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I am looking for a new road bike to use for general riding & fitness and also a few sportives. I dont think i will be racing at all but may do some more competitive based stuff in the future depending on how fast I get.
I have been cycling road for about 18 months only really getting into it properly since mid last year. I currently have an older Spesh allez with a few upgrades and it rides ok but cant help but notice how heavy it feels and slow to accelerate up climbs. I also ride a giant defy as a winter bike or for slower paced rides. I know theres loads of people saying how i should focus on getting fitter and quicker but having a good (looking) bike is important for me and I am always doing adjustments and servicing my bikes as i love having everything working perfectly.
I really want something with racier geomtery as the defy is really too relaxed for my liking. Ideally a second hand or maybe new ish frameset would be ideal as I have decent training wheels and a fairly new shimano groupset off the specialized. However its probably easier to buy a complete bike and better value so either way would be fine by me.
I was thinking about a carbon frame but would like to know people thoughts in regards to how they ride compared to alloy frames. I know my specialized gives a lot of road 'feel' compared to the giant which makes it feel more lively but slightly less comfortable.

 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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Not sure what the exchange rate is right now, but unlikely you will find a new carbon bike below $1,800USD, and that is with Tiagra, not 105. The highest end aluminum bikes are almost as light as carbon. The main advantage to carbon is the lack of annoying road buzz.

Some good choices with aggressive race geometry to explore depending on how much you want to spend:

http://www.cannondale.com/en/USA/Bi...parentid=be69932e-bbe8-4f5c-9a1d-b3a386243e89

http://www.cannondale.com/en/USA/Bi...parentid=ad1e1b51-846d-452d-8f2b-6ea0e0343297

http://www.cannondale.com/en/USA/Bi...parentid=4b6987a4-968e-4016-8156-95582340b7db
 

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The main advantage to carbon is the lack of annoying road buzz.
Not really. A smooth or rough riding frame can be made of any material - it's about geometry and tube size/shape/wall thickness, not frame material. And road buzz is primarily a function of tires and tire pressure.

The OP is looking for a road bike in the low $2000 range. There are lots of good bikes available and he needs to get to some bike shops and do some test rides.
 

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Last time I was over there, I went into an Evans store for some tubes. I think it's a nationwide store, selling some of the big brands - Specialized, Cannondale, Trek, Fuji, BMC and others.

Punching Carbon, Race geometry and price 1400-1600 into their website yielded 8 bikes that fit your preliminary requirements; Evans Cycles | Road race, Carbon, Price=1400-1600 pounds

While I've not checked the builds, the Supersix Evo and Tarmac stand out for me. Plus, you might be able to get a better deal if they have any 2015 inventory left.

You should test ride before buying and also shop around to get the best deal.
 

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I don't know much about what is available in Europe, but there are lots of great bikes in that price range (contrary to what you might hear). The space between all out race bikes and endurance bikes is one of my favorite design types as well. Here's a few good and affordable bikes I like.

1.) the Orbea Orca: ORCA M30 ? Orbea . It's race proven, light, stiff, and you can often catch the prior year on sale. Great reviews.

2) Focus Cayo: same deal, but even cheaper. The 105 version is well within your price range. Focus - Bikes: 2016 | Road | Performance / Cayo. This one has great reviews as well.

3) The Fuji SL: Light, stiff and affordable again. Fuji Bikes | ROAD | COMPETITON SERIES | SL 2.5

4) The Giant TCR or Propel Advanced: Upgrade the components and/or wheels over time and you have real winner at a great price. TCR Advanced | Giant Bicycles | United States Propel Advanced | Giant Bicycles | United States

5) Specialized Tarmac Sport: Came close to buying this bike multiple times over the years. With a wheel upgrade, it's pretty tough to tell the difference between this and the Fact 10R Carbon Tarmac Expert or Pro Race out on the road. https://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/road/tarmac-sport/106447

6.) Cannondale Synapse Carbon: It's just a great all around bike on every level and it's pretty affordable to boot. It has to be one of the best sportive bikes and it's race tested. http://www.cannondale.com/en/USA/Bi...parentid=b96c94d6-6537-46ec-8189-d0d717b8725a

You really can't go wrong with any of those or others that are like them. If I had to choose one, I would be taking a close look at the Focus Cayo and the Cannondale, given the characteristics you identified as a priority.
 

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Not really. A smooth or rough riding frame can be made of any material - it's about geometry and tube size/shape/wall thickness, not frame material. And road buzz is primarily a function of tires and tire pressure.

The OP is looking for a road bike in the low $2000 range. There are lots of good bikes available and he needs to get to some bike shops and do some test rides.
I stuck with naming cabon bikes given the OPs interest in that material, but I am starting to agree with this more every day. I am personally building a Allez Sprint X2 as my road bike and don't regret the choice at all to be honest. The new aluminum designs are really great and can be a great value if they float your boat (Allez Sprint, Caad12, Trek Emonda ALR).
 

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Not really. A smooth or rough riding frame can be made of any material - it's about geometry and tube size/shape/wall thickness, not frame material. And road buzz is primarily a function of tires and tire pressure.
This is the argument Sheldon Brown makes and to a degree, you and he are right about geometry, tube shapes and tire pressure.

However, given most other things being equal, carbon will be more compliant. Carbon also has the advantage of being able to be shaped into more ways to achieve this.

Yes, tire pressure makes the greatest difference, but by no means the only difference as to whether you feel road buzz or not.
 

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Not really. A smooth or rough riding frame can be made of any material - it's about geometry and tube size/shape/wall thickness, not frame material. And road buzz is primarily a function of tires and tire pressure.

The OP is looking for a road bike in the low $2000 range. There are lots of good bikes available and he needs to get to some bike shops and do some test rides.
+1....... I agree completely A test ride on a Cannondale CAAD10 or even better, a CAAD12 will convince you that material doesn't matter.
 

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Since you are in Europe you have access to some really cool bikes, not just Trek, Giant, Specialized and Cannondale.
Have you looked at Canyon or Cube? They are both excellent and have nice bikes in your range. Felt is another great bike to look at.
 
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