Forgive me if this question should be on another forum since it's more about international touring than American touring but I know there's a wealth of experience on this board and well...
I've seen a lot of anecdotal information about how much harder it is to find tires/tubes/rims for the larger diameter wheels in the less developed parts of the world and it's really throwing a wrench in my bike-buying decision. I've been an avid mountain biker for over a decade and switched several years ago to the 29er wheels and have no intention of going back to 26-inch wheels for mountain biking, but my wife and I are also planning a lengthy cycling tour through Morocco and over to Turkey. I'm planning on using fully-rigid mountain bikes (the Novarra Safari most likely) but I'm concerned about the 29er tires that come with the larger sizes. On the one hand, that's what I prefer and I don't mind taking a chance and risking having to have something shipped in while I wait for a repair if the odds are 50/50 of finding a shop with something usable on hand, but are the odds even that high?
For those who have had to deal with repairs in Morocco and/or Turkey (or nearby Greece for that matter), have you ever noticed 29er tires or tubes available?
Most touring bikes seem to come with 700 tires -- are people only using these in first-world countries like USA/Canada and western Europe? Has anyone taken a 700/29er (sometimes called a 28") to the less-developed countries with success?
Thanks for any help you can offer.