Any help as I plan on what touring bike to get much appreciated!
I'm planning a tour next spring/summer across Asia, along the lines of Ukraine - Russia - Kazahkstan - bunch of other stans - and then China or back to Russia - Mongolia - China. (Am still researching the route, anyway its long.) Have done a variety of tours in the US Canada and Europe, including a month this summer Paris-Istanbul.
Right now am focused on getting a new bike that will be suited to often poor roads, heavy loads, and long distances from any bike shop. I've toured in the last 3 years on my regular road bike (Bianchi Veloce, seatpost rack) with a light camping setup, and as a young man on a Motobecane Grand Touring, but here will be carrying significantly more stuff.
Ideal would be a bike that would carry weight well, have intrinsically reliable/serviceable/globally available components, and sporty enough to also use for cyclocross! Am expecting to choose a frame and components, theres an excellent LBS here but am trying to educate myself and also avoid any choices that would turn out to be less than wise for the specific application I have in mind. ...
money (within reason) is less of a priority than quality
re: myself -- 5'7", 150 lbs
Any advice much appreciated!