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:
|1||Bottom Bracket||Shimano BB-UN40|
|1||Front Derailleur||Deore LX|
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.
|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.
|1||Cyclocomputer||Cat Eye CC-CL200|
|2||Brake Levers||Shimano Ultegra|
|1||Pump||Topeak Road Morph|