OK, the deal is I have a Trek 7900 converted from a hybrid to a tourer through adding drops, barcons, etc. One of the chainstays has developed a small crack and I think it's time to get a new frame/fork set but I am in an internal struggle over whether to get a steel frame or an aluminum one. The bike will be used mostly for commuting and short tours but must have the capacity to be used for cross-country treks as this is a goal I have set for myself.
My only experience with steel was with light, little Italian racing frames and they seemed too flexible. I imagine touring frames in steel are a lot more rigid. I am a little apprehensive of aluminum now, although that fear may not be warranted. This whole scenario is further complicated in that I can have a brand new bike for not much more than a frameset and rebuild and I question whether it's possibly time to give some of the old, tired parts an honorable retirement.
What I've been looking at:
Surly LHT frameset
Bruce Gordon BLT frameset
So, with all that said, any insight as to the pros and cons of steel vs. aluminum would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you, in advance, and Happy Holidays!