simonhill wrote:A few comments.
As alluded to somewhere above, if you buy something like a Surly in the US you could save about 30% or more. This obviously poses time and logistical problems and also means you could be setting off on an unproved bike.
Again as mentioned, it would be useful to have an idea of expected road conditions, your load, previous experience, etc - who knows, you could be planning a lightweight record breaking speed attempt. Let's hope the OP is still reading.
I have no real position on which frame, apart from steel and tough. What I would say is that you need to choose your components and gear possibly more carefully. Firstly, do you know what is available on the spares front on your route. My guess is that apart from parts of Central America, most of the countries en route will have decent quality equipment available in the larger towns, but this isn't my cycle touring region and I don't know. Browsing crazyguy could be useful. Also googling bike shops in the towns and cities en route will give an idea of stock they carry,
In the UK, Spa Cycles seem to have good coverage for touring components and will build to your spec. I wouldn't buy an off the peg complete bike as there always seems to be compromises on some of the components. Beware of anything too exotic or delicate when choosing components. Solid and dull isn't a bad mantra for touring. Don't shirk on your luggage - it is dead weight and takes a tremendous hammering over time.
I have an LHT which has served me well for over 35,000 Kms long haul touring, plus another 25+ general riding. I had it built with Deore 9 speed in 2012 and this has served me very well. Good wheels are essential - I used 36 spoke Sputniks, now superseded by Ryde Andra.
Re theft, etc. This has never worried me but I am careful, without being paranoid. I mainly tour in Asia and often leave my bike unattended (with small cable lock) while shopping, etc. I have travelled extensively in C and S America and always thought theft more of a problem there. A touring bike soon looks tatty, although drops will set it apart from most local steeds and possibly highlight it's value. Ironically, you may find your biggest risk is in the US.
Your route is a bit of a cycling super highway, particularly for American cyclists. I'm sure that you will quickly meet people who have cycled some or part of the route who can give you lots of advice and opinions. I wouldn't over plan or worry too much.
One final thing. You say next year. I would keep a close eye on the countries you will be passing through re Covid. Even once borders are open foreign cyclists may not find a warm welcome in out of the way places. Paranoia tends to hang around.
first of all Simon, a lot of very good points.
but as you say, the person in question has one post only, and we've been blathering on about stuff on our own. I hope he or she comes back into the conversation if they are serious about this rather large scale trip.
re bike parts, I'd add that from the larger, nicer bike shops in larger cities that I saw in 2017, 2018 in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica (didnt go into any bike shops in Nicaragua) they always had low to mid to even high end mountain bikes, so I'm sure the world standard available stuff like Alivio, Deore rear derailleurs and stuff is fairly common.
**though as you alluded to with one aspect of Covid, another most likely is going to be the long term economic impact in so many countries, which will also translate to very few parts available--heck, even here in Canada stuff is scarce now, and our supply chain issues will get resolved a hell of alot quicker than predominantly poorer latin American countries (which have had a real kicking economically , much worse than us, with the covid situation).