Everything I have read states that carbon will smooth out road vibrations better than alternative materials. I think the stock fork suffered from excessive oscillation when going over road imperfections. I could watch the wheel bend back when on the brakes before. Looking forward to more mileage with the smoother ride. Carbon frames must really be nice! As for shifting, now that the cables have broken in it is OK. Fresh oil on moving parts does make the shifting/drivetrain more refined. It would be nice to have a groupset that would require minimal fiddling and lubing for 3 to 500 miles at a time. For the gent asking why I didn't get a hybrid; I wanted to try a road bike so I bought what I thought was a roadie. Ended up with my current ride and luckily it is set up for multiple conditions usage. Has mounts for the rack built in. Love having it even though it is not aerodynamic. Want to tour as I dial in comfort and increase mileage.