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  1. #1
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    Spec for custom touring frame

    OK, I'm planning on building my first frame in a few months, once I get good enough at brazing, and I intend to build a loaded-tourer, for the simple reason that I want to start touring, but I haven't got a suitable bike. I do, however, have a few questions. Firstly, what braze-ons do I need? I'll have cantilever bosses, pump pegs, mounts for front and rear racks, and several bottle bosses, but is there anything else I'm not thinking of?

    Secondly, I've recently come across Sturmey-Archer drum brakes, I've had a pair on my old Raleigh for a while, and they seem reasonably good. Would they be a good idea for a touring bike, or would I be better off sticking with cantilevers?

    Hope my questions aren't too silly

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Senior Member JeanM's Avatar
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    A little peg inside the seat stay on the drive side to hook up the chain while fixing a flat at the rear, so the chain doesn't drag into the dirt. As many spoke holders as there are different length of spokes on your wheels, usually 3. You'll likely have long bases and so a lot of space behind the seat tube: nice to fit the pump there. Think of disk brakes tabs if you like them. You could just as well build your own racks, why not. If you become really good you could integrate those racks into the design to make them and the bike stiffer while lighter... Think of the way you want to mount your lights.

    Stuff like that, more or less.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeanM View Post
    A little peg inside the seat stay on the drive side to hook up the chain while fixing a flat at the rear, so the chain doesn't drag into the dirt. As many spoke holders as there are different length of spokes on your wheels, usually 3. You'll likely have long bases and so a lot of space behind the seat tube: nice to fit the pump there. Think of disk brakes tabs if you like them. You could just as well build your own racks, why not. If you become really good you could integrate those racks into the design to make them and the bike stiffer while lighter... Think of the way you want to mount your lights.

    Stuff like that, more or less.
    There's a reason that design only lasted for about six months on mountain bikes.
    1988 Miele Azsora

  4. #4
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    Canti's are so easy to use, I can't see any reason not to. Braze-ons ...... how about a chain peg inside the driveside stay? How about mid fork and mid chainstay braze ons too? Top of fork threaded for racks too.

    These are so cheap to do for a new frame, even if you don't use them now.

  5. #5
    mosquito rancher adamrice's Avatar
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    You might want to read this old thread

  6. #6
    Senior Member JeanM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtgotsjets View Post
    There's a reason that design only lasted for about six months on mountain bikes.
    That is where my pump is... but it is on a tourer.

    Please tell me what problem I may encounter.

  7. #7
    imi
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    kickstand braze-on?

  8. #8
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I'd put a little thingamabob on the left chainstay to hold a couple of spare spokes. On my old tourer I zip tied them there. On my LHT there are brazeons. Plus, if you carry spare spokes you're less likely to break any. (That was a joke.) (Ha-ha.)

    If I had it to do again I'd put linear pull brakes on my LHT rather than cantilevers (provided there was clearance with my racks.) I have them on my mountain bike and I find them superior to cantilevers.

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    Thorn mount the pump on the non-driveside seatstay. Zefal HPX fit is well but you could add a velcro band for security.
    Are you building racks as well?
    Im not sure what the best mounting is for front racks. Barrel style to the rear of the tubing, through style and a hole in just the outer side of the tube.
    What about lighting? Dynamo tab, cable routing..
    What kind of tyre clearance
    A fender thread on the chainstay bridge works well.
    Consider the cable routing. I like covered cable, its much lower maintenance.
    Following my troubles with a canti cable-hanger I would consider how you can build the fork to integrate an up-hanger, either brazed on or with the front surface sufficienctly large to give a solid mounting.

    You can make a really simple, lightweight, secure stand out of a bit of cromoly tube. Use a braze-on pivot at a suitable angle and a separate spring mounting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeanM View Post
    That is where my pump is... but it is on a tourer.

    Please tell me what problem I may encounter.

    none, this is a perfectly fine design.

