Hi, I'm going to be touring through Europe next Summer. I'll probably start in Bergen, Norway and go to Istanbul. I'm wondering what kind of bike I should plan on using. Right now nothing I own has fender eyelets, and the closest thing I have to a touring bike is a Colnago Super, but I don't think that'll be appropriate. Another option is my road bike, a 2007 Specialized Allez Comp, but I doubt that'll be appropriate either. I plan to use a saddle bag, so I could do it with clip on fenders and a saddle bag, and the nice thing is that the Specialized is light. Well that's what I have (with gears, anyway), but I think I'll need something new.
So I posted an ad on Craigslist, and I got a response from someone with a Centurion Pro tour 15, which sounds like a pretty nice bike. Some say it weighs 26 lbs or maybe even closer to 30 with the rack, but a Centurion catalog quotes it at 23.9 with the rack, so that's not half bad! The Pro Tour is supposedly a pretty good touring bike. It has fender and rack eyelets and a triple crankset. I would take the rack off, though. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/centurio...0pro-tour.html
has some info, but the one I'm going to be looking at is a year or two earlier, so I don't know what to expect. Another person replied with a Centurion LeMans made with Tange 2, and he says it's 21-22 lbs. I'm surprised by that, but we'll see. The LeMans has a fender eyelets, but it has a double crankset. The Pro Tour is purpose built for touring, so I'm a bit more interested in that.
But are there better bikes out there? I don't mind paying more if I can have a lighter bike. I'm only 140 lbs, and I'll be carrying less than 20 lbs in a saddle pack (probably Carradice Nelson). I plan to stay in Youth Hostels, so it won't be a big deal. At most I'd bring a very minimal sleeping bag and a camping hammock (one with a bug net and rain shield...they can be sub 2 lbs). So I expect I don't need the heaviest duty of bikes. Should I be focusing on an older, steel bike, or should I consider buying a new one? I can get any Bianchi cheap via sponsorship, but they don't seem to have much for touring. The Bianchi Axis seems the best from Bianchi. That's a fairly light frame, probably about 1500g (based on weight weenies) without fork (and probably no headset either). Downside is it's aluminum if that's bad. Otherwise I could try to find a light vintage steel bike made of reynolds, columbus, or Ishiwata, but I don't know how light I could expect from something like that.
Edit: Oh yeah, I could also get a Surly LHT on sponsorship, but that's probably gonna be as heavy/heavier than the Centurion.