Update: round one of the build is complete. It still needs the front rack w/ headlights in place, and I would like to swap the stem & spacers out for something more graceful and silver once I have the fit totally dialed in.
I'm running 48-36-30 in the front and 11-34 in the back. I will probably swap out the vintage RD & FD for a modern Deore XT so that I can go down to a 26 granny though, as I found it a bit more challenging to hump this thing up steep hills while loaded than my LHT. Otherwise, it handled pretty well this past weekend and I'm looking forward to actually touring on it.
hi there - i'm new to this sub-forum but not Bikeforums or touring in general. I got a Surly Long Haul Trucker last spring and took it on a couple short and medium-length tours (250-500 miles). It's a great bike that is perfect for hauling heavy loads long distances. But I felt it was a bit sluggish (it's the 26" wheeled version), and also discovered that I like "credit card" touring more than camping outdoors, especially on longer trips. So this spring I bought a lightly-used Traveler's Check (Surly Crosscheck with S&S couplers) and decided to switch it up and see if I prefer touring on a 700c bike with tighter geometry.
Right now I'm thinking through the build, especially the drive train. I'm a mechanic at the Time's Up co-op in Brooklyn, so I've been wrenching for a couple of years now, with a preference for vintage components and friction shifting. I've been wanting to build the Traveler's Check with a retro-modern flavor, using a mix of vintage and modern parts. My main concern is that I have a reliable set up that will handle the stresses of touring as well as being disassembled and reassembled when I travel with the bike.
- Velo-Orange Grand Cru 50.4 crankset (46/30)
- Huret Jubilee front & rear derailleurs (long cage touring rear, 28T cog max)
- Dia-Compe silver shifters (bar end)
- 9 speed Shimano HG80 cassette 11-28
A few issues here though:
- I'm concerned that the Huret derailleurs may not be sturdy enough
- Is a 28T max rear cog too small for touring?
- The VO crank is 46/30, supposedly equal to a triple in range. Does that hold true for touring as well?
As a vintage alternative to the Huret derailleurs, I've been looking at a set of NOS Shimano "Deer Head" Deore m700 series front and rear derailleurs. I also have a Huret DuoPar Eco in the parts box that I could throw on there.
Also on my mind - racks. I was planning on putting a Nitto Campee rack on the front and something similar on the back so that I can carry front & rear panniers and a handlebar bag. However, when I travel with the bike, I suppose I'll have to remove the racks. Any suggestions on more compact racks that pack down flat?
sorry for the tons of questions! I've done some searches already and a lot of reading, but hopefully these questions aren't too over-asked.