My Surly is all steel, and rides smooth as a cadillac, if you're going to go for steel, go all the way. My rule for components is this = buy the best you can afford... The new Ultegra is supposedly incredible stuff, and the better the gruppo, the less adjusting, repairing, cleaning, tightening, and wear and tear. A clean click shift and all things like a swiss clock feels great when tuned. You'll be in awe after riding Sora..