I had this in the touring forum as well, I wanna put it here to get some other opinions.
After reading countless threads on this Board, I have decided to buy a Soma Double Cross as my all everything bike. I want to build this bike up to be as fast as it can be, but still reliable, as I am 6' 200lbs.
I live in Florida, no dealers nearby, so I will be going the internet route. I have found that the frame only for a best price of $309 and frame with matching steel lugged fork for $420
So first, has anyone seen a better price? Second, should I go with the matching fork? $110 seems steep to me for a fork that doesnt have its weight listed (I will guess ~2lbs). I ask because I am not familiar with the comfort changes between steel and aluminum forks on steel frames, but I can easily see the weight change (about a half pound usually). So is the extra comfort worth the weight AND cost penalty? Nicer steel forks seem to cost much more than this as well. Aluminum Cross forks go for much less on ebay.
Most of you probably wonder why I care, mainly its my budget as I am a grad student, and also because I used to race heavily and still will casually in the future, and I want this bike to enable me to cash out my race bike yet still be able to ride to school everyday. Also, this will be my first steel frame and I have a dream of taking a bike to Europe (hopefully this one!) for a couple months when I graduate. I wanted to ask this in touring forum, because I figured you guys would really know the feel of your bikes. Thanks!