Awesome! Very encouraging. I seem to be on the right track. I've been planning to ride a configuration much like e46rick.
First let me share this site: www.ultralightcycling.blogspot.com
. This rider offers great experience and suggestions.
So here's where I am at:
2012 Specialized Tri-Cross w/Carbon fork w/auxiliary brake levers
Mavic Ksyrium Equips running Conti 4 Season 25s
Drive train Shimano Sora 52/42/30 (BIG QUESTION HERE.)
Specialized Toupe Pro Saddle (I'm used to riding this for 80 plus miles.BIG QUESTION HERE.)
Arkel Randonneur Rack (cantilevered 13 lbs max rating BIG QUESTION HERE)
Marmot Home Alone Bivy Tent
Marmot Kompressor Summit Backpack
Marmot down Hydrogen sleeping bag
No cooking utensils. Cold food or a diner.
As little clothing as possible. Layers of ultra-light fabric is my driving principle. I don't mind getting wet. Right fabrics dry quickly unless I go diving!
For accessory equipment, I'll take my cue from the minimalist lists I've found elsewhere--I am not trying to cross Mongolia, unless you consider Kansas Mongolian!
So, my BIG questions are the following. All input would be much appreciated!
1) Should I upgrade the drive train and/or change the gearing ratio. I read everywhere that you need 26 or 28 on the low end.
2) Should I ditch the auxiliary brake levers. They are handy in traffic, but seem to really restrict front bag options.
3) Should I change my saddle?
4) Should I go for a full rear rack instead of the Arkel Randonneur? Huge difference in weight carrying potential.
5) Are 25mm tires OK or should I move up to 28s?
6) What is the best front bag IF any at all.
7) Sleeping pad. Do I really need one? Done a lot of camping and have been OK in 9/10 situations.
Computer... Does it make any sense to bring a laptop? Or should I just stick with my iPhone and coffee shops?
9) Is a Garmin GPS device even remotely necessary? ($$)
10) Adventure Cycling Maps of the TransAm route. Are the necessary?
I do plan to bring an SLR camera with two lenses.
I plan to leave San Francisco in mid-June and arrive Sag Harbor, NY... well sometime in early August.
All thoughts, recommendations, and ridicule welcome!