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  1. #1
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    Component choice for new tourer/commuter

    I'm building up a 58 cm LHT frame into what will be my tourer and long commuter, but I'm struggling to decide on which components to use.

    After extensive searching of the internet and these forums I still can't find any conclusive answers to the question of component choice. It seems that everyone has a different take on it without any real solid reasons or their reasons are limited by commercial interests.

    I don't want to start a Shimano v Campagnolo war here, I have no preference for one over the other. In terms of spare parts both are equally available in big cities as both are equally unavailable in small towns here. After talking to a friend who has done several successfull builds, I'm leaning towards a Campag Centaur triple chainring 10 speed groupset but with Record bottom bracket and Record 36 spoke wheel hubs (he will be building the wheels for me). In terms of gearing I'm looking at a 30-42-52 chainring set with options on the smaller chainring to go down as low as a 24 if needed, and 13-29 casette.

    The big questions on my mind are 1 - Are these gearing choices OK for loaded touring? 2 - Is the component choice OK? i.e. am I headed down the wrong road here? 3 - Will it work on this frame, as a long commuter bike and tourer? 4 - Am I even starting with the right frame for my intended use?

    If it helps, I commute maybe 150 - 200 miles a week and plan on doing loaded touring trips which will be mostly 3 or 4 day long weekends with the ocassional 2 to 3 week major trip. Not planning on touring overseas for now.

  2. #2
    Year-round cyclist
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    If you really want to tour, I think you are getting way too high gearing.

    Most people, myself included, tend to recommend lots of gears between 20 and 100 gear-inches. If you look at Sheldon Brown's Gear Calculator, you'll notice that you will either want 48-38-24 chainrings (or 44-34-22 or thereabouts) with 14-32 to 14-34 cassette. The Shimano-type freehub has also a better-supported axle than the Campagnolo freehub.

    Which means you should probably look at a low-range Shimano drivetrain. Then either use Shimano derailleurs and bar-end shifters (the most reliable on the road) or STI shifters. If you prefer Ergo, get the Shimangolo adaptor (from J-tek) to make your Campagnolo briefter compatible with a Shimano drivetrain.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  3. #3
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    OK, I'm listening. After a bit more research I've decided to go with bar-end shifters and Shimano componentry, mainly because they seem to have a wider gearing range as you pointed out.

  4. #4
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
    OK, I'm listening. After a bit more research I've decided to go with bar-end shifters and Shimano componentry, mainly because they seem to have a wider gearing range as you pointed out.
    Use 9 speed, currently (as far as I know), there aren't descent low range (32/34 tooth) road cassettes available for Shimano 10 spd. 9 spd groups are still wideley available (and reasonabley priced if you look about).

  5. #5
    "I love lamp"
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    Dont get Campy for touring and having seen Centaur and worked on it I am not impressed. I reccommend using a a mixture of Shimano mtb and road on your bike. Let's see for wheels, pick your rim and go with LX or XT hubs, I roll with Rhyno Lites and XTs. For a rear deraiulluer (I can't spell it, I just fix em) just pick Deore, LX, or XT depending on your budget. I use a road front derailluer, don't go lower then 105. As for brakes I reccomend going on Ebay and getting some XT or XTR cantilevers, I find them to be better than the new avids, and they can be had reasonably and usually new in box. If you go V brake, go Xt, Xtr, or Avid black ops. As for cranks I use Deores that came stock with 48, 36, 26, I think you can order LX's in that ring configuration too but Deore is really all you need. I do reccomend getting ones that can use a Square taper BB or Octalink, the newer tech which has trickled down may be tougher to find out on the road. For a cassete get an LX with a top ring of 34 or 32. As for shifting I would go with the bar and and aero levers, much cheaper than STI and the reliability factor is worth it in my opinion. In general I like the idea of using as much MTB stuff as possible as I find it to be tougher than road stuff which is a good thing when commuting and touring.

    I also like Ritchey for things like bars (Bio max are great), seat posts, stems. You picked a great frame to build up and it build up bomb proof. I find making bikes to be durable and bombproof is more fun than shaving off grams. I offer these reccomendations as a bike mechanic and from personal experience. Best of luck to you!

  6. #6
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    Great comments. I love this website. A lot of practicle responses.

    Touring is not racing. A strong bike built like a workhorse is what you want. A bike that is ready to be ridden everyday. When choosing the frame and components strenth and durability rule the day. In the end you will become a stronger bike rider to measure up to the strong bike you built.

