the rode and the saddle didn't help the bike's case at all (I'm sure it can double as a torture device).

I haven't ridden the Search, since its sold out everywhere, but by some miracle the dealer has my size. I rode the aluminum Norco Valence though, after cross-referencing bike geometries, and barring some skittishness at lower speeds, it was a lovely ride. I'd actually get it if it wasn't for the lack of disc brakes and low tire clearance. Other than the steel frame, and the better groupset, the Search is less flashy looking when compared to the Grade, which is a plus in my book since I'm planning on locking my bike on campus.

I know the Search is a no-brainer, especially since its sold out, discontinued and the new alloy Tiagra is retailing at $1799, but I don't really need 105s. I guess I'm wondering if the ill-fitting bike coupled with evil saddle are to blame for my sub-par experience on the Grade? I'd rather penny pinch if I can, but I don't want to be uncomfortable either.

(All the prices are in Canadian dollar by the way, so don't be too shocked if they seem too high)
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