Trying to decide: LHT vs KHS 747 vs custom Gunnar
Hi, I'm a total newb trying to find a big bike. I'm 6'7" 240. I've been riding a beat-up 80's Fuji Absolute 68cm and my knees and wrists are starting to ache. Plus the top bar on this bike hits my guys and have to bend over just a tad at stop lights. Normally I commute everyday in heavy city traffic 5mi but I got a new job and am thinking of tackling a 15mi commute. 6mi in dense Chicago and 9mi on our glorious lakefront. I think it's finally time I invest in a bike that really fits well.
I've been looking at a Surly 64cm LHT. But then I stumbled across all the threads about Zinn and KHS 747 and 200mm cranks. Obviously these would be two vastly different riding experiences - but how different? Is it stupid to put a rack and panniers on a 747? Is there something I could get that lies in between these two bikes? Something that's around 66cm - comfortable like a LHT and fast like a 747? Is that where maybe a custom Gunnar bike would come in? Can you do one of those for under 2k?
Is there some other option I'm not considering?
Any help appreciated!