I currently have an old MTB that I'm using with an SA three speed and drop bars. It has a few problems, including a headset that seems to chatter even if set really tight (already put a set of new loose bearings in it) and what seems to be bent front fork ends. Here's a picture of it with a stone wall a pair of feet in NorCal:
I'd like to upgrade to a proper touring bike with derailer gearing, a front rack and full braze-ons, so I've been slowly acquiring new parts. I'd keep this one for cruising around town.
I already have derailers and will be buying bar-end shifters and rear wheel parts soon. The next step would be to get a new frame. Currently I'm considering a Thorn Sherpa frame or an LHT (cheaper), but a friend has been recommending buying an old road bike frame and having a frame builder add braze-ons to it. This is because the oversized tubing that seems to be all present these days, I quote, 'sucks'.
Getting a vintage road frame would mean that I'd have to build a new 700c wheelset and get sidepull brakes too which could make it end up costing about the same. I'd also have to miss threadless forks.
Are there any other possibilities for someone living in Europe? Ideally I'd want the bike to last a long time and eventually use it to tour South America.
Once you throw a good sized load in the rear and front panniers,
you will understand why there is a predomination of oversized ,
thin wall tubes on modern touring bikes .
handles the load better, but still pretty light.
Custom build, signature program, You can pick from a Menu of frames
and components http://www.koga-signature.com/en
they finish the job by applying your name on the frame.