Recently, I had my precious 2000 Specialized FSR stolen and am looking for another bike. It's sort of ironic because I'm not into mountain biking as much anymore and was thinking of selling it. Basically, I'm looking for a good all around bike that can "do-anything"; commuting, light touring, long weekend rides. Everything except serious off-road riding (nothing more than light dirt roads). I realize this might be a tall order for one bike, but I really don't want to accumulate multiple bikes.
From what I've gathered, it sounds like the best choice for me would be either a touring bike or a cyclocross. I know a cyclocross is probably more versatile and can be set up (depending on components) for faster road riding as well as light to moderate off-road. However, I've read mixed things about it's potential for touring; some say it can work fine, others have indicated it's somewhat limited in that respect. Any insight/suggestions are appreciated.
I use my standard touring bike as a do anything. It is bog standard design for an English tourer, but nicely made from Reynolds 531 (ST). Ive taken it on many rough roads and steep technical descents. A short rear-ended CX would be a bit nippier and easier to handle on technical stuff, but the long rear end of a tourer is better for loads. You can customise gearing yourself, so dont base your decision on that.
Check out Thorn 26" wheel touring bikes at sjscycles.com
I have a surly that I use as road bike as well as road bike. I love it but then only thing that I regret is that the gearing on my bike is more 'cross oriented than road and I am lacking of gear when I go hard with my friend... on the other hand, a 46-36& 12-26 is great for climbing.
I'd make a vey good touring bike... as you'd be able to climb anything...