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  1. #1
    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    new guy (to the site and to touring)

    Hi all,

    I just wanted to say hi, I am new to bikeforums, joined to get info from those with more experience, also to find others interested in bikes.

    I am building my first "touring" bike this winter, something that will be suitable for loaded riding for weekend trips and maybe if I am up to it, a longer ride at the end of the summer. I am about a month's research into the project and assuming another month + before I turn the first wrench.

    Starting with a hardtail/fixed fork chromo mtb frame & going from there. planning drop bars, sti shifters, new crankset & a few other details. Making sure I learn enough before getting started to do it right the first time around.

    Parts list so far is simple:

    Profile Design H20 quill (100mm/90*)
    Profile Design H20 drop bars
    Sora 7/8 speed shifters (assuming I can find them...)
    Michelin City tires (26x1.4)
    Shimano PD-M324 pedals

    Still need to choose my crankset, my LBS has found a few that seem to be in the gear range I am shooting for (48/36/26) My rear is currently a 14-28 7 speed, no specific plans to change that out yet.
    Down the road, I will start looking at a saddle upgrade & racks, in the meantime my priority is getting the bike rideable!

    Any input or feedback is welcome, otherwise I am just thinking out loud

  2. #2
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    Here's my parts list. Went overboard on some of the components, but it's one way to do it.

    Frame, Nashbar Touring Frame
    Fork, 4130 Cr-Mo, 300mm steer tube

    Headset, Cane Creek S-3, 1 1/8" threadless
    Front cable hanger w/adjusting barrel, Tektro 1 1/8" black aluminum
    Spacers, six 5mm, black aluminum
    Stem, Easton EA70, 100mm long, +/- 6 Deg, 31.8mm clamp
    Handlebar, Easton EA30, 31.8mm diameter, 44cm wide
    Brake levers, Cane Creek SCR-5, black
    Bar-end shifters, Shimano Dura Ace 9sp

    Cassette, Shimano M580, 11X34
    Front wheel, Handspun 700c Deore XT M770 Silver 36h hub, Velocity Synergy Silver rim
    Rear wheel, Handspun 700c Deore XT M770 Silver 36h hub, Velocity Synergy OCR Silver rim
    Rim tape, Velox 16mm, two rolls
    Tires, two Panaracer T-Serv, 700X32, Black
    Tubes, two 700x28-32 Presta

    Crankset, Shimano Deore XT FC-M771 Hollowtech II with bottom bracket, 26/36/48 175 mm
    Front derailleur, Shimano Deore XT FD-M770 31.8/34.9 mm
    Rear derailleur, Shimano Deore XT RD-M770-SGS
    Cable kit, Jagwire Hyper complete brake & derailleur, black
    Chain, Shimano HG93

    Brakes, two Avid Shorty 4 cantilever sets, black
    Rear brake hanger, Surly stainless steel
    Seatpost clamp, Surly stainless steel, 31.8mm
    Seatpost, Ritchey Comp
    Saddle, Brooks B17 Special, black

    Ribbon, Cinelli cork, black
    Pedal set, Shimano M520L, black

  3. #3
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    Presuming that you have V brakes on the mountain bike, and that you're keeping those, you might need
    Problem Solvers Travel Agent adapters so that they work with the road brakes. If it's an older model with cantis, they should work fine with the Soras.

  4. #4
    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    how do you like that Nashbar frame? Did you get the older Chromo frame or the new aluminum frame? I had looked at it as an option but the dimensions are virtually the same as my old mtb, except for a *slight* difference on the chainstay. I figured I'll save the 150 bucks for now and ride on a steel frame but might end up changing it out next winter, we'll see...

  5. #5
    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ploeg View Post
    Presuming that you have V brakes on the mountain bike, and that you're keeping those, you might need
    Problem Solvers Travel Agent adapters so that they work with the road brakes. If it's an older model with cantis, they should work fine with the Soras.
    they are the v's, it's a 1997 model Schwinn.

    it just so happens that my lbs guy was talking to me about those adapters tonight. one more thing to add to the list... that's okay, most of my research was suggesting that more than likely, i would need the adapters.

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    Oh, yeah, then you need racks and panniers. It's nice to have some real fenders too for whan it rains. (I have SKS fenders, but I've heard that they're more ideal for 700c wheels than for 26").

  7. #7
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    I like my Nashbar Touring Frame OK. I have one of the last NTFs with the monster CrMo fork. The current NTF comes with an aluminum fork. Aluminum frames are fine, but I like them with CrMo forks. I have 875 miles on it so far. The Brooks saddle and 32mm tires are nice and comfy. The top tube is nice and long, and the wheelbase is 110cm, 10cm longer than my Trek road bike.

  8. #8
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I would recommend a 24 tooth granny, if not a 22. In my opinion, you can't have too low of a gear ratio for loaded touring, but you certainly can have too high of one. I climbed the North Cascades Highway with a loaded Bob trailer. I was constantly searching for a lower gear and I didn't have one. It was an unpleasant ride, and my knees started acting up. I'd gladly sacrifice top-end speed to avoid a similar experience in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CNY James View Post
    they are the v's, it's a 1997 model Schwinn.

    it just so happens that my lbs guy was talking to me about those adapters tonight. one more thing to add to the list... that's okay, most of my research was suggesting that more than likely, i would need the adapters.
    Travel agents is just one more thing to go wrong.They have a tendancy to brake cables.There are drop bar levers that are designed for v-brakes.Diacomp 287-v and i believe Cane Creek makes a set.Much cleaner look and works much better.

