So, I have a Surly Crosscheck, and it is awesome. Recently I had debated about making it my 'rain bike' and getting a Trek Domane (they were on super sale, 900 bucks off the MSRP on the 5.2) but the wife put the kibosh on that. As a lark, I weighed the 'check before my commute in to work (which I usually climb Kings and the west side of Old La Honda before getting in to work... about 33 miles, 2 hours 10-20 minutes) and discovered my packed bike with work clothes in the pannier is 44.4 pounds. Without the work clothes, it's 37.8 (just my trunk bag with tools, tire, batteries for the lights,etc.)
Now I'm thinking maybe I should strip everything off the Crosscheck (it's reasonably light 'naked' in the 25-26 pound range, I believe) and get a rain bike. The crosscheck's brakes (avid 6 shorty cantilevers) leave a little to be desired stopping me and the bike (I'm 185, it's 45, total is 230ish) when it's wet in the first place, and adding more weight with fenders (negligible as it is) won't help matters.
I'm looking for fenders with 28mm tires, rack that can take panniers and a minimum of 20 pounds of weight, probably a triple, and probably using drop bars as I'm comfy with them and I'd like to take it up King's when it's raining. Given that it will probably be a tank, I'd like disc brakes. It'd also be nice to take a generator hub so I can mount lights and not worry about batteries and battery packs. I live on a decent hill (Just off Jefferson in RWC) so the bike's gearing can't be a 'only on the flats with a minor hill or two' thing that I never take up Kings.
The Specialized Source Expert Disc looked good, but the ridiculous built in rack/fender only holds 10 pounds and looks wholly useless for panniers.
Should I aim for a cheap aluminum cyclocross like the Trek CrossRip and slap on racks and lights? Get me a surly LHT? Any other good recommendations? I'm not opposed to buying a frame and building it (or having the LBS build it, if I'm honest) to suit.