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  1. #1
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    building a touring bike, going for that "classic" look

    I was lucky enough to have a wonderful opportunity present itself to me; I was able to buy a new frame to build into a touring rig. I've been wanting a touring bike for some time now, but I told myself not to buy one until I had the money to buy a good frame that I could build up that would last me for the rest of my life.

    Long story short, I'm now the owner of a brand new Surly Long Haul Trucker frame with 700c wheels. It's "midnight black" and has white lettering. I'm setting it up with Mavic a319 rims and 105 hubs. I'm going to try to put all dura-ace components on it as well.

    I also have already purchased a black ritchey drop bar set and a Brooks B17 honey saddle.

    Here's my question: I'm currently in the process of picking out a stem, headset, and seatpost. I want to do something cool with the colors and give the bike a "classic touring" feel/look. Do you guys have any ideas on what I should do with the colors for the stem, headset, and seat post?

    I'm thinking about going for the cane creek 110 headset, which comes in black, red, silver, and blue. Ritchey makes headsets and seatposts in black, red, and white, and maybe some other colors.

    So do any of you have bikes with black frames? If so, what did you do with your components? I want the bike to look nice, but not like theft-bait, and not to flashy.

    So whatdaya think?



    Cheers

  2. #2
    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    Dura-ace and not thief-bait? Is spray paint out of the question?

    Seriously though, congrats on the new bike! There was a set of beautiful photos of a black LHT here or in in the commuting thread a few months ago that were very impressive. Even in a subdued paint scheme, that bike can turn heads.

  3. #3
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    crap, did I say dura ace? I really meant to say ultegra. I sometimes mix them up in my head. Sorry about that. Hopefully that degenerates the theft-bait factor.

  4. #4
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    My bike is black. I find that mixing black and silver components really looks nice. IMHO I think that colored anodization looks contrived and cheap.
    A classic look can be obtained with Caradice or Berthould bags.

    http://www.wallbike.com/berthoud/pan...large-panniers

  5. #5
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    Dura Ace and Ultegra are road racing components. They're lightweight and not all that durable (you're mostly paying for low weight and fast precise shifting, not durability). They're also not well suited for touring due to the narrow gearing and caliper brakes. If you want to build a serious touring bike, look at Shimano's mountain bike parts, namely the Deore LX and XT. Get a 9 speed cassette with a wide range (11-34 is common) and a mountain or touring triple crankset (22-32-44 or 26-36-48). For shifters, get Tiagra if you like STI or use bar end shifters. XTR, XT, or LX derailleurs. As for the wheels, rather than A319 with 105 hubs, look at A719 rims with XT hubs and 36 spokes. If you want a classic look, a honey brooks B17 saddle with matching bar tape looks rather nice on a black frame with silver components.

  6. #6
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    Classic = silver (bars, stem, post, crank, headset, etc)

  7. #7
    Senior Member 12bar's Avatar
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    I was after the same classic look I took a stock LHT and added wood fenders, brooks saddle and leather bar tape as well as racks and bags. Here's a pic of my finished bike.
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    "It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for someone you love". Blazeman, Warrior Poet

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  8. #8
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    It's all in the accesories. Honey/black/silver as a color combo sounds good to me. Get some mechanicalron panniers.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuan View Post
    It's all in the accesories. Honey/black/silver as a color combo sounds good to me. Get some mechanicalron panniers.

    Sweet. If you rode wearing a tweed suit you could be in a parade.

  10. #10
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuan View Post
    It's all in the accesories. Honey/black/silver as a color combo sounds good to me. Get some mechanicalron panniers.

    Thats a beautiful looking setup, but i question it's practicality. How much does it weigh??????

  11. #11
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    That's not my bike. That bike belongs to mechanicalron

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    crap, did I say dura ace? I really meant to say ultegra.
    Road race style components don't lend themselves,
    to riding a load carrying touring bike kit.. over-geared on the high end
    lacking on the lower ratios.
    better suited, trekking, [48,38,28] or compact mountain [22,34,44] ..
    since current cassettes for mountain bikes go from 12 - 34 or 36t,
    big, 53t chainrings are impractical .

    (though we see all sorts of bikes, headed, on a tour, down the coast)

    I assume, there will be no finish line field sprints ,
    in your kind of tour.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-12-11 at 08:52 AM.

  13. #13
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    As for the wheels, rather than A319 with 105 hubs, look at A719 rims with XT hubs and 36 spokes.
    Yeah A719 is my first choice, but a free A319 (36h) came along from an old roommate and the 105's came along for free from another friend. I still need to buy another rim, so maybe I'll go with an A719 rim for the rear wheel.

    In terms of components, I have a touring crankset that came off a friends Aurora, and I still need to make a decision on deraillers, brakes, shifters, and rear drivetrain. Honestly I haven't researched it very much yet (which I'm sure is apparent to you all) because I just brought the frame home and I currently barely have enough money to put wheels and handlebars/stem/headset on it.

