Suggestions for my first “really nice bike”? $1800 budget
UPDATED TO SAVE READING TIME (and elicit the best possible suggestions)
I'm moving towards separate bikes for separate duties, rather than the do-it-all bike I initially imagined. I basically have a do-it-all bike (a lugged steel "sport tourer" with fenders, rack, and original downtube shifters). So this next bike doesn't need to carry the rack, panniers, or fenders.
Suggestions for lightweight road bikes that bring joy to the hearts of horizontal-top-tubing loving retrogrouches - yet use modern materials? Compact frames with steeply sloping top tubes look less beautiful in my eyes.
Background: I’m looking to purchase my first “really nice bike” and looking for ideas. The only bikes I've owned as an adult are a low-end, $280 Trek 820 mountain bike (purchased new in 2001) and a 1980's sport-tourer that I picked up at a garage sale for $70 (purchased in 2006). What can I say, I'm cheap with myself! I'm finally looking for a really nice bike that I will be able to enjoy for years to come.
I’m pretty busy, so a lot of my bike miles are commuting miles (12 miles round-trip). So I want my “good bike” to be the bike I ride everyday.
I'm hoping you guys can point me to something light, fast, and beautiful within my price range. Some thoughts about what I want are below.
1) Budget: $1800 (for complete bike)
2) Bike Type: Dropbar bike. Preferably one that would actually look good with fenders and would feel faster and sportier than my current bike.
3) I want it to be lightweight. I already have a ~27 lbs steel commuter bike.
4) Since this is not a bike I "need", but a bike I want, I want it to be good-looking, too. I'm a bit old-school in my aesthetic taste for bikes, but I'm okay with moving to modern technologies (aluminum frames, carbon forks, brifters, etc).
Initial bikes that I looked at:
All City Mr. Pink -- $1800 w/ full Shimano 105 drivetain. These bikes are *beautiful*, but the frames are surprisingly heavy. This "race frame" supposedly uses high-end Columbus tubing, but the frame weighs 4.5 lbs and comes with a required 2.3 lb matching fork. Beautiful, but I want more of a weight and speed upgrade. http://allcitycycles.com/bikes/mr_pink
Soma Smoothie -- $400 for frame only. It’s a nice looking frame, but not as beautifully painted or crafted as the Mr. Pink. And while the possibility of a carbon fork helps the weight a bit, we are still talking about a 4.6 lbs steel frame at the center of the build. Soma quotes 4.0 lbs on the frame, but all real-world reported weights are ~4.6 lbs.
"Endurance Road Bikes" -- I only discovered that these exist earlier this afternoon! Yes, I am out of touch with modern bikes. They look like full-blown race machines, but with room for wider tires and with hidden fender eyelets. Would it look absolutely ridiculous to put fenders on such a beast so I could ride it every day - and commute on it? Or would it be like pulling a plow with a race horse?
Kona Zone: http://www.konaworld.com/zone.cfm
Trek Domane 2.3: http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes..._2_3_compact/#
Fuji Gran Fondo 2.5 http://www.fujibikes.com/bike/details/gran-fondo-25
Am I missing any really nice bikes that would fit the bill and still be within the budget? Are there any bikes that would fit my old-school sensibilities, but without the 4.5 lb frames? Please don't suggest any $2000 custom frames. They are not in the budget.
Thank you in advance for helping me get up to speed on the modern bike world!
All-City Mr. Pink: Attachment 350316
Kona Zone: Attachment 350313
Trek Domane 2.3 Attachment 350314
Fuji Gran Fondo 2.5 Attachment 350315