Looking for a frame which will help me handle 50+ miles of broken pavement. I currently ride a Cad 5, which is great for the first 30 to 40 miles, but sometimes the rough roads really can take their toll.
The tough part is I want it to be lighter than the Cannondale (1400+gms) and more compliant, without spending alot of money I don't have. I also prefer not to buy a compact frame if possible, though the Giant Carbon seems to be well liked on this forum.
Do aluminum frames with rear carbon soak up enough to make the difference?
Is full carbon the way to go? I don't think I can afford Ti, especially in the sub 3lb arena.
Trying to find a deep deal on a Kestrel Talon SL, though I don't know that I will find it cheap enough. So far $1900 is the best I've found.
Has anyone seen or ridden the Quattro Assi XXX or Attack?
Your asking a question in which answers are very subjective.
Personally I like some carbon in the rear of the frame as I have some back issues, which is why it was used in the first place (in modern times). Bartoli had back problems, and his then team frame supplier (Carrera) used a welded aluminum frame with a carbon stay system made by Alan to cut out some vibration for him. It seemed to work, he started winning races again. Other frame makers then started trying it, and the result is everywhere today. Claims are made that it adds weight, two frames using the same EM2 tubes are in the listings that show a 28gm weight difference to have carbon seat stays, not a big deal (you can save more weight than that in so many difffererent places). There are also claims that it doesn't do anything to the frame with regard to vibration, I would suggest that the almost universal use of carbon forks on the road now show there must be some advantage to using carbon over the various metals....
If I were in your position, and you want an Al frame, I'd look for something like one of the Teschner made Fuji frames (they have a little green and yellow Made in Australia sticker on them) in Easton Scandium with a carbon seat stay (2003 frame, I've seen some deals on them locally at $850), or something similar. There are riders that rave about their (more normal dimensioned tubed) Calfees, but then there are other reports about some riders on Lotto not using carbon frames because they are too stiff (back problem issues again). I have not used a modern carbon frame to offer comment on those, but I'm sure others here can comment. The Calfee Luna is a good deal at around $1200, and there is always Trek.