Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pearland, Texas
Bikes: Cannondale, Trek, Raleigh, Santana
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Slussman, I've built quite a few road bikes, but I used this forum extensively for guidance a couple of years ago with my first touring bike build. Most anything goes, but gearing in the 20-100 GI range seems to be a constant as are tires, generally 28-32 mm as a minimum.
A tourer can be built on a tight budget, mine was as I wasn't sure about having one, and still be reliable enough for anything without requiring upgrades. Items to not skimp on are fitment and comfort as a touring bike, at least in name suggests many hours day after day in the saddle.
Lastly is don't be surprised when the first time you lift the completed bike it's much heavier than expected.