yeah, I really narrowed it down, eh?
I'm 250 lbs, fairly newbish, and yesterday did another 'long' ride, 51.01 miles on a Trek 820. I had fun, but I really found myself wanting something a little more....aero, for the road miles. Out of the 51, about 1/3 was 'off-road', i.e. fire roads, gravel, mostly hard packed (Although it started to get a bit mucky as it rained). It held up well off road as a 'gravel grinder' I suppose, but on the road, it obviously lacked.
No single track requirements, but I don't want a pure road bike. I'd like it to have the capability to at least mount fenders or possibly even a rear rack. I'm not looking to set any land speed records or win any races. I want to be able to ride my 15 miles to work with some good speed, and then on the weekends, drop a half century on fire roads, gravel, maybe some hard-pack dirt, and standard hardball/asphalt, and not feel like my body is beat to hell.
From what I've read, steel is a lot more compliant and gives a much less punishing ride than aluminum which is 'faster' (lighter?) but tends to beat a fella up. I don't want a pure road bike as I'd like to be able to go on some dirt and gravel, but I'd like a little more aero and 'distance' capability than my entry-level MTB.
so steel all around, or is aluminum frame/carbon fork ok? What about a composite/carbon bike?
Specialized AWOL - Cr-Mo
Surly Straggler 4130 CroMoly
Salsa Vaya 3 Cro-Moly
combo Alloy frame + composite/carbon fork:
Kona Jake the Snake
Specialized Crux E5
vs. straight Carbon:
Trek 7.7 FX
I guess my questions:
1. Is carbon a good buy for a clyde at this low of a price?
2. Does the "compliant" carbon fork make up for the "stiff" aluminum or does it still end up being a rough ride?
3. If 1 above is true, does that mean the Anyroad CoMax and Trek 7.7 are crazy deals, since Carbon sure seems to be a lot more expensive than steel or aluminum?
4. If, for whatever reason, carbon frame is a bad idea, then does the aluminum frame/carbon fork provide for a good bike or do I just need to stop all this silly nonsense and go for steel?