What would your ultimate bike be? I ask this based on your experience and desires.
I have (and have had) some very nice bikes, but as usual am looking for the perfect bike. Right now my Salsa Vaya fits the bill quite closely with my Shimano Ultegra brifters and gearing, BB7 disc brakes, beautiful Mavic rims and Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires. What I would contemplate changing are the sloping top tube, going to an internally geared hub (even though after well over 100,000 miles on Shimano I have NEVER had an issue), and maybe going back to rim brakes for weight savings (although I'm not looking for super light).
My idea is a bike that I can commute with, recreational ride with friends and family, and long and short distance tour with (my touring, whether long or short does not involve a lot of weight since I am somewhat of a minimalist).
Here is what I have been looking at lately (I have a picture of the same bike with an IGH, but cannot seem to place it in this post). The Expat SL. Not sure I can justify the cost or even come up with the much $$ even after selling off all my bikes , but it is what is on my mind:
So, titanium or steel (I don't want carbon for this one), S&S couplers, IGH or the old tried and true gears, chain or carbon belt, disc or rim, sloping or straight top tube, etc. etc. etc.? Is there a different brand that fits the same bill?