I am in the market for a new bike that I will use for loaded touring (mainly on-road) and possibly commuting. I am considering the usual suspects (Surly LHT & Ogre, Kona Sutra, Salsa Fargo & Vaya, Raleigh Sojourn) but am open to other suggestions; my only requirements are disk brakes and 700cc/29″ wheels. If anyone has a suitable bike I could test-ride, please PM me. I’m 5’8″. Thanks much.
If you don’t require an extended test ride (more than a spin around the block or so) go to thick as they carry surly, all city, salsa and raleigh and usually have mediums in stock. You could potentially ride almost every bike in your list plus a couple that should be (ac macho man, mr pink and spacehorse) back to back.
The Space Horse is awesome, but it doesn’t handle that great with a really big touring load. All-City says 30 rear / 20 front, and my experience indicates that that’s probably about right. The handling does get weird. It’s not a Long Haul Trucker kind of bike (which I love, but it depends what sort of bike you want).
It doesn’t have disk brakes anyway, so that would seem to eliminate it from the OP’s list.
But everyone should still buy one.
(But actually if I had this particular set of needs I would be seriously considering those Vayas. I wish I were taller so that I could have one of the 700c ones.)