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  1. #1
    Velocipedist
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    Big Dummy as Touring Frame. Dream Build?

    My LBS speculates that the Big Dummy might be shipping mid April, even if this is not true, I'm stoked. What do you guys think about the Big Dummy as a touring frame? I love the idea of all that extra storage, but am not sure if the Xtra cycle brand panniers are what I need. I'd feel better with panniers that look a bit more water proof.

    I'm a total newb to touring and really don't know where to start. Could you guys give me a run down on the components that are considered standard touring gear?

    I'm a big Brooks fan and would go for one of their saddles. I'd definetly go for a butterfly bar.

    I'd like to minimize the wear on my part, are the Shimano internal gear hubs considered appropriate for touring?

  2. #2
    Velocipedist
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    Sorry, this question is definitely too broad. I know that a lot of my questions can be answered through some snooping around the forums. You guys can just weigh in on the advantages/disadvantages of the Big Dummy as a tourer.

  3. #3
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    From Surly Blog:


    Big Dummy Progress

    It's looking more like August until we'll see the Big Dummy here in stock. Why?

    We originally had one single prototype built before the Interbike tradeshow in October. This bike ended up getting ridden by Dave and myself for about 6-8 weeks before we decided to make some changes. Dave is still putting huge miles on this 1st proto, despite t-boning a car and raking the headtube a few months ago.

    Those changes ended up on the second round of prototypes, which we started riding in January. Having 8 prototypes altogether, there were enough to go around the office so we were all able to give our input on performance, geometry and any other small or large thing that needed changing. As it has turned out, they rode great and exceeded my personal expectations. But there were a few more things, mostly subtle, that we wanted changed.

    So now we're having a third round of prototypes built soon and will likely start riding those around the end of May. It takes this long because there are tooling changes necessary and it simply takes that long to build, paint and ship.

    The most important thing is that when we approve this bike for production, we're 100% positive it's exactly what we want in a longtail cargo bike. We hope it's worth the wait.

    As for color, we still don't know what color it'll be. But barring the unforeseen 4th round of prototypes, these monsters should be in stores around August of this year. Thanks for being patient.

  4. #4
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    I think the BD is a possible touring choice, something very interesting for tourists. I think it's probably too heavy though and too large a gear platform for most uses. I also think that if we were looking at stetching out the standard touring frame, and I think that's a good idea, then there are several steps between M and 4XL we ought to go through first. Any really new product has to stand out while the real changes should probably be a little more incremental.

    For your other questions about general touring gear, look at the verbal and pictorial stickies above.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by telf
    What do you guys think about the Big Dummy as a touring frame?
    For myself I would be more likely to use the Big Dummy as a townie commuter. Also since most touring weight distribution is recommended as 60/40 or 40/60 front to back, I would think the temptation would be to get too much onto the back. A weekend camping trip with the family might be great with it since a 10x10 Sears wall tent, Coleman stove, lawn chairs etc. could be carried...

    There was a blog on 3 guys touring offroad with Xtracycles on their steel MTB's but I don't remember the website - someone else may have that link - I haven't checked it in some months.
    centexwoody
    They're beautiful handsome machines that translate energy into joy.

  6. #6
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    I would love to have one! I personally think it would be the ultimate touring platform. I would make one change. Why not use a 20" BMX wheel for the rear and use a jackshaft between the crank and rear wheel. You could have your RD and cassette on the jackshaft with standard run of chain and then use heavy duty 415 chain for the run between the jackshaft and cog on the rear wheel. Having the small 20" wheel on the rear might allow for a flat cargo area over the rear like a truck bed. Technically, you could have two RD's for even more gearing ratios. One on the jackshaft and another on the rear wheel. Having the jackshaft would also make attaching an assist motor very easy. I can envision Big Dummies hauling stuff around factories and industrial areas. Anyway, I found an article detailing how to fabricate your own Xtracycle from scrap bicycles.
    http://www.instructables.com/id/ECY4...BBBXU?ALLSTEPS

    I have a junk full suspension 20" bike with rear assembly like the one used in the article above, only smaller. Instead of using the BB as an attachment point I am going to keep the rear dropouts open so I can fabricate a jackshaft from an old 3-speed internal hub I have laying about. I am going to machine a cog so it will fit the flange and bolt it to the hub using small screws through the spoke holes. That should let me know if my concept would work.

  7. #7
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    1) What's the budget?
    2) When you say tour, there is lite touring (motels), tent touring for a week or two, and epic touring.
    Which?
    3) How much do you weigh?
    4) You really can't beat a touring bike for touring. Surly makes the LHT, but there are many other choices.
    Same goes for the gearing, I use 27 spd. You could consider the Rohloff hub, but that is seriously expensive.

