My mother passed away this past August, 83 of pancreatic cancer. Her wish to my Dad was to take her savings and bequeath them to her children for the purpose of enjoying the money, not putting it against bills. The first thing my wife said to me was, "Go, get yourself another bike". I LOVE HER!!! but I would rather have my mum for a while longer than the money or another bike. I'm going to be returning my KHS Tempe 29er back to its natural MTB state and getting a road-style commuter. I'm leaning towards the Soma ES frame with Shimano 105 components (not sure if I want to go with triple or compact cranks).
As Soma states in its description of the bike, I'd like a bike for commuting, centuries and supported/credit-card touring.
The frame is about $430, steel fork is $160 and I'd like to keep the complete bike to $1200 or less (taxes, rack, panniers on top of that). I don't know how much it costs to build a bike from components so if a set of reasonable wheels costs $250 and the 105 groupset is about $600, yup, more than $1200 already. Either way, I'd like to know what a bike build should cost.