I have finally acquired the bike I will be riding this fall. It is a steel frame hardtail 2007 Jamis Dragon. I will be outfitting it with racks and panniers to accommodate all of my gear. I look forward to putting this bike through the paces in the weeks leading up to my departure.
I chose a steel framed bike due to the flex inherent to this material. Steel is a more comfortable material for long rides, especially day after day on the road. I did not want rear suspension due to the added complexity and maintenance required. Also, it is more difficult to rig bike racks to a rear suspension bike, however they do exist.
Disc brakes are also a more complicated, and difficult to repair in the field, piece of componentry that stirs debate in the adventure cycling world. However, they seem to perform much better in mud and wet conditions (which I will see a lot of) and are more or less robust. Let’s hope they are irreparably damaged during the trip.