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  1. #1
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    Building a tourer, beginners questions!

    Hi there. I am in the progress of building a tourer, or you can say that I am in the planing stage of building one. At once as i started thinking about it I realised that I dont really know crap about it.

    Here is the questions:

    1. How do I determine my appropriate frame size? I am 178cm if that helps.

    2. Should I go for the LX or XT gear system? I have heard that the xtr is so light that it's to fragile. Does that apply to XT to some extent too?

    3. Anyone know's where to look for frames or could help me find one? I really suck at ebay. I prefer steel of course. I really need a sturdy one as I would be biking at alot of bad roads and such

    4. One other option I was thinking about was that I buy a mountainbike with 26'' wheels and refitt it to a tourer.

    Im just having problems finding one with the appropriate measurements so that I can weld on mounts for the racks without hiting them with my feet when I pedal. Anyone have any suggestions on what to buy? My buget is at about 1200$ for a new bike and then alot more to equip it but I'd rather just find a frame as I would have to replace all the wheels and such anyway.

    More questions is to come I am sure, would be thankfull for your help.

  2. #2
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    Try to find a high end steel Mountainbike from the eighties, mine is a Kuwahara Tornado with full XT from 87-88. Cost me 15 $ at a fleamarket, then another 650$ to get it roadworthy as a touring bicycle.
    I would go for a touring bike from the eighties if I could find one, but here in Norway they are very rare.
    Old MTB's often have double eyelets at the fork dropouts, and very long chainstays so mounting carriers for lowriders and rear bags is not a problem at all. I have dropbars on mine and find that comfortable.

  3. #3
    Senior Member erikasberg's Avatar
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    Since I know you´re Swedish I can recommend you to have a look at this site.
    http://www.cykelnetto.com/shop/ Look under Mountainbike and then Stålramar and then at the Marin Bear Valley. It´s steel, it´s gotten great reviews, it has eyelets for mounting racks and it comes at a very reasonable price! You would need to get front and rear racks, fenders and panniers so that´s perhaps another 2500-3000 SEK, but that still puts you way below your budget. For the extra cash maybe indulge in a nice touringbar (nitto) and a Brooks saddle. That´s what I´d do if I was looking to do some rougher touring.
    Lycka till!
    /Erik

  4. #4
    Senior Member erikasberg's Avatar
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    Oh, and you would probably need a 17" frame, although it´s almost impossible to know without actually riding the bike. Then again you can always make adjustments by moving/replacing the saddle and stem.

  5. #5
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    I found this one that I think I could get for a very nice price, http://cgi.ebay.com/SPECIALIZED-ROCK...QQcmdZViewItem

    It has full deore LX and some more, what do you think? Would it be appropriate to build on

  6. #6
    Senior Member erikasberg's Avatar
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    I´m sure it would be fine, however, it is an old bike and you would probably have to replace at lot of parts i.e chain, casette, headset, cables, wheels etc. Additionaly, shipping to Sweden could easily run 100 dollars. Plus, I´m not so sure that it´ll go all that cheap. It´s a classic bike that I think a lot of people would be interested in..
    Unless you´re willing to go through a lot of hassle, I would seriously consider the one I mentioned earlier in the thread. All the parts on it are touring-ready, plus it´s a new bike with warrantee etc.
    /Erik

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikasberg
    at the Marin Bear Valley. Itīs steel, itīs gotten great reviews, it has eyelets for mounting racks and it comes at a very reasonable price!
    /Erik
    Could I trust these wheels? Im kinda fixed on mavic's double wall rim's with steel spokes. Also would it be such a good idea to tour with quick lock fastners for the wheels? It feels like those would break after removing the wheels for the 30'th time.

    Doublereduced is it the same thing as double butted? The ''bear valley Ltd'' version seems better in the sence that it has a fixed fork instead of suspension but it didnt have the same stuff as the non ltd version. I would still replace the deore with deore XT and a hollowtech crank.

    What do you think about the thorn bicycles?

  8. #8
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    I have never seen a Thorn bike in person, but they seem very well made and if you have the money treat yourself to one. I think a better place to look for a used suitable bicycle rather than the US Ebay could be English or German Ebay. Mercian, Dawes, Holdsworth have made wonderful touring bikes for a long time.

