Now if you just want a new bike, go for it. I have bought bikes from Nashbar and they are good to deal with.
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Basically the Pugsley is incorrect for almost all riding. Unless you plan to ride the beaches from Seattle to San Diego. Or maybe ride the Rocky Mountain trail in the middle of winter and need some flotation for the snow.That seems a bit harsh Russ. Never tried one myself but I've read where some people prefer them to regular bikes for single track and e.g. gravel logging roads. But I agree they don't appear to be very good for the ACA sort of touring on roads.
36 x 11 using 29" x 2.3" tires = 94.7 gear inches and gives just over 25mph @ 90rpm.
So odds are I will be coasting downhill, and on the flat I definitely will not be pedaling a loaded bike at anything like 25mph unless there is a very strong wind behind me.
In fact there are quite a few factory offerings now with 2x MTB drivelines. They are marketed as adventure bikes and are redefining touring bikes. They are equipped for touring nonetheless, with alternative driveline arrangements, fender and rack mounts and multiple bidon mounts, with frame clearance for decent sized tires too. There are a just few examples listed here.
2016 Buyer's Guide: Best Adventure Bikes
Not so - I decide to forgo my rarely used third ring before I discovered that Sram road and MTB components are compatible.
I'm using a 36/22 x 11-36 combination.
36 x 11 gives me a 25mph top gear at 90rpm. I'll have to be going down a mineshaft to need higher.
22 x 36 gives a 17.4 gear inch low gear - plenty low.
I find the gear progression quite natural and comfortable.
Sram road levers are compatible with Sram MTB components.
I have just built a bike with Apex shifters - and was able to eliminate a chainring in the process using a GX 2x10 drive train.
I've got a bike with Shimano brifters, one with Campy brifters, and one with bar-ends and like riding them all!. Frankly, the worst part about switching between bikes is the difference between the Shimano and Campy,
Personally I don't get why folks like to ride in boots or sandals when cranking out long miles, but I guess it is a matter of personal preference. I much prefer a pair of bike shoes with plenty of mesh for good ventilation, drying, and drainage.