My wife wants me to build her a new bike. Her current bike is a cheap Diamondback with a stem riser and city bars (my mods). She likes this setup.
She would like a better bike, with the possibility of doing longer rides, possibly even a century. She knows that a bolt upright position is not ideal for this, so she wants something that she can get more aggressive on, but out of the gate it will get Nitto Albatross bars with Ergon grips.
I am looking for something with a long, high head tube that I can get the bars high without a stem riser, and something that, in time, I can get the bar height closer to the seat. At or below the seat is not an option at all. I prefer steel, and I'm planning on building up from the frame. My current contenders are:
Surly LHT (A bit on the heavy side)
Soma Double Cross
Rivendell Betty Foy (a huge budget stretch)
Bikes I have eliminated:
Cross Check: head tube too short
Soma Buena Vista: Not enough clearance for fat tires and fenders
What else am I missing that would be a good possibility? She also wants a girly color, but I'm in Portland, so painting is less than a $200 option. I would also like a kickstand plate, but that is negotiable as well.