Looking at new frames. I've upgraded my current conversion over time and soon it will be time to upgrade to a suitable frame. I've done a lot of looking and these are the 4 that I've narrowed it down to. Originally I wanted a lugged steel frame, but found the only ones I'd like a bit out of my price range (except for the alien, maybe). I'm looking for something that will take a daily beating of commuting, a lot of times on rough roads, but also something that I can take on day rides as well. So, correct me if I'm wrong, a frame that has more of a hybrid geometry (between track and road)?
To reiterate, the list is as follows:
IRO Angus - I like this frame a lot for the price and the nicer 631 tubes. Most of what I've been looking at is 4130 and Reyn 520, but ideally i'd want something a bit nicer. My only complaints is the straight blade fork, bottle bosses and the overall style of the fork (no flat crown :-0). I know that isn't much, but I think the geometry might be tight for what I want?
Alien - Originally I thought I was sold on the Alien, but then did my research and saw some 'quality control issues' (dropouts not aligned right). Decent lugs, whatever paint I'd like, normal style fork, good price. All seems good. My complaints with this is one is the tubing--the site says 'double butted cromo', doesn't say what kind, but at least its double butted? (if someone could shed light on this one that'd be great). and again, I think the geo might be too tight for my needs.
Soma Rush - After being obsessed with lugged steel, this was the first frame that caught my eye that wasn't lugged. I like the clean overall look of the frame, and the fact that I can get it with a threaded chrome fork (ideally this is how I'd like to run my bike). The site says the tubes are 'Tange Prestige heat-treated CrMo steel; butted CrMo rear end'. I'm assuming only the 'rear end' is double butted, not the whole frame? (correct me on this). I really like this frame, I guess my only complaints is the water bottle bosses. (i saw the '10 model--they got everything right EXCEPT the straight blade fork!)
Specialized '10 Langster (steel) - I really like this bike. Nice 'old school' look (minus lugs), no bottle bosses or cable guides, and the decals come off. It's got Reynolds 520 tubes, but the specialized site doesn't specify if they are butted. From the site, the geo of this looks a bit more relaxed. This is probably my first choice, but I don't know how these ride and would like more info.
If anyone can shed more light on these frames, or know of other frames that would suit me well, let me know! You can kind of gather what my price range is (no more thatn $500, ideally).