I've been doing lots of research about expedition mountain bikes because I want one real bad. I alreading have a good cycle-cross bike for road/fire road tours.
This bike needs to be able to handle the abuse of long-distance touring in remote locals. Durability and realibility are paramount!! I don't plan on jumping off a cliff with this bike, but it will have to be able to carry lots of camping gear for days on the trail. I'm budgeting no more than $1,500 for this build.
This is some of my criteria for bike selection:
- Steel is a must
26 inch wheels a must
- Hardtail most likely, FS is not an option
- Linear pull brakes, would really like the option of disc
- I wear size 15 shoes so long chainstays are necessary because I'm using panniers
- Price moderate
- Frame only or complete bike is an option
Here is a list of the possibilities. I'd love to hear your take on these bike or suggestions on other options.
Soma Fabrications Groove
Salsa Ala Carte (pre-2010)
Voodoo Wanga or Bizango
Jamis Dragon Comp
Gunnar Rock Tour (nice, but expensive)