Hi forum, please help me make a decision. I am in for a new bike. I commute around 25km a day. Through city centre, then paved roads, then perhaps 1-2 km of dirt road (that turns into ice in winter). These are my criteria:
1. Preferably steel. Not a strong preference, it is just that I have never had one, only aluminium, and I am curious having read all the benefits a steel bike gives you.
2. It absolutely needs to have possibility to have rack/panniers on the back sides. Front not so important.
3. It needs to accommodate wide tyres, so I can put spoked wheels in winter (I live in Finland). I believe the smallest size these winter wheel come in is 33 wide tyres.
4. I will never enter any race of any kind, wont ever cyclocross, and I dont have any friends with carbon bikes who cycle whom I can 'race' with or go in pelotons. I want this bike to be comfortable (one reason I wanted to try steel) but under no means sacrifice the ability to go fast. I don't want to feel I am dragging an anchor when I cycle.
5. Very occasionally (perhaps once a year, two maximum), I might credit card tour , no longer than 2-3 days).
I have narrowed it down to bikes that are available to test ride where I live, and that fall under my budget, they are:
Surly Cross Check
Salsa Vaya 2
Kona Honky Tonk (purely on looks this gets my vote)
Kona Jack the Snake (alum).
- There are also some local brands, like Pelago and Rossano that make steel sport tourers, but I doubt they are heard of where you live, and reviews in english are scarce.
Can we discount any of these list straight away? What would you recommend?
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