I have been doing a lot of research to find what my ideal touring bike would be. Truth be told, I am probably a year or two away from really getting started on that, but I keep researching anyways.
I decided to check out the specs on my current commuter bike and was surprised to find that the geometry (see it here
, I have the 52 cm model) seems absolutely ideal for touring.
Great gearing (probably need a 34T on the cassette, maybe drop the chainrings, too), long chainstay and wheel base, relaxed seat tube and head tube angles(well, HT for sure), long head tube (I don't know what the point of having a long head tube is yet, but I've seen mention of it from other posters here), long trail (which I prefer).
A couple of issues (some are simply upgrades that need to be made): the frame is aluminum (this is the biggest issue), the BB might be a tad high (might prefer 80mm), the fork doesn't have braze-ons for front panniers, I'll have to change the handlebar and shifters, it needs a better rack, and I'll need 36H wheels.
I'm not sure what the largest tire my frame can handle is, but it would be nice to be able to be able to put on 700Cx42s if needed. Is there a measurement to take to find that out, or do you just have to eyeball it?
I should also note that the dynamo and light (which sucked) are no longer on my bike (I have a Blackburn Flea now), and the front fender is gone, too. I already replaced the tires with Schwalbe Marathon Plus 700Cx38s, and I put SPDs on.
The point here is that I'm now thinking that my best bet is to just convert this frame into a full-fledged tourer. I don't know if I have a question other than if you guys think that this is a good frame to work with. I was just so shocked to see how well it fits from a geometry and spec standpoint.