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Old 05-06-14, 03:40 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
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Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

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It strikes me that if you know your road bike geometry, you have a pretty good idea of which touring bike geometry will work well for you as well. Most shops aren't going to make you buy the bike if it really doesn't fit but you will have to decide up front which of the three models to go with. There isn't a ton of difference between the major touring bikes.

One factor to consider is whether you want to go with 26 inch wheels on a touring bike. I probably would but that is endlessly debatable and will push you towards the Surly. Another thing the Surly has going for it is that it comes in sizes (at 2 cm intervals). I can't fit the REI Randonees very well because the jump is too big between the sizes. YMMV obviously. I think the Soma has good sizes as well (if memory serves me well) but the Surly comes as a complete bike for less than you can build the Soma frame up for (Soma comes as a complete bike now as well but it runs $400 more than the Surly).
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