First of all, thanks for everything I've read so far, this forum and the website have been a great help in planning my upcoming trip to the USA. That said, I wish my own first post wasn't a question but something constructive. Sorry 'bout that, I'll make up for it if any of you guys ever need to know something about cycling in Europe!
So, here's the deal: I'm coming to the USA to do a solo biking trip and since my current touring bike (a Koga Miyata Randonneur) is showing heavy wear from years of service, I've decided to buy a new bike when I get to your country. The plan is to start the journey somewhere in the east. Considering airports, Boston, New York and Pittsburgh are the 3 options. From what I've understood so far, Boston looks like a good choice because there seems to be a cycle friendly environment over there. I can take 2 relaxed cycling days to do the 100-200 miles before final tuning, I really want to have the bike serviced properly before I take off. However, I've read about REI stores who offer tuning in a different store as the one you picked your bike up in. I'm not sure if they're any good however, those types of stores are usually run by people without any background in cycling sports where I come from, and they don't always have decent bikes to start with.
So that's my dilemma: what bike to pick up where. Are any of you from one of those cities and can you recommend a shop?
In terms of distance it's not important which city I pick, though if one is considerably more expensive then that's something to take into account. My money has to last 3 months.
The finished (racks, pedals,..) bike can cost about $1500 and I don't care about brands, as long as it'll take me to the west and rides smooth (duh). I'm gonna have to buy some other supplies and a new tent so preferably, I'd buy it all in one go, but that's not really important.
I had planned to just go and walk by some stores (already looked some up on the net but most websites are inadequate or non existent) to check out my options, but I would feel better coming prepared in this regard.
Thanks in advance!