I have taken an interest in doing the Transam and am thinking about setting up a bicycle and loading it like most of the Bikecentennial folks using modern technology.
What I am looking at the SOMA ES frame with,
- Ultegra 9 spd shifters and brake levers.
- Sugino XD500 48-36-24 crank using an Ultegra front derailleur.
- XT 11-34 cassette using an XT rear derailleur.
- Mavic A719 36 spoke Ultegra hubs wheels with 28mm GatorSkin tires. No fenders.
- dual caliper brakes.
- Brooks B17 saddle.
- Tubus Vega rear rack.
- 2 rear panniers.
- handlebar bag.
I plan to keep my total load (sans bike) to under 30 pounds with a tent and no cooking gear.
The big reason for picking the ES over the Saga is I really want brifters and dual caliper brakes.
I have developed the rational for this set up after reading several touring journal summaries. Many end up sending their cooking gear home, have a fair number of motel days, experience few rain days, and few bicycle problems that could not have been avoided.