So I did my own research, mostly from lurking here and other helpful places like sheldon brown's site, and came to the conclusion that I am going to buy and build up a Soma Double Cross (58 cm) later this year. I am 6'2", 200 lbs, out of shape, mid 30s, looking to use it for the same things that everyone who posts in this forum does. i.e. some commuting, occasional light touring, hard packed dirt, some rail trail crushed limestone, etc. etc. etc. Pretty much anything except CX races. A nice comfy, sturdy do-it-all bike.
Here's the build I'd like to do. Can any experienced builders eyeball it for me and see if there are any compatibility problems? For example, I read up on derailleur capacities and I'm not sure of the front derailleur can handle a 16-tooth chainring difference. http://velospec.ru/en/components/shimano/fd5501f lists capacity as 15T. Any input or advice is appreciated.
I thought I had sold myself on a compact double but now I'm seriously considering a triple again. Especially if I try to commute (I live in the North Hills of Pittsburgh and it's an appropriate name)
Total build should be around $1525 for those of you who've asked.
Cassette: Not even set yet on the gear range. Five options I'm considering, in order of what I'm leading toward: 12-28, 12-27, 12-25, 11-28, 12-34,
F. Derailleur (bottom-pull, 28.6mm clamp): Shimano 105 8/9 sp. triple or IRD Alpina
R. Derailleur: Shimano 105 RD-5501-SS-L 9 sp. (short cage) or Shimano Rd-5600-GS (medium cage - if using a wider cassette). May have to use a MTB rear with the 11-28 or the 12-34.
Crankset (172.5 mm arms): Sugino XD 500T Special Edition 48-36-24 triple
Bottom Bracket (English, 68mm): IRD QB-75 JIS square taper 113 x 68mm
Headset: Chris King NoThreadset 1-1/8" (silver)
Chain: Shimano CN 7701 Dura-Ace 9sp.
Brakes: IRD Cafam cantis (silver)
Levers: Soma Aero Road Levers (silver)
Shifters: Shimano SL-7700 9 sp. downtube
Bar: On-One Midge (stem clamp: 25.4mm/mtb; component diam: 23.8mm/road; drop: 11cm )
Stem: Soma 3D forged MTB stem, 100 mm, +/- 7 deg. (silver)
Seatpost: Soma Kalloy, 250 mm x 27.2 mm (silver)
Saddle: Brooks B-17 (black)
Pedals: MKS Sylvan tour w/ Clips + straps
Wheelset: Sun Ringle ME14A 36h rims on Shimano 105 hubs
Tires: Ritchey Speedmax Cross Pro 700 x 32C Maybe 35.