I was looking at these bikes and was just wondering what anyone thought about using one for possible touring. I wouldn't be doing any super long tours at all though. Also, I would like the option to go off-road with the bike as well. How do these work with rear racks and panniers, and which are the best ones to get for these bikes? I posted this in the general discussion as well, so I'm sorry if this is a repeat. Any help would be awesome. Thanks a bunch.
I have a Trek 820 (1997 model) and it has been my only bike for the last 9 years. I gotta be honest...the thing is a tank. I have used it alot for both on-road as well as off-road rides. Mine does not have any suspension parts (can be harsh at times off road) but I used it in th NYC 5-boros tour yesterday and it was perfect for the NYC streets. I use tires that have a somewhat smooth center for easy rolling on pavement with an agressive tread on the sides for mud-slinging when I go off road. I have a standard (cheap) rear rack and it mounted with ease, I put some end bars on for hand position options and that is it.
Last week I bought a new Novara Safari as a treat for my birthday...hopefully I get just as great rides from that as well.