Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee
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I'm forever suggesting touring bikes for commuting, and touring bikes for clydes. They're built for a load, well, I AM a load! And for commuting, they're set up decently for carrying panniers. Typically they'll have a higher stem than many road bikes, which gives me decent visibility. Bigger tires (a) last longer, (b) carry a load better, (c) absorb commuting pothole and lousy road shock better, and (d) float better over cracks, all compared to skinny road tires. And a decent tourer will have low gears, which help with the hills in some cities. And since it is a road bike, you can do other roadie sorts of things, like supported rides or group rides.
A cyclocross bike (like the Cross check) is almost as good as a real tourer, IMO.
The LHT seems to be a decent touring bike. Check out Adventure Cycling's tour bike buying guide for others, like the REI Novarra Randonnee, Trek 520, Fuji Touring. Let me strongly recommend you invest a weekend (or three) into calling all the dealers near you to see what's available, and go test ride all the touring (and 'cross) bikes you can. You'll find a wide variety of rides and dealers out there. Pick the one you want to ride because it's fun!