I haven't toured yet, but I use the "Touring" as my everyday commuter/grocery-getter/bar-hopper/fun-riding/Sport Utility Bike and I just had an elective upgrade surgery performed.
1. The stock Shimano Sora crank of 50/39/30 was replaced with a very nice looking Sugino 48/36/24. Also, it got a new chain and a new 9 speed cassette with the same gears as the stock: 11-13-15-17-20-23-26-30-34
2. The cantilever brakes were replaced with "V" brakes. New brake levers to match the new brakes, too. AHHH, what a difference. It will REALLY stop now. I can't believe how much Fuji "cheaped out" with the cantilever brakes. Especially for a bike that should be loaded up and put on the road touring. Actually, not long after buying it, I was so disgusted with the original canti's that I had the LBS install a different canti. They were larger and they worked better, but still not strong brakes. But now, the "V" brakes do give me confidence the bike will stop when loaded. I haven't had a chance to try the brakes in a good rain (yet), but maybe they will stop at least a little better than the cantis. They just quit working when the rims got wet. Could be the "V" brakes will be the same in the wet. I'll know when I'm riding in the rain. Which will probably be soon.
Now all I need to do is to convince myself to go on a tour. Probably start with a "Sub 24 Hour" tour.
Oh, I did put a Brooks B17 Imperial saddle on the bike. WHAT A GREAT SADDLE! And it felt right as soon as I started riding it. No "break in" period needed to make it feel right. It felt good right out of the box. I don't know how far I could ride with plain ol' street pants vs. padded bike pants, but I know I can go at least 33 miles on that saddle with regular pants and not get any butt burn. It's just a very comfortable saddle. And 65 mile rides are comfortable. The longer rides were made with bikey shorts.
So, if you have a bike with cantilever brakes and they don't work very well, replace them with "V" brakes. And replace the levers with levers made to work with "V" brakes. Yes, the Touring has bar-end shifters and not brifters. Thank goodness!
Last edited by Ray Lovinggood; 04-04-14 at 02:00 PM.
Reason: Typed "Shimano Sugino crank" but should have typed "Shimano Sora crank"
The Avid Shorty Ultimates are pretty nice as are the TRP EuroX Cantis. You can have cheap cantis and cheap V-brakes or you can have HQ ones it all depends. Really though for touring and most any other riding I would rather have disc brakes. Rim brakes will never be quite as good as discs except maybe the SRAM Red Hydros compared to lower quality discs. Though I am quite biased on that subject.
Go for a 24 hour tour and see how you like it. Or do some longer distance riding and maybe bring along a hammock and take some time to relax every so often. Touring is a lot of fun and those who haven't done it, should try it.
I never understood this obsession with brakes. I think it is dangerous to go down a mountain side at 35 mph (or more) with a loaded bike. There might me a muffler in the road. Dodging it at high speeds is a good way to end your bike, camping trip. You shouldn't be going fast downhill. The brake type on your bike is irrelevant.