My wife and I bought our 26" wheel Ibis nearly 20 years ago and had lots of good times on it. Even a couple of loaded tours with some jury rigged racks - risked it on a flight with no damage too. Four years ago we bought a used Speedster and the Ibis doesn't get much love any more.
It's been more than a decade since we've done loaded touring but the kids are getting older and we're starting to think about some REAL tours in the not so distant future. Our Speedster is even less suited to touring than the Ibis is (carbon fork, caliper brakes, no rack or fender mounts and not enough bottle cages). A nice travel tandem is $8K (maybe $4 or $5k used) - but I've got that wonderful Ibis sitting in my garage.
So, that leads to a whole bunch of questions that I'm sure can be answered on this forum
1) S&S retrofit - I see Bilenky advertises it and I'm sure others do it as well - anyone have first hand experience? Recommendations?
2) Brakes - I ditched the Avid mechanical that was on the back of my Speedster but I'm thinking that for loaded touring I'd really rather have disk brakes. Is there anything that really works with STI shifters and drop bars?
3) Racks - while we are on the subject of brakes - do disk brakes interfere with your front and rear racks? Also it seems there is quite a bit more choice than when I started touring 25 years ago and Blackburn Aluminum racks were the "standard" - any suggestions?
4) Front Fork - I'm definitely getting rid of the old fork and going modern threadless but my first look online didn't turn up a ton of forks with brake bosses and rack braze ons - suggestions? The Ibis is 1 1/8
5) Gears - I'm toying with the idea of the Roholf but a couple of things are holding me back. One is that for the kind of touring I'm hoping we'll do (multi week/multi month/multi continent) I think I need something repairable with more "off the shelf" parts. The second issue is that it doesn't seem there are any decent drop bar shifters for the Roholf. Any thoughts on this? That leaves me with 10 spd road stuff, likely Ultegra - any concerns with hauling a 300 lb team, 40 lb bike and 100 lb camping stuff around with 10 spd Ultegra?
6) Hub spacing - I think this is a minor issue, the Ibis is 140 mm spacing but I'm assuming that the shop that does the couplings and extra braze ons would be able to respace the rear end to 145 mm
Any other issues I need to consider? Appreciate any suggestions/guidance that might make this go smoothly....