I am starting my first long distance tour in the first part of may. I intend to start in southwest IN and go north till I meet up with the northern teir route,and follow it west. since I have never rode this much before I am taking it easy ,only hoping for 50 miles a day. I got laid off from work for the second time in 2 monthes so I figured "what the heck,why not?" I have wanted to do this for years and have most everything I think I need .except last year I sold my 48 spoke wheels I had built for my mountain bike. actuallty I sold the whole bike! anyway, I have been building a new bike for this over the last month and I am a little worried about my budget for wheels. a new pair of 48's (shimano tandem hubs and ryhno lite rims)is between 400 and 500 bucks ,depending if I buy them online or have the LBS build them.I have been reading on here of the strength of well built 36 spoke wheels,and after comparing the costs it would seem a cheaper alternative.
I am 6'2" and I currently weigh in a little over 300# and I figure around 50 # for my gear and I am not sure what my bike weighes yet, but lets say another 50 #. could well built, 36 spoke wheels(lx or xt hubs and rynolite rims)hold up to a 3500 to 4000 mile tour while rolling a fat guy and all his stuff along?.LBS guy seems to think it "could"but I should be prepared to have it looked at every couple days or once a week ,or ? he thinks ,and I know ,with the 48's I wont have any worries. for the price differance i fell like I could have a least a month longer on the road with out worring about money,so its pretty important.
LBS guy suggested building a 40 or 48 for the rear and leaving my current 36 in the front ,providing the hub is in good enough shape. any opinions on this subject?thanks for any advice