Hi all, I am planning on riding Istanbul>Xian next summer. Ive been told to do this on a mountain bike, but am leaning towards a LHT with 26" wheels ( the 54cm ). I figure the main advantage of a mountain bike is the 26" wheels, and I like the geometry of the LHT more than any MTB ive ridden. I also am planning on having custom wheels built up, maybe even phil wood hubs. can anyone give me advice on wheelset/frameset choices? Is 48 spokes too many? Im sure they would be bomber on tour, but if I sunk the cash into a phil wood hubset, Im not sure I would want to ride around town and such with 48 spokes. basically Im thinking the LHT with Phil Wood 36h laced to rims to be determined. Also probably a Tubus rear and a surly nice or jandd extreme front rack. I also have no idea what drivetrain to use. I have a shimano105 front triple x deore lx rear right now, is that going to be suitable for the silk road? what about sram? I am on a budget, but I volunteer in a bike kitchen so I can order a lot of components cheap. Any other suggestions? feel free to nitpick/comment/heckle any of the aspects of my build, I love advice!