Hi all. I'll be buying a new bike soon, so I'm trying to learn what I can to get the "right" bike.
A bit of background:
I've actually never gone touring, and this won't be purely for touring, but I chose this forum because I think it's the closest to what I want. I'm currently bikeless, so this is my do-everything-be-everything bike. Which means I want to be able to load it up with weight -- whether it's camping gear, groceries, or whatever and still climb the mountains around here (Vancouver area), hence the general focus on touring rather than a hybrid. I will also be riding it extensively unloaded (again, it's my 'everything' bike). Mostly on roads, but also dirt or some gravel trails. No serious mountain biking, though.
I've browsed through these forums and looked around several bike shops and decided that the DeVinci Caribou 2 should handle all my needs quite well. The Marinoni Turismo also looked appealing, but with a 8-10 week wait to get it, it seems the DeVinci is the better option.
That said, I know very little in the way of components. I've seen some names for a few pieces, but I have no experience with them. I have no idea how they compare up and down the line, etc. So I'm appealing to the vast knowledge in these forums to help me know what should be upgraded on the bike. I'll be doing all the replacements at the time of purchase with the bike fitting, etc, and have the store swap the components for me to have it done professionally.
Without furthur ado, here's the stock configuration from DeVinci's site: http://www.devinci.com/9786_an.html
My knowledge so far:
- I know I want the disc brakes (the one in the store had them installed, the link seems to list the disc brakes (if I understand it correctly), but the photo seems to show some other type)
- I know many people here prefer bar end shifters, but I prefer the shifting near the brakes
- The brake levers installed (Tiagra) feel cheap to me. An opinon I've seen expressed on these forums by someone else, as well. I will upgrade those to something that feels better (next level up? two levels up? suggestions?)
- When searching I've seen a caution about the relatively short chainstay (43.5cm). I don't have large feet, and I'll get the rack + paniers at the time of purchase, so this won't be an issue.
- I know I need lower gears than the stock setup, but have no idea what numbers to ask for. Help please!
The remaining parts I'm completely ignorant about. Please post your opinions on any other piece you feel should be upgraded to best enjoy my new machine.
Thanks in advance!