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  1. #1
    nun
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    Your ideal light touring setup

    I'm building up a bike and would like peoples' opinions and suggestions about parts.
    I'm 200lbs (hopefully heading southwards) and will use the bike for randonnees and
    light touring. One day I intend to use it to cross the US either supported or unsupported
    carrying no more than 30lbs on the back. What, gears, hubs and wheels would you suggest
    I'm thinking about the following

    Sugino 46-36-26 chainset
    Shimano XTR front and rear derailleurs
    Shimano 11-32 cassette
    Shimano XTR hubs with Velocity Dynad or Mavic MA3 wheels (would White Industries or Paul Wood be worth it?)
    Dura Ace bar end shifters
    Shimano 600 long reach caliper brakes

  2. #2
    'Mizer Cats are INSANE Mentor58's Avatar
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    That sounds like a pretty good mix, I'd probably drop from the XTR to XT, or maybe even LX on the shimano components. The XTR is very nice, but you aren't really getting that great of an improvement in terms of cost. Sort of like Ultegra vs Dura-Ace. A lot more money for the Dura-Ace, better finish, a tiny bit lighter, but not much real difference in performance for 99.9 percent.

    What are you thinking about for a frame to hold all these fine parts together with? Inquiring minds want to know....

    Hope I could Help,

    Steve W.
    *Surly LHT ... Slow and Steady, *Motobecane Century Pro ... Better than Me
    *Bianchi Volpe ... Well, just 'cuz , Fuji Track SS / Fixie ... Mustache bars and a big grin
    Rans F5
    Easy Racers Tour Easy
    * Now that I'm 'Bent, I will probably unload all but the Fixie.

  3. #3
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mentor58
    That sounds like a pretty good mix, I'd probably drop from the XTR to XT, or maybe even LX on the shimano components. The XTR is very nice, but you aren't really getting that great of an improvement in terms of cost. Sort of like Ultegra vs Dura-Ace. A lot more money for the Dura-Ace, better finish, a tiny bit lighter, but not much real difference in performance for 99.9 percent.

    What are you thinking about for a frame to hold all these fine parts together with? Inquiring minds want to know....

    Hope I could Help,

    Steve W.
    Going to a local frame builder to build me something in lugged steel. I appreciate the advice about performance vs cost. I think I might go to XT or LX and the money I save spend on some panniers.

  4. #4
    'Mizer Cats are INSANE Mentor58's Avatar
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    Believe me, you'll appreciate dry clothes at the end of a wet day because you got good panniers much more than the 4 oz of weight you'll save with XTR Components.

    Steve
    Who made up the weight, probably about right however.
    *Surly LHT ... Slow and Steady, *Motobecane Century Pro ... Better than Me
    *Bianchi Volpe ... Well, just 'cuz , Fuji Track SS / Fixie ... Mustache bars and a big grin
    Rans F5
    Easy Racers Tour Easy
    * Now that I'm 'Bent, I will probably unload all but the Fixie.

  5. #5
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    why go with caliper breaks over say, cantilevers or disc?

    Also, that does seem very low geared for a light touring bike, but whatever floats your boat I guess

  6. #6
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I have a Gunnar Sport set up as a lite tourer.
    I am not a fan of MA3. But talk to the guy who is going to build your wheels. He can suggest something that suits you. I have a lite touring bike and have been using Mavic CXP33 rims. Next year I am going to Mavic touring rims. I will miss the speed, but
    I think the ride will be a little nicer. But the CXP33 would be a good choice for a randonee.

    I like Brooks saddles. Check out the new Selle An-Atomica saddles. I have been thinking of trying one of those. I like Rivendell Ruffy Tuffy tires.
    Why Sugino? They make a nice crank, but I don't understand the thinking behind the expensive hubs and the budget crank.
    Grab onto a bunch of different handlebars. I grabbed a Ritchey BioMax Pro ($60) and I really liked it. I'm a big fan of Sidi shoes.
    I love Grip Shapes. http://www.offthefront.com/sports.htm
    They are lite and make a broader place to rest your hands.
    And I double wrap with gel tape.

    Oh, and if you are touring, for heaven's sake get panniers. You'll beat yourself to death with a backpack. My Tubus Fly rack weighs 12 ounces, and Jannd is making lightweight panniers now.

