The focus when selecting our bikes was clear: no frills, just stable, reliable, repairable stuff is good enough to be placed under our behinds. In our opinion, even disc brakes match to these criterias.  
What Brand/Product Changes Comments

Thömus Longrider, Shimano XT08 (disc)

  we dare discs... but keep the V-Brake mountings just in case
Wheels Mavic EX721 Rims with DT Swiss spokes and hubs, Schwalbe Marathon XR tires Christians bike: changed back rimand spokes in Kashgar, China, to Sun Rhyno Lite and spokes "Tade in Taiwan" The Mavic rims are not recommended. After only 5-6000km they started to crack around the nipples of Christians heavier bike
Rear Carriers Tubus Logo    
Lowrider Tubus Tara    
Frontwheel Carrier Pletscher   only on Chris' bike to take on some weight of Rita's luggage if necessary
Front Bags Ortlieb Front Roller Classic Passau: + 2 Trageriemen without those straps, the bags are NOT waterproof!
Back Bags Ortlieb Back Roller Classic with extensions Passau: + 3 Trageriemen without those straps, the bags are NOT waterproof!
Handlebar Bag Ortlieb Ultimate5 Plus L/Classic    
Cycling Computer VDO MC 1.0    
Mud Guards SKS    
The Duck regular 'Badeente'   the mascot on our trip, riding proudly on Rita's Lowrider