New to the forums and essentially new to the entire road riding scene. I do 20-40 milers now, about 1 a week, on a mid level 80's SR. I want to upgrade my ride and I think I am more interested in eventually touring. So with my budget I can have 1 bike. I'm not really interested in speed, I think a touring bike will be as fast as I want to go. Right now I just do relaxed group rides at about 15mph and I do fine on the old SR, and that is really as fast as I need to go. I'm getting older and healing takes longer. My budget will likely be $6-700 or less if I find a good buy, so to get quality, used is pretty well my only option I think. So here are the questions I have.
What are the compenents I should looking at and how do they rank? I have heard that Tiagra should be the lowest I should consider.
What frame material will suit me? I ride steel now and am not opposed to it at all and it seems you can get some values if you are willing to settle for steel.
There are a bozillion manufacturers out there so is there any makes or models I should stay away from? A big box, or bike direct bike is not something I am considering.
I see a lot of older downtube shifter bikes that are very good quality it seems. Is there any reason not to get one for touring? My current bike has down tubes and I would much rather have index I think but I would settle for a quality friction shift over a junk indexer.
Are all down tube shifters friction?
What about bar end shifters?
Are there road bikes that are capable of touring or do I need a dedicated tourer, and how do I tell?
I think thats enough crazy questions for now, and I am looking forward to hitting the road. Thanks!