Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    What, me worry? Telly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    My Bikes
    Corratec / Jamis
    Posts
    1,114
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Buy or (re)build?

    This is probably going to be a long post, so if you're interested in the subject, please bear with me!

    It's been a couple of years since I've been bitten by the bicycle touring bug, and since then, I managed to purchase and transform a European trekking bike into a credit-card/week-end tourer which can handle my weight (275 lbs) plus around 25 lbs of items. A European trekking bike basically consists of a robust (heavy) aluminum frame with mtb gearing (usually mid to low range to tackle hills) fully outfitted with mudguards, dyno-hub lighting and a heavy front suspension fork with 50-60mm of travel.

    The bike itself weighs a ton, but my most pressing concern is the very harsh ride which paired with tires which are inflated to max pressure (because of my weight) makes even the smoothest of road surfaces feel like a off-road experience.

    And here's my question to all you seasoned tourers: Is it worth buying a outright touring bike (which is very expensive and only on special order where I live) or should I take apart my current bike which has decent quality/low mileage parts and add them to a metal touring frame? (Below is a list of components with their mileage)

    I would really appreciate your input and any recommendations, especially from people which are close to my weight group, or are heavy tourers.


    Equipment list

    Wheels & Tires (around 500 miles)
    • Custom built Mavic A719 rims with 36 DT-Swiss Competition spokes and Shimano Deore rear hub and Shimano 3N-30 front Dyno-hub.
    • Schwalbe Marathon Green-Guard tires 622-37 with Continental touring inner-tubes

    Crankset (around 300 miles)
    • Shimano Deore Hollowtech II (42-32-26) front crank with HG-71 chain and Shimano rear cassette with 32 tooth low gear.

    Braking & Derailleurs (around 1,500 miles from factory)
    • Shimano Deore v-brakes with replaceable brake inserts
    • Shimano 3x8 integrated gear and brake levers
    • Shimano Deore rear 8-speed derailleur and Alivio front derailleur

    Lighting (around 500 miles)
    • B&M CyoT Senso front light and B&M Selectra Plus rear light, both with standlight functions.

    Miscellaneous (around 1,500 miles from factory)
    • SKS Chromoplastic fenders with built-in electrical wiring for the lights
    • Race-Face Ride handlebars
    • ZZYZX Rear rack which can carry up to 55lbs of gear



    Here's a picture of the bike with older tires and trekking handlebars which have been replaced

  2. #2
    Has opinion, will express
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    13,032
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What new frame options are you looking at?

    There is, in my view, no issue with transferring the current parts.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  3. #3
    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Hainan, China
    Posts
    598
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    first off, how much more stuff, if any, do you wanna carry?
    maybe you could try repositioning the load?

    with your weight, maybe forget the rear panniers. put some of the
    load in front bags, and the rest in a trailer.

    if my calculations are correct, you have 700x35 tires. what's the
    maximum width you can fit in that frame? try some fatter tires....
    .....700x40 or even 700x44.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Gouverneur NY
    My Bikes
    2003 BIANCHI VIGORELLI, 2002 TREK 520, Schwinn Mesa WINTER BIKE
    Posts
    1,257
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm not believing that a steel frame would make that much difference. There's a whole lot of other things I'd try before buying a whole new bike, and possibly being disappointed.

    Larger tires, a different saddle, possibly a suspension seatpost, fork spring modification, are a few things that come to mind.

    I read a statement made by a RAAM rider once, who claimed that with identical geometry and components, he probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a steel and aluminum frame on a dark night.

  5. #5
    What, me worry? Telly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    My Bikes
    Corratec / Jamis
    Posts
    1,114
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    What new frame options are you looking at?
    There is, in my view, no issue with transferring the current parts.
    I was thinking of something like the Long Haul Trucker in 28" wheels, but I'm not very knowledgable in touring frames.

    Quote Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
    first off, how much more stuff, if any, do you wanna carry?
    maybe you could try repositioning the load?
    with your weight, maybe forget the rear panniers. put some of the
    load in front bags, and the rest in a trailer.
    if my calculations are correct, you have 700x35 tires. what's the
    maximum width you can fit in that frame? try some fatter tires....
    .....700x40 or even 700x44.
    I don't think I need to carry anything more than I usually do since I don't need camping or cooking equipment, and I've tried putting panniers on the front suspension fork which made a already unstable ride even worse, and I'm not to keen on purchasing a trailer *if* I can just swap out a frame or buy a purpose built bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thulsadoom View Post
    I'm not believing that a steel frame would make that much difference. There's a whole lot of other things I'd try before buying a whole new bike, and possibly being disappointed.
    Larger tires, a different saddle, possibly a suspension seatpost, fork spring modification, are a few things that come to mind.
    I read a statement made by a RAAM rider once, who claimed that with identical geometry and components, he probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a steel and aluminum frame on a dark night.
    On the subject of tires, the picture in my first post has Maxxis Overdrive 700x40 (622x42) tires which helped cushion the ride (not by much), but had sooo much drag that I felt I was riding into a strong headwind. Also the bike came with a suspension seat-post, but they're not really made for overweight riders and would bottom out in any setting other than max where it was totally rigid.

