Okay, ladies and gentlemen. Help me out here.
I’ve been letting this stew for a few years now, but I think the time has come for a bikey upgrade. Don’t get me wrong. My Trek is my great bike love. And I don’t make decisions to acquire more stuff lightly, since if there’s anything I hate more than buying things, it’s buying things that I don’t need.
And strictly speaking, I don’t need a new bike. But I would really like a bike that can do a few key things that my Trek can’t:
- Take beefier tires. I want to get the heck off the pavement sometimes without destroying my ride (though I would also like to retain the ability to go speedily on pavement)
- Hold racks, front and back if need be. I would so love to be able to actually take my bike and traveling stuff on a train (or ship it, or fly it on a plane), which is logistically super annoying with a giant trailer
- Have full fender clearance
- Be steel
- Perhaps take disc brakes. I’m undecided about this one but it seems maybe like the way to go
When I bought my Trek about 8 years and twenty million miles ago, I wasn’t really thinking about touring or larger bike adventures. I just wanted a light bike that would get me places fast. Which my Trek is very, very good at. And though I’ve done an excellent job (if I do say so myself:) of making that super light bike serve my every bikey whim, I think it may finally be time to add to my bikey family.
So. This is where you come in, dear reader. Help me figure out what I should do.
My basic idea is that I’ll buy a frame and build it up the way I want. So I guess my starting point is to find a not-super-heavy steel frame that will be touring-friendly but not a beefcake like James’ Long Haul Trucker (DAMN that thing weighs a ton;) I don’t need the bike equivalent of a 16-wheeler. And when I’m not loaded down I like to go fast:)
So if you have any thoughts about frames or starting points, I’d love to hear them. Thus far, my top recommendations have been some sort of cyclocross frame, Surly Cross Check or otherwise, or a few people have mentioned Salsa or Rawland (though Rawland may be out of my price range). And if you have any other ideas, shoot those to me too. I think I’ve decided pretty solidly that I want to keep the 700c wheels, for example, and I’m pretty sold on my integrated brake/shifters though I know everyone and their mom says you should go bar-end for touring. But I’m open to being convinced on basically everything. Shower me with your strong opinions.
Comments here are fine, or email, but help me out if you have a minute. It’s possible I will just continue to stew on this as I have for the last few years and not end up with a different bike at all, but this is my way of making it a little more tangible. Hit me.