Infamous Dumpster Diver
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: West Philly, PA
Bikes: '89 Nishiki Cascade (set-up as a tourer); '99 Gary Fisher Aquila; late 80's John Howard (by Dave Hesch); '70 Schwinn 3spd
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It seems to me the only things that keep CX bikes from being great tourers are short chainstays, lack of a granny gear, lack of rack mounts, and a high BB.
Well you can get around the chainstay problem by buying a long rack (Jandd expedition for example) and mounting the panniers far back.
You can't get by without a granny for any kind of loaded touring (unless you plan on riding around entire mountain ranges).
Rack eyelets are swell, but I've seen them break, too. If a rack is attached skillfully, with or without eyelets, it will do the trick for moderate loaded touring (25-30lbs...if you have to carry more, I feel bad for you). Keep in mind that fork eyelets and rack eyelets are also handy for attaching fenders, which make touring much more pleasant.
High BB height is not an issue on my touring bike (a converted Nishiki mtb from 1988). Touring bikes usually boast low bottom brackets to enhance stability, but talk about your hand-waving...