To start off, I apologize if i ask questions that have been asked and answered so many times before. I'm pretty new to the biking world but am quite excited to jump right in. I can honestly say that I have read so many past threads by people with similar concerns, that I have confused myself even more. And so, as you may have guessed I'm the market for a new bike. Considering my needs, a large portion of which are joy riding and commuting, and then hopefully some touring in the future, i've more or less settled on the idea of getting a cyclocross bike and trying to make it as touring-worthy as possible.
Now the opinions on this seem to vary greatly but once again how uncomfortable will a cc bike really be for, lets say, a decent unsupported tour? I've heard some say to stick to light touring with a cc while others stand by the notion that you can tour on any bike that fits well.
How important are subtle differences in geometry such as chainstay length, and are the problems they cause avoidable? I dont want to substitute maneuverability or speed in my everyday joy riding but if I can't attach a pack without the whole heel clearance issue that wouldn't really be worth my trouble.
What are the benefits of the double chainring in the front for cyclocross riders, and what impact will this have for me? I assume this means no "granny gear" but Im skeptical as to the additional costs of replacing it with the triple chainring set.
Also, I like the idea of the versatile cyclocross tires but i would like to have a set of road tires as well. Is it plausible to switch them back and forth when needed or is it better to get an extra set of wheels too? I don't want to prematurely destroy anything if switching too often is a bad idea.
If there are any other additional distinctions between the tourer and cyclocross bikes please do mention them. I have been looking into the Surly Crosscheck and hearing great things about it. Apart from the questions already stated the downside is the lack of eyelets for the front panniers. I don't know if this is worth turning down a good buy. Is it detrimental or costly to find a different fork and switch it with the crosscheck one, for example the LHT fork?
I understand that i obviously can't have everything I want in one bike, but i think its worth getting as close as possible. If there are also other bikes that come to mind that fit my needs please recommend them, I would really appreciate it, thank you.