« on: April 04, 2008, 07:09:58 am »
If you are doing a Trans-Am you can't travel Russell's version of ultra-light (spare shorts and a toothbrush only) because it is likely, maybe certain, you will hit some cold and/or rainy weather. So you will need at least a jacket, tights, etc. as well as extra shorts, jersey , light shoes and clothes for off the bike.
I've taken several very hilly multi-day credit card tours using a pair of small panniers and a rack top bag for a total load of 19 pounds which included the rack's weight. I washed my riding clothes every night in the motel's sink or shower and could have traveled that way indeffinitely with the clothing and accessories I had.
My bike is a Co-Motion Co-Pilot, a solo sports bike, not a full-on tourer, but it has rack mounting eyelets that many pure racing bikes don't. It also has a Shimano road triple with the 30T granny changed out for a 26T ring and a 12x27 cassette so it has a 26" low gear which is plenty for the light load I was carrying. Lower gearing woould be easily possible by substituting a MTB 12x32 cassette and changing to a MTB rear derailleur.
I agree about avoiding low spoke count boutique wheels but a good quality carbon fork will be plenty strong and reliable.