  7. #7
    Nature Worshipper hillyman's Avatar
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    I second that on the brakes. Calipers suck going downhill in the rain.
    I would gear as low as possible on a tourbike, never know when you might wish you had it.
    In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks. John Muir

  8. #8
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by javna_golina
    why go with caliper breaks over say, cantilevers or disc?

    Also, that does seem very low geared for a light touring bike, but whatever floats your boat I guess
    I've used the Sugino crank for a while and its worked very well, I like the 110/74. Would you suggest the
    TA, or Shimano Hollowtech instead. The gearing is low, but I wanted a 32 sprocket for insurance going over long steep climbs. If I was to go with a 27 as the lowest it would open up more options I suppose.

  9. #9
    'Mizer Cats are INSANE Mentor58's Avatar
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    actually, the gearing isn't that low, for comparison, at 90 rpm, a 52x12 gets you 34 MPH, while a 46X12 gets you 30 MPH. In terms of Gear inches, it's 127 inches vs 112. I'm convinced that most riders have gears that they can't really use 98% of the time, they just can't spin that fast on the flats, and going down hill, i'm just as likely to let gravity do its job. I can honestly say that there have been very few times that I've wished I had a higher gear, that I'm spun out, and can't go any faster. I can honestly say that I've had a number of times that a bit lower would be really appreciated.

    I have my own take on it. If I'm doing a training ride, I'll let my legs blow up on a hill, knowing that I've got time to let them recover and get stronger before I ride hard again. On a tour, I need that engine working strong day after day after day... I am willing to spin slowly up the hill and spare the legs.

    You'll find what works, Sheldon Brown's Gear Calculator is great for playing 'what-if' games.

    Just my opinion, as valid as you want it to be....

    Steve W.
    *Surly LHT ... Slow and Steady, *Motobecane Century Pro ... Better than Me
    *Bianchi Volpe ... Well, just 'cuz , Fuji Track SS / Fixie ... Mustache bars and a big grin
    Rans F5
    Easy Racers Tour Easy
    * Now that I'm 'Bent, I will probably unload all but the Fixie.

  10. #10
    Macro Geek
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillyman
    I would gear as low as possible on a tourbike, never know when you might wish you had it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mentor58
    I can honestly say that there have been very few times that I've wished I had a higher gear, that I'm spun out, and can't go any faster. I can honestly say that I've had a number of times that a bit lower would be really appreciated.
    Unless you are an athlete at peak form, or a masochist lusting for a tormented tour, go for lower gears. The cassette on my True North touring bike is 12-34 and its crank is 24-36-48. There have been many times I have wished for an even lower gear although practically speaking, you can't get much lower. I can't realistically sustain pedaling in my highest gear. I have used it maybe twice this year. I usually coast down steep hills as a way to preserve energy.

  11. #11
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    If you are touring with less than 30 lbs, you can use about any bike you want. No need for a custom frame unless you just want one (a good enough reason in itself!).

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    yes but this is a light tourer, not a fully loaded tourer.

    Go with whatever suits you, but me personally if I was building a light touring bike I'd gear it a little higher. If I was building a fully loaded touring bike though, I'd use that gearing.

    But we may have different definitions

  13. #13
    'Mizer Cats are INSANE Mentor58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by javna_golina
    yes but this is a light tourer, not a fully loaded tourer.

    Go with whatever suits you, but me personally if I was building a light touring bike I'd gear it a little higher. If I was building a fully loaded touring bike though, I'd use that gearing.

    But we may have different definitions
    Yepper, and as I posted on another thread along the same lines, that is one of the nice things about touring folks in general. We view the whole smorgastborg of parts, and pick what will fill up our plate just nicely. Mtb RD with a road triple FD, Suntour Barends with Disc brakes, Leather seat with a showercap to keep it dry. All are good eats at the 'house of touring'. If somebody else wants the straight road menu, welcome aboard too. Somebody else is going for 26 inch wheels, 40 spoke hubs, gearing that will pull a tractor from a bog hole, well that's the diet for them.

    I know that for me, I'm most comfy on multiday rides with lower than normal gearing (at least by most folks norms). One thing is that for me my natural cadence is around 100 or so, and any time I get much below 90 on the flats I think I must be grinding. Because of this, I like having the lower gears, it works for me. If you're not quite as enthuastic a 'spinner' as I am, well there is bound to be a combination that please you too. I'm actually hoping this winter to spend some time on the trainer working on lower RPMs to build a bit more strength there.

