I am about to embark on buying my first bike in over 10 years. much has changed. I would like to purchase a new gravel/adventure/cx bike for both communting and weekend.
I really like the idea of a decent steel frame bike and maybe over time upgrade components. I have recently ridden a Genesis Votare and loved it but out of my budget unfortunately. I know steel is heavier but I wondered if it is going to make much a difference compared to the bike in my shortlist. my buget is around 650. I also like the comfort of a steel bike and would like to know if any of the alloy bikes below can be just as forgiving in the rougher terrain.
My research suggest that you can get bikes such as btwin and mango with 105 components but wondered if i will be sacrificng the build quality comapred to a genesis/gt/marin. my thinking is that it would be better to start with the best frame/bike possible and upgrade as needed, as i am planning to keep it for a long time.
anyway my shirtlist:
Genesis Croix de Fer 10 2016 (steel)acera / sora
Marin Nicasio 2017 (steel) Claris
Marin Gestalt 1 (alloy) sora
btwin 540 (alloy) 105
GT Grade AL (105 - 2016)
Claud Butler Torino Sr5d (alloy) Tiagra
Giant Defy 2 Disc Road Bike 2016 (alloy) tiagra
Specialized Diverge A1 (alloy) claris
Mango Point R (alloy) 105
Please comment on experience with any of these bikes and let me know which is a good budget choice that will last and is upgradable.