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  1. #1
    Socrates Johnson AngrySaki's Avatar
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    Replace frame & wheels or get a new bike?

    I currently have a "hybrid" bike set up for touring. The frame & wheels are in bad shape, and i don't trust them that much, so i haven't been riding it very far & riding my recumbent on longer rides.


    I'd like to start riding it more (on long rides), so i need to either 1) fix it up, or 2) get a new bike.

    Both are currently valid options for me, but i don't want to throw money down the toilet, especially since i just bought a new drivetrain & cranks for it this year (before i found out the frame was dying ). I only spent ~300 for the drivetrain though, so if if i buy a new bike and those parts get wasted, i won't mind too much.


    For the frames & wheels option, i've been planning on getting some wheels built, which i'm guessing will cost me ~$450CAD
    And for the frame, i'm looking at getting an Long haul Trucker (~$450CAD), Karate Monkey (~$450CAD), or Turismo Extreme (~$750)
    I like the idea of getting disc brakes, partly because then i'll be able to swap wheels with my recumbent (it has disc brakes), but that's not completely necessary.

    What's making consider getting a new bike is that the frame & wheels will cost me ~$1000, which is a good chunk of a new bike.


    I guess some opinions would be nice, but i've got a couple of more specific questions.

    -I priced out wheels from peterwhitecycles.com & harriscyclery.com, which is where i got the ~$450 price for wheels. How would wheels on a "complete" touring bike compare to these? It's that since i'm paying 1000 already, i could pay 500 more and get a complete bike, but that might not be a valid comparison if the wheel quality is substantially different.

    -Because the Karate Monkey is a mountain frame, how low would i be able to get my drops? I understand that mountain bikes have higher headtubes, but are they so high that an angled stem (downwards) couldn't make up for height. I don't need my bars superlow, but i also don't want them higher than I currently have them.


    Thanks
    Last edited by AngrySaki; 08-29-08 at 08:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member kk4df's Avatar
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    Bottecchia CF frame and fork, Ultegra 6603 crank and FD, DuraAce RD, Easton Vista wheels, Brooks B-17 saddle, Shimano 105 brakes, Michelin Pro2 Race tires
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    I believe the wheel quality of the complete Surly LHT is very decent for touring. XT hubs, DT stainless spokes, and decent quality rim. 36 spoke wheels, both front and rear. I'm not sure what the other Surly complete bikes come with.
    Surly Long Haul Trucker, 54cm
    Bottecchia CF78 55cm frame, Dura-Ace/Ultegra/105 components
    Motobecane Fantom Comp, 20 inch
    RANS V2 Formula recumbent

    Success is a journey, not a destination. Stop running.

  3. #3
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    That isn't all that cheap up here from what I have seen.

    Peter White Wheels would obviously be good. But they aren't necesarry. Wheels are a case of there being nothing all that mysterious about making good ones, any person who is reasonably handy can do it, but a lot of the commercial stuff isn't great. That is where the Peter Whites of the world come in. Presumably he knows a lot of about wheel building and has been doing it long enough that a lot of the people who come to him are also buyers of upper end components. So the combination of good wheel builder and good components, is very good wheels with a solid reputation. But you can rebuild your current wheels just as well or buy some wheels from Urbane in TO and you will get the same result.

    I weigh about 250 (Shocked to find out), and I have a bike that I load at about 350 all out. Apparently the likes of Bruce Gordon wouldn't even touch me as a customer due to my weight because it is well beyond the sweat spot for bike gear, and yet my Urbane wheels have been completly trouble free. If your wheels are say Shimano LX, cross three spokes of decent quality, those parts can and should be laced to a new 40-60 buck rim (size permiting) and deliver the same performance. IF your wheels are already those kind of components, down to the rims, then all they may need is a going over by a good tech. Strong wheels are essentially the result of components assembled from good compatible parts and then final torqued by skilled hands. This final touch can be done by human hands to machine built wheels. If you deal with a shop that does real touring bikes and there are several in southern Ontario, just tell them what you need and let them do it. I think problems can occur when a client tries to lead a shop. A good shop will have worked out a formula that keeps endless cross country kids happy. If you try to force them to build a super wheel with parts they don't normally touch the end result is more in question. You might need someone like Peter White who handles those combos all the time and knows what works. Not to say there aren't guys up here who do that work too.

