so it's that time for me to get serious about building myself a proper steed to get me where i want to go. The bike i have is a roadie that will soon be relegated to party/lock-up bike, once i have something better. my needs/wants are:
- all steel, no carbon fiber anything
- must be sturdy enough to not flex under my 260lb weight
- must beable to handle at least 35mm tires with fenders, if not 38s
- it'll be primarily for road use, but being able to eat up crappy roads is a must, as is being stable on long fast downhills.
- it'll also need to be fairly snappy and quick, i dont want a boat!
- i'd prefer building it up with components of my own choosing, as i want good wheels and gear ratios appropriate for climbing the first few mountain roads without getting too discouraged.
- i'll probably want to put racks, i may have interest in touring, but certainly only overnight camping trips to a nearby lake for the time being.
- lastly, durablility over all else.
pretty much what i'm looking at, is surly bikes, either a cross check or long haul trucker. my main (and only) concern with the cross check, is that it might not beable to handle my weight. i've test ridden one before, although it was a size or two too small it left me with a very good impression. the long haul trucker, on the other hand, will handle my weight for sure, and will be stable as can be. i'm afraid that since most of my riding in is the flatlands, it'll be sluggish and not the kind of ride i'm looking for. i haven't had the opportunity to test one, but i did test a trek 520, which i understand to be fairly similar. i liked the 520, but prefered the cross check.
i'd probably be starting with the frame, and moving all the stuff from my current bike onto the new frame just to get started, eventually swapping everything back out and ending up with two bikes again by summer. i'm hoping to buy good handmade wheels from rivendell or harris cyclery, along with one of sheldon brown's cyclotouriste (or similar) cassette, something at least going up to a 32 in the rear. on the derailers and whatnot, i'd be getting shimano, but i dont know if the difference between deore-lx-xt is only weight or if the xt would actually be sturdier and more durable. i'd fork out for the durability of its worth it, but nothing i've read has seemed to convince me.
if anyone has anything to add or suggest, i'd be all ears. as you all can probably tell i've been thinking about it quite a bit, but i'd love to hear other peoples opinions!