Touring - Next question
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03-05-05, 05:31 PM
The question I have is simple but after reading the posts on this page will likeky be quite topical.It is what would you recommend for use on a bulletprof bicycle if you were building one from scratch to ride on a tour in excess of 40,000 k's (24,000 mi's) in length?I do not want to be worrying about breakdowns although I know they will happen so I want a ride that will be relatively worry free with parts that are available in Canada,Australia and the U.S.A. so the more exotic(not erotic)things would not do.
03-05-05, 05:47 PM
I'd start with a good steel frame. Should you need to repair it, it can be done locally just about anywhere in the world. Good, handbuilt wheels will serve you well. Forty spokes certainly wouldn't be out of the question. Don't be too proud to have a nice low bailout gear. You don't want to blow your knees out on a tough mountain climb in the middle of nowhere. Even a mechanical idiot like me can keep friction shifters working, so I favor them over brifter types--at least for a long, off-the-beaten-path tour.
Well, that's my two cents. Good luck and enjoy your project and your ride!
Look to the United Kingdom for expertise in quality steel frames that range from ordinary credit card touring right through to the tough type of expedition bike that you think you want. Thorn comes highly recommended, particularly the 26"-wheeled Expedition model.
As to the "you think you want", I have just ticked over 33,000km on a 2001 Fuji Touring, and the frame has served me well. It has 700C tyres, and can take at least 32mm tyres. Its duty has included Australia and Europe (North America awaits). I am more a sealed road rider these days, but with TT2000-32 tyres it can handle gravel roads quite well. Other options are available in North America. A recent thread on the iBOB board listed quite a few bikes suitable for touring purposes.
Incidentally, there is a lot of debate about aluminium versus steel. I am a steel person. My main concern is the rear derailleur hanger and the inability to adequately repair an alloy one over a steel one. I've bent mine once, and had no qualms about gently bending it back into shape. I wouldn't have done so with an aluminium one.
I am gonna build up both an original trek 520 (1983) AND a specialized stumpjumper (1996) the trek is of course steel and the SJ is A1 aluminum (whatever that is) I am on a VERY limited budget and thus I need to do things on the cheap. If I had mid-range money I would probable build up a Surly LHT.
(even though it's got a funky color. I almost convinced my wife to let me get one.... married almost 14 years... NEVER did I think I'd have to ask a wife permission to buy something......)
And I'd spec it with last years (or the year before that.. think clearance) XT level components with dura ace bar end shifters. I'd buy some pre-built 36 hole XT hubbed wheels with rhyno lites or some decent mavic rims. I'd slap a brooks saddle on it, decent rubber, fenders, panniers, an LED headlight and a couple of rear blinkies. I bet you could build one for under 900.00. That said, you could probably get something in the 800 dollar range off of Ebay.
03-06-05, 05:50 AM
Expedition touring bikes are available off-the-shelf from Bruce Gorden in the USA and Thorn in the UK (sjscycles.com).
Both these follow a similar pattern, steel frame, mtb wheels, drop bars with bar-end shifters, steel racks and XT components, with the emphasis on reliability, maintainability and wide availability of parts.
There are custom makers (like Beckman) but these cost a whole lot more and deliver a little extra wiith a long wait.
03-06-05, 08:10 AM
As far as wheels go, the best trekking and touring wheelset ever, Phil Wood 48H hubs laced to mavic A719 48H rims. Of course all hand built by either Joe Brown or Peter White. Personally I prefer the Mavic T520 but since they are no longer made the A719 is its replacement. Of course youre looking at almost 800.00 USD for that kind of setup.
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