First off I'd like to say that I'm a newbie when it comes to bicycle touring but I've done some long distance hiking with ultralight gear. There seems to be a great deal of crossover between these two sports as far as packing lists are concerned. I've been considering going on a cross country bicycle tour next summer (or the summer after that) so I'm thinking of potential packing list strategies to minimize weight and maximize utility. I'm thinking of using a Hennessy Hammock A-Sym with a Gossamer Gear Thin Light Insulation Pad and a Fanatic Fringe 40D Quilt. I'd figure the hammock should be low volume due to the lack of tent poles. The sleeping pad should also reduce volume.
Food and water seem to be much less of a problem touring rather than hiking. There isn't going to be 3-4 stretches where no food can be bought (assuming I'm touring in the contiental United States let's say and not in a third world country). It seems like I can pull into a gas station at the end of the day and buy the Ramen or Lipton dinners I'll cook up further reducing weight and volume. I have no idea about the water situation, how frequently I can get water, whether the water needs to be treated, the rate at which I'll cosume water, but I'm guessing I'll need to carry at least 1.5L on me.
As for racks I'm thinking of combining the use of a large saddle pack and front panniers on a steel (or titanium possibly) road bike (I'd like my geometry to be a little tighter. I'd like for this bike to double as a regular road bike that I can train on without the need of buying two bicycles.) Can anyone suggest a lightweight front panniers and rack? Any other suggestions? Thanks alot guys .