Hey, this is my first post. I have hiked, riverboarded, climbed, skied, scuba dived and every other physical activity you can do outdoors. Even tho I have bicycled all my life, I am about to attempt my first cross country trek on bicycle. I am not worried about the physical challenge....but I have never bought a bike specifically for touring before, and came here for some advice and opinions from those who have.
I understand that there are certain features and frame style that set touring bikes apart.
Right now I am torn between these three models, the Fuji Touring, the Surly Long Haul Trucker and the Navaro Safari. Alot of shops don't carry touring bikes on the floor because they seem to not be as popular as the other styles. So until i can sample these three all out for myself, i am cobbling together as much feedback from those who have.
I am a 6'4" tall and a muscular 220lbs. I know individual fit can vary even with people of the same height due to differences in leg and torso length...but i wanted to give you an idea of my size.
Secondly, i will be travelling with camping gear, but trying to keep it as light as i can. I dont know how many side bags(paniers?) i will use. Maybe two maybe four. But i will use them. So front and back racks for sure.
I plan to travel from East to west on a northern or middle route in the Spring.
Basically thats it. Just looking for any personal opinions about any of these bikes. Likes, dislikes. Whatever. All appreciated.