Find Your Way
January 01, 2002
The Bike


My bicycle began as a 2001 Novara Randonee, but before bringing it home I had the friendly folks at REI customize it to fit some specific needs.

A fairly consistent piece of advice I got in reading about fully loaded touring was that if I am going to use this bike to haul 60+ pounds of camping gear over the Appalachians and the Rockies, then I'm going to be appreciative of having some low gearing. The best way to accomplish this was to swap out the stock crankset with a one from Shimano's mountain bike group.

Unfortunately, neither the stock front derailleur nor the stock shifters were compatible with this change. This meant I had to swap several components in order to achieve my gearing goals. In the end, the bike left the shop with the following changes added:

Qty Item Description
1 Crankset Deore 44/32/22
1 Bottom Bracket Shimano BB-UN40
1 Front Derailleur Deore LX
2 Shifters Ultegra Bar-Ends
2 Pedals Shimano M515

Since bringing the bike home, I have made a handful of additions and modifications to the bike. The first batch was to handle the obvious problem of where do I put all the stuff I need to go on a fully loaded tour.

Qty Item Description
1 Handlebar Bag Serratus
1 Seat Bag Serratus Twistlock
2 Bottle Cages Blackburn Mountain
1 Front Rack Jandd Low Front
1 Rear Rack Jandd Standard Rear
2 Cargo Straps Blackburn Rackstrap
2 Front Panniers Serratus World Tour 40
2 Rear Panniers Serratus World Tour 56

These next things were to help make sure the tour goes safely, comfortably, and reliably.

Qty Item Description
1 Cyclocomputer Cat Eye CC-CL200
2 Brake Levers Shimano Ultegra
2 Fenders Zefal 203
N/A Rim Tape Pedro's
1 Pump Topeak Road Morph
1 Saddle Brooks Professional

I'm planning on going West to East in June 2004. I'll be doing it 2 weeks a year as my vacation schedule won't allow me to do it all at once.

I ride the same bike, 2001 Randonee, and have also made some changes.

Would he interested in any comments you might have on the Oregon part of the route. In your opinion, how is McKenzie Pass coming from the west?

Posted by: Harris on December 1, 2003 05:33 AM

Nick I have really enjoyed reading your travel journal. I discovered your web site when doing a search on "Novara Randonee". You see, I am also planning on an extended trip across the U.S. and have been trying to decide which bicycle to purchase for the trip. Right now I have an old S 12-S Fuji -- a nice bicycle, but not appropriate for such a journey. Anyway, I've been wondering where you have gone, and what you have done since your transamerica ride. I am positive I am not alone in wondering about this. So, please bring your fans up-to-date.

Posted by: Jerry on March 22, 2004 09:12 AM
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