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  1. #1
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    help with a new build to save my aching back

    At physical therapist and doctor's recommendation, I need to seek a bike with a smoother
    ride than provided by my '07 Jamis Aurora with 32mm tires. With these tires (max I can fit), I need to ride w
    high pressure to avoid pinch flats due to my considerable bulk (235#). Because of MY body
    geometry, short legs for my 6'3'' height, frames with horizontal top tube also do not provide enough
    seat tube extension to use a thudbuster. In principle, I can "unweight" when I encounter
    poor pavement. I do this when I can, but my commute takes me through Somerville and
    Cambridge Mass. I would need to fly to unweight enough on some of these roads.

    I've tenatively identified the Salsa Fargo as a candidate because it meets five criteria:
    1) allows wide tires for better ride on poor Massachusetts roads
    2) frame geometry allows use, when needed of a thudbuster
    3) appropriate for my two weeks of unsupported touring each summer
    4) disc brakes to provide better control (specially while touring or wet weather)
    on steep downhills
    5) I must have drops. In the drops is my most comfortable position.

    I'd like to buy a frameset and move most of my components over. I have some compatability
    questions:

    1) I have a set of handbuilt wheels with disc hubs for the Jamis. The Jamis rear spacing is 130,
    while the Fargo is 135. Can I change out the rear wheel axle and use spacers for the new
    bike? I realize the wheel would be stronger if I have it re-dished, but I might start just by
    adding 2.5mm on each side.

    2) The Jamis and Salsa both use a 68mm bottom bracket. The length is not specified for the
    Fargo. Is that length actually determined by the crank, so I should be able to transfer the
    BB/crank/chainrings from the Jamis to the Fargo?

    3) My Jamis uses Shimano Tiagra dual control STI, and I also have interruptor brake levers.
    Yes- I use my "safety levers" often when negotiating heavy traffic. I would like to use these
    brake levers with Avid bb7 road brakes. Are they compatable? I don't expect to have the
    great brake feel that a mountain biker demands, but I do need to be able to hold to a slow speed
    and stop on very steep grades. With my weight, this is an issue with the cantis on the Jamis.

    I love my Jamis, and I spend more time on my bike than in a car. However, I can feel the
    aggravation of my disk from the harsh ride. I tried bigger tires, and it helped a lot. Unfortunately,
    I couldn't quite fit them and they eventually ended up rubbing the frame. So I need to look
    for other options.

    I (and my aching back) thank you in advance for any help.

    JimDDD

  2. #2
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    How much is your health and well being worth to you? Me? Priceless.

    If you have orthopedic problems, stop trying to save a dime and find a custom builder who can design you a frame to fit your body and needs instead of trying to fit your body to a frame and it's manufacturer's needs.

    I've seen the Fargo frame I think it is a god send because of its geometry, which allows for a more upright riding position, even in the dropped position. This positioning will be easier on your back.

    I agree with using drop bars in your case, or maybe trekking bars. Being able to move my hands and body position around during long rides helps me a lot.

    Yea, ride 35 38 tires, they absorb a lot of shock.

    You would screw up chain line if you used spacers to convert a 130mm rear hub to fit 135mm spacing. I'm not saying it wouldn't work, but I wouldn't be surprised if you encountered problems.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Torchy McFlux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimDDD View Post
    1) I have a set of handbuilt wheels with disc hubs for the Jamis. The Jamis rear spacing is 130,
    while the Fargo is 135. Can I change out the rear wheel axle and use spacers for the new
    bike? I realize the wheel would be stronger if I have it re-dished, but I might start just by
    adding 2.5mm on each side.
    Depends on the make and model of the rear hub, but it's usually possible to put a longer axle with a couple of 2mm spacers in.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimDDD View Post
    2) The Jamis and Salsa both use a 68mm bottom bracket. The length is not specified for the
    Fargo. Is that length actually determined by the crank, so I should be able to transfer the
    BB/crank/chainrings from the Jamis to the Fargo?
    The BB axle length depends on the crank. If both frames' shells are 68mm wide, you can likely switch everything over without issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimDDD View Post
    3) My Jamis uses Shimano Tiagra dual control STI, and I also have interruptor brake levers.
    Yes- I use my "safety levers" often when negotiating heavy traffic. I would like to use these
    brake levers with Avid bb7 road brakes. Are they compatable? I don't expect to have the
    great brake feel that a mountain biker demands, but I do need to be able to hold to a slow speed
    and stop on very steep grades. With my weight, this is an issue with the cantis on the Jamis.
    As long as they are BB7 Road brakes, your levers will work just fine. The BB7 MTB brakes require direct-pull levers.

    Sounds like you've got a good plan. The Salsa is a solid choice. Hope it works out for you and your bad back!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    The "R" word.

    Have you considered a recumbent?

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