Ok, so my Downtube Mini just isn't doing it for me anymore. It's a good little bike, but I'm just too big for it. I ride my other Downtubes for most purposes, and only use the Mini when I need a bike I can bag up and take on the train. Trouble is, that generally means when I'm away for several days, and loading it up just gives me headaches. By the time I have 3 days worth of clothes, books, laptop, and work materials on the rack, it's a little hairy. Today, it was so finely balanced that the slightest touch under the handlebars would send it up on it's end - the short wheelbase doesn't work well with my rack. Add to that the fact that I'm over the weight limit for it on my own, and that I've got this big load cantilevering out beyond the back wheel, and it's not surprising that I keep popping rear spokes.
So, I need a good solid bag for my IXFS, one capacious enough to swallow bike, seatpost rack and drop bars, and which can be carried on my back. It's time to let the 20"ers do the work on loaded trips. What are your recommendations?
As for the future of my Mini, I have thoughts. I think the wheels are going to come off and be donated to my Mini Moulton. The only holdup with doing that bike, which should be fun and fast and very silly, is a wheelset, so I could just get the thing built. The Mini, though, I don't just want to ignore. It's a cool little bike which simply suffers from a riding position which doesn't suit me, coupled with crappy tyres which go together to make it feel slow, and me overloading it. I'm thinking that the right thing to do would be to build it back up in a stripped down way. I'm thinking bullhorns, and perhaps one of those fixed gear Sturmey Archer 3 speeds, if they ever make it to market. Might need a bit more extension on the stem too, but maybe not. Whaddya reckon?