Been assessing the situation, and I'm back to square one. I had my route all mapped out, found a GPS to play with on the ride, tuned up the bike, loaded the panniers, but before heading out wanted to do a shake down ride. Went out for a century, but 40 miles into it the rapid fire shifter blew up, okay, it fell apart and there were no screws or any way to put it back together. So I was stuck in the mid gears, with the chain rings, essentially 3 gears for the rest of the ride. I turned back making it home on the three gears, and 60 miles.
I have too many bikes. I look at the Trek 7500, and wonder. I have been trying to get it together for touring. There has been one tour that it worked well for me and has been a bane since, and everything I do just makes it more a bane. ARGHH! I've changed gearing, tires, rear deraillure, my fingers go numb on the bar, so change the bar, at the moment it's an old Scott TT bar (butterfly bar). I've raised the stem, changed the seat, the pedals, the brakes.
So I have looked at the many bikes I have for a ground zero build up. The best frame I have in my collection of yet to builds is a Cannondale MTB frame, well other than the 7500. I haven't seen reviews on the shifters, the deraillures, the cranks, bottom brackets everyone is using or has encountered. I'll search more, but given the chance to change or upgrade the mechanics of your tourer, what would you change, to what and why?