This is my 10,000,000th thread and I apologize, but I keep hijacking my own topics as I find out how misguided I am in my search for a road bike, so here is the last big-picture-question I am going to pose (I hope!)
I'm hoping for:
cheap, but solid componentry (sale? used?)
strong enough wheelset
I want to be able to do some light touring and ride the bike around town.
I was originally looking to start with a surly pacer frame/fork and build up from there, but my lbs told me that I would want 105 componentry if I'm going to do any kind of distance, and that it would end up costing me around $1400. For $1199 I could have a Bianchi Vigorelli from another lbs, which satisfies my steel desires and gives me all ultegra and a strong wheelset, but I'd feel like I was parking a porsche with the keys in the ignition anyplace I took it besides work where I can lock it up inside. I want to be able to ride this bike, not worry about parking it at a grocery store or leaving it downtown for a few hours. I'd rather have an $800 bike.
So, now that you're up to date, here are my questions:
How cheap can I build up a quality road bike with a steel frame? Is the Pacer a good frame to start with? Or will I get a better deal buying someone else's project?
And how do you feel about buying a frame you've never sat on?