Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
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The 2011 Expert is far better spec'd that the Elite, and the £350 increase in price over the Elite shows this. Getting a 2011 model in your size maybe more of an issue as we are already into model year 2013.
Not sure why a good LBS would dissuade you from the Crosstrail as some towpaths can be very rough after heavy rain and this may be more suited to them.
For clothing, you really need to try some on to get a feeling of sizes, as all manufactures vary, if it's an Italian brand, and your are a UK M, you really need to try on, as they can be all over the place on sizing, US and UK brands tend to be more in line with reality