Hey there friends!
I've been a day cyclist for about two years now, and once the snow melts I'm going to head cross-country - Portland Right to Portland Left, there and back again.
My question is: can I do it without buying a new bike?
I have a beautiful bicycle, a Specialized 2010 CruX Expert Carbon: http://bikebarnracing.com/images/library/Zoom/spec_crux_pro_wht_carbon_red_11_z.jpg
. SRAM Apex. Zertz inserts. Lovely for those quick little centuries, on all kinds of roads and off. As you can see, I am head-over-SPDs in love. (For what she cost me, I better be).
But I also realize that:
-her geometry isn't touring standard. Is this something I can get around, or will I break my back before I've made it out of Maine?
-no bar-end shifters. I'd never even heard of these until a week ago. Are they really necessary?
-only 20 speeds. is this really going to mess me up in, say, the Rockies? Or can I muscle through it (like I always do)?
-no disc breaks. all the literature seems to be up with disc breaks, but I can get away with good cantis, right?
-she's carbon fiber, and for reasons I can't quite figure out, this isn't preferred for touring. question mark?
-lacking in pannier mount points (this is what her butt looks like: http://cdn.media.cyclingnews.com/2011/11/15/1/twells_specialized_crux_seat_stays_600.jpg
). I've never mounted panniers before, but the guys at my local bike shop threw up their hands in horror. Are they right? Are there some sort of specialty panniers for just this purpose? Or could I just trailer it up?
-CX tires. I swear by these, even for long distance on-road, but most people think I'm crazy and they're probably right. Also, when "long distance" gets about 80 times longer (HOLY COW!), I don't know nothin' about nothin' Can I get away with CX tires, as long as I keep them nice and full? Or would it be possible for me to get a pair of road wheels on her, plug-and-play style?
-700cc tires. I've heard 26ers are preferred because they're easier to get parts for. This won't be a problem in America, will it?
...I guess there's two questions. One, is it even POSSIBLE to tour on my lovely bike, and two, would it make more sense to just suck it up and buy a (Trek 520/Surly Long Haul/Salsa Vaya/cue seperate discussion)?
Thank you SO MUCH - your free advice is worth a lot to me. (I'm sure I'll have more questions for this forum as Ridin' Day draws near!)