Hi, I've been reading the forums here a bit and they're really interesting. Thought I'd jump in and post my 'dilemma.'
I'm in my early 30s, only been cycling for 3 years seriously (commute on a fixie, road-riding on the wknds). A friend and I are planning on riding from Crescent City home to San Francisco in June. He's a more experienced cyclist, just bought a Rivendell Atlantis.
I've been trying to pick a bike. I know, everyone posts this question. Basic problem is that when considering Rivendell or extremely purpose-built makers like Co-Motion, Bruce Gordon, there're no shops here (San Francisco) that I can ride a built-up version in my size. Price range is probably $3k at the top-end with a little wiggle room; looking for a bike that's sturdy and (ideally) would bridge the tour/commuter/road barrier, with the idea I'd take up seasonal touring regularly. I'm unlikely to ever take up racing.
I've liked the Waterford 1300 I rode at American but am not sure it's suitable for 50lbs of gear.
Today a shop steered me from a Surly LHT & put me on a Ti Airborne Carpe Diem w/24 spoke Mavic Speed City rims/hub, which seemed utterly cyclocross to me. I've found at least one picture of one of these loaded up for touring, but does anyone here have experience with them? My idea of loaded touring seems incompatible with Ti frames/disc brakes/carbon fork.
Going to ride a Rivendell Atlantis this wknd, which is maybe what I want deep-down, but I'm pretty lost in the analysis/paralysis obsession. Have people who've ordered Co-Motion or Bruce Gordon bikes done it without having ridden one?
Any advice on the above vague questions would be really helpful.
Thanks in advance!