But sometimes it's just the right tool:
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The issue is riding on an interstate with its wide shoulders, with two lanes giving trucks a lane to pass and of course with no oncoming traffic must be safer.
Yes, I've seen them as parts getters in industrial plants and for shopping transportation in retirement communities but i've never seen on on the road. A combination of weight and odd handling and limited cornering ability are major disadvantages.
Opine me... Are the chain stays too short for rear saddlebags?
I remember the Schwinn Varsity having a fillet-brazed steel frame, but those fillets were absolutely huge-- very thick.
None of the steel bikes mentioned in this thread (Co-Motion Americano and Pangea and Surly Long Haul) are brazed lugged steel frames. All are TIG welded frames. No brazing on them. No lugs. If a TIG welded frame breaks, you will have to weld it back together, not braze it.
You are correct that neither Campagnolo or SRAM are in the touring business...
I will never understand this fascination with boiling water.
I see very little chance of slipping due to the tooth configuration of the belt, which would also eliminate excessive tension on the belt/ bottom bracket.