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  1. #1
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Custom travel frame

    (Cross posted from "Mechanics". Hopefully I can get some good framebuilder opinions here.)

    I'm having a custom steel frame built with S&S couplers. The original plan is that it would replace my "workhorse" in my stable; a utility bike built on Nashbar's "X" frame...9 speed 105 group, Shimano R505 "road" disc brakes.

    The plan was that all components would move to the new frame. I would get cantilever mounts put on as well, just in case something happened to the discs and replacement parts weren't available. I'd have the new frame built with 132.5 dropout spacing...'cuz you never know.

    And that's what got me thinking...if I'm putting on a different brake mount because I'm worried about disc brakes on a travel bike, maybe I should just go with cantilevers? Then I started thinking about how much I hate cantilevers, because they scream like banshees and have marginal stopping power...and that got me to thinking that maybe a travel bike makes more sense with a long reach brake caliper. (I intend for this bike to run tires as wide as 32mm, depending on conditions.) And if I'm doing all of that, maybe it should just be built with 130mm spacing, just to make it easy.

    Now I'm feeling confused about this project, where at first there was just certainty. What to do?

    I'm interested in hearing your take on this.
    Good night...and good luck

  2. #2
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    Good quality cantis do not scream, and they will give decent stopping power. They have been supassed by newer designs but not too long ago were prized for stopping power. Pedersen cantis will look you up, and work very well when you can find NOS. Generally ignore the stuff about them being dangerous, though be cautious with sticky pads. Best of both worlds because they actually like hard rubber pads like you will find "out there". Cantis had certain advantages over Vs, and Discs, so you can feel good about them if you so choose. Long reach aren't as solid as cantis, and I personally avoid them.

    I think a Disc on the front can be a good thing, and on the back if you like. For road touring a front disc gives you some redundency and a different bracking profile, have the canti in front also. But whether one needs two hefty discs on the average touring or travel bike is up to you. The rear end is not all that hard to brake and does little good, preserving the front end in all conditions is what counts. There are pros and cons to "out there" disc use, but why not have the parts in place. Easier to do now.

    I can't see any convincing reason to build a new touring (?) bike anything other than 135. Parts are widely available and if you get stuck you can easily just draw the drops in with the skewer, which is less bad than spreading them. Are your current parts the narrower size?

  3. #3
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Thank you for the reply.

    Current parts are 135; Deore LX hubs laced to 700c rims. Basically a "29-er". However, if I ditched the discs, going to 130 spacing gives me "universal" wheel interchangeability with every bike in my stable. (I don't have a MTB).

    I don't necessarily have plans to tour with this bike...not to say that I won't ever do so, but no plans right now. I'm in the military, and have some travel in my future, which is why I'm looking into an S&S equipped frame. Next likely assignment is a 1 year remote to Korea, and the bike is going with me. It would be a shame to show up, have a dorked up disc from travel, and no means right away to fix it.

    As capable of a mechanic as I am...perhaps I'm just not capable enough with cantilevers. Granted, my only experience was with Avid Shorty 4s, (I've heard that Shimano R550s are far superior) but despite following the instructions of numerous expert sources, I couldn't get them to stop screaming...nor could I get fantastic stopping power out of them.

    This is a custom frame...I want to get it right. I want it to be exceptionally user and parts friendly, but I don't want to put things on the frame that in the end are really completely unnecessary.

    I'm trying to decide if I love my discs enough to continue to work around them, or if I just need to give up and try to figure out cantilevers. I'm HIGHLY reluctant to do this. Avid cantis are what drove me to discs in the first place.
    Last edited by Banzai; 07-07-09 at 03:27 PM.
    Good night...and good luck

  4. #4
    headwinds suck
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    what about v-brakes? they need only a fraction of the tuning cantis require, at least in my experience.

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