I'm the kind of person who likes to search heaps before asking a question that everyone else has. But I'm at the point where I need some personalised answers, or else I may just go out of my mind. I am literally exhausted from so many hours of forum trawling.
I've got a lot of question, so I'll try to keep them brief:
1. I like the reports about the Surly LHT. How does setting up a bare frame like this compare to a ready-to-go bike?
2. How the hell do you choose which parts to put on a frame in the event of purchasing everything separately. The myriad of combinations is doing my head in. It seems as though nobody goes with complete goupsets of a particular range, preferring to mix and match so many different components which is the one thing deterring me from setting up a bike myself - it is just so daunting.
3. How do you fit a frame such as a LHT when chances are there are no bikes ready to be sat on to test it out?
4. When asking what specifically makes a touring bike so much better suited to touring as far as geometry goes, I heard someone say among other things that tourers are lower for greater stability. How can a bike be lower when the chain stays need to run parallel to the ground, meaning that if the wheel is the same diamater as it inevitably is, how can one bike be lower than another?!
5. Are there any cheaper alternatives to those thumbies that I want?! They seem absurdly expensive for what is effectively just a mount to allow you to put bar ends on top. Also, I want a pair of those extra brake levers on top of the bars to allow comfortable braking. Is there a technical name for these and who manufactures them? I'm aware that most ready to go bikes such as the Fuji, Cannondale et al have these pre fitted.
I really want to get out on the open road asap but obviously I'm not as knowledgeable about bikes as most on these forums. If you can think of anything else that it may appear like I need explaining, don't hesitate to say. Even if you think "surely he must know whatever". Thanks.
edit - also, things like choosing crank length have got me confused. I think i recall some equation about measuring some part of your person in inches and that gives the length in cms that a crank should be.....