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  1. #1
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    Help with touring bike build

    I've recently got myself a Nashbar aluminum touring frame (all the info I could find is here, http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...2_511239_-1___ ) and plan on building it up this fall/winter to start touring on it this spring. I would like help picking out components. I'll be starting on the front end (fork, headset, handlebar, ect.) and working my way backwards.

    Just so you all know I'm also on a shoestring budget and will be getting these parts piecemeal. But, I would like to get at least half decent components.

    Thanks for your input in advance.
    Oh btw, I already got a rear rack and panns.
    Last edited by draig; 09-30-12 at 12:03 PM. Reason: forgot what I already have
    to every climb there is always the other side

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    There have been several builds done on that bike here, or at least one long one. Can't recall whether these were done with the earlier Nashbar, frame, it changed a few years back. One of the changes was that the fork became a separate item. Your best bet could be the fork they sell for it. Tange also makes cheap touring forks that seem excellent. I also have the metal cross fork Nashbar sells, it is OK/good, but it does not have mid fork BOs for racks. Even if you don't want them, you may want them later, or the person you sell to may want them.


    Other than that, there are dozens of frame build out threads here in general, and specifically 5 years back or so, the only LHTs you could get were bare frames, or the QBP version that I never recall anyone using. So you can find dozens of threads.

    Since your objective is low cost, there isn't much one can say, you will have to find stuff as you go. You might want to bake in some premium parts from the start, like a leather saddle is non-negotiable for me. Obviously that will vary for others.

    As you choose forks, remember they have to be the same crown height, within a few mm as your specified fork.

    Drop touring bikes are not that fancy. They mostly live on a mix of the cheaper road and MTB parts. Wheels are important, but they do not have to terribly expensive, they need to be smart though. One part that can be a surprise are the shifters, brifters are expensive, but the preferred bar ends can be equally crazy. One can use some cheap thumbies, but I am not happy with those. Flat bars make the shifter and brake issues easier, but are not comfortable for me on all day rides, day after day.

    Another thing you have to look out for are the brakes. There are a bunch of issues that are regularly discussed, but one more that can sneak up on you is the width of your fork. Some touring forks even on drops bikes, take after MTB dimensions, and others are more road like. With Cantis these may require different brakes, so don't buy them before you see your fork. If you can find some pics of other bikes that are identical to yours, and the brakes that work on them, then just copy those. It is the geometry not the brand that matters. With something like the LHT you can look at the complete model for inspiration.

    A more common brake problem is ensuring the levers you want to use, will work with the brakes. V brakes and road levers need to be compatible, for example.
    Last edited by MassiveD; 10-01-12 at 03:32 AM.

  3. #3
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    I bought the Nashbar aluminum touring frame back when the fork was included. Since I didn't need a front brake or panniers, I installed Nashbar's carbon cyclocross fork along with an Avid BB7 Road disc brake. The bike steers a bit quicker than it did with the stock fork, but it still very stable. If you need front racks and panniers, then the matching Nashbar fork is probably your best (and cheapest) bet.

    Headsets are all about the same these days. As long as you're not planning to ride the bike across the bottom of a salt-water ocean or lake, just about anything will work. I ended up with a Cane Creek S-3 because I found one for a great sale price.

    Handlebars are a very personal choice. I love the 3T Ergosum drop bars and have the aluminum version on all my road bikes. The FSA Omega Compact has a similar bend and is quite a bit cheaper.

    For stems, I'm a big fan of Specialized's shim-adjustable models (ex: the Comp Multi-Stem). I managed to break two cheap adjustable stems by making too many (read: 3-4) adjustments. The Specialized stem offers a reasonable number of adjustments, it's rock solid, and light-weight. I'm surprised more people don't use them...

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Have you looked at other build lists by product managers for branded touring bikes
    for ideas about the available stuff.. and approaches..
    discuss what goals, trips, planned.. you need to do some thinking on this..

    look at prior posts..

    mountain bike drivetrains, are popular on loaded touring setups,
    The ultralight packer types go with Road bike drivetrains , for speed.
    knock off 5~600 miles in a week..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 10-03-12 at 12:33 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the ideas guys (and gals if any) fietbob, I havn't done that just yet but will. Which posts would you suggest too? Also, where would a build list be anyways around the forum? I've been having a hard time finding any.
    to every climb there is always the other side

