I am expecting my Surly Crosscheck back from the framebuilder in a couple of weeks, with S&S couplers installed. I will be using it mostly for light touring - including off-pavement, but no singletrack - and wet/winter weather riding. Which would be better? Shimano Ultegra triple with 52-42-30 with my choice of cassette, probably 12-25 or 12-27, or Shimano XT group with (much) lower gearing? I guess if I could pick I'd have the 12-25/27 with maybe 50-39-26, but that combo's not available off-the-shelf. I'd have to put smaller rings on the road group or bigger ones on the mountain group. I'm afraid the big ring on a typical mountain group is not big enough for use on the road. The other thing is that buying the Ultegra triple group would be much cheaper, since it all comes as a package. There's no package deal with STI shifters and XT components, nor is there a package with Ultegra cranks/rings, STI shifter, and XT cassette/rear derailleur (though that's another good way to go). Most of the time I'll be riding this bike not fully loaded! My road bike now has 11-23 cassette with 53/39 up front. Also, I've got a pair of M750 XT brakes, but they look kinda cheap and I hear they squeal a lot - should I upgrade to XT M760 or XTR?