Eric's right. You want reliable and repairable.
And don't sweat a couple of extra pounds of bike weight. sounds like you are going to be carrying a pile of stuff anyway. I would rather have something sturdy and solid that weighed... 13kgs as opposed to a super lightweight 9.5kg frame that collapses under the load and stress.
Sounds like you are going fully loaded. (I am envious.) West to East?
Basically I don't have any true "touring bikes" (except for my own which is A) huge and B) is not for sale.) but I'll forward you a couple of exchanges I had with someone else who inquired recently about a "touring bike".
Some standard bikes can work well for moderate-load touring.
It comes down basically to whether you want/need front panniers. If so, you should probably want to seek out a classic Randonneur bike that has mounts on the front forks for a rack and cantilever brakes for a) quick stopping and b) easy fender clearance.
let me know if you have any other questions or if I can help.
BTW, what size frame do you require? or, what's your inseam?
if you find anything online or at a shop, feel free to shoot me the link or photo. I'd be happy to give my 2 cents.
On 5/8/2013 6:14 PM, craigslist reply 189d wrote:
Hey, I am interested in it, but I am also wondering if its a touring bike ??? I am specifically looking for one
Subject: What do you mean by "touring".?
If you mean classic fully-loaded touring with front and rear panniers, then No. This is not a classic touring bike (they have cantilever brakes, and eyelets in the front fork to which you can mount a front rack. see attached photos.
If you mean"touring" in the sense of day riding in the country, then Yes, this is a good choice (high quality steel frame)
Let me know any further information you have or need.
On 5/8/2013 7:13 PM, craigslist reply 189d wrote: Yes sorry....I mean fully loaded. To be able to go camping with.
those types of classic touring bikes are fairly rare. there were / are only so many people who wanted to go camping as opposed to the vast number who raced or who rode for recreation.
I have a classic touring bike but it is a 63 cm.
That said, IF you can find one in your size, they are not usually THAT expensive (unless you buy a new or newer one) because - there are not that many people who want them
You can buy a classic generic steel touring frame at Urbane Cyclist (full service LBS coop in Toronto) down on ... John street? for not a lot of money. I think they are selling them for ... $150. From that point you can build up.
Otherwise, ebay is a good source.
Cantilever brakes are like mountain bike brakes. The two arms are mounted onto the forks and rear seat stay and a triangle of cable pulls them closed. I think the advantage is A) they brake quickly (important if you are travelling with a heavy load) and B) they allow the easy installation of fenders.
note though that cyclocross bikes are easy to confuse with Touring bikes (also called "Randonneurs") except they do not have the eyelets on the front forks for front rack mounts.
Finally, a touring bike will usually have a triple front chain ring and will be geared so that it could climb any mountain, even with a full load.