hi, im quite a noob in terms of the technical aspects of biking an was in need of some help.
this summer im doing a tour of italy (from nice to scicily) and will be taking all my stuff with me in panniers. i will be doing roughly 8 hours of cycling a day and about 80 miles
i have a basic gt aggressor 3.0 at the moment and have been recieving alot of different advice
one which has popped up alot is get a cyclocross as it is rugged light weight and quite fast
although i have been suggested upgrading mine, with rigid forks and drop handle bars
what i would like to know is,
would it be better to simply buy a cyclocross
or upgrade mine??
would the extra money be worth it??
If you buy a new bike you should probably buy a touring bike instead of a cyclocross bike, because you are touring, not riding/racing cyclocross.
In terms of a conversion for your GT, Kona makes a wide range of rigid steel forks that are cheap and worth looking into. if you convert to drop bars you will likely need to change your shifters, stem, handlebars, and brakes. Possibly even your front crankset/front derailleur. In other words it isn't cheap.
I recommend you post your question in the touring subforum.