  6. #6
    Senior Member juggleaddict's Avatar
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    stem: jenson has easton stems on sale for 2 and 3 dollars. Old stock but still good stems
    handlebar: bike co-op or dimension (I have the shallow reach flat top bar. It's fantastic) You want a lot of hand positions, but a handlebar is a very personal item, It can change the entire feel of the bike

    hubs: lx - best bang for your buck
    rims: alex adventurer
    spokes: dt swiss

    Shifters: rivendell silver - cheap and very nice. Assuming you don't want brifters or bar ends.
    along with that I'd say cane creek levers. WAY better than the tektro ones. They're nice and wide.

    saddle: b17 I wouldn't skimp here, but that's just me
    seatpost: unicycle.com kris holm 2 bolt rail mount. Should be 12 bucks if it's still on sale. I have an extra if it isn't, not sure where you are though.

    Just a few thoughts. Not trying to say they are right, just my perspective.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by juggleaddict View Post
    stem: jenson has easton stems on sale for 2 and 3 dollars. Old stock but still good stems
    handlebar: bike co-op or dimension (I have the shallow reach flat top bar. It's fantastic) You want a lot of hand positions, but a handlebar is a very personal item, It can change the entire feel of the bike

    hubs: lx - best bang for your buck
    rims: alex adventurer
    spokes: dt swiss

    Shifters: rivendell silver - cheap and very nice. Assuming you don't want brifters or bar ends.
    along with that I'd say cane creek levers. WAY better than the tektro ones. They're nice and wide.

    saddle: b17 I wouldn't skimp here, but that's just me
    seatpost: unicycle.com kris holm 2 bolt rail mount. Should be 12 bucks if it's still on sale. I have an extra if it isn't, not sure where you are though.

    Just a few thoughts. Not trying to say they are right, just my perspective.
    thanks for all the suggestions, in regards to those shifters. which ones you talking about? I found thumb and downtube shifters made by Silver. the other things are still on sale too. thanks for the offer of that seatpost.
    I will prolly have to wait till later this month to start getting things. Looks like I'll be getting that Nashbar fork to start.
    thanks again for the ideas.
    to every climb there is always the other side

  8. #8
    Senior Member juggleaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by draig View Post
    thanks for all the suggestions, in regards to those shifters. which ones you talking about? I found thumb and downtube shifters made by Silver. the other things are still on sale too. thanks for the offer of that seatpost.
    I will prolly have to wait till later this month to start getting things. Looks like I'll be getting that Nashbar fork to start.
    thanks again for the ideas.
    I have the downtube ones. Partially a price thing, partially vanity, and partially functionality.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by juggleaddict View Post
    I have the downtube ones. Partially a price thing, partially vanity, and partially functionality.
    ah coolness
    to every climb there is always the other side

  10. #10
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    I think I'm gonna get either flats, or I'd like to test out some trekking bar. What's your opinion of trekking handlebars?
    I'm currently going through all the things I'll need for this build and making a shopping list.
    to every climb there is always the other side

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by draig View Post
    What's your opinion of trekking handlebars?
    Personally, I've never seen the need for them. I've never had a problem with regular drop handlebars, so that's what I continue to use. Trekking bars will limit the brake and shifter levers you can use, so be aware of that if you decide to go with them.

  12. #12
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    I'll have to goto my LBS soon to find out if they carry em' and see how they feel. I am used to flats w/ bar ends on my old bike.
    to every climb there is always the other side

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    What's your opinion of trekking handlebars?
    I'm fine with the 2 types I use .. the bikes have Mountain bike brake levers
    one has hydraulic brakes, and The Rohloff grip shifters..
    that wont fit on a bar that is bigger than 22.2mm..

    my setup the trekking bars are relatively flat, and I often use an open palm
    laying across the ends, and not so much a grip like the baseball bat will
    fly out of my hands , if I relax.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by draig View Post
    What's your opinion of trekking handlebars?
    I have them on my tandem, but I can't stand straight bars, even with bar-ends. They're nice and wide, and offer enough different hand positions.

  15. #15
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    draig, I suggest for a low cost build:
    1) Buy the Nashbar touring fork.
    2) Look at Harris Cyclery's budget hybrid wheelset (I use it and it's perfectly fine.)
    3) Cane Creek and AHeadset are headsets I trust with 1 1/8" frames.
    4) Forte Gotham tires (rebranded Panaracer Pasala) from Performance Bike.
    5) Drive train is dependent on how you plan to tour. Generally the heavier you plan to load up the more mountain bike items will be appropriate. Shimano Acera parts can be found on e-bay and at Loose Screws.

