I'm a longtime reader of these forums and have learnt heaps over the years... although I'm still somewhat of a novice compared to most.
Unfortunately my bike was stolen a few months back (Trek MTB) and I'm now in the market for a shiny new machine but I'm still confused about a few things.
I want a bike that is good for city trips but I'm also very keen to do some touring which I couldn't do on my previous bike. I'd also like my bike to be sporty enough to ride for fitness when cross-training from my usual running training.
I initially considered a Surly LHT but have decided it's probably a bit bulky for my regular usage. I'm now trying to decide between a Surly Crosscheck and a Giant CRX2 (http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-AU/...ad/2173/31848/), which I intend to make a few changes too. I'm in Aus and I can buy a Giant CRX2 off the shelf for $1259 whereas the Surly Crosscheck with a different crankset (smaller ring) would be about $2200. Both bikes have the same chainstay length at 42.5cm which is relatively short but hopefully OK and with a few modifications I think the CRX2 will be quite versatile.
My main questions are about the gearing:
- The CRX2 comes with a Sora 30-39-50 crank and 12-25 Tiagra RD but I'm hoping I'll be able to swap the rear with a 11-34 cassette and Deore RD. Do you think that will be enough for touring? I'm quite light and probably won't be touring fully loaded for a while. I've noticed that should give me a similar bottom range to a stock Fuji touring but not as low as the LHT that as a 26 front ring. Does the front ring make more of a difference or should my idea of the CRX2 set-up be enough? I'm thinking about buying the Giant and just riding around for a few weeks before I make any plans to change the gearing.
The other main changes I'm planning to make are:
- rear rack
- bar ends
- combo pedals (flat and shimano SPD)
- possibly fatter tyres if they fit. Comes with 700*28c vittoria randonneaurs might change for a 32c.
Sorry to be posing so many questions. If any has any comments or suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.
Hopefully I can be contributing with my own stories and experiences before too long. I'll definitely post a pic of my machine if I get up to some touring.