Spoken4 wrote "Which ones have you seen that are geared too high?"
The Fuji and the Trek that I saw had road cranksets with the granny ring 32T. This is too high for me, even assuming a 34T on the cassette.
= 25 gear inches.
I presently run 24T front and 28T on the six speed cluster = 23 gear inches.
If I am going to upgrade from 6 speed (14-28) to 9 speed I would like to enjoy the benefits of closer ratios and I don't think that 11-34 would achieve that.
The way to go seems to be to install the MTB /hybrid 44/33/22 crankset and my complaint is that IMO a touring bike should come like this on the shop floor. My concept of a touring bike is something that can carry lightweight camping gear plus your clothing for a week's ride.
With 20kg in the panniers I don't relly need a 52 X 11 gear.
End of whinge.
I will check out the Surly as I have read good reviews of this brand.
Check out the Vivente World Randonneur at www.viventebikes.com and various dealers around Melbourne for RRP $1750. I don't think you'll find a better specced, fully kitted out touring bike off the shelf anywhere for this price!