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Its springtime and I've got newbikeitis. Looking for something comfortable for longer rides on cracked northern roads. What do you think, steel (Reynolds 853) or carbonl for a few hundred more?
 

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Sorry, it depends mostly on the build of the bike...

because comfort isn't necessarily a property of the tubing material used. I have ridden carbon bikes that were just about rock hard, and I own a steel bike that rides better than any bike I have ridden. Just look around, you will find a ride for you.

There are, however, some properties that are largely characteristic of the specific tubing material used, but you didn't ask about those.


Snowbird said:
Its springtime and I've got newbikeitis. Looking for something comfortable for longer rides on cracked northern roads. What do you think, steel (Reynolds 853) or carbonl for a few hundred more?
 

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I'm a big proponent of the little talked about touring bike. My Cannondale T2000 was great on longer rides, though quite heavy so it was tough on hills. But the thing could take a beating. I went head on into a curb (going downhill) at about 10 mph (I TRIED to stop before I hit it). Tore me up a bit, but the bike wasn't touched. No worries about spokes, no frame issues. Dusted myself off, patched up my shoulder, taped up my wrist and kept going.

Didn't absorb any road vibration like carbon can, but it worked for me.
 

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The fact that you're riding on cracked roads makes me think that you'll want to go with steel. Sure it'll be a bit heavier, but when you hop to a light bike it'll be like you're flying, and steel doesn't have the fatigue properties that carbon has (epoxy you know, not at all ductile). It'll also probably be a more affordable bike, that can never hurt, especially if the biking is starting to take a toll on the old credit cards. Steel will, as stated above, endure an impact much better than a composite material. WW bikes have their place, but for the kind of roads you'll be on I'd go with something a bit more robust.

Also, you might want to spring for a set of wheels, if for no other reason than to have a backup pair in case you nail a pothole (not hard to do).
 

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Not against you buying a new bike either steel or carbon, but the best thing to smooth out those cracked roads is a set bigger tires run a bit softer. If the bike will take it 'em 28's, if your a lightweight Snowbird run 25's.
 
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