    Brad

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    draig, I suggest for a low cost build:
    1) Buy the Nashbar touring fork.
    2) Look at Harris Cyclery's budget hybrid wheelset (I use it and it's perfectly fine.)
    3) Cane Creek and AHeadset are headsets I trust with 1 1/8" frames.
    4) Forte Gotham tires (rebranded Panaracer Pasala) from Performance Bike.
    5) Drive train is dependent on how you plan to tour. Generally the heavier you plan to load up the more mountain bike items will be appropriate. Shimano Acera parts can be found on e-bay and at Loose Screws.

    Brad
    Actually, I got a set of 700 x 32c Nimbus from a freecycler just a few days ago. So I now got tires. no idea how good they are but their the right size and they do have puncture protection (call flak jacket on the tire)

    As for the headset I have a Canecreek IS-3 on my list for that, as for drive train, I do plan on going self-contained while touring

    I'm liking the looks of that wheelset though.
    to every climb there is always the other side

  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I do plan on going self-contained while touring
    You may consider an MTB drivetrain then, for that 22:34t low gear.

    and with Mountain Bike shifters and derailleurs
    Trekking Bars are a decent combination

  18. #18
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    I've been looking around for cranks right now and cassettes but I'm getting myself confused. I know I'd want a tripe crank. Some of them say their only compatible with 10-speed is that the cassette? meaning it would wind up be 30 gears? or would that be a cassette of 5 rings (if they still make those)?

    Also, I'm flip/flopping betwenn Sram and Shimano cranks. what's all your experiences with each?
    to every climb there is always the other side

  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I've used Shimano M730 110-74 cranks since the 80's..

    I would not go overboard, 8 speed uses a lot cheaper parts,
    and you have to pay for them over and over again as that is what wears with use.

    $20 chain or $50 ? and so forth..

  20. #20
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    Oh btw, I called the LBS' and none of them have butterfly handlebars in stock . I guess I'll just get both and try each out. I'm also kinda thinking of doing a set up like one I found on crazy guy on a bike's site.
    Url is it http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...id=148091&v=8c
    that looks very useful to me. especially with the straight handlebar and secondary stem below.
    to every climb there is always the other side

  21. #21
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    draigg, Nashbar has these trekking bars at a good price for a trial run: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product..._200276_200388 . Shimano Acera http://techdocs.shimano.com/techdocs/blevel.jsp?ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395181679&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302051137 is a great value if you're going to buy new. While there isn't alot of cosmetic flash and they're only available in 8S (my preferrence so consider the source) the group has been a workhorse for years benefiting from trickle down enhancements.

    Brad

  22. #22
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    actually Brad, with your suggestion of that wheelset from Harris (which I'll prolly get towards christmas or new years) Its saying that it's Shimano Alivio, not Acera. looks like if I have to go new alivio isn't much more pricewise than Acera.
    Oh, and as fiet bob was saying it's less expensive to go with an 8spd cassette, so I am planning on going that way
    to every climb there is always the other side

  23. #23
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    I'm gonna build up one of these as an all purpose bike. I ordered the frame and fork today and like the OP will be building it up piecemeal.

    Nashbar is really lousy on specs. No standover height for example in their geo chart. Also no rear hub spacing nor BB shell width so unless you can share this with me I'll have to wait till I get the frame.

    I did find what may be some real value wheels from Tree Fort Bikes http://www.treefortbikes.com/home#na...22373639___113. The paired front is $5 less.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  24. #24
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    Said bottom bracket is 68mm english if you click on the tab for the frame that reads "Specs" it'll give some of them to you.
    And standover isn't just about the frame geo, it also depends on wheel size as well (as far as I know) the size of frame for this one is the one you ordered, it's just in cm and not in. you'll have to do the conversions.
    to every climb there is always the other side

  25. #25
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    I know the diameter of the BB, what they don't share is the width.

    And you are absolutely correct that standover is variable.

    I think if you know standover and reach you can make assumptions about overall fit.

    I think it was G. Lemond that said "Bikes are somewhat adjustable and human bodies are somewhat adaptable" and I think he means basic fit is really important in order to make the best compromise between adjustable and adaptable.

    My last 4 'off the rack' bike purchases taught me how I will tweak a frame. They also taught me the frame is the hardest part to tweak. I'm looking forward to making a bike that fits me from the get go.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

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