I'm new to this forum (well, the making an account and posting a real intro thread part, not so much the using bikeforums as a research tool part), and am planning on riding across the country on the TransAmerica trail. I recently graduated from college a bit on the early side, and found myself feeling unsatisfied with the finish..no grand finale, no graduation ceremony, zip (graduated in the fall..no ceremony until spring or summer). So, to fix that, I've decided to do this mondo tour, leaving at the beginning of May, and returning in time to walk in the summer graduation. I'm going to be taking a good friend with me and picking up another in Indiana (slight detour). We're planning on doing this unsupported..camping, cooking, the whole bit, though we are going to try to not carry very much gear.. maybe 25lbs tops. Now that you know everything about me (right?
), oh wait. I am somewhat broke, and would prefer to not buy a new bike to accomplish this adventure. Also, I am kind of on the large side--6'4", ~190lb. I'm not sure if that really qualifies me as a clyde or not, but I do ride a pretty large bike, 62cm or so and I also have HUGE feet.. size 16. I was thinking I should go and get professionally fitted though..
Anyway. I've got a 62cm 2004 Trek 1000, a 24in (61cm? 60.96? yay metric system!) 1998 Trek 820 mountain bike and a 1979 Schwinn Traveler (I apparently missed Schwinn switching to less tank-like tubing by a couple of years, so this thing is a freaking brick. it also has delightful 27in wheels). Everything is in pretty good working order, though the Traveler and the 820 could use a tune up. So I need to decide which to use, or I guess try to hunt for a good used touring bike, though those seem to be fairly scarce in my size
From what I've read, it sounds like panniers wouldn't be a good choice for the 1000 (mostly owing to my giant feet), but a BOB or something might work? If I were to take that bike though, I would for sure have to redo my gearing and get some more substantial wheels.. sidenote: how do you take a BOB on a plane?
The 820 is pretty heavy (though I don't know how much of that is because of the wheels/beastly tires), and the length of the chainstays don't seem like they would allow for panniers without ankle damage (could be wrong though..). It does have adequate braze-ons for a rear rack though.
The Traveler is the least attractive option, I think..though it rides like a nice gentle..cow? Couldn't put a rack on it, 27in wheels etc.
So, wondrous touring aficionados, what do you think I should do? I have enough to buy a fully loaded LHT or something like that, but wouldnt have much left over for..you know...food.