This is my first post on this forum and I would very much like to ask for some expertise (non-biased) opinion. I'm fairly new to bike touring, having done only 3 or 4 longer distance trips last year. The longest one was 250 km in one weekend.
At the moment I have a rather cheap Giant Boulder that I have upgraded with new tires and a few extras to make it more of a "touring bike" but it's not living up to what I want it to be. That's probably because it was never meant to be used as a touring bike.
So after trial, error and very little advice I am finally ready to fork out some cash and spend it on a proper touring bike. So, what's my budget? I don't want to spend more than $1500 (CAD or US) before taxes. Here in Canada, that can be anywhere between 5% to 17% extra, I believe
So far, two bikes have caught my eye. One is the Raleigh Sojourn and the other one is the Trek 520. Asking around for pricing at local stores, the Raleigh is about $1320 after tax and the Trek 520 is about $1500 before tax.
Looks wise, I like the Raleigh Sjourn, but the Trek 520 looks nice. Now from an "investment" and "quality" point of view, which one is better? Better for what?
Well here's the plan: This summer I plan on flying to Paris and taking 2 weeks to ride my bike from Paris to Nice. That's about 1000 km, so I think 2 weeks should be enough. Stamina is not an issue here, since I ride my bike at least 20 km every day and am in pretty good shape. What I need is a quality bike that's fairly affordable.
EDIT: I should also add, that I have a Bob Yak that I plan to use