My poor bicycle was destroyed last week in a hit & run. Bicycle vs. SUV. We've not caught the person who did this. My old Stelvio XRP was Aluminum (Columbus Airplane tubing) w/ Carbon seat and chain stays & fork. It was only 3 months old. I have some generous friends who want to help me get a Moots (they tell me at least I won't be able to break that), and I'm breaking down to the pressure... now wavering between the Vamoots CR and Vamoots RSL. Most components will come from my destroyed bicycle, though, as most are salvageable. Aside from new frame & fork, the only other losses were my front wheel (Velomax Circuit) and chainrings. I'm pretty beat up, though. Muscle tears, shoulder injury and broken ribs are going to take a few weeks to mend.
So- what do you recommend? I'm 5'3", 125 lbs, and my destroyed bike was 48/49cm, compact geometry, while the bicycle it replaced was not (but was also way too big for me). I definitely liked the compact geometry. The events I'm registered for are generally 100+ miles with a LOT of climbing (10K+ ft. vertical, 20K+ vertical for the Alta Alpina 8 pass), and variable road conditions. This is only my second season of serious riding. My first season was on a 23 year old Vitus 979 that was too big for me and finally kicked the bucket. My greatest strength: Handling on fast, winding downhills. You can see a couple examples of my downhill riding here via my handlebar mounted cam:
(on the 48/49 cm Stelvio XRP- Lookout Mountain)
and here (on the 54cm Vitus 979- Loveland Pass)
The gear ratio I've been using has been a SRAM Rival modified compact, 52/36T on the front and SRAM 1070 11-32t 10sp on the rear. I intend to put the same on whatever bike I end up with.
There's a review of the frameset I had here, and it's the same geometry, but a small, which wasn't available when the article was written. http://www.dailypeloton.com/displayarticle.asp?pk=9480