I know this has been discussed at various levels before, but I'm just about to pull the trigger on a custom build, and need some soothing...
I'm looking at the following as an all around bike. I like to do longer rides, 60-70 miles, and dream of doing a cross country. Don't know when I'll get to do it though. I do lots of supported rides, some centuries, MS150s, and am planning a 7 day supported ride this fallRide with a rear rack and trunk bag sometimes. Most of the rides around here involve mostly small hills (some steep), and on business trips, I've been doing Skyline drive 20 miles at a time (out and backs, since I'm alone). My current bike weighs 31 lbs unloaded, and has an 8 speed 20-104 GI range on 26x1.5s. Straight bar, twist shifts, aerobars. Average speed on the longer rides/centuries runs 14-15 mph, and I'd like to get that up to 16-18.
Some of the roads I ride are gravel, so I don't relaly want to go smaller than 1.5s on the tires.
The LHT build:
11x32 9 sp, 26/36/44
XT long cage RR rear-der
shimano bar ends on Pauls Thumbies on the bars
36 hole XT hubs f+r
Split Second aerobars
What I'm after is yeas or nays on this as a bike for the type riding I mostly do- I really don't want to have to buy and get used to another bike when the x-country happens. Yet, if this is a bad idea for everything EXCEPT the X-country, then I'lll look for something else.