Touring - Touring Bike with S&S Couplings Suggestions.
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This may not be a touring bike question. I do however really respect the opinions of the touring bike community here.
So I have a few tours under my belt. I own a a pretty standard LHT with most of the Surly factory components. I'm planning an upcoming trip where most of my traveling will be done by planes, trains, and automobiles. I want a bike that will break down fast and will be light.
Here's the tricky part. I don't really want a traditional touring set up. I think I'd rather emphasize quick building up and breaking down. I think I'd be comfortable with a single speed, possibly even fixed gear set up. I want to minimize the number of cables, levers, and general moving parts.
I'm playing with the idea of either doing a fixed gear bike or possibly an internal rear braking system. I'm also playing with the idea of using a Schlumpf High Speed (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/schlumpf.html) drive for two radically different gear ratios instead of going single speed.
So here's more or less what I'd want:
Reasonably Stiff Titanium frame (since I'll be lugging this thing around while disassembled) with S&S couplings and a horizontal rear drop out.
Either fixed gear with only front brakes. (Keep in mind this bike will only be used for short day trips and urban riding in between being boxed up.) OR a Schlumpf drive, free wheel, coaster brake.
Where do I go for the frame? Is this a feasible set up? Am I committing some glaring errors in my thinking?
11-22-08, 11:30 AM
Why not just get a folder? Down Tube, Dahon, Birdy, pretty much any of the major makers would have something to fit your needs.
I met a guy touring on a Surly which was 2 fixed gears, 1 front brake. At the top of a long hill he just took the wheel out and turned it round into the higher gear for the downhill. It took him a minute with horizontal track ends to do this and tension the chain and then he was off.
He did admit to wearing out his front brake blocks in a day whilst on a hilly route! So he just carried a few spare blocks.
11-22-08, 03:34 PM
Since you have a Surly, I assume you're aware of the Surly Traveler's Check. Not titanium, but otherwise might be what you're looking for.
11-22-08, 03:56 PM
I definitely second a folding bike. If you have the budget, you could go Bike Friday.
You may want to consider a Surly Dingle cog setup (http://www.surlybikes.com/parts.html) with dual chainrings so you can have two easily switchable gear ratios.
"Dingle Cogs are part of a different concept for fixed-gear drivetrains. Having two cogs on the back means you have more options for gear changes when the conditions demand it. For instance, say you want to ride your off-road fixie from your house to the trailhead, but your gear combo is either too high for the dirt or too low for the road. With a 17/19t Dingle on the back, pick two chainrings that are 2 teeth apart, like a 44t and a 42t. When you change from the outer (44:17t) gear combo to the inner (42:19t), you’ll have a much better off-road gear and your wheel position will not change. This maintains effective chainstay length so you won’t have to worry about having too much or too little chain length to accommodate the gear change. The Dingle (the word derives from from dual and single) works great in hilly terrain both on or off-road. Like our cassette and track cogs, these are made from machined, heattreated and chrome plated SCM415 CroMoly steel, so they are tough and long lasting. They’re available in 3/32" (narrow chain) tooth width 17/19t, 17/20t or 17/21t combinations. We recommend using 9-speed chains only. You can thread it onto any standard ISO threaded (1.375x24tpi) fixed gear hub and it takes up the same 7.4mm threads as a standard fixie cog. We recommend using a wider lockring (like our improved track lockring) to assure you can get a lockring tool onto it."
That plus a Surly Travelers Check (http://www.surlybikes.com/travelerscheck.html) [mentioned above] seem like it meets your requirements quite well while still being off the shelf.
11-22-08, 10:17 PM
I LOVE my S&S couplers! Travel bike is a good thing.
But, you should think of it differently: Build your dream bike and have the frame modified with S&S couplers. It'll cost. You'll need an approved builder off the S&S list. But what more could you ask for a dream bike?
Most any "standard" tube frame can be adapted. I read this as being round tube with average size, and if you have some strange carbon tubing you might not be so lucky. But you are not worried about that.
There is an approved builder list. You like this list, for S&S keeps their builders in line. They need to send in a demo of their work to be approved.
You'll need a paint job. Good time to get the braze-ons the way you want 'em!
It takes about 10 minutes to break it down, and maybe 15 to put it together. The hard part is padding stuff, your S&S frame will be beat up over time. It adds a dozen ounces to the bike, but stiffens the frame. Frankly, I'm more in love with my travel bike than the original!
11-24-08, 12:47 PM
There is also the Ritchey Breakaway to consider.
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