Last year, a friend put a bug in my ear that I just can't get rid of. He told me that when he turns 50, he wants to go on a long distance tour, somewhere around 4-6 weeks, maybe longer. He turned me on to a web site travelogue about a gentleman from my area who was touring from NorCal to Quebec. I followed his travels with great interest, and have decided to do a tour of my own. I'm a couple of years from 50, but I've started to put together a bike from scratch and plan to do a number of shorter tours before the "big one". This way I can figure what works and what doesn't. I'm an avid cyclist, and I backpack as well, so I figure I may have a bit of a headstart. I've been reading the posts here for a couple of months, and appreciate the experience and insights.

Here's what I have so far
-A Co-motion Nor'wester frame (with the S&S couplers) and fork
-Raceface Deus crankset 44-32-22
-XTR rear derailleur
-Ultegra STI's, 9 speed triple

All of the above was purchased used, and It all started with a great deal on the frame. I'm looking for a good wheelset, but what's different about this frame is that it has 130mm rear spacing. Any suggestions?

I've read many posts about handlebars/shifters and I've decided on the STI's. I'm thinking about drop bars with aerobars.

I can use either V Brakes or canti's, and I'm leaning toward Avid Single Digit 7's.

Seat, it looks like most prefer Brooks B17. I find that on my road bike, it took me forever to find a good seat for me. It's a very personal thing, I guess.

Racks and bags, they're down the way a bit. Maybe a Xmas present!

So, it's not a LHT, but I'm getting there....