OK first and foremost, as my name suggest I am a "Newbie" so please be gentle with me here!
Back story: I used to love riding my bike, rode it anywhere and everywhere I went before moving house and it became difficult to ride from here. So after a few years I've decided to start getting into it again. My ultimate goal is to be able to head over to Europe next year on a self supported tour (no time frame so I'd be easily content with 100-120-140km per day if not less, whatever tickles my fancy!), staying in a mixture of hostels, campsites and the wilderness. I've just recently bought a Giant Defy 2 to ride this summer/autumn before heading off in the next Northern spring/summer. I'm still young and healthy so I don't need that much work getting into shape.
I've looked around on the net and I never thought it would be so hard to find a decent bike around here. Whenever I search under 'touring' I get back a whole lot of results for commuting bikes which I can only assume would fail big time on the big stage. What I have found though is the Fuji Touring '10 & '11 in my price range ($1,100 - $1,300ish, I could stretch over a tiny bit if absolutely necessary). I know I know, Australia is an absolute rip off for practically ANY retail product but there's not much I can do about that. I seem to like the '11 most but only see it advertised in Sydney (1,000km's away) so unless I intend to fly up and ride it back it might be out of the question. Would it be possible to get a fitting on a '10 and then order the size '11 I want and have it shipped down?
OK my main question is this; I know the Fuji has been around for EONS and is loved by many but I haven't been able to find a single review on the newer ones, so are they any good for entry level? What would have to be swapped out on them before a major tour? Is there any competitor bikes in the same price range I should know about?
You should know I'm really fussy when I buy things, and I wouldn't be able to sleep at night riding a 2nd hand bike so I'll need to buy new. If there's no other decent tourer's at this price what about a mountain bike? What model MTB's are good for long tours? Sorry to ask so many questions but I've searched Google, Yahoo, Bing and I can't find a damn thing about this bike beyond the specs of it, and this place has thousands upon thousands of posts so I figured there might be some helpful people around!
If you need an indication of the prices we have here, the Defy 2 cost $1,499AUD brand new, opposed to about $1,000USD (I think?), so yeah it's a bit of a rip off. I tried searching these forums but apparently my search words were too common so I couldn't find any useful information. Anyway guys, this whole post could just be another day on the forums if you know what I mean, but I tried to look myself and failed miserably. Thank you all so much in advance for any information.