    As far as frames are concerned, the LHT is a good very basic frame. There is a lot of hype there, but the product can stand it because it does what it should. Your main concern should be whether you can get a decent fit. Study your other options, like the Urbane frame, possibly the Kogswell, and find one that fits you well. If you are a not off the rack proposition you should think long and hard about going off the rack. People roll up endless stock bikes, an enthusiast can buy one every few years, or far more often. It never really goes anywhere since they don't ever break out of the 1K bike mold. I think you are right to look at upgrading your stuff, rather than selling it all and buying a whole new cheapo. To figure out fit, try an oline fit program; figure out what your body type is. Long or short in leg torso proportion is a good start. Then study the frame charts and figure out whether they are long/short in the torso for you size point. Few makers actually keep the proportions through the sizes, or keep the same proportions. Work from there.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    I weigh about 250 (Shocked to find out), and I have a bike that I load at about 350 all out. Apparently the likes of Bruce Gordon wouldn't even touch me as a customer due to my weight because it is well beyond the sweat spot for bike gear, and yet my Urbane wheels have been completly trouble free. .
    Actually that is not true. If someone who weighs 250 pounds contacts me about a frame I will tell them that I feel they need a custom version of my BLT or Rock 'n Road Tour. I use an oversize top tube and seat tube. The custom cost is $250 over the standard frames. I do them quite often. I have had people call in this weight catagory who didn't want to spend the extra $$, in that case I would and have told them that my standard bike would not be appropriate. Perhaps Peterpan1 is one of those people. I have never told someone I would not build them a bike - I just insist on a custom one when I feel that is best.
    Regards,
    Bruce Gordon
    www.bgcycles.com

  5. #5
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    Thanks, that is what I should have said because the thread I gleaned that info from was on the R&R, which goes to show I am not only fat but stupid, to boot. I actually get by on some cheap frame with all 1.125 tubes, but that doesn't mean anyone buying a custom should do that.

    Anyway, my point is that I am grossly at the margins and still manage to not break anything. Even stuff like a cross country tour is only a few thousand miles and many people comute their way through that over and over. Super gear is appropriate to those who need it and do rougher trips or just like it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    Anyway, my point is that I am grossly at the margins and still manage to not break anything. Even stuff like a cross country tour is only a few thousand miles and many people comute their way through that over and over. Super gear is appropriate to those who need it and do rougher trips or just like it.
    My main concern is not breaking things. A very heavy rider on a frame not built for it will often find the bike uncontrollable at the worst possible time. Going downhill at 35 mph with 60 pounds of gear on a flexible frame can cause very negative handling characteristics. That is why a few times I have not built a frame for a heavier rider who would not take my advice and go for the stronger custom frame with oversize tubing.
    People may disagree, but I have been building loaded touring bikes for almost 35 years.
    Regards,
    Bruce Gordon
    www.bgcycles.com

  7. #7
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    Personally (and I am different then everyone else), I would spend a bit more on the wheels and keep the frame, and then down the road get a LHT frame. At least that is what I am going to do, I don't know if it is the best way to do, but it is the way I am going to do it. I think it really depends on where you plan to go, if you are staying in a place that you can get anything (like Canada or Europe, or the US) then you could really tour on any wheel and just a replacement when one dies. If you plan to hit up any "developing" country, I would beef up your wheels. My wheels are A719 mavic rims, with phil woods hubs, ST swiss spokes and Marathon XR tires. They were more then what you want to spend, but they should last a long time and require very little maintence (hence the phil woods hubs).

  8. #8
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    I say get a new bike. Trash the old frame, strip it for parts, and assuming that they are compatible, keep 'em as spares. Chances are you will wear through half the drivetrain in a few thousand miles, and since metal doesn't spoil....

  9. #9
    Socrates Johnson AngrySaki's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I do need to get a new frame more than anything, the rear dropout on my current frame is mangled (a bunch of metal missing) and the wheel rubs the chainstay on one side.

    I called urbane cycle in toronto today, and they seem to offer good wheels for a decent price (around the same as from peterwhite/harris), and they also have an in house touring frame for $350CAD (no disc brakes though).
    Has anybody ever used/seen this frame? (I'm waiting on the specs/geometry)


    edit:
    I also tried comaring frames to see if the geometry would fit on various bikes compared to mine, but i couldn't figure out some measurements. I don't know how to tell how high the top of the headtube is compared to the bottom bracket on most geometry spec pages, which seems to me to be one of the most important measurements.

    Looking at these specs, is the height of the http://www.marinoni.qc.ca/Html/GeometryTurismo.html headtube listed (i might just be missing it/misunderstanding something)
    edit2: i think i figured it out with a bit of trigenometry, but other bike specs seem to have certain measurements missing, which is pretty annoying.
    Last edited by AngrySaki; 08-30-08 at 05:21 PM.

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