Gear

Here's a list of a bunch of the gear I have used and my thoughts on it and the companies:

Frame: 1980's steel Bianchi Advantage
Wheels: Alex Rims DH22 Cross 36 spoke, Shimano Sora hubs (Alexrims are good sturdy rims and I have had no complaints.  I would most likely purchase Mavic rims next time, only from other bike reviews, not from any fault of the Alexrims).
Cassette: SRAM 8 speed 11-28 tooth
Cranks: Origin 8 crank arms and chain rings (48/28), Surly single speed 38 tooth middle chain ring
Pedals:  Currently, sport Power Grip pedals with Power Grips (I don't clip in or wear cycling shoes.  I wear sandals all the time and love Power Grips)
Saddle: Selle SMP Saddle (I dont have any complaints about this saddle)
Avid brake arms, Kool stop brake pads (the dual compound ones are AMAZING!  My pair last over 11,000, and I use front brakes only), Shimano brake lever
Shimano index rapid fire 8 speed shifter, Shimano Deore rear derailuer (I have had these Shimano parts fomr a different bike I used touring in Japan in 2009, and they still work great)

Specialized ergo bar grips and Origin 8 bar ends
Cat Eye wireless cycle computer
Cat eye front and rear lights

Old Man Mountain Ultimate lowrider front rack, nameless rear rack
Ortlieb Classic roll top front and rear panniers (After several months, the mountain hooks began to stretch causing the spacer to fall out whenever I tried to take the rear bags off, plus I had two bolts snap.  After emailing Ortlieb, they sent me replacement hardware for my bags.  Ortlieb bags are still the best bags I have used and their customer service was quick and pleasant)
Detour Leto handlebar bag (This bag began splitting only months after I got it, and the rain fly worked maybe once.  there are better handlebar bags, like Ortlieb, though detour makes smaller ones which I liked better than having lots of weight on the front.  I contacted them and they quickly admitted that the bag shouldn't have been so worn and sent me a replacement, a newer version, great customer service)

REI Quarter Dome T2 tent (This tent is easy and quick to pitch, has stood up to strong winds.  has condensation like all tents, but its light and easy, dries quickly.  There are better tents for sure, but for the price, this tent is perfect)
North Face sleeping bag and cloth liner
Thermarest 3/4 sleeping pad

Morph road frame pump
whole bunch of tools
Schwalbe Marathon Plus 700 x 25 tires (These are bar none the Best tires for long distance touring)
Kryptonite cable with cylinder lock (My original lock broke from rust, and Kyrptonite sent me a replacement quickly)
Take a Look cycling mirror (I balked at cycle mirrors for a long time, and after 8 months on the road without one finally got it, and I love it.  There is no other thing that can increase your safety such as this mirror)

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