Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Westlake Village, California
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Don't worry about Tiagra, it works just fine. I have a bike with Sora that has given me years of excellent service. It's more a matter of maintenence than than anything, keeping cables and housings clean, lubed, and tensioned properly. My Dura Ace bike needs just as much attention as my Sora bike.
The only ***** Jamis pulled with the Aurora is the 52/42/30 crank. It needs a 48/36/26 or 44/32/22, preferably the later for loaded touring. The price is $100 less than the very similar REI Novara Randonee but the Randonee includes a rear rack, REI is everywhere, and the customer service is outstanding.
The Surly Long Haul Trucker is now available as a complete bike for around $900 but I read that it won't be available until April. Surly has a hipster image that the others can't match. Personally, I don't like all the black componentry used on the complete bike so I will buy the frame and build my own. It will cost me more than $900, however.