  9. #9
    Tuck Fexas SoonerLater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweden_354
    3. Anyone know's where to look for frames or could help me find one? I really suck at ebay. I prefer steel of course. I really need a sturdy one as I would be biking at alot of bad roads and such.
    You may want to read this thread, in which I asked for recommendations for a frame with touring-ready eyelets and compact geometry (a/k/a sloping top tube). My needs and yours may be different, but you'll probably find some useful information there.

    FWIW... I urge you to look at the SOMA frames -- if you can get one where you are for a reasonable price. The SOMA "Double Cross" frame is billed as cyclocross frame, but it's high quality (not hi-tens ) steel and has all the eyelets and brazeons you would need for touring. My LBS will get me a DoubleCross and fork for $395 including shipping and handling, which is about $100 less than MSRP of frame $375.99 + fork $119.99 (at least in the US).

  10. #10
    RIP Gonzo So Cal commuter's Avatar
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    Look at the Surly LHT. You will hear nothing but good things, and you build it from the ground up after that. You probabally can keep it under 1200 prestty easily.
    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." -HST

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by So Cal commuter
    Look at the Surly LHT. You will hear nothing but good things, and you build it from the ground up after that. You probabally can keep it under 1200 prestty easily.
    What are the average pricing for the surly lht frame?

    Also advice on where I can find equipment for good pricing? I need it tent and everything that follows although I will pack as light as possible.
    Last edited by sweden_354; 10-17-06 at 12:58 PM.

  12. #12
    Tweaker-Tinkerer Lotum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweden_354
    What are the average pricing for the surly lht frame?
    The LHT frame is available from many sources in Europe (I'm assuming that you're in Sweden). Here are are two examples:

    (1) SEK4140 at www.cyclecomponents.com
    (2) EUR405 (+ EUR16 for shipping to Sweden) at www.bike-components.de

    Quote Originally Posted by sweden_354
    How do I determine my appropriate frame size? I am 178cm if that helps.
    The 56-cm LHT frame is probably right for you.
    "There is nothing, nothing, nothing wrong with spending money on a bike."--Richard Ballantine

  13. #13
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    "Also would it be such a good idea to tour with quick lock fastners for the wheels? It feels like those would break after removing the wheels for the 30'th time."

    I would imagine the majority of wheels on touring bikes have skewers and quick releases on them. So I;m sure they are fine. On the other hand hollow axles, particularly if they aren't hardened, are a little weaker than solid axles, though less than one might imagine, and the skewers aren't any too strong themselves. When I hit the open road, my objective is hubs with hardened axles like the Phil or Hugli, or solid axles. When out touring I am always carrying some tools so quick releases aren't any more convenient, when fixing a flat or getting a bike ready for the train. Sometimes the bolt on axles are easier to handle because they spind on and off faster, and don't get tangled in the racks and funders. However solid axle hubs can be too wide to drop free of some low riders, so you need to plan the whole package.

    Here are some skewers I prefer, I haven't tried the Nashbar ones yet, but I have something similar on my bike right now. Also they are neater.

    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...t%3A%20Skewers

    Here is an anvil article on the horizontal forces involved. Personally on a tourer I am more concerned with the vertical forces, but he makes some interesting points.

    http://anvilbikes.com/ Ooops. I couldn't get it to open tonight, but if you check his articles or rants section you can easily find it.

    Here is a picture of the surly hub with solid axle, I'd like to try something like this if I couldn't get a hardened axle. I really don't know if it's any better.

    http://parts.spicercycles.com/page.c...ils&sku=HU0200

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lotum
    The LHT frame is available from many sources in Europe (I'm assuming that you're in Sweden). Here are are two examples:

    (1) SEK4140 at www.cyclecomponents.com
    (2) EUR405 (+ EUR16 for shipping to Sweden) at www.bike-components.de


    The 56-cm LHT frame is probably right for you.
    Thanks for the price tag.

    I will probably go for the 54cm anyhow and compensate it as good as it gets. The surly frame only offered 26'' wheels up to 54cm.

