The bike… best bet ask Gavan as he has spent a lot (and a lot) of time researching this from tyre selection to appropriate stands and everything in between. We have built from the ground up 4 near identical bikes according to the ‘best’ touring bike parts and just as importantly whether the item is available in black. It’s certainly been a learning curve, well more for some then others which I am sure will pay off considering its going to be our sole means of transport over 4 months. The knowledge gained includes building each wheel, a job that despite the pattern making sense initially soon turns to frustration especially for Justin, how to manipulate mudguards to properly wearing in our saddles (mine is fine.)
I also got some great advice and help from sasha @ pony bikes (http://www.http://ponybikes.wordpress.com/) in north melbourne who I highly recommend.
I’ve managed to ride the bike to and from work several times which encompasses a slight gradient change and having to navigate over uneven cobblestones. So far it feels great. I’m not sure if this is sufficient riding time considering it’s a new bike and a complete different style of riding but we will soon see.
I have attached various pics of the bike from the build through to the finished product. These were taken last week after I did my first pack which resulted in one extremely heavy bike i.e. it was hard to lift off the ground. Some culling will be taken place over the next 2 weeks.