  11. #11
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    I think pump mounts and spoke mounts are out of date clutter, much beloved I might add. If you are going to carry a long frame mounted pump you will need the mounts. Short stirup style pumps like the Road Morph are easily kept in the bag. Same with spokes. Better priority is bomb proof wheels that all use the same spokes, so few spokes will be required and can be kept in the bags. At one time touring bike design was defined by the braze on count, but that is no longer true.

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    handlebar stop like on the tout terrain silkroad?
    Eccentric BB for IGH or SS use?

    really depends how creative you want to get...

  13. #13
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    how about a bike that could use either 599 wheels or 700ccc just try and solve the break mounts problem that would suit both wheels.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ruffinit's Avatar
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    I've run this bike over 50,000 miles. I've only got one thing that I would change on it and that would be to mount the rear brake cable guides at the 7 o'clock position instead of noon. It has all the braze-ons you can ask for. The spoke mount is set up correctly unlike Surley's which is on the wrong chainstay. Mounted on the chain side, it is also a chain guard. If the wheels are built properly you will or should only need 2 different length spokes. Study this frame. It's a jewel. If I ever have to replace it, it will be a custom built frame that is exactly like this one. Even with the 41.8 inch wheelbase, you will probably find that there is no room to mount a pump behind the seatpost if you have fenders that is. If I recall correctly the chainstays are 17.8 inches.

    http://velospace.org/node/20603

  15. #15
    Crazyguyonabike
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    I think drum brakes on a touring bike would probably be overkill. A good set of V-brakes or cantis should be fine (especially with a pair of ceramic rims - they last really well from what I hear).

    For the bottle cage mounts, think carefully about how you position those holes. I say this because if you ever want to mount slightly wider bottles, then the standard positions (on the top of the downtube and front of the seat tube) may turn out to be too low. Moving them up just an inch or two may give you the clearance you need so they don't foul each other (I ran into this problem when I wanted to carry a pair of insulated stainless steel bottles, which are thicker than average).

    On the other brazeons: I wouldn't want the spoke holder on the chainstay, personally, because I really like the rear-mount Greenfield Stabiliser kickstand, and the spoke holder interferes with the kickstand clamp.

    I don't see any harm in a pump peg.

    As someone else mentioned, touring bikes are defined these days more by the geometry and tubing used than the brazeons. It kind of depends on what type of bike you wish to build - do you have expertise in designing a bicycle geometry based on your body dimensions? It's not trivial to work all the aspects out so that they function well as a whole. For example, the fork rake and trail is a whole subject that ties my brain in knots just to think of the different variables (depends on the load, and where you want to carry the load, just to name two). And are you building an "expedition" type of tourer for on- or off-road use, or a pure road tourer? Do you want to have 26" or 700C wheels? If 700C then you should think about toe overlap. And what tire clearance do you want to allow for? It's always nice to be able to mount larger tires on there, but this can mean compromises in the geometry. And what about handlebars - what type? Drops, trekking, straight, each type will have a different length to the cockpit (for example, trekking bars tend to bring you closer, so a longer top tube length is good for that).

    If you've never toured before, then I would say that it's probably better to get a cheap second hand bike first of all, so you can experiment with it to see what type of fit you want, and also what other aspects you need to take into account. It's only after you do some touring that you know what you want out of a touring bike - and it's different for everybody. Some people love disk brakes, some people hate kickstands, some love trekking bars, some hate carrying weight on the front, the permutations are endless. So getting some experience before cutting metal is probably a good idea, though I wouldn't fault you at all for just wanting to dive in!

    If you're learning to braze, then you could do worse than get hold of Tim Paterek's framebuilding manual - it has quite a lot of tips in there on the process:

    http://www.timpaterek.com/

    Sorry if this is all obvious stuff, I really don't know what stage you're already at.

