We have blocked registrations from several countries because of the large quantities of spam that originate there. If the forum denies your legitimate registration, please ask our administrator for an exception. firstname.lastname@example.org will need your IP address, which you can find at many web sites, including http://whatismyipaddress.com.
This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.
Deep section rims are more durable and strong and can tolerate fewer spokes that the usual 36 or even 40 often recommended for touring.
For what it is worth, on my first cross-country tour back in the 80's I actually broke two Blackburn low-rider front racks. Granted, I may have been packing more weight up front in order to try to better balance my load front to back, however, the overall weight wasn't anything extreme.
Brakes: Any brakes are fine. Disc brakes on touring bikes are uncommon.
IMHE sidepull brakes are doable, but I would not say "fine". Cantilevers, with greater stopping power, are more standard for touring.
Bar-end shifters: These are sometimes preferred because the cables don't get in the way of your handlebar bag. If that's not an issue for you, then what you have is fine.
Opting for bar-end shifters to avoid cables interferring with handlebar bag is a last reason I would give for making that choice. Of greater importance is robustness of bar ends compared to brifters. Many have toured with brifters (combining shifter/brake), but I have switched several bikes from brifters to bar ends for more reliability for fully loaded touring. Usually, if brifters are standard on touring bike it is on bike made for light touring
The big drawback to pre-planned routes are just that, they are preplanned. You lose a ton of "adventure of what's around the bend".
Another pitfall is that (Google) bicycle directions don't mind using dirt roads, rugged hiking trails and even private property. Sometimes, the directions will even use routes that don't even exist.
Google bicycle directions are good for getting to the grocery store. They are awful for getting across the country.