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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-09-12, 11:44 PM   #1
longhaultrucker
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So I want a new touring bike

In shopping around and looking at all the options I want as well as color choice I can't seem to find anything under 2 or 3 grand. Or a sickly overpriced bike with a name I can't really bring myself to give a crap about.

I always had the idea of building my own and have signed up for a class to build my own 700c touring frame to my specs. Swap out all my gear from my trek mtb and we gonna go for a ride. Now it's jus sittin back an not gettin too antsy before the class.
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Old 07-10-12, 12:07 AM   #2
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Should have bought Nashbar's $100 aluminum frame when it was on sale for $80 a couple of weeks ago. Throw on whatever components you've got stashed in the parts bin and you're good to go!
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Old 07-10-12, 12:56 AM   #3
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take a look at surly.. You can even do touring on there crosscheck - it is a little sportier than other touring bikes. or use there long haul trucker which is there touring bike

http://surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check

http://surlybikes.com/bikes/long_haul_trucker
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Old 07-10-12, 06:31 AM   #4
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I had a Surly LHT for a while and really liked it. I paid $1000 for it, a year later when I had some "extra money" I upgraded the frame to a Rivendell Hunqapillar and like it a lot more. The frame for the Hunq was $1500 then, I sold the LHT frame for $350 so the net cost was $2200 but I have absolutely no regrets. If you have the parts you want (or can live with) a Surly Cross-Check or LHT frame would be the route to go. If you want to spend a little more, look at a Riv Hillborne or Hunqapillar, you won't believe the quality of the ride.

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Old 07-10-12, 07:00 AM   #5
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I think you guys have missed the point. He's going to build a frame, not buy one.
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Old 07-10-12, 09:18 AM   #6
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I think you guys have missed the point. He's going to build a frame, not buy one.
Understood. I've TIG-welded a custom bicycle frame. It's fun, if you enjoy long hours of tricky welding and machining, but not nearly as magical as everyone makes it out to be. I'm glad I did it, but given the choice between spending 40-80 hours building another bike frame and going on tour for 1-2 weeks, I'd rather be riding...

Of course, the real solution to this problem is to do both Buy a cheap Nashbar frame and start riding it today, then build a custom frame at some point in the future. This works particularly well if you've never spent time on a touring bike. Riding one, even on a few short tours, will give you a much better idea of what you want or need in a custom frame. If I'd done that before building my own custom bike, I'd have done a few things differently.
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Old 07-10-12, 06:01 PM   #7
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I have bikes to ride but I am wanting a lugged touring frame and as for the LHT it is a damn good bike and I consider it the best bang for the money on the market. I spent a day on one and found it a bit boring like a Harley with a moped engine it was good. It it lacked that certain something. I have looked around for a lugged touring frame with a modern headset as I never really liked the old style. But they aren't cheap and most of the time your paying for the frame builders name something I don't really care about.

I fell in love with lugged frames as a teenager and the new bIke's to me just don't really add up to me. I rode a frame like I am building about 3 months ago and figured out what I was missing. It really has a different ride, and I can't put my finger on exactly what it is.
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Old 07-10-12, 08:58 PM   #8
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Could be that the long chainstays and heavier tubing led to a duller ride. If I could build my own lugged touring/rando frame, I'd start with the LHT's angles and low bottom bracket, use thinner tubing, shorten the chainstays a little, add some fork rake to reduce the trail, and finally use horizontal dropouts for versatility.
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Old 07-11-12, 03:52 AM   #9
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Some years ago, when I had a family with young kids, I couldn’t afford what I wanted to ride, so I built a couple of frames. One was a frame with 26” wheels for commuting on rough roads. I have since modified that bike and turned it into an Expedition Touring bike; a go anywhere bike that carries a full touring load. I have also finally found 26” tires that I feel are suitable for road use, with or without a load, that don’t seem more suited for use on the family tractor.

In addition to my 26” wheeled homebuilt, I have a couple of 700c touring bikes. The most recent was built on a Salsa Vaya frame. It works well and I find I may like disk brakes even more than cantis. Mostly I ride on the roads, but they are all capable of carrying the load.

So it is possible to buy a complete bike, buy a frame and build it up, or sweat and slave away over a homebuilt frame with a torch. Each can produce a fine bike. I would recommend you get a little more experience with a touring bike to determine what features and geometry you like before you take the plunge and build your own.
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Old 07-11-12, 05:15 AM   #10
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Longhaultrucker , I think you should build a frame . I think you know enough about your likes and dislikes , from reading your posts it sounds like you have a good grasp of what you expect from a bike . Knowing how to build a bike frame will let you build as many as you need , and give you the gateway to developing a valuable skill .And you'll have a truly unique bike .
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Old 07-11-12, 06:04 AM   #11
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longhaultrucker: I know exactly what you're saying about Surly's LHT. I still wanted something like it but a little more snappy. I went ahead and bought a Cross Check frameset and built it up with a Sram Rival Groupset. I'm running a 46/36 crank with a 12-27 cassette. One thing I'd change if I ever do loaded touring in hills would be to get Sram's WiFli RD http://www.sram.com/sram/road/produc...th/term-id/381 with a 11-32 cassette.

I get a lot of comments such as "old school" and "steel is coming back" from other riders.
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Old 07-11-12, 08:38 PM   #12
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Have fun in the frame building class, take pics, and keep us posted. There is also a framebuilders section somewhere here which you've probably already found. And Frank the Welder (or something like that) builds frames (downhill bikes?) and hangs out in the C&V section. Basically what I'm saying is to have fun and that you're in good company.

Once you've got the basics down, from what I've heard, as soon as you build one then you'll be planning the next one and will be calculating monor geometry changes to fine tune the ride and fit.
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Old 07-11-12, 09:52 PM   #13
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Once you've got the basics down, from what I've heard, as soon as you build one then you'll be planning the next one and will be calculating monor geometry changes to fine tune the ride and fit.
More likely you'll be trying to scrape together the money you'll need for tools: O-A torch or TIG welder, frame jig, tube mitering setup, an alignment table, precision measuring tools, frame prep tools, etc. Frame building isn't cheap, if you want to do it properly!
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Old 07-11-12, 11:22 PM   #14
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One of the motivating factors is I have most of the tools without a jig but I will document and photo as many steps as I can.....
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Old 07-12-12, 04:23 AM   #15
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The jig sounds like where this
framebuilding thing gets complex ,
depending on the tolerances involved .
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Old 07-12-12, 07:42 AM   #16
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Building a jig might be part of the class, at least it should be. Ask down in the framebuilders section, there might be a local to you builder who will let you see his jig setup.
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Old 07-12-12, 09:33 AM   #17
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Building a jig might be part of the class, at least it should be.
Jig building is a class unto itself! At least it is if you want to build something that's going to be reusable and offer the precision necessary to build a decent frame. There's a reason that places like Anvil and Henry James charge $4000 for a professional-quality jig... Which isn't to say that you can't build a jig for less, just that you'll have to make compromises. There are some nice designs which use 8020 extrusions, for instance. The only downside is that setup, and especially jig alignment, can be time-consuming and a bit error-prone.
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Old 07-13-12, 04:54 AM   #18
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Ridgidity might be an issue as well .
I might add that some of the
European frames were built by eye .
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