A friend of mine had a K2 road bike until a couple of days ago. She parked it outside of work, with a U-lock, and now a thief has a nice K2 road bike. Not having a bike sucks, and she wants to fix the situation asap. She's asking me for advice, and I don't want to steer her wrong, so maybe you folks can chime in?
This is going to be a commuter bike, primarily, but it's going to see a lot of touring. She has plans next summer to ride from southern British Columbia to Anchorage, along the Alcan. And this means 26" wheels, because those are easier to get parts for in the middle of nowhere. Also, my friend has short legs and long arms.
For these reasons, she's been thinking about Surley's Long Haul Trucker and Cross Check, and also Salsa's Casserole. First, I wonder if anyone else can recommend any other bikes, has advice on any of them?
REI has the LHT for about $1,100, but with bar end shiftersr. Another shop has the frame for $450. Budget is of the essence. Is it crazy to think a person could build the frame up for less than the full bike costs, and to do it with modern brifters? She's perfectly happy with Sora. Would it make sense to buy a used road bike on Craigslist for $100, move the parts to the new frame, and sell or donate the old frame?