A couple of years ago I traded in my old,early 90's MTB that I had modified more for dirt touring than actual MTB'in and purchased a new 2013 Specialized Crosstrail Sport Disc from my LBS
Soon I found myself setting it up much like my old one. A creature of habitat I suppose. I added a rigid fork,seat, rotated and trim'ed the riser bar, added bar ends so that it was more like my old Bullnose bar, sort of similar to a trekking bar, rear rack,pedals,etc.etc and for some reason I suppose tinkering I added a zertz seat post that the LBS had used so I got a deal on it
Probably my ideal "kind of bike" would be a Gunnar Rock Tour or a higher quality European Trekking bike like a Koga. I add this as I hope it paints a better picture
My question is this - Would you feel comfortable with the spec wheel set on my bike for touring forest service,dirt and paved roads?Any idea how many miles they may be good for? is this a good set of wheels (link below) Boyd Altimont Alloy? They seem more like a race type wheel to me although listed cross. I don't see any reason to change out the drivetrain as it shifts well (1/2 rotation), I keep it cleaned,lub'ed,adjusted and like the touring triple set up. Its a Shimano I think a Accera? group set with Suntour? cranks.
One other thing, its a "large" frame and I am 5'9" 180 #s. On paper it might seem to big and the stand over is marginal but, I went by the reach (top tube slopes a lot compared to my old early 90's MTB), it felt good, I have adjusted all to the micro degree as far as bars,seat height,knee alignment,shifter,cut the bars some,etc. My old bike was to small for me (common set up for early 90's 26er MTB's) and I didn't want that again , especially for more open touring. Yet, I wonder based on what I read.
Also, I like to tinker and am mechanically inclined. I was a fabricator (outside manufactures sales rep current) / union tinknocker in the skilled building trades for about 20 years (weld,brake,bend,roll,seam,hard rivet,winners irons solder,design build / alum,black steel,copper,ss) . I would like to add some bicycle specific tools to my garage and get doing all my own maintenance and by a nice USA welded up frame some day/assemble the rest myself. I find I can learn from video's much better than books as it is more like being in a real classroom. I found one website on line that may be suscription based for the video or dvd library that appears very well done. Please point me in the right direction for such (and I may have mechanical questions here as they arise.
Myself for a better perspective. I am 54 years old, stay very fit, go to the gym if not cycling,flyfishing or other. I am very "practical" when it comes to anything mechanical and tended to over build back in my fabrications days. On the other hand I certainly am willing to spend substantial $$$ IF I see and can feel the added value. I don't see a lot of added value for substantially more in the off shore built bicycle world these days. I Do tend to be willing to fork out more $$$ for hand built, USA/North American fab'ed anything as I appreciate it and like to support our own as I also tend to support my LBS (nice people)
BTW- I am a member of the American Cycling Association
Thanks in advance !