Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pearland, Texas
Bikes: Cannondale, Trek, Raleigh, Santana
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martonkaa, The Kona Dew seems to have a reasonable choice of equipment to become a touring bike, as well as being versatile enough for many other cycling activities. The Specialized you linked to has features that maybe desirable to you.
We all have our personal preferences which can generate a negative opinion towards anybody else's touring bicycle choice, but you need to find something in your price range that can, in your own opinion, meet or exceed what you want for a bicycle. About three years ago I shopped around for my first touring bike and I picked out a few guidelines that seemed important:
-A gear inch range of approximately 20-100.
-Suitability corresponding to how much weight is planned to be carried. There is some overlap in designs, for example between a CX bike and a loaded touring bike.
-And last, but most important, a good fitting frame size.
In general a trekking style touring bike is more popular in Europe than in N. America, but is slowly becoming a more common sight here.