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  1. #1
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    My first touring build - would love some advice and insight

    Hi Folks,

    My first "real" bicycle was a Lotus Odyssey...which I absolutely loved. As a teen I'd go camping from it and I've been looking for the right touring bike to come around for the past few months. It finally happened on the C and V sales section:















    I'd like to finish up with a sportier touring build, maybe something more in the randonneur spirit and was hoping for suggestions for what racks to use and what kind of bags I want to end up with. I'm a little concerned about using rear panniers because I have large feet and have had issues with clearance using panniers in the past.

  2. #2
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    The Tubus Logo has the bags hanging further back than most racks do - I used it on an MTB touring conversion with short-ish chainstays, and it minimized the heelstrike problems. It is extremely sturdy (rated load 40kg), heavy (630g) , and pricey ($130), so it may not be exactly what you want for this bike.

  3. #3
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    Congrats on the nice frame. I saw the ad for those pop up -- looks like a wonderful frame and a wonderful deal.

    For lighter than fully loaded, the stuff that Velo Orange markets looks pretty interesting. I personally like the Carradice bags. Very cool. The bags VO sells look nice, too.

  4. #4
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    How are the racks that VO sells? Is there a reason I'd want steel rather than aluminum? I saw a titanium rack but it was a fortune...and I don't see the point of gram counting when I'm going to be using bags.

    How do the fenders VO sells compare to hondo fenders?

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    Some local bike shops will let you test panniers, if only on a trainer. If it ever gets to the point where we seriously need a second set of panniers so my partner can ride fully loaded, we'd probably work with our local shop on finding ones that suit him. REI's return policy is something I don't like to take major advantage of. But if you don't have a shop that will work with you, buying through REI might work out better. (I've spent a lot of years as a retail wage slave, so I try really hard to not buy unless I'm very sure the item isn't coming back) REI panniers won't be elegant looking, but they tend to stock a pretty good range of sizes, and they have a pretty good choice between pocket heaven and great bloody sacks.

    Nun and Bekologist have very useful lightweight gear selections. Nun's kit can pack into a handlebar bag and saddlebag, and is (obviously) very carefully tuned towards his taste. Absolutely no heel strike issues with his method. Bekologist leans a bit differently, and tends to go with two panniers. I've found their *thinking* on how to lighten things up and where to lighten things up very useful as I start collecting bits to add weight so I can tour a little. (oddly enough, your ability to tour is a bit limited when you don't own a sleeping bag and aren't allowed to run away from home with the household's one precious wool blanket . therefore, must add weight.)

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    what a nice looking frame, what's the tire size? I like the aesthetics of the narrow rear racks which bring panniers inboard a couple inches, presently have a black axiom streamliner on a CrossCheck.

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    Why not look at the KM Traveler complete and see how they put that together? I built my LHT based on the KM World Traveler. King 36h Hubs, Mavic EX 721 rims, full XT, I went with Paul brakes, Dura Ace thumb shifters on Paul Thumbies, King headset, Race Face MTB bars. This is a beautiful bike and I'm sure the original spec on the Traveler is just as good. Granted some of the parts I used are on the high end side but if you went with all XT I'm sure you wouldn't be disappointed. I would have bought a World Traveler except it has an aluminum frame which I didn't want. Enjoy your build, I had allot of fun putting my bike together.

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    Just want to say that is an awesome frame.

    as far as racks go, tubus are hard to beat. the stainless stuff is really classy looking.....

    the VO fenders are really good (as good as honjos) but many of their other products (bags, leather goods, racks) are either poorly finished (in my opinion) or too heavy. That frame deserves a very high function AND beautiful build.

    If you do get the VO fenders, the only weak point is the single mounting bolt for the stay on the fender itself... If you buy 4 extra r clamps, you can use these to mount the stays to the fender at two points, which will last much longer (its the way the french constructeurs did it).

    sweet frame. Personally, I would get a nice front lowrider rack like a tubus duo with 2 good sized panniers, and a large saddlebag . I use carradice super C stuff, and have only good things to day about the quality and durability.

  9. #9
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    Congrats OP.. That frame is gorgeous!
    Save 15% on your first order at Hammer Nutrition!!

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  10. #10
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    Sweet bike!

    Looks like you have 45cm chainstays (regular road bikes usually have 40cm chainstays). That extra 5cm helps the heel strike issue a lot.

    You can't go wrong with Tubus if it's in the budget. There's not an awful lot wrong with aluminum though. You can get a plenty strong aluminum rack for any load that you would care to carry. For price/performance, I'd look at the Topeak Supertourist DX. Capacity of 55 lbs and it gets your load way back. The black finish will get dinged up, but that won't matter so much when you have bags on.

  11. #11
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Thanks for the compliments gang...I can't WAIT to build this. The original build is not even close to what I want to do with this...it was an exepdition build with straight bars. I want to go with drops, STI and something approaching more of a randonneur/light touring build. It sounds like I'll be checking out carradice.

