Mad bike riding scientist
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Bikes: Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
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Quoted: 620 Post(s)
Originally Posted by joeprim
I don't know that much about makes for touring. Assuming you won't be doing all supported touring: What you need is a way to connect racks for panners front and rear. Since you will be traveling heavy you will low gears.
Other than that just try it.
You can just try it as Joe suggested or you can go out and do some research on bikes and touring first. Go look at http://www.bicycletouring101.com/
or at http://www.skagitbicycleclub.org/links/
or you can do a Google search for bicycle touring. There is a lot to learn about loaded touring that comes from the school of hard knocks and if you can find some one else to learn from the "knocks" are a lot gentler.
As for your bike: I haven't looked at one of these in person, but the Trek website give good detail. It looks like you could put racks front and rear on the bike. Don't make the mistake of loading a lot of gear on the back. The bike rides and handles better with the load split 50/50 or even 60/40 (front/rear). 4 small bags are much better than 4 large ones also. About the only thing you would need to change on this bike to make it tour worthy is to get some regular wheels - at least 36 spoke. The ones that come on it look great, are light and perform well but put a load on them and I don't think you'd make it a mile before you'd start popping spokes. And with those spokes, good luck finding a new set anywhere but in a major metropolitan area - it there.
I'd also add some bar ends to the handlebars so that you have some place to put your hands other than in one spot. Flat bars without bar ends can lead to hand numbness and, believe me, unless you relish fingers that tingle like they are asleep for 6 months, you will want to move your hands around.
The winter is still long, go read and educate yourself, tweek your bike and then go enjoy touring. It really is the best way to see the world.