Paddleboy, maybe I am looking for validation. Thanks! Probably should just get one and see? Pdlamb, you mentioned the condition of the roads in eastern CO. I looked back on my post to see if I mentioned the location of my tour. You must have ESP, as I traveled from SC Nebraska to Breckenridge CO (soon to be published on CGOAB) They really weren't that bad compared to parts of highway 2 in north Central NE. Actually ruined 3 tubes on a 200 mile jaunt. And my body felt like I had been in a fight. Interested in reducing that. Gearing (not an expert here) on the Trek. Cassette 11-15, 17,19,21,23,25 Triple is 50/39/30. Loveland pass kicked my butt, but I was probably the bottom hole in the bucket on that. I was told that 25's were the widest I could put on the bike. It now has Armadillo 23/25s on. And thanks for the rack advice. JoeB, building a bike interests me. I know I don't have the expertise to do it now, but I read a post somewhere that, in the opinion of the author, the LHT components have been on the cheap side for the last few years. Interested in what components you went with.