I rode an 18.5 lbs Kestrel Talon this past weekend and fell in love with it. I like the double chain-ring set-up, the Ultegra shifter, and the carbon frame of the Kestrel. Unfortunately the 10 minute test ride only whetted my appetite without bringing up any less-than-obvious flaws. The question is whether this bike is sufficiently better than my Bianchi triple chain ring, 22.5 lbs, steel bike to drop $1,800 for it (discounted from $2,200). I ride 70 to 80 miles on weekends, mostly to a breakfast cafť and back. I enjoy fast riding and hill climbing but Iím not a racer.
My question is one about feel rather than speed. I donít care so much about going faster as I want a bike that feels significantly lighter than my 22.5 lbs steel frame bike, more agile, more responsive, quicker, and a better climber. Essentially, Iím asking if 4 lbs less weight and a carbon fiber frame make a significant difference in the way a bike feels over a 30, 40, and likely even more miles ridden each Saturday and Sunday.