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  1. #1
    Senior Member cantdrv55's Avatar
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    I want to build a touring bike out of a road frame and have questions.

    Besides frame geometry, how is a road bike different from a touring bike? I don't plan to hang fenders or racks at this point.

  2. #2
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cantdrv55 View Post
    Besides frame geometry, how is a road bike different from a touring bike? I don't plan to hang fenders or racks at this point.
    Geometry is the main difference, and mounting points for racks, fenders, multiple water/fuel bottles, lights, etc.

    If you're not going to be using fenders or racks, you may as well stay with a standard road bike.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Touring bikes are often built with heavier and stiffer tubing than road bikes. To support the loads at their contact points and simultaneously to function well as a bicycle, extra rigidity is needed. Both Reynolds and Columbus had special touring grades of the 531 (Super Tourist) and Cyclex (SP) tubes.

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    Touring bikes are usually equipped with triple-chainring cranksets and compatible shifters and derailleurs... the extra chainring is usually a 'granny' gear for easier climbing up large hills, especially if you are carrying extra equipment on the bike. Road bikes often only hafve two chainrings and the smaller of the two is a larger gear than the smallest on a triple.
    Touring bikes also often have a wider range of cogs on the back, and a long-cage rear derailleur to accomodate. Road bikes usually have a tighter gear cluster and a short cage derailleur that can not accomodate large cogs.

    Touring bikes have more room for wider tires for a smoother ride, and room for fenders. Many road bikes (especially bikes made in the last 5 - 10 years AFAIK) do not have room for fenders with anything but the skinniest tires. Most modern road bikes can only fit tires up to 25mm wide (maybe 28mm).

    Also, touring bikes often have a slightly different cockpit layout (height and reach to bars), although this is generally a matter of personal preference.

    Finally, touring bikes are often made of heavier tubes to make the bike carry loads better and to ensure durability.

    If you like your road bike and there is no specific reason why it won't work (like you want fenders or wide tires) then there is no reason why you cannot use a road bike for all your riding.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    What, exactly, do you mean by "touring"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    What, exactly, do you mean by "touring"?
    Retro's question is a very salient one: Why do you want to build a touring bike if your not going to equip it like one? If we knew a liitle more about the intended use of your new build, we could be a little more specific about addressing your concern.

    I'll tell you one thing - if you put a "touring" load on a road bike with a normal (racing) geometry, you'll be in for a very exciting ride!

  7. #7
    cycles per second Gonzo Bob's Avatar
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    Touring bikes also often have cantilever brakes for better stopping power with the extra weight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo Bob View Post
    Touring bikes also often have cantilever brakes for better stopping power with the extra weight.
    Cantis are deprecated, old fashioned and worthless. V-brakes stop faster, are easier to maintain, look cooler and gets the chicks.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    What, exactly, do you mean by "touring"?
    Since he's not putting any racks on it, it's clearly obvious that he's going credit card touring. I mean, really who wants to lug around 50lbs of gear anyways. It's not about the scenery or the journey, it's about how fast you can get from a to b.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  10. #10
    cycles per second Gonzo Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Cantis are deprecated, old fashioned and worthless. V-brakes stop faster, are easier to maintain, look cooler and gets the chicks.
    V-brakes are a type of cantilever brake.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Since he's not putting any racks on it, it's clearly obvious that he's going credit card touring.
    How about we let the OP answer for himself?

  12. #12
    Senior Member cantdrv55's Avatar
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    I have an old Nishiki frame with whachmacalits for attaching fenders but it is a road bike frame. The thing is heavy as compared to my road bike frame but I have no doubt it'll give me the smooth ride I seek. I think what I meant about building it up as a touring is that I want to put a large cog in the rear, something like a 11/34 cassette and a triple up front. I didn't know what else it would require in order to have that sort of set up.

    I've been intrigued with this set up ever since I perused the touring bike gallery in that forum. Plus, when the baby is big enough, I want to haul him around in the Burley. I attached it onto my road bike and it felt squirrley.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cantdrv55 View Post
    I have an old Nishiki frame with whachmacalits for attaching fenders but it is a road bike frame. The thing is heavy as compared to my road bike frame but I have no doubt it'll give me the smooth ride I seek. I think what I meant about building it up as a touring is that I want to put a large cog in the rear, something like a 11/34 cassette and a triple up front. I didn't know what else it would require in order to have that sort of set up.

    I've been intrigued with this set up ever since I perused the touring bike gallery in that forum. Plus, when the baby is big enough, I want to haul him around in the Burley. I attached it onto my road bike and it felt squirrley.
    So you mainly want a more practical and comfortable bike for everyday use... not necessarily a long-haul bike for travelling?

  14. #14
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    I have an old racing frame that I cash/credit card toured on with no problems. I never used any racks or fenders either. But there is fenders on the market for racing bikes. All I used was my seat bag to carry tools and spare stuff (ask if your wondering what stuff); and a large handlebar bag for a jacket, set of jersey and shorts, food etc. The bike already had two water bottle brackets so I bought a clamp on Minoura BH95X bracket that I can mount to the handlebar for a third bottle: http://www.minourausa.com/english/accessory-e.html#.

