Here's the context:
- I have been riding for about 8 years on a specialized hardrock which i turned into a commuter/touring bike i pretty well take everywhere.
- I want to upgrade to a versatile touring bike that i can also use to (finally) go fast(er) on the road during weekend rides, but also use as a touring bike--heck, maybe even enter a few races.
- I ride pretty much by myself, but am interested in riding with more folks, so I do not know alot about different makes and technical pieces, although I do most of my bike repair/maintenance.
- Most of my riding now is commuting in a city (Boston), and taking 30-60 miles about 3 times a week, with longer rides on the horizon.
- I moved here from Oregon where i toured a lot, but got intimidated by the traffic and congestion out here (as well as lack of places to camp/acccess). I am finally getting my touring nerves back.
- I want to keep the specialized for commuting, and a "soon to be purchased other bike" as my more serious bike.
- Now, the clincher--i only have about $600 (maybe a bit more) to spend on this "new" bike. I am interested in used also.
A bike shop has suggested the Surly crosscheck for me, at a cost of about $800 ready to ride. like i said, i don't know much about brands and technical specifics, so would this be a good bike for what i want, or should i look into something else. if something else, what wouls that be? Any and all suggestions are welcomed.