I've done some long tours in the past using an old road bike with some rough mods for touring, but i had problems with the hubs, gearing, and brakes. I'm interested in building my own touring bike, but I realized that all the good touring frames are outrageously expensive. I've come across a Surly Long Haul Trucker frame that seems pretty good and in my price range. Has anyone used this framset for loaded touring? It will be my only bike, so I'll be riding it quite a bit unloaded also. I'm thinking of using the following cmponents:
xt hubs with 36h 700c rims
105 crankset and BB
shimano deraileurs xt, 105
dura-ace 9speet bar-end shifters
any suggestions for:
some sort of good touring saddle, post?
good, inexpensive headset?
brakes? cantilever? v style?
handlebar? I like drop-bars, but I like the idea of mustache bars too. I'd really like something inbetween a drop bar and a mustache bar: more drop than a mustache but not as much as a normal drop. kind of like a drop bar with the drops bent outward 4 or 5 inches. Does anyone know of something like this?
Thank you for any advice or positive/negative comments on the Surly Long Haul Trucker.