First of all, I really appreciate the help dished out in these forums. I'm looking to purchase a 'cross bike, however, I've quickly become overwhelmed with the various options out there, and my LBS simply doesn't have the bikes I'm looking for. I'm in search of a "do-it-all" bike, knowing full well it won't be perfect at any one thing. That being said, I'd love to have one bike that I can take on some moderate single-track one day, then swap tires and ride 60 road miles the next with no problem. That, and everything in-between: touring, gravel, fire-roads, etc. Here are a few preferences I have:
- Steel frame
- Ability to fit 29x2.1" tires
- Disc brakes (for those heavily-loaded, down-hill, in the rain/mud trips)
- Ample braze-ons for touring/bikepacking racks
I'd love to keep this bike at/under $1,500 and upgrade components as time goes on. The first bike that initially jumps out at me is the Surly Cross Check, but it's not perfect. The new Surly Straggler is nice, but a bit out of my price range. There were other options thrown out in a previous thread that weren't too bad either: looking for a super versatile bike for road/varied surfaces, and long distances..
Any other suggestions? I'd really appreciate them!
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