Building a touring bike

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by Woodburn, Jun 7, 2003.

  1. Woodburn

    Woodburn New Member

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    Hello,

    I'm new to this forum and have a question about touring bikes. I have purchased a Litespeed Blue Ridge frame and I am wavering between a triple road group and a mountian group. My thinking is I may be more comfy in an upright riding position with flat bars. I don't believe I would need anything taller than 11x44.

    Second, I sort of settled on Mavic T520 rims but I wanted 36 spoke and neither Chris King or Hugi make a 130 cm 36 hole hub. Any suggestions?

    Third, What do you think of the Conti 700x28 gator skins as opposed to Conti top touring?
     
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  2. MidBunchLurker

    MidBunchLurker New Member

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    I tour on my MTB with (obviously) flat handlebars - very comfy. I think you should try both and see which you prefer. My biggest gear is 11x44 and it's perfect.

    For very nice hubs try Campag Record - they're not cartridge bearings, but they are the most silky smooth hubs you'll find anywhere, and they will last for years.
     
  3. coolworx

    coolworx New Member

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    I would vote for the MTB crank. I am currently building a touring bike based on Giant's Cypress frame, using XT cassette (11-34), XT derailleurs, Truvativ Stylo Crank (22-32-44). I switched out the SRAM grip-shifts (hate them - it's a personal taste) for LX rapidfires.

    Lower gear-inches are your FRIEND when bikepacking!

    I found a pair of aerobars on flatbars allows you a position to squeeze the most out of the descents; a way to attack a headwind; or a place to collapse in exhaustion yet still travel forward... ;-)

    11/44 with a decent cadence (90) will give ya nearly 30mph - if the hill's steeper, coast!

    Good question... I am searching for my tires as well.
     
  4. prestonjb

    prestonjb New Member

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    While the 11-44 will give you 30mph I find the range of the gears to be too extreme in chain inches to find a comfortable cadence.

    I am preparing to build up a touring bike also for a trip coast to coast... However I do have a racing bike setup for hill climbs that utilizes a custom 13x32 and a 53x39 crank.

    I prefer this setup because I can use the 39x32 for 15% grades and the 13,15,17,19,21,24,27,30,32 gives me a more even and closer tooth spacing than the mountain cassette (11,13,15,17,20,23,26,30,34). Even with the 12-34 titanium XTR or XT cassette which is a 12,14,16,18,20,23,26,30,34...

    I was even thinking about dropping the 30 from my custom cassette to add a 14 or 16...

    For my touring bike I'm thinking about adding the triple so I would probably use a 52x42x32 setup.

    Bars:
    I like the idea of drop bars... Possibly with aero bars... and possibly the old SCOTT bars with the extra bend inward to give YET ANOTHER place to place my hands.

    So going with the road bike bars instead of straight bars I also thought about buying some inline-cyclocross brake levers such as the tektro ($20 at supergo) and that way I could reach the brake levers when I had both hands on the tops...

    Yea that is a good question... I don't know the answer yet either.

    Racks: Considering the Jannd expedition rack although I may go with a smaller lighter rack if I decide to carry less stuff.

    Fenders: None

    Lights: Probably a large LED blinking array on the back like I use on my mountain/commuter bike: http://www.geocities.com/cyclemobility/nightriding/

    Not sure what I will use for head lights. I don't want to ride at night but I want some type of light so cars will see something should I get caught in low light conditions...
     
  5. bluestick

    bluestick New Member

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    My friend, for touring nothing beats a bent. Recumbents are some of the most comfortable bikes, to say nothing of touring. What ever handle bars you buy, you will feel some shock at the end of the day, not so in a recumbent. Each to his own however, good luck on your components.
     
  6. archie

    archie New Member

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    i sourced some fantastic custom made bars for touring from abbosttsford cycles in richmond. they are not a drop bar but allow extra hand positions on long rides.
     
  7. krbbike

    krbbike New Member

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    Phill Wood still makes their front hub, rear hub for freewheels, and now have added a Shimano compatable hub with freehub. If Phill Wood componants ever need service they may be returned to the factory. Also you may be interested in checking out Rivendell Bikes web site it is www. rivbike.com . Good luck with your new bike. - krbbike
     
  8. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    The slanted tope tube gives a fairly upright position on the Blue Ridge. I am building one myself. I am using Ritchey Pro road bars. I am using a Ritchey Pro Road Stem mounted inverted.
    You can use either road triple or mountain triple and still make your choice on road vs mountain bars.
    I am currently using Ultegra Triple front and XTR Rear deraileurs.
    I find that the Blue Ridge rear drop outs let me use 135 mm Mountain size rear hub. I think Phil Wood and Chris King make the strongest rear cassette hubs. I am currently using Shimano XTR hubs. I like the Bontrager Fairlane rims in 36 hole available from Rivendell. Bontrager Fairlane has OSB (Offset Spoke Bed) for more even spoke support angle. The Fairlane is single eyeletted and not as nicely finished as the Mavic T520. So far, I have been satisfied with Bontrager Fairlanes front and rear on XTR hubs.
    I am using Continental TopTouring 2000 tires and would strongly advise them for loaded touring. Go to URL:
    http://www.conti-online.com/generator/www/de/en/continental/bicycle/general/home/index_en.html
    and check out what Continental has to say.
    GatorSkins are listed in the racing area.
    I think you will get more than twice the miles and considerably more comfort and rim protection from TopTouring 2000s than the widest available GatorSkins.
    Keep us up-to-date on your choices and results.
    David Ornee, Western Springs, IL
     
  9. desperado

    desperado New Member

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    i hope this message is in the spirit of this thread. I want to build a touring bike on a mountain frame for some heavy duty touring. (I am off to Cambodia in a couple of weeks and roads are apparently bad). It will be custom built light steel, mostly shim XT with a combination 44-32-22 and 9 speed 11 to 32 for chainrings and rear gear cassette respectively. I would appreciate advice and commentaries especially on the type of wheels. I was thinking
    sun rhyno 36 holes (with shim XT hubs) and 2 mm plain spokes since I had along with two friends bad experiences (my rear rim just split after only 6000km) with mavic wheels. My mechanic is trying hard to convince me that mavics are better built now that 4-5 years ago. Any opinion on what wheels to choose? or any other suggestions?
    Thanks
    Pierre
     
  10. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    I think that your mechanic should be trusted. Look into the very tough Mavic D521 rims at URL:
    http://www.mavic.com/servlet/srt/mavic/vtt-prod_fiche?produitsid=64&lg=uk
    I would build them on Shimano XT or XTR if you can get replacement parts there. I you need to take your own replacement parts, I would go with Phil Wood FSC models and take a spare set of sealed bearings. You can look at them on URL:
    http://www.philwood.com/webcatolog/page1.htm
    I would stay with the rim brake models.
     
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