  12. #12
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    I find that Nitto Noodle bars and Tecnomic stems are very comfortable, but a comfortable handlebar shape, height and reach , for one person might not be suitable for another. I guess the only way to find out is to try them on a long ride.

    Nitto also makes some nice cro-mo racks. With that frame, I'd buy the best, even if I couldn't afford it.

    By the way, if you find that the frame doesn't fit let me know as it's just my size.

  13. #13
    Senior Member blaise_f's Avatar
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    A main reason people opt for steel racks over aluminum is the ability to repair nearly anywhere in the world. Granted, Tubus racks are tubular steel (making them slightly more difficult to weld than solid rod), steel is easier to weld.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member KDC1956's Avatar
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    Where could I get a frame like that at.I would love to build my self one.Can you tell me where you got it at or where I could get the frame at.Thanks
    You are going to enjoy that bike for sure.I f I may ask what did that frame run you.

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    A couple of caveats with the idea of welding your rack: stainless steel requires inert gas welding methods such as TIG welding. And I'd probably trust a field-welded rack about as much as a rack that is held together with zip ties and chewing gum (that is, only as long as it takes to get to civilization and buy a new rack).

    Of course, steel racks generally are much stronger than aluminum racks and are therefore less likely to require any sort of field repair. This is not to say that aluminum racks can't be as strong as steel racks, just that they generally aren't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
    Thanks for the compliments gang...I can't WAIT to build this. The original build is not even close to what I want to do with this...it was an exepdition build with straight bars. I want to go with drops, STI and something approaching more of a randonneur/light touring build. It sounds like I'll be checking out carradice.
    Unless you want to support your locals you can buy Carradice bags from Wiggle,UK. I bought my bags from them for less than half the price of any USA supplier and the shipping was free cause i spent over a certain amount with them. It arrived here in Canada in 7 days.

  17. #17
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Iron...I'll let you know, but it should fit pretty well. I have a set of Modollo stem and bars I'm going to try...they were initially tasted towards a different build, but I think they'll fit this application.

  18. #18
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    KD...I bought it from the classic and vintage classified section from a member. After shipping about $330.

  19. #19
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    ddez...thanks for the tip!

    So here's where things stand:

    I'm buying a used donor bike with a 105 triple group on it, 9 speed. Obviously price is a factor and this gives me everything for a decent amount. I strongly considered buying a Fuji Cross Pro on blowout sale from Performance ($1200) and using that as the donor...but it just seemed like a lot of money to lay out. I would have preferred compact, but you can't always get what you want. I'm putting on a pair of used shimano xt cantis and eventually would like to switch over to purple pauls, I just don't want to lay out that kind of cash yet.

    I work full time so I think I'm unlikely to get more than a week touring...leading me to think smaller and light is probably the way to go. I was thinking of doing a tubus titanium front rack and the velo orange small rear rack. I'd be splurging on the ti front, but I don't want to be a total cheap skate.

    The only thing I haven't decided on is the lighting. The frame has a braze on for a generator behind the seat tube, so I was thinking of going that route. I'm also considering portable LEDs based on weight and no friction and have toyed around with a dynohub idea. Any insight is welcome.

  20. #20
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    KonAaron,
    I have absolutely nothing helpfull to add here but I just had to chime in and tell ya, That my freind is one nice frame! Hope ya have a lifetime of fun with it when its finished.

  21. #21
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    johnce...thanks so much for the well wishes! I'm so excited about this build. I'm selling my Colnago gilco tubing master olympic and a c-record group with 1st gen ergo shifting to fund it.

    I actually found a possibly better deal on the donor bike...anyone here from 92647 want to check out a bike for me and possibly ship it? I'd of course pay for everything!

  22. #22
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    Are the generator braze ons designed for the Sanyo or Soubitez type that run on the center of the tire tread? These were more efficient than the type that ran on the sidewalls when they introduced, but seem to have been eclipsed by battery lights. I've always had a generator, and it is useful, especially if you don't get where you planned to in time, or you go into town at night to eat or have a beer. I've never used a hub generator, and I read they have almost no resistance, but unless you plan to ride all night, are they worth the cost?

    Peter White at www.peterwhitecycles.com has a lot of info on lighting systems.

  23. #23
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    IMO, bottle generators are fine for night riding. The problem I have with mine is I primarily want lights for fog and rain... and if the tire is wet, bottle generators do not work well at all. I need to put a lot more miles on my wheels so I can wear one out and justify a hub generator!

  24. #24
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    dynamo lighting is great in the post LED world, and a bottle will be good for occasional use. I would look at the busch and muller dymotec 6 with a wire wheel for the wet season where you live. Dont be tempted by cheaper but crappy bottle dynamos from other brands, they arent worth the investment. BM dynamos work well even in snow with the wire wheel, and I used one for years. Now I have a SON hub, and it is far better, but obviously at 4-5 times the price. I use my bike to commute after dark and ride around town, not just for touring, so for me, the investment is worth it.

  25. #25
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    Gorgeous frame, and you almost stole it at that price. Do give the Nitto CroMo racks a look. Mine is very sturdy and well designed, and the craftsmanship is of the caliber your new bike deserves.

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