Otherwise, unnecesary weight, poor stability and useless if you have to lock the bike to any stationary object for security. I never found anyplace without something to lean the bike against.
This message was edited by DaveB on 2-26-06 @ 9:29 AM
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I'd also advise not ordering a mail order bike from St. John Street Cycles since you really need to be your own mechanic on mail order bikes and parts.
The only brakes out there that are sometimes not suitable for touring are the caliper brakes found on road bikes. This is because there isn't adequate braking power while going down steep descents when loaded.
The rims will also crack when they are just worn out by the rubbing of the brakes. I think it is unlikely they cracked just because of the added weight.
I know that Phil Wood sells a 48 spoke tandem hub which is very reliable but quite expensive. I don't if any others are available.
All forks have rake, even straight-bladed forks. In those cases, the rake is done at the fork crown and the fork blades come out at an angle to the steerer tube and place the wheel in same position as if the fork had a visibile rake.