I've been getting into longer rides (nothing outrageous, maybe 20-30+ KM/day), thanks to only recently discovering there's a nice, mostly paved trail that connects my town to the next and the next.
I've had a 30 pound (?) - just a guess - Giant hardtail (Revel 0) for nearly a year. I've since put semi-slicks on it, which made an improvement, and I'm getting stronger -but I'm noticing the weight and everything else about it that's geared for slower, rougher stuff, when tackling hills, wind, or frequent stop/starts.
I'd like a bike that's lighter, lets me go further, faster, and can take on acceleration and hills with less of a push on my part (I also travel with a reasonably weighty backpack and heavy-enough lock, so I could use all the help I can get).
Since much of what I do these days is sidewalk/paved road/paved trail/packed gravel, I've been looking at "performance hybrids". I like the flat handlebars and somewhat more upright position.
Aside from lightness, speed and good climbing, I'd like a bike that's comfortable. The roads around here aren't too bad. Some curbs, some rough pavement, nothing crazy. I am interested in an all-steel bike. Something about it - from the elegant look of the tubing to the purportedly more-comfortable-than-aluminum ride to the fact that it's somewhat repairable - really appeals to me, hence the interest in the Jamis Sport Coda.
What I wanted to ask you all (sorry, I'm not good with short messages) is, given what I'm after (reasonably light (maybe 25-26 lbs. max), all steel, fast, geometry that doesn't force me into an "aero" position unless I want it, comfy ride - oh, and tough enough to jump over small curbs, hit rough patches or go on a tame non-paved dirt track - would you suggest that I just go for the Jamis Coda Sport?
Or are there other bikes you'd recommend on par or better? Budget-wise, a $1000 CDN, max, though would prefer to stay more in the $500-700 range. (I'd love a custom steel bike, but $2.5K just isn't happening right now!)
A question about the brakes: I've gotten so used to the all-weather reliability of disc brakes (which my hardtail has), that I don't feel confident about linear pull brakes (like on the Coda). Would I have to worry about diminished stopping power in the wet? Pads wearing out fast or wearing out the tire's rims? Any light, steel performance hybrids out there with disc brakes, or just needless worrying on my part?
One other thing - psychologically, I'm not comfortable with the idea of carbon forks. Just don't want to go there. I know people ride it all the time, but my brain just "feels" safer with the thought of a steel fork. (Bear that in mind if anyone can make suggestions for bikes other than the Coda Sport.)
Okay! That's it! I'm done! Message complete! Can't wait for your suggestions. Thanks!