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  1. #1
    Senior Member rothenfield1's Avatar
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    Suggestions needed on build

    Help needed; I have been bitten and itís starting to itch. I want to at least start ordering parts for the build of a modern loaded tourer. While Iíve been restoring and riding mostly lugged steel road bikes for some time, itís only been recently the touring bike bug has really bitten.

    Iíve been following these posts trying to glean what the most appropriate components would be. I think Iíve come up with a list of the usual suspects, but there are some blanks in my list so I was hoping to sponge some of your experience and expertise to help fill in the blanks.

    Nothing has been purchased yet and Iím limited to only those manufacturers that I can get a deal on through the shop.

    Hereís the list Iíve been working on so far:

    Frame- Soma Saga (Canít get a deal on LHT right now or it would be in the mix)
    Rims- Mavic A719 or Velocity Dyad 36H
    Hubs- XT
    RD- XT
    Cassette- Deore something, 9spd (Low range, not sure which yet)
    FD- Not sure it matters that much, maybe a 105 or SLX or lower.
    Headset- Cane Creek S3
    Stem- ?
    Bars- Want drop bars, Nitto Randos seem to be the big hit.
    Seatpost- ?
    Saddle- Not that important right now, but am thinking about finally trying a B-17
    Tires- Vittoria Randonneur 700x35c
    Shifters- Barcons, probably Shimano DA
    Crankset- Kinda open on this one, am thinking an MTB would be more appropriate for my purposes, maybe an SLX although Sugino DX600 is appealing.
    Brakes- Not sure yet, Paulís seem to be the best canti choice but Iím open to suggestions.
    BB- Depends on the crank.

    Unless Iíve left something important out, the rest Iíll deal with later.
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Member foodman's Avatar
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    I'll critique your build

    Frame- Soma Saga (Can’t get a deal on LHT right now or it would be in the mix) - good choice
    Rims- Mavic A719 or Velocity Dyad 36H - go for the A319, they are cheap and strong. I have seen many A719's crack at the nipple hole.
    Hubs- XT - Go for a cheap sealed bearing hub like a formula
    RD- XT - find a used one on ebay - the old ones are great
    Cassette- Deore something, 9spd (Low range, not sure which yet) - I would choose a wide range like an 11-34
    FD- Not sure it matters that much, maybe a 105 or SLX or lower. - doesn't matter, get what ever you can find
    Headset- Cane Creek S3
    Stem- ? - try a bunch and make sure you get the right fit (the most important on a tourer imo)
    Bars- Want drop bars, Nitto Randos seem to be the big hit.
    Seatpost- ?
    Saddle- Not that important right now, but am thinking about finally trying a B-17 - great saddle, but make sure to allow enough time to break in
    Tires- Vittoria Randonneur 700x35c
    Shifters- Barcons, probably Shimano DA - I personally like old 9spd shimano STi's - I have ultegra on mine and love em
    Crankset- Kinda open on this one, am thinking an MTB would be more appropriate for my purposes, maybe an SLX although Sugino DX600 is appealing.
    Brakes- Not sure yet, Paul’s seem to be the best canti choice but I’m open to suggestions.
    BB- Depends on the crank.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    103mm bottom bracket (Harris Cyclery-- it is the shortest you can get) and Sugino DX 500 (44/32/22) work well with Tiagra FD and STI shifters. Sets up with a real nice chainline. I've used the combination on a LHT and a Biachi Volpe, both with 68mm bottom bracket shells.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rothenfield1's Avatar
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    Thank you very much for both of your responses. Thatís exactly the sort of critique I was hoping for. Your responses had me thinking of more questions.

    Frame- Saga. Thank you for agreeing. The big thing for me was that this is a fairly local company and I feel good about buying from businesses that employ people I live near.

    Rims- A319, cheaper & stronger, what more could you ask for.

    Shifters- This ones rather surprising to me. Both responders suggested STI. I have 8spd DA on my favorite old Bianchi & 10spd Ultegra on my Alum road bike. Iíve never had a problem, but thought STI might be to fickle for a touring rig. Iíll have to contemplate that one. Although brifters are more expensive, they replace both barcons and brake levers.

    Crankset- As this goes along, I think this maybe the most difficult choice for a number of reasons.