    Build what you think you need, and after some miles you may want to change things. Cassettes are cheap and easy, chainrings too. As for me, I'd love to put together something like my first tourbike, I think it was a old Trek, (may have been a Peugeot, I forget). Had it set up with a half-step + Granny, and if I could duplicate that now, I would. Simple to shift (for me), drove my friends crazy.

    In other words, your Roast Beef and Gravy may be my Liver and Onions.

    Steve W.
    Who is in a rambling mood tonight.
    *Surly LHT ... Slow and Steady, *Motobecane Century Pro ... Better than Me
    *Bianchi Volpe ... Well, just 'cuz , Fuji Track SS / Fixie ... Mustache bars and a big grin
    Rans F5
    Easy Racers Tour Easy
    * Now that I'm 'Bent, I will probably unload all but the Fixie.

  14. #14
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by javna_golina
    yes but this is a light tourer, not a fully loaded tourer.

    Go with whatever suits you, but me personally if I was building a light touring bike I'd gear it a little higher. If I was building a fully loaded touring bike though, I'd use that gearing.

    But we may have different definitions
    I agree with the previous posts about gearing. I'm in my mid 40s and the days of turing a 52t chainring are over for me on any type of bike. I just don't feel the need, and increasingly don't have the capacity, to go above 25 mph. My average speed on my 30 mile training rides is 16 mph. On my single speed I have a 40 front 16 rear set up and I sweat plenty. What I'm doing is building a ranndonnee bike, but putting loaded touring gears on it as I'll never use 52-11, but going up the Cascades I'll probably use 26-32, my legs will be a blur though. I'm trying to keep the wheels, hubs and components on the light side and run a 28 or 32mm tyre. My approach to camping gear is to put it on the back and keep it to 30lbs by using ultralight gear, 2lb tent etc. so that I don't need the heavy wheels and wide tyres.

  15. #15
    WATERFORD22
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    I don't understand the comment about sugino being a budget crankset - some are but not all and some of their vintage 110 bolt pattern cold forged are better than much of what is produced today and going fast on ebay when they come up. I even have a set on a Bilenky Signature tandem with RaceFace rings. A good set of cantilevers are hard to beat - I am presently using Lx on my tourer with Mavic brake levers - but I have Bikes with Pauls, Pedersons, and lots of camy, and v-brakes. As for hubs it depends what mileage and weight you are planning to carry - I presently own Hugi, White Industry hubs, but my tourer is built up on xt hubs. I agree with everyone's comments good racks are hard to beat and worth the money - I prefer the tubus cargo and I don't remember the model of my front rack. Also I agree with the comments that good panniers are also worth the money in investing. A lot of this is just personal preferene - especially things like bike seats and tires

  16. #16
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by vosyer
    I don't understand the comment about sugino being a budget crankset - some are but not all and some of their vintage 110 bolt pattern cold forged are better than much of what is produced today and going fast on ebay when they come up. I even have a set on a Bilenky Signature tandem with RaceFace rings. A good set of cantilevers are hard to beat - I am presently using Lx on my tourer with Mavic brake levers - but I have Bikes with Pauls, Pedersons, and lots of camy, and v-brakes. As for hubs it depends what mileage and weight you are planning to carry - I presently own Hugi, White Industry hubs, but my tourer is built up on xt hubs. I agree with everyone's comments good racks are hard to beat and worth the money - I prefer the tubus cargo and I don't remember the model of my front rack. Also I agree with the comments that good panniers are also worth the money in investing. A lot of this is just personal preferene - especially things like bike seats and tires
    The current Sugino 110/74 46-26-26 can be had for under $100 so it is budget when you compare it with something like TA Zephyr or Shimano XTR

  17. #17
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by vosyer
    I don't understand the comment about sugino being a budget crankset - some are but not all and some of their vintage 110 bolt pattern cold forged are better than much of what is produced today and going fast on ebay when they come up. I even have a set on a Bilenky Signature tandem with RaceFace rings. A good set of cantilevers are hard to beat - I am presently using Lx on my tourer with Mavic brake levers - but I have Bikes with Pauls, Pedersons, and lots of camy, and v-brakes. As for hubs it depends what mileage and weight you are planning to carry - I presently own Hugi, White Industry hubs, but my tourer is built up on xt hubs. I agree with everyone's comments good racks are hard to beat and worth the money - I prefer the tubus cargo and I don't remember the model of my front rack. Also I agree with the comments that good panniers are also worth the money in investing. A lot of this is just personal preferene - especially things like bike seats and tires
    The current Sugino 110/74 46-26-26 can be had for under $100 so it is budget when you compare it with something like TA Zephyr or Shimano XTR

