Probably not the most appropriate sub-forum to ask this question, but I value the maturity, experience, and opinions here.
Background: When I spent a week in Rome last spring, I rented a "mountain" bike and absolutely loved using it, (that is "loving" using a bike). I was able to go places that would be too expensive by taxi, go when I wanted, where I wanted, etc. The freedom of movement was highly valued. I ended up going places that I really wanted to go, which would be too difficult or expensive otherwise.
I'd like to go to Europe again this spring, and rent or take my own bike along; but that's expensive. Also, in the summer, the job is sending me to Thailand for three/four weeks in support of instrument ground operations for a flight campaign. The aircraft is only flying every other or every third day, so there will be a lot of free time to explore southern Thailand, (by bike).
Also, I'm in that phase of my life where I have enough disposable income that I can take "exotic" trips somewhere every year. And, we all know that you get so see a lot more and a different side of a culture when you are on a bike and not as part of a tour group.
I'm looking at purchasing a Ritchey Break-Away bike. Seemingly easy to transport via checked air luggage, fairly simple to assemble at your destination, and pretty close to a "normal" bike in operation.
What I'm wondering about is which frame to get. They sell a cross frame and a road frame. I'm not exactly sure of the differences between them, other than the style of brakes. Is there a difference between a "cross" bike and a cyclo-cross bike? Are cross, (and cyclo-cross), bikes "slower" than road bikes?
I'm thinking that I want to take along a rear rack. Probably one of those types that attach to a seat post. Those are compact, so easily packable with the bike. The only things I'd be carrying is appropriate repair equipment for adjustments and flat tires, a camera with a few extra lenses, food for the day, and maybe a change of clothing and shoes, (for wherever I stop and want to spend a little bit of time).
I'm also thinking that 23mm or 25mm tires are not that practical for cobblestone roads. Probably something thicker is better for those environs.
If you were to purchase a Ritchey Break-Away for travel purposes ... which would you get, cross or road? And if you want to elaborate ... why?
Thanks for any help or insight you can offer.