Couldn't resist the 10 euro 1991 Valley Runner. For my purposes the frame has some welcome improvements: low rider mounts, OS tubing, top tube cable routing, 3 bottle cage braze-ons.
This is actually the 3rd 1991 Valley / Fore Runner (same frame, just with cheaper components) to come up for 25 euros or less in just a few months,so if anyone's looking for a touring conversion these have to be some of the best bargains around.
Stock wheels, hubs, shifters and brakes. This was a 20km shakedown ride in preparation for a tour that had to be cancelled due to torrential rain and flooding, so I never got to tour on it.
Too bad your tour fell through. The standard touring wheel offered by wheel buiders nowadays seems to be LX hubs, Sapim spokes, and Rigida Sputnik rims. I'd think a Koga-built wheelset w/ DX hubs & Wolber AT20 rims would be comparable in strength and durability, but it'd be nice to have some real-life experience to back that up.
I've seen 700c trekking bikes with tandem hubs and 40 or even 48 spokes, makes 36 seem pretty frail in comparison.
Leaving in March?? Have you prepared visas, vaccinations, camping and cooking gear, spares and tools etc etc (not to mention the bike itself)? Better get your skates on!!!
I'm an experienced ultralight backpacker & have lived in the developing world most of my life, so I have all the gear & shots. Iran visa is in the works. Most of these visas are only valid for a limited period from the date of issue, which is a nightmare to plan if your trip is going to take more than a year, so I prefer to arrange the rest along the way. In my experience consular sections in third world cities can be more flexible in other ways as well.
As for spares & tools, it's more a question of what to leave behind than what to acquire. Luckily there are a ton of web forums & blogs where people who've done this before share their experiences on what's essential and what's excess baggage.