Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Manila, Philippines
Rep Power: 1
Ahh finally, something I can give advice on rather than ask for advice.
Aluminum CAN BE harsh/buzzy but the material alone doesn't determine the ride quality but it's the way the material is put to use on the frame design and the geometry just like CF can be stiff too depending on the design but it's generally a better material for absorbing road vibes and chatter. If you want a responsive, racy bike, guess what...it's gonna be stiff and somewhat buzzy wether aluminum or CF. Comfort is a very relative term when it comes to roadbikes. Next to the frame the wheelset will make the biggest impact on the ride quality.
A 56 is a 56 no matter what manufacturer you choose. It's a level line (parrallel to the ground) from the centerline of the seat tube to the centerline of the head tube.
If you're not too experienced a cyclist, you will likely not feel much of a difference between a madone and a RS. Both are great race-level bikes, but the finer points will not be apparent to someone who isn't on the saddle day in and day out and has a lotta miles and a riding style/preference. Based on what you said about your MTB, get at least Ultegra upwards (or similar level in SRAM or Campy). HAving said that, if your the kind of guy who likes top shelf stuff, a custom fitted seven a great thing to consider. Their old-scool round tubes aren't a purdy as the aero-tubed stuff out there but they make an excellent bike. Whatever you choose, get a knowledgeable fitter to fit you properly. It makes all the difference.
I ride Cervelo and dig it. So I vote Cervelo. Remember though, performance-oriented road bikes aren't the most comfortable things, so be prepared for some break in aches and pains.
Well, after all that I see that I typed a whole lotta stuff that doesn't really answer your query. "Find me a deal"...