    BB- Iíve read elsewhere about others wanting to get the shortest BB possible. I think I understand about getting the chainline balanced. But why is an inner chainring as close to the BB tube as possible desirable?

  5. #5
    BeaverTerror Yan's Avatar
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    It gives you a lower q-factor. Check your chain stay clearance first, though I doubt you'll have a problem with a 22 or 24 inner ring. You can use a standard road triple crankset and fit a 24 ring on the inside. This is more expensive than buying a mountain crankset and keeping the stock rings, but the possibility is there. I'm a bar end shifter user. One vote for the Dura Ace bar ends. Mine have survived a number of crashes.
    Yan

    2013 True North custom touring; 2010 Novara Randonee; 2009 Unicycle.com Club 24"; 1989 Miele Tivoli; 1979 Colnago Sport

  6. #6
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    I'm not sure I'd want to start a tour with a brand new saddle. Go with one you know is comfortable or give the Brooks a few hundred miles to break in.
    1988 Miele Azsora

  7. #7
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    I listed my parts list in a thread in the touring forum, post number 12 at:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...up-versus-Road

    On gearing, try to set it up so that you do not have redundant gears and/or big gaps. A lot of people just buy a cassette and a crank because that is what others recommend, but the chainring sizes and cassette should be selected together to get the best range of gearing.

  8. #8
    But wait... I AM the man. NoGaBiker's Avatar
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    Plus 1 for the Brifters. If you're used to them and enjoy them, why not build your touring bike with them. I know all the reasons for not using them (finicky, will break in the middle of nowhere, etc.) and I know that makes sense on paper, but i've never experienced a brifter failure in tens of thousands of miles of day-riding and a few tours. I doubt the brifters know whether they're on a multi-week tour or are just being ridden four days a week from home.

    But even if you don't want to take a chance on it because you'll be in the middle of absolutely nowhere, why not just take a spare pair of DA downtube shifters on the off-chance you have a failure? The brake lever parts are no more likely to fail than stand-alone brake levers, so it's only the shifter mech people are worried about. Seems like an easy fix to me on the off-chance something happens to brifters.

    For me, brifters seem hard-wired to my brain -- I think "maybe I'd like to try the 16 instead of the 14 I'm in" and no sooner does the thought flit across my mind than it has happened. Barcons are an effort, and I'll often just choose not to shift rather than move my hand. Downtubes even moreso, but in my scenario they would be a fix of last resort.
    Stick it to the man.

  9. #9
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    I noticed in the new Nashbar catalog that arrived this week that they have some smokin' deals on Shimano XT MTB cranksets, cassettes and rear derailleurs that would go nicely in a touring bike build.

    I think I read somewhere else that Shimano is introducing a new MTB group (10-speed?) this Fall, so maybe they are starting to close out the current line. In any case, I was thinking that if I were building a bike right now I'd check those out...

    (no connection to Nashbar)...

  10. #10
    Senior Member rothenfield1's Avatar
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    I took my first baby step towards this project today. I ordered a headset. A small but symbolic first move. Cane Creek 100.TR traditional in silver.

    You people have thrown a lot of great stuff at me. One, in particular has gotten me almost turned around. I thought bar-end shifters was a done deal. Now I've started a new thread to determine if STI might be the right choice.

    Also, I need to do more research into understanding the Q-factor. I'm leaning towards a Sugino XD500T 110/74BCD 48-36-24t crank and a 12-32 cassette, but I'm on icy ground until I get a better feel for the chainline implications.

  11. #11
    Senior Member rothenfield1's Avatar
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    I'm starting to narrow down the parts list a bit and started thinking about brakes. I had assumed that they would be some sort of cantilever. However, I've been reading that V brakes are superior in many ways although I see them on very few touring bikes.

  12. #12
    Used to be fast surfjimc's Avatar
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    My build is still in progress, but hopefully by fall it will be done. I started on it last year, but had to set it aside for a long while. Looks like I may be able to get back to it very soon. Here's what I did where you still have questions.

    bars: Nitto Noodles 48cm, but I haven't tried the Randos.

    seat post: Thompson, not that expensive, look nice, infinitely adjustable, indestructible. But just about any seat post will do. It is rare to break one.

    brakes: Paul's I found a set on ebay for about half price

    Shifters: DA bar ends. I love my brifters, but they won't work with my set up. They can also be a problem if you use a large handlebar bag that will block movement or cable routing. There are solutions to the cable routing issues though.

