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Equipment Update #1

Well we’ve both settled on our bikes. Originally I was planning on picking up a used bike, because I’m cheap like that. After months of scouring craigslist I eventually resigned myself to the fact that I would have to spend more than I wanted to. After some research I came up with a short list of bikes to try out. From cheapest to most expensive my list was:

  1. Novara Randonee
  2. Bianchi Volpe
  3. Surly Long Haul Trucker
  4. Raleigh Sojourn
  5. Trek 520

Since I knew slightly more than Michael about bikes, he decided to use my list too. Michael settled on the Raleigh Sojourn. I was pretty interested in the Sojourn myself. Although it was the second most expensive, you do get a lot for your money. The Sojourn comes with a Brooks B-17 and a decent rear rack, which makes it very attractive price wise.

My search was a little lengthier than Michael’s. The first bike I tried out was the Sojourn. Since I had never ridden a touring bike before all I had to compare it to was my 2006 Raleigh Grand Prix. It definitely felt sluggish compared to my road bike, but I was expecting that. Overall it rode pretty nice, but I wasn’t super impressed. I tried out the LHT next, to my dismay they only had one in stock that was way to small for me. After raising the seat as much as possible I gave it a test ride, it rode like a dream compared to the Raleigh. I was almost sold right then, but the staff recommended a few other bikes to try before I made a decision. Next I tried out the Volpe, with only 32 spoke wheels and a seriously unimpressed, and at the same price as the LHT it was easy to rule out. The Novara seemed pretty nice, especially for the price, but I decided against it because I didn’t want to regret not spending a little more and getting something better. Despite trips to multiple bike shops I couldn’t find anyone who carried the Trek 520 in stock, even though it looked nice I didn’t feel it was wise to buy blind. So by the process of elimination I decided on the Surly Long Haul Trucker in Hill Street Blue.

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