    Now I have a touring bike to do loaded touring with, but credit card touring is a blast.

  15. #15
    Senior Member cantdrv55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
    So you mainly want a more practical and comfortable bike for everyday use... not necessarily a long-haul bike for travelling?
    Yes, but I want to do centuries on it also. I know it'll be slow what with all that extra weight and 28 tires but I don;t care about finishing fast.

  16. #16
    Senior Member cantdrv55's Avatar
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    What the heck is credit card touring?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cantdrv55 View Post
    What the heck is credit card touring?
    Using a credit card to pay for accommodation, food, ect. instead of roughing it in a tent & doing all your own cooking.
    Last edited by cobba; 03-20-09 at 11:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cantdrv55 View Post
    What the heck is credit card touring?
    Basically, where you don't carry much of your own equipment, but rent or buy what you need (food, lodgings, etc.) at each stop along the way. As opposed to "loaded touring" where you are completely self-supported and carry it all with you.

  19. #19
    Senior Member cantdrv55's Avatar
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    Thanks. Sounds like my kind of touring.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cantdrv55 View Post
    I have an old Nishiki frame with whachmacalits for attaching fenders but it is a road bike frame. The thing is heavy as compared to my road bike frame but I have no doubt it'll give me the smooth ride I seek. I think what I meant about building it up as a touring is that I want to put a large cog in the rear, something like a 11/34 cassette and a triple up front. I didn't know what else it would require in order to have that sort of set up.

    I've been intrigued with this set up ever since I perused the touring bike gallery in that forum. Plus, when the baby is big enough, I want to haul him around in the Burley. I attached it onto my road bike and it felt squirrley.
    My old Bridgestone RB-2 is set up exactly that way. I envisioned it as a high reliability, low maintenance bike. 105 triple crank, 12-34 8-speed cassette, friction bar cons, 28 mm gatorskin tires. I like it a lot.

    I really like the bike and I ride it a lot. The thing that I miss are eyelets for a luggage rack. I frequently find myself wishing that I had one for clothes that I want to shed or to carry something that I'd like to buy along the way. I tried installing one using 2 sets of P clamps but I wasn't satisfied with the lack of stability.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    You can put wide-range gears on nearly any road bike, at least I can't think of a reason why not, right now. You will probably need to replace the crank and derailleurs, but that's not a problem, just a cost.

    If you want a handlebar bag or not, that is a break point. Road frames are generally designed to be stable and maneuverable without any added weight on the handlebars, beyond a light and computer and such. Long-distance riders often want to put a handlebar bag on, to be able to reach a map, a munchie, warm gloves, or what-not without stopping. Doing this can make a bike shimmy. To design a bike for this purpose, the fork needs more rake, which creates less trail, and reduces this tendency.

    Bikes for this kind of riding are usually lightweight, but probably don't go crazy with weight reduction. Reliability and on-road servicability are important.

    Road Fan

  22. #22
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Just noticed, "grouch" is a last name! So is "fan", for that matter.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    Road frames are generally designed to be stable and maneuverable without any added weight on the handlebars, beyond a light and computer and such. Long-distance riders often want to put a handlebar bag on, to be able to reach a map, a munchie, warm gloves, or what-not without stopping. Doing this can make a bike shimmy. To design a bike for this purpose, the fork needs more rake, which creates less trail, and reduces this tendency.

    Road Fan
    I'm sorry Road Fan but this statement is not necessarily correct. It may be correct if your hauling 50 pounds on a handlebar bag! But my front bag loaded only weighs 12 pounds, and that may be an over estimate. My Trek 660 is pure racing with a short rake on the fork and the rear is so tight I have to deflate the tire and flatten it against the seat tube to get it off! I have NEVER experienced any shimmy and can easily reach or stuff with out stopping, but doing so, like text messaging while driving, could cause one to swerve which could be hazardous to one's health.

    10 to maybe even 15 pounds on a handlebar is nothing for a bike to handle.

  24. #24
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    How about we let the OP answer for himself?
    Quote Originally Posted by cantdrv55 View Post
    Thanks. Sounds like my kind of touring.
    K, he has - where's my cookie.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by froze View Post
    I'm sorry Road Fan but this statement is not necessarily correct. It may be correct if your hauling 50 pounds on a handlebar bag! But my front bag loaded only weighs 12 pounds, and that may be an over estimate. My Trek 660 is pure racing with a short rake on the fork and the rear is so tight I have to deflate the tire and flatten it against the seat tube to get it off! I have NEVER experienced any shimmy and can easily reach or stuff with out stopping, but doing so, like text messaging while driving, could cause one to swerve which could be hazardous to one's health.

    10 to maybe even 15 pounds on a handlebar is nothing for a bike to handle.
    There are some in the framebuilder's forum who would agree with me regarding low trail as an ADVISABLE approach, but not as a necessary approach. I was too positive in what I said, I should have said that some LD riders like frames designed this way for this reason.

    So I agree with you, my statement is not necessarily correct. Thanks!

    I didn't say anything about chainstay length.

    Glad your 660 works for you, froze.

    Road Fan

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