    Saddle: I decided to try a B-17 also

    Front Derailuer: went XT to match the rear. It will be friction shifting.

    Crankset: went with XT, $149 from Wiggle, also got 48-36-26 which is not available in the US.

    Hope that helps. I wasn't too worried about price. Looked for deals, but looked for quality.

  13. #13
    Senior Member rothenfield1's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input surfjimc, I recall reading your stuff on C&V. I'm stuck right now trying to figure out what the Q-factor is all about and why it would be important if I can get a 110 instead of a 130 BB on this bike. I've always been more concerned about the chainline.

    As far as using brifter or barcons, I haven't made up my mind yet. I'd always thought of bar end shifters when I thought of touring bikes. But the idea of using 9 spd Shimano 105s is appealing.

    This is going to take a while. I hope you keep an eye out from time to time to see how I'm doing. I'm thinking about driving up this week to the Somafab shop.

  14. #14
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    Q factor is simply the measure of the width of the crank arms installed, from the outside of the arm at the pedal hole ..... to the other side at the pedal hole. This can vary from the upper 130's to over 180mm. the XD crank is about 165mm(113mm BB) , the XT cranks are about 175mm.

    Some riders can ride anything , some cannot. It can be as much psychological as physical as to weather or not someone likes wide or narrow cranks. Like anything, the only way to know what will work for someone is to try it.

  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rothenfield1 View Post
    Thank you very much for both of your responses. Thatís exactly the sort of critique I was hoping for. Your responses had me thinking of more questions.

    Frame- Saga. Thank you for agreeing. The big thing for me was that this is a fairly local company and I feel good about buying from businesses that employ people I live near.

    Rims- A319, cheaper & stronger, what more could you ask for.

    Shifters- This ones rather surprising to me. Both responders suggested STI. I have 8spd DA on my favorite old Bianchi & 10spd Ultegra on my Alum road bike. Iíve never had a problem, but thought STI might be to fickle for a touring rig. Iíll have to contemplate that one. Although brifters are more expensive, they replace both barcons and brake levers.

    Crankset- As this goes along, I think this maybe the most difficult choice for a number of reasons.

    BB- Iíve read elsewhere about others wanting to get the shortest BB possible. I think I understand about getting the chainline balanced. But why is an inner chainring as close to the BB tube as possible desirable?
    A couple of points:

    Wheels: The A719 aren't nearly as bad as foodman suggests. I've used them for several bikes and never had a problem. Rim cracks are a function of the way the wheel is built, not indicative of the rim. You are okay as far as rims and hubs go but you are missing the most important part of the wheel - the spokes! (Don't feel bad, it's a very common error) The hubs and rims are mostly along for the ride. The spokes do all the heavy lifting when it comes to wheel strength. Your best bet is to use DT Alpine III spokes if you want a wheel that will stand up to most anything.

    Shifters: STI aren't fickle. Not any more so than other shifters, anyway. All shifters require periodic adjustment. Barend shifters just allow you to be lazy for longer. Learn how to adjust your bike and STI will work just fine.

    Cranks: Go with an external bottom bracket, especially Shimano. The Shimano cranks are like a threadless headset...super simple and easy to work on. The chainline is set by spacers on the bottom bracket cups. You can also service the crank in the field if you need to.

    Stems: RaceFace makes good stems for good prices. Salsa also makes good stems for good prices. As long as the length and rise is right, just about anything will work.

    Seatposts: The best post out there is the Race Face two bolt system. One bolt clamps the saddle and the other adjusts tilt. Totally decoupled. Single bolt systems are finicky to adjust tilt and position. The Race Face is dead simple and the EvolveX can be had for very cheap. Salsa also makes a two bolt system but it isn't nearly as nice or easy to use.

