I've been thinking about building up a budget road bike so that my Scott 'cross bike doesn't have to pull double duty anymore. The plan is to swap out the Ultegra shifters and derailleurs on the Scott for Rival or Force (11-32 would be mo' bettah for the steeper trails). The Ultegra stuff and my set of road wheels would end up on the road frame. Appropriate crankset, bars, stem, etc. would be purchased to round out the build.
I'd prefer a steel frame and have been considering the Soma Smoothie with a carbon fork, but I'm not opposed to a carbon frame, either. I don't have anything against aluminium, but my 'cross bike and MTB are Al and I'd like something different for the road. Any recommendations for frames I should be looking at in the $500 range?
"The V-Strom Man sits up straight and only picks his nose when he is 100% sure that no one is looking." - Uncle Larry