Old 06-18-10, 06:22 AM
Polka Dot
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Steel or Alu for gravel and cobblestones?


Would be very glad for some advice on which way to go...

I used to do lot of road cycling a while ago, but due to work and moving to a different country couldn't practice it any more. I would like to pick it up again and am looking around for a new bike. Cycling would be a weekend hobby for me. I would like to be able to ride also on smaller roads, which lack good pavement and may be occasionally include stretches of gravel roads or forest paths. Nothing extremely bumpy though... Comfort on longer trips would be another thing I am looking for.

I figured that a cyclocross bike would be a way to go. Yet, due to my budget I would mostly be limited to used bikes. In the used marked the cyclocross bikes come up very rarely and go for a higher price than road bikes with equal components. So I am thinking that may be a used steel bike would be a good option? Considering my intentions, do you think that I would be better off with a high quality 80s steel frame (with downtube shifters) or with a more contemporary aluminum bike with 105 shifters? I would probably put wider puncture resistant tires on it. I figure out that I could get a high end italian steel bike for the money of beginners aluminum frame. I need to save extra funds for all kinds of small things in addition, like helmet, shoes, etc.

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