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I wanna go fast, but I'm not going to race. Most of my rides will be on rough city streets, for both leisure and commuting. I've narrowed it down to two bikes, roughly in the same price range. I don't know sh!t about components, so if you guys could fill me in on which might be better stocked that'd be great, but my main question is aluminum or steel. What are the pros and cons? What would seem to work better for my application?

Steel:
http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/street/coda/10_codaelite.html

Aluminum:
http://www.fujibikes.com/LifeStyle/Performance-Hybrid/Absolute10.aspx
 

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Oh no, don't start that whole steel vs. aluminum vs. carbon thing. Might as well bring up politics and religion too.

The Fuji appears to have more of a road gearing, while the Jamis is geared like a mountain bike. The Jamis will allow you to have a lower gearing if you have hills. Both seem like nice bikes and have the same relative weight. I frankly would go with the steel too. To me it feels like a nicer ride than aluminum. Just my $.02.
 

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Pinarello Prince in Spain colors.

Or that Dale Jarret colored Fuji.

There, i told you.
 

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Get a red one -- they are faster.

In all seriousness, get the one that fits the best. Fit is very important, then frame, then components. Use search to review the posts about carbon vs. steel vs. aluminum. No one is 'better' than the other (there, I said it!), but each has strengths and fans.

Both of those bikes look good, so I don't think you could go wrong with either one. Good luck.
 

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jgross80 said:
I wanna go fast, but I'm not going to race.
the FAST is in yer legs, not yer bike.

jgross80 said:
I don't know sh!t about components,
might i suggest you do a little research before you buy.

jgross80-get thee hence to a local LBS and get fitted for a bike. then you will spend years and years having fun on a bike that is comfortable to ride.
 

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jgross80 said:
I wanna go fast, but I'm not going to race. I don't know sh!t about components, so if you guys could fill me in on which might be better stocked that'd be great, but my main question is aluminum or steel. What are the pros and cons? What would seem to work better for my application?
Unless you are a phenom, don't expect to go really fast on either bike.

In general, steel is said to have a better ride quality than aluminum at the expense of weight. In this case both bikes weigh the same so that's not an issue. Furthermore, well-designed aluminum frames can arguably ride as nice as steel ones. If you buy the steel, you ought to strip the bike down and rust-proof the frame with frame saver. The shop can can do this for you but it will cost you for labor.

The components on both bikes are of similar quality. The 105 components on the Fuji are excellent road components, The Deore components on the Jamis are excellent mountain components. The mountain gearing on the Jamis makes it better suited for very steep hills (say 15% grade or more).

The Jamis has nice clipless pedals, while the Fuji has platform pedals, which you might want to upgrade. I like the grips on the Fuji. I don't like the suspension seat post on the Jamis because in my experience these can wiggle. But if this bugs you can replace it with an inexpensive rigid alloy seatpost.

I don't think you can go wrong with either bike. It will come down to price and how they feel when you test ride them. I started cycling on a $600 GT hybrid which I still own and enjoy, even though I now have a road bike that cost 10 times as much.
 

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Go with the Fuji if your primary interest is "fast" recreational riding and the Jamis if you are primarily interested in a stable commuter. Either bike would be a good choice for comuting, but I agree with the negative comment on the suspension seat post and would chose the Fuji for that and the 105 road components. The pedals on the Fuji would work with uncleated work shoes.
 

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I hate to bring up another subject that has similarly vehement thoughts on both sides of the aisle as "steel/aluminum/carbon", but I'm going to anyhow...

Flat bars versus drop bars.

There, I said it.

A few short months ago, when I started road riding, I tried drops and flats. Coming from a MTB background, flats were so much more comfortable for me...they were stable, predictable, gave great leverage and steering, and made those tiny, skinny road slicks feel a bit more comfortable. Fast forward a month of serious riding, and I was hating only having one hand position. I added bar ends, but those don't do much for long periods of road riding. I even added a set of aero-clip ons to give me the option of ducking headwinds (when in controlled environments and when I didn't need to shift or brake). And you know what happened? It still sucked. Bike was great--Trek FX 7.6, which was in the same price range you're looking. Good components, rode great. But the more I rode, the more I hated straight bars.

Before I bought, I posted on here and was told by a few well-intentioned riders that I should reevaluate drop bars. I politely insisted they were wrong and I wanted flat bars. As it turns out, they were right.

After a short time on straights, I came to hate it. Couldn't get comfortable for long periods of road riding, couldn't get a decent position for aero riding, couldn't keep up with guys in the drops when hammering. I ended up selling the FX and going to a road bike with drops (in my case, a Scattante CFR Race that was a deal that couldn't be refused). I use the drop bike for commuting, riding, groups, roads, solos, and a ton of stuff. (I revert to my MTB for off-road escapades and my Big Dummy for cargo, errands and kid hauling). And I wouldn't go back to a straight bar bike if you paid me.

For the $1K price range you're looking at, there are a ton of options available in drop bar bikes, with and without triple cranks. I'd really encourage you to reconsider and look at drop bar bikes. Not that you need to get a Scattante, but since I think they're pretty darn good deals...for $1K right now, you could get a R-570. Aluminum frame, triple crank, 105 components, decent (cheap) wheels and tires, on a bike that is very comfortable and rides nice (I know...I shopped it when I got my CFR Race). I think in the long run, you'll be much happier with a drop bike than straight bars. It took me about 1 hour to feel comfortable riding drops, and about 3 weeks to really get comfortable to all of the different hand positions available.

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1091232_-1_1521000_20000_400306

Reconsider your decision to go straight bar, before you make the same mistake I made.
 

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FUJI Carbon is a very nice looking Frame, and I see lots of folks riding them.

My good buddy just got one from PERFORMANCE and he loves it.

john
 

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a Trek.

there.
 

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Scott Addict R3. Then you can be as fast as Cavendish.
 

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I agree with LawFarm,

I hate my flats. I wear gloves, and even so my hands start to go numb within an hour of riding. I can't change hand position for anything. Without gloves I'm numb within half an hour.

Reconsider your handlebars. :)
 

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Get a Pinerello Dogma, you will go fast and it will make the rough streets seem smooth.
 

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6 of 1, half dozen of the other.

Get which ever one is cheaper and ride it like you stole it.
 

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steel is slow, heavy, flexy, and NOT stiff.
aluminum is racey, fast, light, and stiff(er)

start from here and find a bike.
 

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Stop in at WalMart, and pick up one of those babies.
 

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You need a 1971 Schwinn Stingray with the bananna seat and Ape handlebars. If you can find one with the three speed shifter on the top tube... that's even better.

I saw one for sale a few days ago for $25. They go for about $250 on ebay. I had to pick up my kid from school, but turned the car around about ten minutes later, and somebody already bought it!

;-(
 
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