So this subject has probably been done to death a thousand times but...I'm wrestling with it and wanted some advice from people who might've been through the same. I live in London (UK) and I commute to work by bike (think shitty roads) and in June I got hooked on cycling for the first time in my life (43). I started to get fit and have done a 100 mile solo road ride, a lot of 80-90k mixed surface rides and have recently joined a triathlon club (I doubt I'll ever race because I have a metal reinforced femur that stops me running but the group rides are a lot of fun). Anyway - i'm relatively new to cycling but i've learned a lot about bikes over the summer. I ride a 2016 Cannondale CAADX 105 and I have just bought a second set of wheels for it (I replaced the stock wheels with Hunt 4 Season Gravels with 38mm Schwalbe G-One Allrounds a couple of months ago - really great allrounders...obvs) and for road use (Mason X Hunt 4 Season with Schwalbe Pro One - crikey they are A LOT faster on road). My bike is pretty good - the 105 groupset works just fine and the mech disc brakes are OK. However, I am starting to think about upgrading my bike for more stiffness (I rode a Reilly Gradient and it made my bike feel like it was made of rubber by comparison), better ride and more speed. The problem is that although the majority of my riding is road, I love being able to blast around on gravel and single track, hence having two sets of wheels and tyres now.
I live in an apartment in London and whilst I could store two bikes and buy a dedicated road/endurance bike to add to my CAADX, I figured that a really good gravel bike with my road wheels on might be fast enough and fun enough to allow me to keep up with my club rides on road but give me the capability of doing gravel events (I'd love to do the DK200 one day) too. I bought a set of Apidura bike packing bags and although I haven't had time to do much I'm hoping to do more trips in future.
I want a durable bike but one that's light and will last me a long time. My search led me to titanium and my shortlist is currently:
Litespeed Ultimate Gravel
But...i've also thought of a Specialized Diverge, 3T Exploro (too much money for a carbon frame that i might damage so not really a serious contender), ie something carbon but not to spendy.
I've got decent bars, seat, seat post, good enough wheels and the 105 groupset is fine but one day i've like to go Di2, so the plan would be to buy a frameset and transfer all my parts across.
I'd like clearance for ~45mm tyres, internal cable routing, Di2 compatible, flexible geometry that will be comfortable for long road and gravel rides but ideally lets me get into a semi-decent aero position for faster road rides, flat mount brakes, bottle cage mounts beneath downtime (u can get them added to the Ultimate), as light as possible. If the Litespeed was a bit less money i think it would be a no brainer for me - the 'suspension' chain stays, somewhat aero frame (I'm a bit dubious about the real world advantage but it looks beautiful), internal cable routing, great tyre clearance, lightish weight (~1300g frame) - they all fit the bill.
A mate of mine who does Ironman events and has 11 bikes (9 his 2 his girl's) says I should stick with my CAADX and maybe think about getting a dedicated road bike next spring/summer but I can't quite let go of the one bike quiver idea - hence the post. If i bought a roadie then I'd want to pimp it with Di2 and ... jeez, I dunno, it's all complex!
What's the ultimate road/gravel bike that's durable, light and not too horrifically expensive??