  10. #10
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    My 2 cents.

    You've got an old bike so in my view it makes no sense to hang alot of expensive components on it.

    STI brifters are expensive and require travel agents for your linear pull brakes. I'd stay with a straight bar (with Cane Creek bar ends) and use mountain components or get an H-bar (Hitec) that has more hand positions - which also takes mountain components. If you gotta have the drop bars, bar end shifters would be far cheaper and more robust than the Sora brifters.

    I have drops, brifters, 46/36/24, and road discs on my road tourer and an H-bar, mountain brifters, 44/32/22, and mountain discs on my mountain tourer. With the same 35mm tires, I am just as fast and comfortable riding both bikes. Rarely am I going fast enough (except on steep downhills) to need higher gears, but if my largest cog was 28, I sure I'd be whining for a 22 chain ring.

    In fact if I were to do it over, I think I'd go with the mountain tourer as it is more versatile in that it can be used for off-road touring.

    Instead, invest your money in good quality wheels (36 spokes; brass nipples; Dyad, A719, or Sun Rhyno Lite rims; and xt hubs), good tires (Schwalbe Evolution series), good cro-mo racks (Tubus), and a Brooks saddle. All of this stuff can be transferred easily to another frame if you find the geometry of your current frame unacceptable for touring.

    For bling, get your frame powder coated before you start.

  11. #11
    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    thanks to all for the feedback.

    just a few things to mention, and maybe some more feedback about them?

    when it comes to gearing, I am running 26" vs 700mm rims, which lowers my effective gear ratio. Do you still think I should go with a 22t or 24t vs a 26? I know I wont be riding much in the granny but how low is too low?

    I had considered bar end shifters with seperate brake levers but it actually appears that it will be more expensive, not less - but only by virtue of buying a used set of brifters - something I have to do if i am running a 7/8 speed set up. Seems that 7/8 speed brifters are universally out of stock. (probably because nobody has 7/8 anymore, everybody seems to be running 9/10) between the cost and the thought of having to come off of the hoods to shift, it seems less appealing to me. That said, my father in laws touring bike has bar ends and I am going to try to get a chance to ride his and see how it feels in practice.

    I dont want to come off as the "smarter than you" guy, I came here #1 to get advice from experienced riders but like I said in my OP, I want to make sure I do it right the 1st time & that I am happy enough with the end product that it doesnt end up on craigslist after my first weekender.

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    You're the expert in what you want.

    To turn around your question about gearing, the main drawback of small chainrings is that they generally limit the size of the large chainring, due to capacities of your derailleurs. (Depending on what you have, you might be able to "cheat" a little bit on this, of course, and get a 46 and 20 on the same crank, but I'm assuming Shimano stock here.) Question is, do you need to keep up with anybody when you're riding this bike, and if so, can you spin your current big gear fast enough to do it, bearing in mind that you're carrying a load and the bike won't be the racehorse that some of your other bikes may be?
    Last edited by ploeg; 11-20-09 at 07:21 AM. Reason: Removed sentence fragment (need to remember to proof before posting)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CNY James View Post
    thanks to all for the feedback.

    just a few things to mention, and maybe some more feedback about them?

    when it comes to gearing, I am running 26" vs 700mm rims, which lowers my effective gear ratio. Do you still think I should go with a 22t or 24t vs a 26? I know I wont be riding much in the granny but how low is too low?

    I had considered bar end shifters with seperate brake levers but it actually appears that it will be more expensive, not less - but only by virtue of buying a used set of brifters - something I have to do if i am running a 7/8 speed set up. Seems that 7/8 speed brifters are universally out of stock. (probably because nobody has 7/8 anymore, everybody seems to be running 9/10) between the cost and the thought of having to come off of the hoods to shift, it seems less appealing to me. That said, my father in laws touring bike has bar ends and I am going to try to get a chance to ride his and see how it feels in practice.

    I dont want to come off as the "smarter than you" guy, I came here #1 to get advice from experienced riders but like I said in my OP, I want to make sure I do it right the 1st time & that I am happy enough with the end product that it doesnt end up on craigslist after my first weekender.
    Refreshing attitude for sure. AND you are indeed the expert on what you want.

    IMHO, 19 gear inches is required for paved loaded road touring - especially when you are spinning up seemingly endless mountain passes. 26f/28r gives you 22.7 with 1.5"tires. It is doable, but there will be many times when you'll want the lower gearing. A 24 front ring, still allowing you the 48 big ring, gives you 21 gear inches - an improvement that would be noticeable. A 22 ring would give you 19.2 gear inches with a 28 cog in the back and most suit the average loaded tourer on paved roads. A 20 ring would give you 17.5 gear inches, which would not be considered "too low" as a 22f/34r is 15.5 gear inches. Of course, you may not plan to tour in the mountains, you may prefer the comfort compromises of going ultralite, and you may be of above average fitness.

