« on: April 13, 2010, 10:46:32 pm »
There are a lot of factors, as many here have pointed out, to consider for touring but I would also think about where you are going to be touring. Do you plan to use it in the US? Europe? Africa? etc.
I first got into touring using a Nova Jamis i racked and fendered when I lived in Oklahoma. When I moved to Europe I had the Jamis and eventually I bought a Trek 520 for touring/commuting but when I returned to the US three years ago I sold it and bought a Safari. I have been very happy with the Safari. I have an 07, the one with a tan frame. Also, I have commuted on it daily for the past three years. I am moving to Tanzania this July and it will be going with me where I plan to tour on it as well.
For me the main reason I went with the Safari was that like the poster above a Koga is my dream bike but since I have a garage full of fly fishing rods, rock climbing, gear, etc my gear budget remains maxed - and most of my tours are within two weeks or so of duration. I found that in Europe the 520 was not ideal because I thought the drop bars kept me crouched over too much and I missed a lot of scenery. Plus, unlike crossing the US and Canada with extremely long distances in between civilization in some areas Europe is the exact opposite. I found myself riding slower, getting off the bike more often for pictures, etc. Also, because of the higher population density and number of urban paths the upright position was much friendlier for city riding.
Just my two cents...the bottom line is that people were riding around the world way before we were all born on bikes less reliable than what we find at wal-mart...