I'm new to both touring and tri's, but have recently been bitten by the urge to get into both. Since I currently just have a mountain bike that I use for occasional trail riding and commuting, I need to buy a new bike.
I've done some talking, reading, and looking, and feel like I understand what I'm looking for (for the most part) in both types of bike, and I understand that the goals can conflict somewhat. Given, that, however, I'm not going to buy 2 bikes, and I'd like to get a moderately priced ($1k-1500) bike that I'll be happy with for some of each use.
To qualify this a little bit, I'm not planning on being terribly competitive triathloning - just doing a sprint (20km) and Olympic (42km) to get my feet wet and have fun. More important is having a solid distance bike, for say, a 1500 mile bike-camping trip.
Can I get a solid touring bike that I wouldn't be stupid (or embarrased ) to race for medium distances? Would you recommend swapping out racing/touring tires, or just getting something that would work for both? What are the things that will bite me the most in either endevor (frame size, speed of tires)? And finally, any recommendations on specific bikes/components to look for?