    As I said before, I want to build a bike that will last the rest of my life. I understand the time and research necessary to put a bike together that can live up to those standards, so I'm willing to let it sit on the stand for 8 months while I figure this stuff out and gather the funds.

    Since money isn't easy to come by right now, I would like to put a headset, stem, and post on it so that it at least looks like a bike. And then maybe I'll get around to building the wheelset by the end of the month.

    The advice on the silver components is great. I can see how the multi-color look can look cheap on a touring bike. I appreciate all the images contributed by other posters too.

    If anyone else has photos of their bike, please post them to give me more ideas! Especially if you have a black frame!


    Beers

  14. #14
    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
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  15. #15
    Seņor Wences jwbnyc's Avatar
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    Spacing on the rear hub needs to be 135, so that 105 rear hub is not going to work for you.

  16. #16
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    You might want to consider Deore LX hubs. Unlike the XT, the LX have steel axles and 135mm rear spacing. The road hubs have 130mm rear spacing.

    Number of spokes should be determined by your weight. The heavier the rider, the higher the spoke count.

  17. #17
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    koosk, My distance road bike is black (10% gold metalflake in clearcoat) and I went mostly black WRT stem,handle bars, saddle, bar tape and seatpost. It looks good to me as I'm not too big with 'shiney stuff', but I've seen black bikes with bright stems and seatposts with tan colored saddles and bar tape that were quite classy.

    For brakes I suggest a set of Tektro 'V-brakes' and matching levers. These don't require any extra devices like a travel agent. I also suggest mountain bike derailleurs, rear cassette and crankset... shifters can be down tube or bar end, I prefer the latter for a touring bike.

    Hve fun with the build.

    Brad

  18. #18
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
    My bike is black. I find that mixing black and silver components really looks nice. IMHO I think that colored anodization looks contrived and cheap.
    A classic look can be obtained with Caradice or Berthould bags.

    http://www.wallbike.com/berthoud/pan...large-panniers
    Throw in a brooks saddle,matching tape, some VO fenders and rack and it will be a beaut...andtheft bait.





    Marc
    Last edited by irwin7638; 06-12-11 at 07:03 PM.
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  19. #19
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    marc - NICE!

    So, if I were going to set it up as a 9 speed, what would you all suggest for my front/rear tooth counts? I understand everyone has a different opinion on this matter, so a little about me ~ I'm planning on taking this thing up big mountain passes, as well as across endless planes. I'm in decent shape and have pretty good endurance. Thoughts?

    The more I think about it, it seems like silver is the way to go for the stem/seatpost. I'll definitely go with the honey tape to match the saddle as well.

    In terms of hubs, I appreciate the input about the 105's. As I said, I picked them up from a friend, only because they were free - I hadn't even realized that they were spaced differently than my bike. I guess thats sort of a bummer, but decent hubs don't seem like they're that hard to come by on ebay.

    Are you guys going with triple or double butted spokes?

    One last question: the B17 saddle I have has been used for a little while and it's developed a nice darkened patch in the middle where the rider makes the most contact. I'm assuming this comes from sweat down there; is there any way to restore it to its original honey color and then coat it with some sort of protectant? Or is the darkening an inevitable outcome of owning a B17?


    Geers.
    Last edited by koosk; 06-12-11 at 09:18 PM. Reason: spelling errors

  20. #20
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nun View Post
    Thats a beautiful looking setup, but i question it's practicality. How much does it weigh??????
    There are people who weight touring bikes?
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

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  21. #21
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    There are people who weight touring bikes?
    Oh yes! Here's my loaded tourer with some 37mm tyres for off road. Not as light as some, but as comfortable as most.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #22
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    koosk, Any drivetrain that has a 20-95 GI range should appease most of the gear heads. I've never had any triple butted spokes, but have two wheelsets with double butted spokes and they seem to require less maintenance than my wheelsets with straight 14 gauge spokes... not very scientific, I confess.

    neilfein, Having built/rebuilt several road bikes it was a natural step for me to weigh the finished touring project.

    Brad

  23. #23
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    DT Alpine III lengths are limited, so don't get your heart set on them until you know what lengths you need. Also only black in the USA.

    Frankly, I don't think butted spokes matter much - as long as you have enough of them.

  24. #24
    relax. it's only me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwbnyc View Post
    Spacing on the rear hub needs to be 135, so that 105 rear hub is not going to work for you.
    LHT rear spacing is Gnot-Rite at 132.5mm. Surly claims you can use 130mm road or 135mm mtb rear hubs. I'm just rebuilding a Cross Check (in black) and went with silver LX hubs on Velocity Dyads (from Handspun).

    If you're local to me (Socal) I may be able to set you up with some of the take-off parts from my Cross Check. Could get you on the road a little sooner.

    PM if you can.

    Mark.

  25. #25
    Seņor Wences jwbnyc's Avatar
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    LHT spacing is 135mm

    Cross Check spacing is 132.5

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