I posted this on the "Commuter" forum, but I decided I'd also post it here since I am a Clyde at 6'0, 285 lbs. I figure that here I'd get some Clydesdale-specific advice. So, here goes:
After riding for one season (after too many off) I believe that I'm ready to step up to some nicer equipment. I've been riding my hybrid and have fallen out of love with it. I have an old steel Raleigh that I use to go back and forth to school and I still love that bike, but I want to replace my hybrid with a road bike.
That being said, I don't want a rocket; I don't plan to race and I'm not built like Lance. I'm more of a Clydesdale and I'm thinking I'd like more of a touring-style bike. There are a lot of nice touring-specific models out there but I'd like to stay under $1000. I'd like a new bike for the warranty and because I don't want to buy someone else's problems. I have narrowed my choices to 2 bikes:
Norco Fraser http://norco.com/bikes/road/touring/fraser/
Kona Dew Drop http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=dewdrop
The Norco is $985 CDN and the Kona is $899 CDN. The Norco seems more road specific. It sports the Shimano Sora group, which is for road bikes. It is also all steel. The Kona seems more like a mountain bike with drop bars. It has a MTB drivetrain, an aluminum frame, and steel forks. I did test drive the Kona (a 2009 model) and it rides nice. I like the disc brakes, especially for the fact that if I have an accident and bend the rim I should still be able to ride safely, albeit slowly. I haven't had a chance to ride the Norco yet as my LBS doesn't have any 2010 models in yet. I'm not in a hurry because I don't plan to buy it until the spring, but I'd like to put some careful thought into it which is why I'm posting this thread.
Any thoughts? If you had $1000 and wanted a new commuting/light touring bike what would you consider? BTW I would only be interested in a cyclocross bike if it had provisions for racks and fenders.