Old 01-04-15, 04:19 PM
  #4  
LeeG
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I would be surprised that your bike weighs over 35lbs. I'm assuming you're accustomed to drop bars or are making the transition to drop bars from your Mtn bike given your purchase of a road bike. A touring bike capable of carrying two pair of panniers and your size, assuming your weight is commensurate w your height will not be light, especially after adding racks and gear. In other words the reason to get a touring specific bike is for it's handling carrying weight not to get a light frame. I bet a Surly LHT frame weighs as much or more than that 4300 frame.
A touring specific bike will be at least $1000. I'd work from your intended load and riding posture. If your budget is more around $400 than $1000 replace the front fork with a solid one. Put a front platform rack on the front that can hold panniers close to the fork crown. I find low riders and 26" wheels puts the bags too close to curbs. Get a rear platform rack but don't use panniers as the short chainstays put the weight to far back just put the load close to seat and on top of rack.
If you are thinking of a lighter bike than the 4300 because you want a bike for fast riding then look for a posture on the bike conducive for higher output. Once you load up a light bike with touring stuff it's no longer light.
Check out a REI Randonee
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