Having just moved 8 miles out of town, I'm looking for something I can use to run the commute and for a bit of weekend fun/fitness, and that I can maybe think about doing some light touring on. I'm after a decent balance of speed and comfort, and something I can ride year-round.
I had been looking at a Genesis Croix de Fer, as that seems to be a sturdy workhorse that could easily cope with winter commutes and would be a bit of fun for the weekends. My concerns, though, are the weight and the price.
Looking around online for a lighter, cheaper alternative, I came across the Ribble, which, kitted out with 105s, I could get for around £800 (£300 less than the CdF). It's a bit of a different animal, I know, but could still suit my needs - and could be a better fitness machine.
I've not been able to find much in the way of reviews for the Ribble, so was wondering whether anyone on here has any experience with it, especially with running it as a commuter. Would it be suitable? It comes with mud guards already, so I'd be looking to add a panier rack to carry the work essentials and a change of clothes.
On the other hand, is the additional weight of the CdF really noticeable day to day? And would it be much slower than something like the Ribble?
Does anyone have any alternative suggestions?