I am relatively new to road biking (6 months) and am interested in giving touring a try next summer. Probably short local 3 day tours at first. If all goes well I plan to buy a touring bike but I was wondering if it would be OK to start with my road bike (Specialized Secteur). I'd probably be carrying about 20 lbs of gear (rear panniers) not including food and water. (I weigh 170 lbs). Do you think the wheels are strong enough on the Secteur (Mavic, 28 spokes)? I think my gearing is good for touring.... Would there be any problems with heel strike on the Secteur with Nashbar panniers? Any other issues I should consider?
Here are the specs for my Secteur...