    Try the bar ends. I have STI's for a reason. But when touring you won't be shifting as often and they are considered the go-to touring set up. Again, personal preference. Keep an open mind abd decide after you've had some experience with them.

    Again, I'd think about staying with the mountain components you have and achieve the hand positions with bar ends or better yet the H-bar.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in.../t-431059.html
    http://www.profile-design.com/titec/...rs-/h-bar.html

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    Gotta have a Crane Suzu lever strike brass bell. It's louder than any other I've used.

    http://www.bikesomewhere.com/bikesom...514/4930/28206

  15. #15
    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ploeg View Post
    Question is, do you need to keep up with anybody when you're riding this bike, and if so, can you spin your current big gear fast enough to do it, bearing in mind that you're carrying a load and the bike won't be the racehorse that some of your other bikes may be?
    I'm not sure to be perfectly truthful. I will probably do a couple of weekenders with my father in law but otherwise, not really sure who - if anybody - I will ride with. When I ride with him (road bikes) he tends to be more leisurely so hanging with him hasnt been a problem. He seems to think that being 30 years apart, I cant outride him in any circumstances, even with skewed gearing but I am not naive enough to believe that my age is any advantage over an extended trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
    Refreshing attitude for sure. AND you are indeed the expert on what you want.

    IMHO, 19 gear inches is required for paved loaded road touring - especially when you are spinning up seemingly endless mountain passes. 26f/28r gives you 22.7 with 1.5"tires. It is doable, but there will be many times when you'll want the lower gearing. A 24 front ring, still allowing you the 48 big ring, gives you 21 gear inches - an improvement that would be noticeable. A 22 ring would give you 19.2 gear inches with a 28 cog in the back and most suit the average loaded tourer on paved roads. A 20 ring would give you 17.5 gear inches, which would not be considered "too low" as a 22f/34r is 15.5 gear inches. Of course, you may not plan to tour in the mountains, you may prefer the comfort compromises of going ultralite, and you may be of above average fitness.

    Try the bar ends. I have STI's for a reason. But when touring you won't be shifting as often and they are considered the go-to touring set up. Again, personal preference. Keep an open mind abd decide after you've had some experience with them.

    Again, I'd think about staying with the mountain components you have and achieve the hand positions with bar ends or better yet the H-bar.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in.../t-431059.html
    http://www.profile-design.com/titec/...rs-/h-bar.html
    Thanks for the tech info, I am taking it all into consideration. I have spent some time reading up on bar-ends and it seems a lot of people use them if for no other reason, for their reliability. I suppose that should be a strong factor considering the use of the bike. also looking at pricing, the difference I am finding is about $20 in favor of the Soras, but again the reliabilty issue... so I dont want to say I am completely decided one way or the other, but considering the bar ends much more than before.

  16. #16
    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    I had a chance to take my father in laws bike out today, i was remarkably pleased with the bar end shifters. I didn't go too far, maybe 1.5 - 2 miles round trip but messed with them a little bit, climbed a few gentle hills, etc. it didnt seem to be a hassle to get off the hoods to shift at all. he has his front set in friction mode and his rear is indexed, both seemed to work plenty well. given that they work with virtually all derailleurs, have a reputation for dependability, will save me the trouble of using adapters for my brakes, and the fact that so many people have recommended them, they have moved to the top of the parts list...

    disassembly on the bike started this morning, by virtue of me not being able to sleep past 5 am... I didnt get too far before my daughter woke up, perhaps going to finish it up this weekend & start ordering parts within the next week or 2.

  17. #17
    weirdo
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    More food for thought:
    Drop bars on an mtb can be groovy (I have that set up on my commuter/tourer and I love it), but don`t always work out for certain rider/bike combinations. If you have extra bars and stem hanging around that you can mock it up with to make sure you can get your bars into a comfortable position before you buy new parts, you might save yourself some money.

    Nobody has yet mentioned butterfly or trekking bars in this thread- that`s another option. They use the same brake levers and shifters as flat bars.

    If your bike currently has V-brakes, you can easilly swap them out for traditional cantis that use the same pull as "road" brake levers (unless you really want the Vs).

    All bar end front shifters are friction- that`s another advantage because they put up with a lot more derailler and ring combos than indexed shifters.

    Road triples will allow you to go as low as 24t, only two teeth more than most 4 arm mtb cranks. If you really want to get as low as possible, 4-arm mtb is the way to go, but the difference isn`t huge on that end. With a road tripple, it`s a little easier to find big gears, but it`s doubtfull you`d be "too low" even with off the shelf mtb cranks.

    Brifters work fine with mtb RDs, but need a "road" front derailler. Usually that doesn`t present a problem because those deraillers should work fine on "mtb" rings- just keep it in mind when you start buying parts. If you`re looking for 7 speed or 8 speed brifters, you might have to look for used stuff- there`s a lot of it out there and not terribly expensive, but like you noticed new examples are pretty hard to come by.

    Have fun with your build!

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