Fuji or Redline cross?
I'm currently looking at making a change in bikes.
1. Must be able to handle 100+ mile weeks, consistently.
2. Must be able to commute, carry my camera bags.
3. Must be able to turn around on a Saturday and ride centuries and/or strap on a kayak on a trailer and still be stable.
My lbs is recommending a Redline cross bike, but they got a very nice Fuji sitting there with saddle bags already laced on, and I'm leaning toward the Fuji.
Where would you guys go?
The cross bikes make a good light touring bicycle. But due to their stiffness and tighter frame geometry (they are designed for racing) they may not be as comfortable for loaded touring as would be a touring bicycle geometry. I use to have a cross bike that I used for Rails to Trails, commuting (great for that), around town, mid length trips (around 60 to 80 miles/day) and light touring. I loved the bike due to its quickness. However, for long distance touring (especially med to high loads), I would choose a quality touring bicycle. The cross bike was a great all around bike for commuting and general riding. A lot of people in urban riding conditions make them into a single speed bicycle. They work great for that.
I ride a Trek 520 and Surly LHT for loaded touring and I love both of them. I have not ridden a Fuji Touring in a lot of years, so I can't speak one way or the other about the new models. The Fuji use to be a quality touring bicycle. Like most of the bicycles made today, they are massed produced (just like the Surly LHT). The Surly LHT is a high quality frame made for heavy loads, so it wouldn't surprise me if the Fuji Touring is the same. Just check out the components (especially the wheels).
I have found that most companies skimp on the wheels since most people can't tell the difference. And the gearing may not be adequate for your touring and non-touring rides. For example, the Trek 520 standard touring crank is adequate for long day rides and light to med touring. However, my Surly LHT (not a stock bike since I built it up) is great for heavy loaded touring, but I wouldn't use it on a century. Ask you sales person about this.
Check out these links for more info:
One other thing, if you plan on pulling a trailer instead of panniers, then a cross bike becomes very attractive due to its general riding characteristic for every day riding.
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