Frame & Geometry
I've decided that I don't want to invest too much in components. I'd be fine with all around Tiagra for my first bike. I can always upgrade the components later - Meanwhile I'll be working on my cadence/fitness - basically enhancing my 'engine'
I still have 3 questions on frames & geometry though. I'm 5'10.5'' - with an inseam of about 30.25' and I'm only looking to use this bike for commuting year-round.
1. I'm getting the sense that for my body type, I'm more comfortable riding a cross with a slightly sloped top tube. Before I do so however, I'm wondering what I am losing/trading off by going with sloped top tube? Is there a downside to having sloped top tube?
2. Second I'm leaning towards an aluminum frame. Definitely want the carbon fork. Do carbon rear stays really make a big difference? I only found one bike that has the carbon rear stays in the $1200 range and that was the Jamis Nova Pro. Are there others near that price range with carbon rear stays?
3. Some bikes like the tricross have breaks by the top handlebar in addition to the cantilevers upfront. I really like this feature for commuting. Does this make the bike heavier? The Jamis doesn't have those unfortunately, so I'd be making that trade-off.
Again i'm really new to all this - and would appreciate your advice very much!