Hey Shiz, I just got back from a huge tour of Europe (Belgium, France, Holland, Germany, Czech Rep., Austria, and Poland) on a self-built cyclocross/touring bike. So, I think I can say I know a fair bit about what you'll want and where to get it. I scrounged parts online and kept it below $1000 for the exact bike I wanted. PM/email me any questions.Originally Posted by Shiznaz
Basically, I highly recomend going with a cyclocross frame vs. a pure touring bike, especially if you want to ride off-road for an extended period of time, unless you want to carry >50lbs. The big things to consider are the gearing you'll need (I found out the hard way that you'll probably need smaller gears than you think), how much you want to carry, and how you'll transport the bike.