I am looking for a new bike at some point. My goal is to do some touring. I want to ride some distance, not just overnight tours, but I need to work up to that.
I am looking at touring bikes, however, I am also wanting a bike that is just for using around town, too, and possibly do some commuting on it. I currently have a 1998 Raleigh SC200, which is my do everything, go everywhere bike. The problem is that she's a tank and handles like a tank, and when I load her up she's not the best ride. I want just one bike. It would be great to be able to afford bikes for each thing I want to do, but that isn't feasible.
Now, in doing research, I have read that touring-specific bikes, while wonderful under load, are not great when not under load. I do not plan to keep a new bike in constant full gear, so I want something that handles nicely when not loaded. I also want a little more nimble than my SC200, and I want to remain fairly upright, none of this bent in half, staring at the road 5 feet in front of me stuff.
Would a cyclocross bike work for me? I do need something more hefty than a road bike, since I am not the lightest girl. Also, while I know some people feel cyclocross doesn't make a good touring bike, I am planning on probably touring with a trailer and small panniers, if I use them, so I'm not worried about heel strike.
I guess I want something like a heavier-duty road bike, and isn't that what a cyclocross bike essentially is?
Any other suggestions are appreciated.
Help? I'm really starting to get confused by all this.