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Old 09-21-03, 08:51 PM   #1
L J Horton
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Dream Touring Bike

I've had a LItespeed Appalachian frame laying around the back room for a couple years. I've finally decided to build it up as a touring bike.
I thought that I would ask you, Fellow Tourers, what sort of equipment and components that you consider absolutely essential for your dream tourer.

I will start you off with a few questions: Suspension fork? Triple? Aero bars? Disc brakes? 7/8/9 or 10 speed?



(There will be no prizes given for the most interesting posts. I intend to use the bike for a cross Canada ride next year.)
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Old 09-21-03, 09:11 PM   #2
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Why would you want a suspension fork on a touring bike? You don't need it and it makes it difficult to install front racks.
My dream touring bike would have Phil Wood hubs and BB, Brooks B17 saddle, drop bars or maybe moustache bars if you want to be eccentric, bar end shifters, cantilever brakes to clear the fenders (Honjo hammered aluminum?),
Front and rear racks from Bruce Gordon or Nitto or Jandd.
Definitely a triple with a high gear of 100 and a low of 20 -some of those mountain passes are steep!
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Old 09-21-03, 09:27 PM   #3
Rich Clark
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Quote:
Originally posted by L J Horton

I will start you off with a few questions: Suspension fork? Triple? Aero bars? Disc brakes? 7/8/9 or 10 speed?
Suspension fork? Not if you're riding mostly on pavement. And if you want front panniers, you'll want a cro-mo fork with low-rider lugs. And you need fender mounts.

Focus on getting the right saddle and getting its position absolutely dialled in before you leave on the tour.

Triple? Absolutely. For loaded touring, climbing is the biggest challenge.

Aeoro bars? Makes mounting your lights and handlebar bag a challenge. But they can be restful, and very useful crossing prairies against headwinds. Personal choice.

Disc brakes? You'd have to modify the frame. And on a touring bike, simpler is better.

I'd go with a 9-speed MTB gruppo, or possibly a road-front/MTB rear hybrid. Range and low ratios for climbing. I think if I were doing it I'd go with bar-end shifters, DiaComp brake levers, an Ultegra triple and an XT rear with a 12-34 cassette.

And find yourself a master wheelbuilder and get your wheels hand-built, with Mavic 520 (or whatever the model number is this year) 36-spoke rims, 15/14 spokes, and at least Ultegra hubs. ANd Continental TopTouring 2000 tires.

RichC
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Old 09-22-03, 01:56 AM   #4
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Originally posted by Rich Clark
Suspension fork? Not if you're riding mostly on pavement. And if you want front panniers, you'll want a cro-mo fork with low-rider lugs. And you need fender mounts.

Focus on getting the right saddle and getting its position absolutely dialled in before you leave on the tour.

Triple? Absolutely. For loaded touring, climbing is the biggest challenge.

Aeoro bars? Makes mounting your lights and handlebar bag a challenge. But they can be restful, and very useful crossing prairies against headwinds. Personal choice.

Disc brakes? You'd have to modify the frame. And on a touring bike, simpler is better.

I'd go with a 9-speed MTB gruppo, or possibly a road-front/MTB rear hybrid. Range and low ratios for climbing. I think if I were doing it I'd go with bar-end shifters, DiaComp brake levers, an Ultegra triple and an XT rear with a 12-34 cassette.

And find yourself a master wheelbuilder and get your wheels hand-built, with Mavic 520 (or whatever the model number is this year) 36-spoke rims, 15/14 spokes, and at least Ultegra hubs. ANd Continental TopTouring 2000 tires.

RichC
All of the above apply to my current frame, except it's a 531c which seems pretty strong so long as you don't overload the back end), it's an 8 speed with Stronglight triple

Hope hubs, handbuilt wheels with straight guage stainless spokes and 520 rims.

My dream for a heavier duty tourer. A custom built Roberts just like my wife's (but without her two tone paint scheme)

By the way "Randonneur "drops are the best drops for touring
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Old 09-23-03, 01:35 PM   #5
L J Horton
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Thanks for your replys. The bike won't have suspension but it will have a Phil Disc brake on the front. It's not really a disc, it's more like a drum. I've been using it for many years on various touring bikes and have always found it reliable. I will, however, put new bearings in it when I build wheels for this new bike. There will be a V-brake on the back.
I may try a Brook's again but I've never been a big fan of leather. Did a five hundred mile tour onetime and my butt was the sorest it's ever been using a leather saddle. Admitedly I wasn't wearing cycling shorts, so that may have been the difference.
I will probably go with a TA road crank (Thanks, Chewa for reminding me about them) because you have many more gear options than with Campy or Shimano; and probably a 12/34 cassette to get over the Cascades. In the past a 12/32 was always enough for hills, but I'm getting longer in the tooth and the 34 may be just the ticket needed for success.
Am currently contemplating a straight bar with Grip Shift. But this is still tentative. I'll get the bike together before winter and try several combinations to see which is more comfortable.
And, of course there will be panniers.
But the thing none of you mentioned is a trailer. I've never used one before, but I've never been out for as long as this ride will take. I'm guessing as much as 10,000 miles and 4 to 6 months. After all, it's not the RAAM. but a tour of exploration.
I'm pretty sure, though, that it won't have fenders. Had them on one tour and me and my stuff got just as wet as if they weren't there. In order for fenders to be effective, I think, they should go almost all the way to the ground if they are to eliminate the water thrown off by the wheels.
Anyway, Thanks to you who responded. Gave me some food for thought and reenforced some things I already knew.


For those who don't know what the RAAM is, it is a Race Across America from the west coast to the east coast and some people do it in 8 days. Some 3000 miles.
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Old 09-24-03, 01:48 AM   #6
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SKS chromoplastic fenders are the best and they work for me. You do need a front mudflap, a feature they used to have, but its easy to rivet some plastic in place. They have a neat safety release on the stays, which has saved my bacon on occasion. You can aslo mount a lamp on the rear of the fender, out of the way of luggage.
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Old 09-24-03, 07:13 AM   #7
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Thanks, Michael, I'll look at them.
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