Hey guys, haven't been around long but I've been riding about 20 miles a day for the last bit getting back in shape, and enjoying the cool morning air. I'm riding on an El cheapo Mt Bike from wally world, mainly because it's heavy, shifting sucks, and it has an awesome spring to absorb my power..lol.
anyhow, I'll be commuting to school this fall and I had originally planned on buying a road bike in the $1200 +/- 100 range for the trip. It's only 6.5 miles each way, and it won't be a problem. I could do it now, on this wretched bike if I wanted. However, I plan to ride more when I get there. There is some beautiful scenery and places that I want to explore, and, go on some longer rides (~50 mi).
I know it would be much easier to carry my stuff on a bike with racks in the rear instead of in a backpack, but I'm concerned about the longer rides with the touring bike. Also, I didn't see so many touring bikes (with the racks included) near my price range. All of them are significantly more expensive than what I was wanting to spend.
Any suggestions? Specifically, will one do something the other wont on each type of trip? Specific bike recommendations? Anything will be useful, just want some ideas.
Thanks for the input! Happy riding.