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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 03-12-05, 11:10 AM   #1
stokell
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My first touring bike: What questions should I ask?

I've just about decided to have a bike shop custom assemble a touring bike for me. I've only ever toured with converted hybrids and road bikes before. I think I'm pretty much sure I'm ready and this is the frame I want. I do have a few choices at to bars, gearing and brakes. I really don't know what smart questions to ask before I put down the deposit. Any ideas?

This is the bike:
http://ucycle.com/bikes/item.php?nam...r&cat=urbanite
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Old 03-12-05, 11:59 AM   #2
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i think if you´re doing fine with the groupset of your other bikes then it´s not necessary to change anything, just copy them.

about gearing, cranks: 22-36-46; cassette: 11-34. i see cantis, that´s good. i would change the barcons to towntube shifters, this way you have less cables in the front, just personal preference.
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Old 03-12-05, 08:48 PM   #3
Michel Gagnon
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I like the gearing suggested above. Or for rides in Eastern Canada (lots of flats and very steep hills), make up your own cassette using a 11-34 and a 12-25.

My touring bike has 44-34-22 and 12-14-15-16-17-19-21-25-32. That way, I have closer gears in the most commonly-used range and less duplicates than with the typical wide-range cassette.

And in terms of cabling, if you route cables for bar-end shifters the way they are shown in the middle picture, you get quite neat cabling too.
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Old 03-13-05, 08:51 AM   #4
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I had a good look at the Urbane bikes at the TO bike show - they're good stuff, also saw a custom frame builder in Guelph who was building lugged steel touring frames with a long wheelbase like Bruce Gordon does (well, he was also selling some very custom road and mountain bikes too)
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Old 03-14-05, 04:36 AM   #5
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The bike as shown seems to follow the standard pattern for a loaded 700c tourer that rides OK unladen. If you want 700c it looks as good as any out there and better than most.

The modern trend is more for 26" (MTB) wheels on a tourer, and for 1 1/8" headsets.
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Old 03-16-05, 10:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myrcurial
also saw a custom frame builder in Guelph who was building lugged steel touring frames with a long wheelbase like Bruce Gordon does
Do you remember his name, does he have a website at all?

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 03-21-05, 07:48 PM   #7
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Sorry it took me so long to get back to you... here's the info:

Winterborne Custom Bicycle Design & Production

Jason Filer - Owner / Designer / Builder
http://www.winterbournebikes.com
winterbournebikes@bellnet.ca
1-800-390-3592
519-826-0556

The people I spoke to at the show were not Jason, but rather people who work for him and are *serious* about bikes. I spoke to them about a custom frame with long chainstays - long enough to use 700c wheels and still have bottle racks behind the seat tube - they said "no problem, in fact, that would be an interesting challenge".

J
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Old 03-21-05, 08:34 PM   #8
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My beater looks like that bike.Same tan tape with Shimano non-Sti brakes. The things to sweat are rims, bars, tires, and the saddle. Make sure the rims are tough enough. Typically that means a rim over 500 grams, like the A719. Bars are personal preference, I really like Ritchey BioMax. Grab a few and see what you like. Tire choice depends a lot on what your area is like, and the weight fully loaded. Hard to go wrong with a quality brand. Shwalbe Marathon is great. Conti Top Tourer is very good.For saddles, I like the Brooks B17, but saddle choice is very personal.
I'd go with Mtn bike pedals. If something happens and you have to walk a few miles, you don't want to do it in road shoes. Of course, you could pack sneakers... One thing I have noticed is that durability drops as the number of speeds go up. That bike built as a 7 speed is dirt cheap.
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Old 03-21-05, 10:25 PM   #9
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Myrcurial; Robert Beckman's Sakkit Expedition 26 at http://www.coinet.com/~beckman/bikeside.html has a picture of his touring bike with four bottles on it but unfortunatly it only comes with 26 inch wheels and not 700's. I would be interested in hearing how you make out with having a bike built by the folks you mention as I like the thought of using the fourth position as a fuel bottle holder. I'll be taking a look at their webpage later.
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Old 03-22-05, 05:38 AM   #10
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Unfortunately, family situations mean that I need to wait a few more seasons before a custom bike. I did get a rather sweet deal on a 04 Trek 520 at the show, that'll be my steed for a while as I learn about how different a current generation bike is from my trusty early 80's Raleigh Grand Prix. FWIW I was thinking of the same thing for the 4th position when I first saw the Sakkit - I use alcohol so I'm not so concerned about it, but I don't want to take a swig of alcohol when I'm expecting gatorjuice.
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