    My figured set up so far, please help me correct if you think anything other would be more appropriate:

    Surly LHT 54cm frame (cr-mo steel)
    Surly LHT steel racks (30kg max load each)
    Shimano, BB-M952 (XTR) octalink BB / SKF 600 series BB
    FSA front bearing, Orbit X , 1 1/8''
    Shimano XT 760 rear hub
    Shimano, XT HB-M753 front hub
    Rims: Mavic X618 ceramic 36H or Mavic XC719 silver, I cant decide witch. People say that I need special brake pads for the ceramic?
    DT brass nipples
    DT swizz steel spokes
    Saddle, whatever that fits my bum, maybe a brooks

    Thats how far I have planed, I still havent a clue wich gear system,crankshaft,chain rings and all that to use, please come with suggestions. I need stainless steel ones, preferably ones who can be turn around to get more mileage out of them. Also if they are grooved for the dirt to come off thats a big plus.

    Thanks for your help and keep the suggestions comming
    Last edited by sweden_354; 10-19-06 at 02:27 PM.

  15. #15
    Tuck Fexas SoonerLater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweden_354
    ...The surly frame only offered 26'' wheels up to 54cm.
    If that bothers you -- and I'm not suggesting that it should -- you could go with the Soma frame mentioned above. It's 700c even in your size.

    The Soma is sold in Europe by Sortedcycles (London -- Ģ275 frame only, Ģ360 frame and steel fork) and by Mosquito Bikes (London -- no prices on website). There may be others. This pricing seems like it's competitive with what you'd pay for a Surly LHT in Europe.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoonerLater
    If that bothers you -- and I'm not suggesting that it should -- you could go with the Soma frame mentioned above. It's 700c even in your size.

    The Soma is sold in Europe by Sortedcycles (London -- £275 frame only, £360 frame and steel fork) and by Mosquito Bikes (London -- no prices on website). There may be others. This pricing seems like it's competitive with what you'd pay for a Surly LHT in Europe.
    Thanks for the tips I will look into it but it didn't bother me, I was actually looking for a frame that fitted 26'' wheels

    EDIT: Damn I just read that the LHT frame has a very low BB, I will do some rough touring so I really need a frame that hold up with 26'' wheels, anyone have anymore suggestions?
    Last edited by sweden_354; 10-19-06 at 07:40 PM.

  17. #17
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    I think that for the LHT the BB height off the deck with 700c and 3.1 inch drop and 37mm tires would be 10.6 inches. Seems as though the 26 would be similar since it has a lot less drop, I just happen to have cad open on a 700c wheel right now.

    Anyway, 10.5" is what the Sakkit expedition bikes use, and is not considered low. Of course if you ran larger tires, you would be higher still. So I wouldn't worry about the BB height. I'm not saying it's a trials bike, but it sounds fine for anything you could reasonably do on a rigid bike with paniers. Keep in mind that you may well be running smaller diameter chainwheels than might be typical on a race bike. What size chain wheels do the CX guys usually run?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1
    Anyway, 10.5" is what the Sakkit expedition bikes use, and is not considered low. Of course if you ran larger tires, you would be higher still. So I wouldn't worry about the BB height.
    Okej thanks for saving my plans, will continue to plan on the lht frame. I am currently looking on the BBB cassetes and chain rings but I can't figure out if they are steel or not? They seem like a good option!

    Also wich cranks do you recomend? I need something that is not made out of plastic

  19. #19
    It's as easy as riding a dannwilliams's Avatar
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    Last year I set up my old mountain bike for touring. It is a 1989 GT Timberline rigid steel frame, w 26 inch wheels. The freewheel cassette had some teeth missing so I purchased a new Sun RhinoLite back wheel and SRAM 11-34 cassette, 9 speed chain, and Shimano LX rd. I also found a Deore trigger shifter for it, but the original friction thumb shifter worked as well. I liked the rear wheel enough to buy a matching front a few weeks later. I spent less than $250 on these upgrades. The racks were less than $100 and the fenders were another $20. I purchsed all at LBS, so if scouring for deals on ebay and such, I bet I could have gotten for 50-100 bucks less. It rides and handles great, is an awesome commuter/grocery gettter as well.
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