Hey all, I'll try and keep it short and to the point.
I'm considering getting a tourer for all-round use. After years on Alu hybrids want to go back to my last great love, a steel tourer. I'm not up to par fitness wise for real touring yet, I'm working up to that. In fact if and when I do it will be the first time since I acquired the achilles tendonitis that stopped me last time.. 7 years ago
I want steel, drop handlebars, and preferably bar-end shifters. I haven't ridden drops in a while, and the last tourer I had was a mid-90's Dawes Galaxy with downtube shifters. It was old school, wonderful geometry, good wheelbase, and the ride was great.
I'd like to get another Dawes, but I hear their build quality hasn't been so great in recent years. Did they relocate their building to China or something?
I like the idea of a nice 853 TIG welded frame, and the Ultra Galaxy comes with the Brooks saddle so I won't have to worry about swapping that out. This would also be the first time with a Brooks but I'll trust that everyone knows what they're talking about and that I'll be in seventh heaven.
However, I'm really not sure about STI shifters. I've never warmed to them, mostly because I don't like the smoothness and lightness of my brakes interfered with.
This is the dream beast:
The only other viable option I've found so far is the Trek 520, or possibly step down to a normal Galaxy.
I would have liked to look at a Koga Miyata but I believe their current models are Alu.