Originally posted by bman88 I'm thinking about purchasing a touring bike, and considering a Trek 520, a Bianchi Strada, or a Cannondale T700. I'd be interested in camments and feedback about these bikes.
I've ridden Trek 520 and Cannondale T700 with good results.
I haven't ridden the Biachi Strada, but I've had some good rides and a terrible one with my old school Bianchi road bike.
Take a look at the Bruce Gordon Cycles site for some good information on touring bicycles. I suggest a place to start on that site is the FAQ page at URL: http://www.bgcycles.com/faq.html
Make sure to scroll down the page to look at his chart "Comparison of Key Loaded Touring Bike Design Features:"
I had one of his BLT toruing bikes, with his racks. It is a very good value in a loaded touring bicycle, with very solid tubular steel front and rear racks. Bruce likes to attain low gearing and very useable gearing range for fully loaded toruing. He uses a MTB Triple for the front crank with 44-32-22 front rings.
Consider if you will mount fenders and what the largest tires you will use before you make you frame and fork decision.