Regarding non-steel Touring/commuting bikes, I was thinking of this very topic today while commuting in the snow and slugh on my vintage lugged steel touring bike.
I am aware of 3 carbon fiber bikes suitable for commuting duty, all of which are much less expensive than the Crumpton CF bike that was reviewed in Bicycle Quarterly. The ones I am aware of are:
- The Koga-Miyata Terraliner Carbolite, a CF-framed, flat-bar light-touring/commuting bike available only in Europe (see their UK website) - The Orbea Diem, available in the U.S. with a flat bar but also apparently available in Europe with drop bars. (see their US website and Bike Radar review) - Pedal Force, the importer of well regarded generic CF racing frames from Asia, is introducing in 2009 a Cyclocross bike that looks very adaptable to touring use (has mounts for fenders and racks). (see their website under "new for 2009")
You also raised the question of whether there were touring bikes available in non-steel. Cannondale of course has been making well regarded touring bikes in aluminum for many years, and Koga-Miyata makes the very interesting aluminum World Traveler, available in the U.S. from a dealer in Santa Barbara. A friend has one of these and it's a beautiful bike - a bit like a constructeur bike in that it comes with integrated racks, water bottles, cages, racks, lock, kickstand, lights, etc. Suitable for expedition touring (though I usually spot him commuting in downtown Seattle).
Litespeed made a titanium touring bike (the Blue Ridge) for several years and of course many custom builders can and will make a fine titanium touring bike (Davidson, Moots, Independent Fabrication, Seven, etc.). None seem to lack for fittings.
This seems to be very off-topic for this list but as I read the prior post as a question (does anyone make a commuter in carbon fiber?) I thought I would chip in with my modest contribution.
Sometimes it's OK to try something new!
Best, Steve Frazier Mercer Island, Wa. Long-time lurker, first-time poster Proud owner of 3 vintage steel bikes and one unmentionably modern one