I have been contemplating a touring bike for a couple years now. I played around with my Hybrid GT Nomad, added upright bars when it originally had flat bars . A couple years ago I was fine touring with it, it flexed a little under load, but it was fine for 60 mile rides.
Recently I rode a Handsome Devil. I am so used to heavier bikes like my Bridgestone MB3 MTB that it felt like a racing bike/comparably. It was fun and nippy. I read it can handle some gravel roads and lighter touring okay. It kind of looks like a Cross Check to me?
My co-worker has a Surly Cross Check and says it would likely be a good choice. If I changed up the drops and added a different stem. How different is this bike from a Cross Check? The one I rode had a 7 or 8 speed Deore gearing set up, likely will need more gears for hills and loads.
The Long Haul Trucker just seems too over built. Trek 520's are too aggressive. Soma has a few bikes that might fit the ticket. I here they have a Ritchey tuning one that is as strong as a LHT but less heavy.
I want something nippy enough but can still handle an overnight camping trip with 35 lbs or so of gear, and not flex too much.
I also want a longer head tube.
Trying to avoid over stemming and stacking. I need a more upright stance.
Have to say, the stock handle bar set up and geometry felt pretty good on the Handsome Devil.
Pake was brought up. I could build it up the way I wanted it. I like the blue paint, too. Never rode one to comment on it's feel. I am assuming it is similar to the CC and Handsome?
I am also open to the idea of a not-too-overbuilt, but appropriate touring bike.. and maybe the Handsome as a fun commuter. The light weight stock wheels might have contributed to the sporty feel and quicker nature, but ... perhaps... they might not hold up to 35+ lbs of gear on a 60 mile trek?