    Neil

    Good luck,

  16. #16
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    The thing with the pump peg is just that if you started a thread on pumps you would get nine out of ten recomendations for a road morph, or similar other pumps. These things can be frame mounted, though I don't think mine would go between centers/pegged, but then since I keep the stuff in my bag I don't care. Custom is all about meeting your personal needs so if you want a lot of drag inducing clutter all over the frame, you should definetly go for it. Personally I prefer to keep the bags as clean as possible and as much stuff in them as I can. There was a time when touring bags were limited, but then we got front racks and massive displacements in the bags themselves, so there really isn't any need to put stuff on frames unless like waterbottles it will be accessed between stops.

    While it is great to get all kinds of input from other riders, it will also pay off to eventually start from basics. What do you personally carry, how do you prefer to carry it, and then work out the details part by part. This is a good exercise to undertake from the saddle while touring. Eventually you will come up with personal preferences for every single piece of gear. I have to be careful about keeping them sensible - I really wanted to build a 69er touring bike, and it makes sense, but the multiple wheel size thing didn't make sense for spare parts. I eventually dropped the idea...

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ruffinit's Avatar
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    Neil, you make a number of good points but I have a contention with some of them:

    Quote Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
    A good set of V-brakes or cantis should be fine (especially with a pair of ceramic rims - they last really well from what I hear).
    Ceramic rims on a touring bike? This is about reliability in the simplicity of the build. My 16A Arayas have tens of thousands of miles on them, mostly loaded. I have to get them replaced as the brake surface is well used, but the extra expense of ceramic?

    Quote Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
    For the bottle cage mounts, think carefully about how you position those holes. I say this because if you ever want to mount slightly wider bottles, then the standard positions (on the top of the downtube and front of the seat tube) may turn out to be too low. Moving them up just an inch or two may give you the clearance you need so they don't foul each other (I ran into this problem when I wanted to carry a pair of insulated stainless steel bottles, which are thicker than average).
    The problem I have with moving the waterbottle mounts up is that on the larger waterbottles (24oz), you sometimes don't have enough clearance to get them out of the cages without interferance especially on smaller frames.. Again, something to think about.

    Quote Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
    On the other brazeons: I wouldn't want the spoke holder on the chainstay, personally, because I really like the rear-mount Greenfield Stabiliser kickstand, and the spoke holder interferes with the kickstand clamp.
    The spoke holder/chainguard is fantastic. As long as it is on the correct side. It should only be mounted on the drive side providing you with the extra spokes, but also providing a chain guard to the chainstay. Surley (which I believe you are referencing) has it on the wrong side.

    Quote Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
    If 700C then you should think about toe overlap. And what tire clearance do you want to allow for? It's always nice to be able to mount larger tires on there, but this can mean compromises in the geometry.
    A touring rig of either the 27" or 700c variety if constructed properly will NEVER have toe overlap. I am able to easily fit 700x41mm Ritchey Alphabites on my '85 Specialized Expedition and on my '86 Bridgestone T700 with fenders although I usually run 28s on the Bridgestone and 35s on the Specialized. Though I've had the Ritchies mounted on the Expedition now for a long time.

    I like a frame pump. I still do not have a good feel for a mini pump. The Zefal HPX the Blackburn framepump is one that I would rely on and good for whomping dogs also.. this is touring after all.
    Last edited by Ruffinit; 06-25-10 at 08:38 AM.

  18. #18
    Crazyguyonabike
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruffinit View Post
    Ceramic rims on a touring bike? This is about reliability in the simplicity of the build. My 16A Arayas have tens of thousands of miles on them, mostly loaded. I have to get them replaced as the brake surface is well used, but the extra expense of ceramic?
    I mentioned this mainly because I just had a visit from Ben Rowlands, who has been on the road now for over a year:

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/forum...read_id=174228

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/benvoyage

    One of the interesting items on his Rohloff-equipped Thorn was ceramic rims, which he was very enthusiastic about - apparently he had been comparing the wear to other people who he had been riding with or met on his tour, and in his opinion the difference was dramatic. His rims basically had no signs of wear at all. So I guess this would ameliorate one of the main perceived negatives for having rim brakes: Namely that your rims will wear down more quickly as opposed to disks. It really depends on the type of riding you do, of course, but if you can get wheels that last a really long time, why not do it? I think they require special brake pads, but pads are very light and it's easy to carry a bunch of spares with you on a longer trip, or get them sent once a year or whatever.

