Old 07-09-13, 05:11 AM
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All solid advice so far.
Saddles are really personal. Specialized are also good ones in plastic/leather.
Modern aluminium frames are the standard product and they are not as harsh as they used to be. Carbon fibre forks make for a more comfy ride. Look for a bike with a less racy feel. Most brands have an endurance or sportif style of non-competative/non-racing road bike.
Find some padded shorts that work well and buy 3 pairs. You will need some padded mitts for protection on the bars and in a slide along the road.
Clip-on aerobars are used by tourists not just for a more aerodynamic position, but also for a more comfortable alternative handhold.
Gearing should be road triple or compact double; endurance riding is long, not fast.
You will need time to adjust to riding a bike and to dial in your riding position. I would normally advise a min of 3 months of daily riding before embarking on a serious coast-coast route. That is daily riding or saddle time, eg commuting, not athletic training or cardio workouts or anything fancy, just butt-on-saddle.
MichaelW is offline