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mentor58
    Yepper, and as I posted on another thread along the same lines, that is one of the nice things about touring folks in general. We view the whole smorgastborg of parts, and pick what will fill up our plate just nicely. Mtb RD with a road triple FD, Suntour Barends with Disc brakes, Leather seat with a showercap to keep it dry. All are good eats at the 'house of touring'. If somebody else wants the straight road menu, welcome aboard too. Somebody else is going for 26 inch wheels, 40 spoke hubs, gearing that will pull a tractor from a bog hole, well that's the diet for them.

    I know that for me, I'm most comfy on multiday rides with lower than normal gearing (at least by most folks norms). One thing is that for me my natural cadence is around 100 or so, and any time I get much below 90 on the flats I think I must be grinding. Because of this, I like having the lower gears, it works for me. If you're not quite as enthuastic a 'spinner' as I am, well there is bound to be a combination that please you too. I'm actually hoping this winter to spend some time on the trainer working on lower RPMs to build a bit more strength there.

    Build what you think you need, and after some miles you may want to change things. Cassettes are cheap and easy, chainrings too. As for me, I'd love to put together something like my first tourbike, I think it was a old Trek, (may have been a Peugeot, I forget). Had it set up with a half-step + Granny, and if I could duplicate that now, I would. Simple to shift (for me), drove my friends crazy.

    In other words, your Roast Beef and Gravy may be my Liver and Onions.

    Steve W.
    Who is in a rambling mood tonight.
    You know I do like that about tourists, you're very open minded with bikes and components. I share the same mindset though I haven't really toured, and bike shop employees always give me bemused looks when I describe what kind of bike I want.

    And nun, it seems we do have different definitons of what a light touring bike is, I see why you want the lower gears if you're carrying camping gear

  19. #19
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mentor58
    ...The XTR is very nice, but you aren't really getting that great of an improvement in terms of cost...
    I must politely disagree, Steve - at least on the rear derailleur. The XTR has adjustable spring tension and a significantly better build quality (IMHO). XTR is worth paying for on the rear.

  20. #20
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by javna_golina
    You know I do like that about tourists, you're very open minded with bikes and components. I share the same mindset though I haven't really toured, and bike shop employees always give me bemused looks when I describe what kind of bike I want.

    And nun, it seems we do have different definitons of what a light touring bike is, I see why you want the lower gears if you're carrying camping gear
    Yes sorry about the confusion over terms, my fault. I suppose I really mean "light" touring in two ways.

    1) weekend day ride in the country with a saddlebag, climb a few hills and stop a a pub for lunch and a beer.
    so a "randonnee", or a ramble if you can do that on a bike.

    2) an extended tour carrying ultralight camping equimpment and keeeping the load below 30lbs.

  21. #21
    'Mizer Cats are INSANE Mentor58's Avatar
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    I stand corrected. I didn't realize that the XTR was a significant upgrade in features over the XT. I just pulled the tech sheet on it from Shimano, didn't see anything about the adjustable spring tension, but that may just mean that my eyes are tired and I missed it.

    It does look nice however. My only problem with almost all of Shimanos stuff is that most of it is low-normal, and since I use brifters, that would get me all confabulated. I can just imagine my thought process with one bike that shifts backwards from all the rest when I'm hot, tired, and chugging up the endless hill. 'ok, I want to go to a larger cog in back, so it's sweep the brake, no wait... it's click the lever... or which is it ARRRGH'

    I'm wondering if it may not be a good idea to stock up on a couple of high-normal RDs while they are still easy to get.

    Steve W.
    *Surly LHT ... Slow and Steady, *Motobecane Century Pro ... Better than Me
    *Bianchi Volpe ... Well, just 'cuz , Fuji Track SS / Fixie ... Mustache bars and a big grin
    Rans F5
    Easy Racers Tour Easy
    * Now that I'm 'Bent, I will probably unload all but the Fixie.

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