The wife is leaving me over the 4th of July and I have 4.5 days off of work during that time. So, I thought I may want to dip my toe into the touring world. I would like to remain married, so a proper touring bike isn't in the cards. I figure I can convert my rando rig into a touring bike that will get me down the road loaded. My rig:
I already have front and rear panniers (ortlieb roller classics, scored at the best buy fire sale earlier this year), a berthoud front bag, carradice pendle w/ bagman and ortlieb handlebar bag. I have a good selection of panniers and bags to choose from depending on how I want to roll (CC vs tent along side of road).
*I'm thinking of a tubus tara and cargo racks for ~$200. Any other racks I should look at?
*I will have to get rid of my grand bois cypres tires. I weight 220 lbs plus another 30-40lbs of junk (I hope to be less than 30 lbs, but my rando gear is a little less than 20 lbs). My bike can fit 35mm tires with fenders and I can go up to 38mm if I loose the fenders. I was thinking of pasela TG 35mm. Is that wide enough? Any other cheap tire I should consider?
*I'm worried about handling of my bike with a front load. It handles fine with my berthoud bag. bike has 42mm of trail, is this a concern? I guess the only way to know for sure is to try it...
*Where to go? trying to stay within driving distance of Houston. will definitely drive north to cooler climates, but I am thinking of the ozarks....or hopefully i can find a cheap airplane ticket somewhere more interesting...
so it seems for <$300 (racks + new tires), I can convert my rando rig to a passable touring rig?
thanks for the help! any other considerations/tips/help would be greatly appreciated!