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  1. #1
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    Custom Build Bike Using Salsa Frame

    I'm considering having a custom made road bike being built using a Salsa frame.

    The bike should ideally be lightweight, reliable and durable, and not too expensive.

    The bike is primarily intended to be used for riding up (and down) steep roads. As I'm not superman, the bike will need a triple crank (probably with mountain bike chain rings down to around 22 ~ 26 teeth), cassette with largest cog at around 30 ~ 34 teeth (again, probably a mountain bike cassette), and disc brakes for assured braking in wet conditions.

    Assuming the bike is built using a Salsa frame, mountain bike triple crank and chain rings (with MTB derailleur), mountain bike cassette (with MTB derailleur), disc brakes, 700 size wheels, wheels that take tires from 23c to about 35c, and dropped handle bar (typical road bike bar), I have some questions as follows.

    1) Which model Salsa frame would be most suitable? Why?

    2) Which brand and model of crank, chain rings and cassette would be most suitable? Why?

    3) Which brand and model of disc brakes would be most suitable? Why?

    4) Can road bike drop bar shifters and brake levers be used to operate mountain bike derailleurs and disc brakes?
    4a) If so, which brand and model of shifters and brake levers would be best? Why?
    4b) If not, what type, brand, and model of shifters and brake levers should be used? Why?

    5) Since I'm wanting disc brakes, which brand and model of wheel would be most suitable? Why?

    Any help would be most appreciated!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mitro's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure the only salsa frame that can take disc brakes with 700c wheels is the la cruz - and it's certainly not lightweight at over 2000g. Might want to expand your search for a frame beyond Salsa.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your comment.

    I knew that Salsa frames were a bit on the heavy side, but I like their style and finish.

    Anyway, I have subsequently found out that La Cruz frames cost around US$700 here (in NZ)!! That is too expensive for me! I was aiming for a total cost of no more than around US$1000 for the bike complete.

    So I have now scrapped the idea of using Salsa frames.
    Last edited by meeshu; 06-20-08 at 03:31 AM. Reason: Cost of frame corrected after double checking with LBS

  4. #4
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    Sorry to say it, but I don't think you will be able to build yourself what you want for under 1000$ US. You might, just might, be able to find a stock bike that has those components. The Lemond Poprad with discs is pretty close to what you are looking for, and there are some others. You might also find a flat bar road/hybrid type bike with discs.

    There are not that many road discs available though. Avid make one or two (BB7?), Shimano makes one and Tektro have one called the Lyra. I think that's it.

    As for components, I recommend you buy Shimano Tiagra everything. You will fine Shimano hubs with disc compatibility much easier to find.

  5. #5
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    I had a salsa frame, it was a campeon. it was setup for climbing and the bike was fairly light. the fork could have been lighter as it had an aluminum steerer tube...I think they went to carbon on the current model. to get in under a $1K, I got it used. it comes up every now and then on ebay. but to get disk brakes, you gota go with the Las Crues, its a cross bike which is not in their current line, but you should be able find one on ebay. disk brakes are great in wet muddy conditions, but they are not light, are high maintainence...all in all, not a great choice for road bike intended for climbing...I know there are those out there that think the best braking is required for descending, but I'm of the old school...what you need is speed modulators, something to just bleed some speed for the turns but keep your speed up and fly down the mountain!
    fogriderlooking for sun

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fogrider View Post
    I had a salsa frame, it was a campeon. it was setup for climbing and the bike was fairly light. the fork could have been lighter as it had an aluminum steerer tube...I think they went to carbon on the current model. to get in under a $1K, I got it used. it comes up every now and then on ebay. but to get disk brakes, you gota go with the Las Crues, its a cross bike which is not in their current line, but you should be able find one on ebay. disk brakes are great in wet muddy conditions, but they are not light, are high maintainence...all in all, not a great choice for road bike intended for climbing...I know there are those out there that think the best braking is required for descending, but I'm of the old school...what you need is speed modulators, something to just bleed some speed for the turns but keep your speed up and fly down the mountain!
    Haven't used disc brake have you? It's zero maintenance, set the pads correctly and never touch it again, and the disc brake pads last way longer than rim brake pads, and no rim to replace.

    I don't know where you live, but descending mountains in the rain with rim brakes suck. Weight isn't such a big deal unless you are racing. 50+lbs fully loaded touring bike goes up mountains road fine, an extra pound for disc brake isn't going to hurt you.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbubbles View Post
    Haven't used disc brake have you? It's zero maintenance, set the pads correctly and never touch it again, and the disc brake pads last way longer than rim brake pads, and no rim to replace.

    I don't know where you live, but descending mountains in the rain with rim brakes suck. Weight isn't such a big deal unless you are racing. 50+lbs fully loaded touring bike goes up mountains road fine, an extra pound for disc brake isn't going to hurt you.
    a friend of mine has disk brake and I've ridden on them, they have great stopping power, but on a wet road, how much power do you need? I would be more concerned with the traction of the tires! I'm not one to go descending a loaded touring bike in the rain, but you go at it. yeah, I'm a little old school when it comes to road riding. cheers
    fogriderlooking for sun

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the additional comments.

    BTW, I amended the price of the Salsa La Cruz frame to US$700.

    I tried a brief test ride up a short section (about 20 yards) of a steep road on my flat handle bar fitness bike (fitted with disc brakes, road chain rings and road cassette; I don't know if it is possible to fit MTB chain rings and MTB cassettes on this bike?). I was using the 34 tooth chain ring and 25 tooth cog on my bike. I JUST made it up that short section, but it nearly killed me in the process!!

    So, I will definitely need to use smaller chain rings and larger cogs on a bike in order to climb up that road without hurting myself. Since road chain rings and cassettes are not really suited for steep climbing, I will probably have to use MTB components.

    Still looking!

  9. #9
    Senior Member TedC's Avatar
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  10. #10
    Senior Member TedC's Avatar
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    And for bike pr0n images: look what MIN did:



  11. #11
    W.W.DZ.D? cedricbosch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meeshu View Post
    I'm considering having a custom made road bike being built using a Salsa frame.
    Custom-made road bike using a stock frame? Interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by meeshu View Post
    The bike should ideally be lightweight, reliable and durable, and not too expensive.
    Pick two.
    Cat 1 meter- 15%

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