    Front derailer: Don't go 105. Don't go with a mountain bike front derailer. Go with a Shimano Tiagra. It is more forgiving for wide range cassettes than the 105. The cage is wider and the outer plate is narrower so you have fewer problems with rubbing.
    Stuart Black
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  16. #16
    Senior Member rothenfield1's Avatar
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    This is a very helpful thread for me that i keep coming back to. I'm trying to pick-off the low hanging fruit while I wait to buy the frame. The condition that my wife set was that I'd have to sell one of my bikes to finance this one. It's on Craigs and I'm waiting.

    While I'm waiting: I can get Velocity Dyad rims for a third less than Mavic A719s. Are the 719s worth the extra dough?

  17. #17
    Senior Member rothenfield1's Avatar
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    Also, I'm seriously considering linear pull brakes instead of cantis. Any comments?

  18. #18
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rothenfield1 View Post
    This is a very helpful thread for me that i keep coming back to. I'm trying to pick-off the low hanging fruit while I wait to buy the frame. The condition that my wife set was that I'd have to sell one of my bikes to finance this one. It's on Craigs and I'm waiting.

    While I'm waiting: I can get Velocity Dyad rims for a third less than Mavic A719s. Are the 719s worth the extra dough?
    I've never owned Velocity rims (waiting for my first pair this weekend) but I've heard good things about them. They have a slightly smaller effective rim diameter than the Mavics so the spokes are shorter. That makes for a slightly stronger wheel.

    For the rear wheel, going to a Velocity Aerohead OC would be the best bet. The off-center drilling makes for a much stronger wheel with less dish. Dishing the wheel is what causes some of the problems with spoke breakage.

    Quote Originally Posted by rothenfield1 View Post
    Also, I'm seriously considering linear pull brakes instead of cantis. Any comments?
    Since you are using barends, V-brakes shouldn't be a problem. Properly adjusted cantilever brakes are every bit as effective as v-brakes. Proper adjustment is the issue however. Cantilevers are a bit more futzy to set up. They do have the advantage of having fewer issues with rack mounting however.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  19. #19
    Senior Member rothenfield1's Avatar
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    I can see now that sacrifices will have to be made to get this show on the road. My Italian lugged is not selling. What I'm looking for now is above adequate, but not excellent.

    Wheelset: Dyad 36H laced to XT M760 hubs. (Looking for a spoke that is strong, but not as expensive as the Alpine III)

    Shifters: I was beginning to get turned around about using brifter, but the cost is well over that of barcons and levers.

    Brakes: Still looking at linear pulls but concerned about rack clearance issues.

    Cranks: Still looking at Sugino XD 500T & IRD QB75 BB.

    Other: This is the most complicated bike I have ever had to consider. Every component seems to have its' unique issues.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    The purpose of using a short bottom bracket wtih a mountain bike crank is to keep the same chainline as the road crank had-- about 45-47mm.

    This is how I set up this LHT. the 103mm BB, DX500 crank (44/32/22), Tialgra FD, Shamano LX RD, XT 11-34 rear cassette and Tiagra brifters. I still have a few things to do, but it is almost done. I only have about 150 miles on this so far, but I put several thousand on a Volpe with the same set up. Wheels are Dyads, 36 spoke, XT hubs. Brakes are Cane Creek Canti's.

    I also agonized over every part, but am pleased with the results.

  21. #21
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rothenfield1 View Post
    Wheelset: Dyad 36H laced to XT M760 hubs. (Looking for a spoke that is strong, but not as expensive as the Alpine III)

    Shifters: I was beginning to get turned around about using brifter, but the cost is well over that of barcons and levers.

    Brakes: Still looking at linear pulls but concerned about rack clearance issues.

    Cranks: Still looking at Sugino XD 500T & IRD QB75 BB.

    Other: This is the most complicated bike I have ever had to consider. Every component seems to have its' unique issues.
    A couple of points:

    Alpine III might be a little more expensive but they more than make up for it in durability. I use them for touring, commuting (which is harder on equipment than tour) and mountain biking (way harder on equipment). I just don't worry about broken spokes anymore.

