Hello, I am new to this Forum and am hoping to get some good advice on selecting my new bike, and other things.
I am currently riding an old (15yrs) Fuji Odessa (very unlike the current model). This is a "hybrid" bike. Though pretty frequently used, I have never really liked the bike. I don't think it was properly fit for me to begin with, and the componants are pretty shoddy stuff.
Anyway, I am about to buy a new bike and could use some advice. I have not shopped for a bike in a long time and the options are mind boggling. Of course, like everyone else, I want a "do-everything" bike. My requirements/issues are:
1. The bike will be used for shortish touring on both paved and dirt/gravel roads, with some longer touring on pavement only.
2. I also will be using the bike as my transport to backroad photo locations so I need to be able to carry some stuff. I need the ability to mount a rack and possible some panniers.
My first trip to a LBS resulted in my being steered to "comfort bikes", which is not what I want. I have looked at road bikes but am concerned that they won't do well on my back roads. It also has been a long time since I used drop handlebars. That will take some getting used to, but I would not discount drops because of the learning curve. I don't think a mountain bike will do well on longer rides on pavement.
Any advice to at least narrow my focus would be appreciated.