I am going to buy a new bicycle for long distances. It will be comfortable, have fenders, at least a light rear rack and relatively low gearing. Optionally, it will have S&S couplers so it can be disassembled and packed into a 26" suitcase. I want it to come in under 20 lb but I am not a weight weenie and want a robust bike that will give good service. Based on experience, CF too fragile for everyday use.
I am of normal size (5' 10", 175 lb, 32" inseam) and so am probably buying off-the-rack. The candidate frames so far are: Co-Motion Nor'Wester, Gunnar Sport, Marinoni Sportivo and Salsa Casseroll but this thread is starting because your advice is needed.
Candidate components would be Shimano XTR drive train with 11/32 cassette except an LX crank with 48/36/26, Ritchey stuff (stem, seatpost, headset, etc.) and Selle An-Atomic LD seat. I am planning on using a set of existing hand-built, 32 hole, DT Swiss R1.1 wheels and using 700 x 25c or 28c tires.
Everything about the above is wide open for change. Obviously, price is not much of a hinderence since I tend to keep things a long time and this bike will probably be the last one I ever buy (for myself).
Advice is welcome on any aspect of this. Can I use my existing Shimano 10 speed compatible rear hub (130mm axle) with the xtr rear drive? Would you recommend brifters or should I stick with down tube shifters? Are there alternative frames I am not considering? What Ritchey stuff is the best (meaning light but robust) or is there a better light-weight component supplier out there? What are must-have braze-ons? What are your must-have features for light touring and 200 mile+ days/nights?
Please let me know.