    Cranks. You can get a Deore external bottom bracket trekking (48/36/26) crank for $90 from Chainreaction as well as other places. That's less than the Sugino and it's a much better, i.e. easier to install, crank than the Sugino for much less. You can also run a 22 tooth inner chainwheel which gives you a much lower gear than the Sugino. It can only go down to 24 teeth.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  22. #22
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    OK, going against the current .. Internal oil bath geared Rohloff Hub, you can cope with the Grip shifter a number of ways ,
    My example for this discussion, putting 2 stems on the same threadless steerer tubes lets you mount your handlebar bag mount on a lower one,
    and by buying a plain type 1" (25.4 or 26.0 mm depending on the stem you buy)aluminum seat post and cutting off the top portion,
    You can solidly mount the grip shifter on the 7/8" 22.2mm upper portion of that seat post.

    16t Hub cog and a 38t or 39t chainring is a good touring range ..

    retrofit kit has a torque transfer arm that attaches to the left chainstay , External shift box is quite Durable , and uses covered cable housing the entire length ..

    default gear shifter is an 8mm wrench on the External gear shift mech with the 2 cable box off, in the yunlikely event one of the 2 cables fail.

    Internal shift involves a 3rd cable to rotate the gear sequencer, that cable would be the weak link.

  23. #23
    Flying Under the Radar X-LinkedRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rothenfield1 View Post
    Also, I'm seriously considering linear pull brakes instead of cantis. Any comments?
    If you click on my Giant FCR3 link below it will show you my setup. I have changed a couple of things but nothing major. I chose Shimano Bar Ends for the mere fact that the total shifting/braking setup was about 1/5th the price of a brifter setup. Plus, this allowed me to still use regular vbrakes with the Tektro RL 520 long Pull levers. Most brifters require the use of some short pull braking system (i.e. Road Caliper or Short pull Cantilever)

    Personally, I find adjusting the Bar ends and the V-brakes a crap load easier than my brifters/Calipers. I also found, that while having a Center or HB mounted storage bag for touring, that shifting down due to the brifters shifting (inwards) I had trouble if the bag is full.

    Don't get me wrong, brifters are AWESOME, no doubt about it. There were just too many pro's for the Bar Ends for me to go with any other choice.

    +1 on the Wide range of gears. You don't wanna be stuck going down hill on a long stretch on the road, with a fully loaded bike and not be able to pedal fast enough to keep up. I believe I use an 11x28 in the back and 30-42-52 Crankset. I am able to pedal fast and steady and have no problems spinning uphill with God Knows way too much stuff while keeping gears for downhill sections and level stretches..
    12' SuperiorLite SL Pro w/ Sram Rival | 10' SuperiorLite SL Club w/ Sram Force | 06' Giant FCR (Dropbar) w/ Shimano 5700 | 10' GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc

  24. #24
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    I'm currently getting another set of Mavic A719(previous were T519,same thing) custom built. The Dyads looked appealing, but I guess I'm old school ... I like double eyelets. My opinion on the Dyads is they are very good rims ,perfectly capable, but the A719's are just a step above. The welded joint makes for an awesome braking surface. 11 years with my T519's and they areas good as the day I got them.

    I wouldn't let the cost of the rims decide for you. Get what you really want.

  25. #25
    Senior Member rothenfield1's Avatar
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    I’m starting to get some serious inquiries about the sale of my vintage Italian bike so I’m hoping to buy some parts soon. To be honest, I’m having builders block (Sorta like writers block). As much as I’ve tried, I can’t get excited about building a Soma Saga. It’s the right bike at the right time at the right price for me, and Somafab is a local company, which means a lot to me. So, why can’t I get excited about building this bike? I have sought out every image of a Saga build that I could, and they all look pretty much the same to me. Being a contrarian, I instinctively want to do the opposite. But, I can’t get an image in my mind of a better build then this one of silver components, brown saddle and tape.
    http://wekeepgoing.com/blog/wp-conte...0/IMG_2965.JPG
    So’ I’m still wanting to build a modern loaded touring bike; however, the frameset may be one of the last things I settle on.
    The only part I’ve committed to so far is the headset. Is it possible to build a bike around a headset?

    I also have a short list of the parts I’d buy today if I had the money:
    Rims- Velocity Dyad 36H
    Hubs- XT
    RD- XT
    FD- Tiagra
    Saddle- B17
    Tires- Vittoria Rando Pro 700x35c
    Shifters- DA 9x3 Bar End
    As a side note, does anyone have an opinion about the new LX trekking crankset and know why it’s not being sold stateside?

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