My question is how much are you willing to spend.Normally I would suggest going to a local bike shop first, tell the owner or mech what you are looking for and how much you have to spend. Secondly I would also ask about local bike club members, usually you can find a cheap yet quality ride within your own local community. IF all of those options fail you which is slim, then I would go online to places like Bike Nashbar, or e-bay. BUt I cannot stress enough the primary choice of shopping locally first.A good entry level touring bike may be as low as 400$-600$ used that's a good comftorable frame and worthy componenets. Anything less and you're riding a Wal-Mart bike and they generally suck.Nothing blows more than a crappy bike. You get a crappy experience and I can tell you that I have seen more than one story about people who wanted to start cycling but were turned off forever because they chose to ride a crappy Wal-Mart bike. A really GOOD consideration would be to buy a Mountain Bike and fit it with Slicks. Most tourists I have met normally ride older unsuspended Mountain Bikes and they love em. Infact the two guys that rode around the world recently, one of them rode and anchient mountain bike..and he loved it.
What you do not want to do is rush out and buy the cheapest bike you can find...it will be self-evident as to why if you choose to go that route.
"Love is a river where crazy people drown"--Kyrgyz proverb
This message was edited by boonebikeguy on 5-21-07 @ 6:41 AM