    The problem I have with moving the waterbottle mounts up is that on the larger waterbottles (24oz), you sometimes don't have enough clearance to get them out of the cages without interferance especially on smaller frames.. Again, something to think about.
    Yes, that's true. I was just raising the issue as something to be aware of - obviously you need to make sure it's ok in both directions for what you intend to carry. Another bugbear of mine is the bottle mount holes on the underneath of the downtube - most often these are too high, and I need to use a strip of metal to move them down so the bottle doesn't overlap with the front fender.

    The spoke holder/chainguard is fantastic. As long as it is on the correct side. It should only be mounted on the drive side providing you with the extra spokes, but also providing a chain guard to the chainstay. Surley (which I believe you are referencing) has it on the wrong side.
    I wouldn't have any problem with this on the other side, can't think of anything it would negatively interfere with - apart from possibly getting slapped by the chain occasionally or generally getting covered in oil. I just assumed they always put it on the non-drive side, since the LHT has them there, and my Rocky Mountain Sherpa does too. I was actually able to clamp the Greenfield Stabiliser over the rearward spoke holder on my Sherpa, so it wasn't the end of the world, but I still wish the damn things weren't there. I carry more than two spare spokes anyway (on a longer tour), a better place to keep them (in my opinion) is hidden away inside the seat tube - protected from the elements and out of the way.

    A touring rig of either the 27" or 700c variety if constructed properly will NEVER have toe overlap.
    Actually, I don't think that's true. You're talking about toe overlap as if it's a design flaw, but it is more of a natural side effect of some geometries. For example, many smaller 700C frames will have toe overlap, but not the larger sizes - it's just a fact of life. Even my Co-Motion Americano has some toe overlap, though Dwan Shepard was well aware of my preference from the start, he warned me in advance that it might not be possible to eliminate it entirely (especially if I wanted to use larger tires AND fenders, AND my Shimano SPD sandals, which tend to stick out to the front quite a bit). The reason is that there are all these different frame angles and dimensions which are necessary for the bike to fit the rider, plus the fork's rake and trail, and while you could juggle all of these simply to get rid of the overlap, then you would probably negatively affect the handling of the bike in some other area. Frame design is a series of compromises - you make changes in one area, it will affect other areas. I'm sure that if he could have done it, Dwan would have gotten rid of the toe overlap completely, but for whatever reason, it's there. I was ok with it, since I just wanted a bike that didn't shimmy and wobble under load, and the Americano seemed to fulfil that on my test ride. So I wasn't about to mess with the "magic sauce" of their geometry; I know that one of the big causes of shimmy can be the amount of trail in the fork, combined with the type of load being carried.

    Neil

  19. #19
    Senior Member Ruffinit's Avatar
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    Neil,
    Excellent post. Thanks for the response. As I ride taller frames, I only know of what I've seen and experienced through ride partners of the smaller frames, so toe overlap is something that I've only experienced on very tight racing bikes. So yes, you are right, I was considering it a design flaw. In fact, with all these things considered, I've not had a problem pulling the large waterbottles from the bottom of the downtube while riding either. Even with fenders. Both of my loaded touring bikes and my light touring bike have better than 41 inch wheelbases. I run SPDs as well on all my bikes. I think all these points are things that the OP wanted to bring up and will be thinking of as he makes his build mock up. I will say though that I have never experienced wobble on either the Expedition or the T700 loaded or empty at over 50 mph. Some folks take wobble as "run of the mill". Personally if I EVER detect it, the bikes a gonner. That's a design flaw of massive proportions. I don't put up with it on motorcycles either.

    Here's my Bridgestone: http://velospace.org/node/20603

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