Greetings. I am presently in the market for a cyclocross bike, and I was wondering if there are any other large mammals who could offer me some insight as to which bikes may serve me well. I am 6'1", and I weigh 250 lbs. My intended use of the bike will fall into the following categories: 65% use for pulling a Chariot CX2 trailer on paved, dirt, and gravel trails, and 35% for road training - after a few years, when the kids have their own bikes, I will probably get a dedicated road bike. Additionally, I plan on having two sets of tires - one for trails, and one for the road. My price range (excluding the second set of tires) will be around $1500, but I could go a little higher if convinced that it was a worthwhile investment.
My questions are as follows:
1. Are there certain bikes that anyone has experience with that are more tailored for for individuals of larger size?
2. What type of frame material would be best suited for my intended usage? Steel or aluminum (or carbon if in the unlikely event a carbon bicycle falls in my price range)? Would carbon forks and a carbon seatpost be beneficial?
3. Would the increased braking power of disc brakes provide additional safety for my "cargo" when pulling my trailer?
If anyone has any insight into these questions, and would like to share their expertise or insight with me, I would be greatly appreciative. Thank you for your help.