  7. #7
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbeatonNJ
    Dont get Campy for touring and having seen Centaur and worked on it I am not impressed. I reccommend using a a mixture of Shimano mtb and road on your bike. Let's see for wheels, pick your rim and go with LX or XT hubs, I roll with Rhyno Lites and XTs. For a rear deraiulluer (I can't spell it, I just fix em) just pick Deore, LX, or XT depending on your budget. I use a road front derailluer, don't go lower then 105. As for brakes I reccomend going on Ebay and getting some XT or XTR cantilevers, I find them to be better than the new avids, and they can be had reasonably and usually new in box. If you go V brake, go Xt, Xtr, or Avid black ops. As for cranks I use Deores that came stock with 48, 36, 26, I think you can order LX's in that ring configuration too but Deore is really all you need. I do reccomend getting ones that can use a Square taper BB or Octalink, the newer tech which has trickled down may be tougher to find out on the road. For a cassete get an LX with a top ring of 34 or 32. As for shifting I would go with the bar and and aero levers, much cheaper than STI and the reliability factor is worth it in my opinion. In general I like the idea of using as much MTB stuff as possible as I find it to be tougher than road stuff which is a good thing when commuting and touring.

    I also like Ritchey for things like bars (Bio max are great), seat posts, stems. You picked a great frame to build up and it build up bomb proof. I find making bikes to be durable and bombproof is more fun than shaving off grams. I offer these reccomendations as a bike mechanic and from personal experience. Best of luck to you!
    Listen to this man as he confirms all of my prejudices.

  8. #8
    RIP Gonzo So Cal commuter's Avatar
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    Check out Harris's website....they have custom cassettes "by sheldon brown", guessing he came up with the touring cassette combos and the workers put them together, but theyre all Shimano cassettes. I think he has them in 8,9 and 10 speed for touring at a really reasonable price, actually the same price that you can find a stock one. Plus, it's got the Sheldon Brown stamp which I would surely trust.

  9. #9
    www.Click-Stand.com tomn's Avatar
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    Give these a serious look:

    Crankset Sugino XD2 24/36/46
    Rear Derailleur Shimano LX Long cage rapid rise
    Bar end shifters Silver Bar-Ends form Rivendell
    Stem Nitto Technomic Delux
    Bar Nitto Noodle 46cm


    Just my choices:

    Brakes XTR V-brakes
    Hubs Hugi tandem front
    Phil Wood tandem rear
    Rims Sun Rhyno Lites
    Spokes DT Alpine III
    Saddle Brooks Flight
    Cassette XTR 12-34
    Chain Sachs
    Front Derailleur Dura Ace Triple
    Rear Rack Tubus Cargo
    Front Rack Nitto/Rivendell Front Rack
    Post Dura Ace
    Bottom Bracket Phil Wood

  10. #10
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    Phil Wood is really the best name in touring components-- maybe the best hubs and bottom brackets ever made. Chris King does the best headset. Shimano XTR stuff is mighty fine as well-- and Paul's makes the best brakes....

    But I have never owned any of this stuff....becuase I wouldn't spend the amount of money on a bike that I could buy a used pick-up truck for.

    For the money, here's the best value parts you can buy...and these parts are also proven winners in the field as well.

    Sugino cranks-- the 46-36-26 one. You can replace the 46 with a 48 if you want a better top end.

    Shimano spuare taper bottom bracket-- to fit the above crankset

    8 speed bar end shifters (8 speed drivetrains are $50 cheaper and stronger than a 9 speed one)

    Dia Compe brake levers (there are models made for both v-brakes and canti brakes) Standard on all Trek touring bikes.

    Tektro Oryx canilever brakes. Cheap and good. Standard brakes on all Cannondale touring bikes. Trek uses the Avid linear brakes--digit 5's I think. Deore v-brakes are another choice.

    Tiagra frount deraileur. These work nice with friction shifters.

    Deore LX rear derailer, or even a Deore one. How much *performance* do you need running a 30 lb bike with bar cons?

    Sram 8 speed cassette and chain-- I run a 11-30 commuting and 12-34 for alpine riding. Once again, cheap and works great!

    I do use the best Shinamo XTR and Dura Ace cable and housing sets (the grey housing). In bad weather, I think these help keep the bike going better than any other *high end* component. I also run good Kool-Stop pads in the brakes, another upgrade.

    Brookes is best value for saddles-- I ride a San Marco Rolls-- an 80's roadbike saddle that's a little wider than most new models. MTB saddles also often work with touring bikes.

    I like Vittoria Randoneur tires-- get them at REI and return them if you don't like them.

    Wheels are someting that are worth spending $$ Get the best set you can afford-- I like LX or 105 hubs, Mavic rims.

    There is my value parts list.

    As far a panniers, racks and camping gear-- spending extra to get the best is worth it becuase it's lightweight and more waterproof. I'd rather have a Bibler tent than a Dura Ace frount deraileur on tour any day.

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