  8. #8
    Velocipedist
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    n4zou,
    That's an awesome link, thanks. Good thoughts on additional mods.

    Late,
    1. Realistically 1500 US. I'd be interested in a no compromise dream scenario as well.
    2. Occasional light touring with a semi annual 3+ week tour. The same bike for both situations.
    3. Clydesdale. About 200 lbs.
    4. Rohloff is really out of my realistic range.

  9. #9
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    4. Rohloff is really out of my realistic range.

    I was thinking of buying one, and looked at my fav supplier just to find out it had popped another 300 bucks.

  10. #10
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    ok, the budget means we are looking at bikes like the Trek 520 or a Surly. As you will be doing
    lite touring you could also consider a Surly Pacer. It's a copy of a Rivendell. I suggest doing a post
    titled 'Best touring bike under $1500'. You could also look at the old posts.

    I am also a Clydesadle. You want really strong wheels. I don't know about the LHT, but
    the wheels that come with the 520 are marginal for you, IMHO. But your budget would allow for
    getting the dealer to upgrade them at the time of sale. You can get a Surly through your dealer. If the dealer uses the biggest wholesaler, he can get a parts package. Cool thing about that is that the
    package is very flexible, so you have some flexibility in wheel choice. There are some really tough, cheap cyclocross wheels out there. I put one on my sister's bike last year, and have been favorably impressed.

    When you decide, we can help with the details.

  11. #11
    Velocipedist
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    Nice. I'll have to start crunching some numbers.

  12. #12
    Velocipedist
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    Well.... As an impulse buy I broke down and bought the Surly LHT complete. I feel bad not going through an LBS, but there was a $300 price difference. I can't ignore that.

    I know there is another thread on LHT complete stock components, but it got a bit derailed.

    So let's say I've got $500 and a stock LHT. Where do I begin? I have no racks or panniers as of yet.

  13. #13
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    since the bits are all paid for, and not through a dealer, there's no swapping.
    Might as well use them, and replace stuff if and when it breaks. You might want a nicer saddle;
    but you might as well try that one.

    The cheap $25 racks you can get at any bike shop are fine. Most people buy these absurdly heavy and strong racks that weigh many times what my rack weighs. I have been using a Tubus Fly, weighs 12 ounces.

    Panniers basically come in three sizes, small, medium, and I know the sink is in here somewhere.
    You want a good size for a multi day trip, but you don't need anything massive. Most people
    use panniers that are held on with bungee cords, I like some sort of locking mechanism.

    This is what I have been using.
    http://item.express.ebay.com/Sportin...mdZExpressItem

    There are many other choices, look around and see what you like.

    A couple other things I like are inline brake levers and...
    http://www.offthefront.com/sports.ht...ing%20Products

    There are a couple tricks to taping the Grip Shapes on, and the instructions
    that come with them are useless, IMHO. If you get them, I'll get you started.

    A bike computer is very handy when you are trying to figure out where you are.
    GPS is even better, but $$$.... Basically any computer will do fine, just pick one that you like the looks of.
    Last edited by late; 04-09-07 at 05:41 PM.

  14. #14
    Velocipedist
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    I'd never heard of grip shapes before, but they seem like an obivious and effective idea.

    Any thoughts on aerobars?

    Luckily I have a Brooks B17 with maybe about 500-700 miles on. I was planning on switching it over to the new rig.

  15. #15
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    "Any thoughts on aerobars?"

    Well if they truly get you down. But some touring types I see look like they are climbing a lader on those. Keep in mind it's a different position geometry on the bikes actually desinged for those.

  16. #16
    Velocipedist
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    I was more concerned with something I could rest my elbows on to take pressure off my wrists over a long ride. I guess aerobar isn't technically the right term, rather something for comfort. "Comfort Bars".

  17. #17
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    You mean the bars triathletes use like this...
    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5255

    I don't like those. What I have suggested so far is...
    1) a touring bike which will have a reasonably comfy sitting position; and because you are not bent way over, you won't put a ton of pressure on your wrists.
    2) Shaping with Grip Shapes and padding the bar with a couple layers of gel tape.
    One of the reasons I like Ritchey BioMax bars is because they also absorb some shock.
    3) Large-ish tires that will absorb a lot of shock.

    Combine all those and you should be ok without going off a cliff because a gust of wind took you by surprise while on those goofy triathlete bars...
    Last edited by late; 04-10-07 at 03:51 PM.

  18. #18
    Velocipedist
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    Your approach does seem considerably more practical, especially when cliffs are invloved.

  19. #19
    Velocipedist
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    Not to mention, a lot cheaper.

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