New guy here, first post and all. Anyways, it's nearly 3AM and I've been looking up stuff online related to touring constantly for the last several days. I've not done a long tour yet but am planning on doing one sometime this summer (most likely in August). Anywho, I currently have a Cannondale R500 road bike which I have a buyer for, and who is planning on paying me $650 for it tomorrow (well today now). So between that cash, I also have a $500 deposit I just got back from my cell phone company (can you believe that?!). I had no credit when I got the phone, so thats why, in case you were wondering.. Long story short I've definitely got at least $1000 to really dig into this project. There's a few options.
I work at a bike shop that sells Trek, Lemond, Fisher, Klein, and had originally planned on buying an 06 Lemond Croix de Fer on closeout for pretty cheap. This was before I started thinking about touring. I still would really love to get that bike, but now I'm thinking I should get the Trek 520 now for practical purposes. I believe I only get one discount a year. I've been looking on CL and eBay for Waterford frames, but nothing has been near by. I could get the Trek 520 for probably something like $600-$700 and then spend the rest on bags, tent, shoes, and other gear. There is also a 2005 Jamis Quest frame on CL right now with an asking price of $175 and I'm sure it could be lowered much more. I've already been doing some research on this, and some people say that the Quest's geometry is not perfectly suited for touring but can be done. I'd like something comfortable, but I'd also like something that will be quick(er). I've been riding about 20 miles a day for the last several weeks and plan on getting more intense as the time approaches for this.
So what would you do if you were in my shoes? Ideally I'd like get both the Croix de Fer and the 520 and use both for their seperate applications but I just don't think that can be done right now. But then, I'd also like something that may be a bit more versatile and when it comes to it, I could slap on a light wheel set and perhaps swap the fork and presto I have a pretty decent road bike. That's why I was looking into the Jamis, but I just don't know how much it'd cost for a complete build up. By the way, I also get 40% off Easton stuff so if I did a build up, I could get certain components for very low price.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm a junior in college and plan on entering the Peace Corps next summer/fall. I caught the traveling bug my senior year of high school and have since gone to Alaska and Germany by myself and have had wonderful experiences. One of my professors is writing a book about biking and politics and when I asked him if he did any touring, he gave me an old manuscript he wrote about his tour from Chapel Hill NC to LA in 1975. It's really been quite an inspiration and I can't wait to hit the road! Again, thanks a lot -- Adrian
with your trek discount the 520 seems like the logical choice. Heck, I paid $360 for a used 520 but it was origionally priced at $500. I waited 2 months before revisiting the unclaimed baggages store in Scotsborro Al. and was surprised it was still there and even more surprised that it was marked down. A new 520 for $700 or less would be a great price!!!!
Remember, on tour, your body tells you what to do, not your head or your map. If your body tells you to only go 30 miles for a few days, it's better to do that than have to drop out.
Yeah I'm sure this will be more of a learned thing. The first time I went on a multi day hiking trip I never realized how much my body would change. Of course it helps to have people there pushing you along. I don't doubt my physical condition as I am 21 and pretty lean but I'm sure this is just something you have to find on your own. Thanks for the tip..
Third, buy the Croix de Fer. Tell your boss that if you don't get the bike at cost, well, you'll have to go work at another bike shop. You can, you know. Heck, it sounds like it's a crappy shop anyhow.