    I've also tried moving the weight forward by putting the panniers on the front fork (as stated above), but that just made the bike very unstable, and the ride even harsher and much heavier as well. Another option was/is to swap out the front suspension fork for a rigid steel one, and I have found one that "almost" fits (slightly shorter), but I'm a bit hesitant in going ahead and swapping it out since I would also need to change stems and all adjoining hardware and I still won't be sure if the end resulting geometry would provide a stable softer ride.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Pearland, Texas
    My Bikes
    Cannondale, Trek, Raleigh, Santana
    Posts
    5,730
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Telly, Most, if not all of your parts will probably transfer to another frame set. You'll need to know if wheel size and rear drop out spacing is compatible.

    Any good touring/trekking frame regardless of construction material is going to be stiff, it's just required for hauling and controlling a load. I don't know that there will be a difference worth the expense of a different frame set. I suggest larger tires. This can help, in particular with higher frequency vibration.

    Brad

  7. #7
    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Hainan, China
    Posts
    598
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Telly View Post
    ....but I'm a bit hesitant...and I still won't be sure if the end resulting geometry would provide a stable softer ride.
    it's not like you'd be sure of anything if buying a new frame either.

    anyway, before changing frame or components........how does the bike ride unloaded (unladened?)?
    is the naked bike comfortable and cruisey enough that you can do 50 miles or 100 miles or whatever
    distance? is it the added weight causing problems? or is it increased distance?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Pearland, Texas
    My Bikes
    Cannondale, Trek, Raleigh, Santana
    Posts
    5,730
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Telly, I was multi tasking on my reply when your post 5 arrived. The bike shouldn't be unstable and a rigid fork that's too short will only amplify the stability problem. My guess is that the suspension fork isn't sprung for your weight. Can the fork's travel be locked into one position? Are there higher rated springs or are there preload shims available (if no preload adjustment available)? Preload shims can be made from inexpensive PVC pipe if need be.

    Brad

  9. #9
    What, me worry? Telly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    My Bikes
    Corratec / Jamis
    Posts
    1,114
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I did a short ride this morning (around 15-20 miles) with the thinner 700x35 tires and one near empty small pannier which had a couple of light personal items and the ride was harsh and uncomfortable. The suspension, either totally locked-out or set somewhere near 50% softness did little in soaking up road vibration and compared to my daily commuter (a Jamis Commuter 1 with rigid fork), it felt like riding a tractor! The thicker tires did help, but not by much and the difference in rolling resistance compared to the 700x35 is a deal breaker.

  10. #10
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,793
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd bet that your bike should ride about as well as a touring bike WRT the harsh ride you complain of. I suspect that what you really need is to harden up a bit. Also the very upright posture you apparently use puts all of your weight on the seat and lets the road shock and vibration go right up your spine. A more bent forward posture might help. I find that for me having the bars well below the saddle helps in that regard. You may try lowering the bars a bit. Go a little at a time and put in plenty of saddle time at each position so your body adapts. Your legs should carry most of your weight rather than have it all bearing down on your butt. This requires some physical conditioning to maximize core strength.

    Also, in addition to tire width the suppleness of the sidewalls of your tires is a factor. Maximum cushion would be big fat tires with supple sidewalls and thin tubes. The material of the frame of the bike will be a very small factor when compared to tire choice.

    Edit:
    I just read your last post... Have you considered that you Jamis might be a better bike to tour on? The flat bars and upright posture wouldn't cut it for me, but you have that on the other bike as well.
    Last edited by staehpj1; 04-13-14 at 07:45 AM.

  11. #11
    What, me worry? Telly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    My Bikes
    Corratec / Jamis
    Posts
    1,114
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Same thing just happened to me! lol

    The bike's suspension (RST Neon TnL 50mm) does have a soft-to-lockout adjustment on one fork, and a rebound on the other and when locked-out the fork becomes rigid and I've had it checked at the local dealership and was told that it came with the highest rated spring available and was in good condition.

    As you said in a previous post, it's the road vibration (higher frequencies) that makes it a harsh ride, and it's natural instability which has me fighting to keep in steady, especially at relatively low speeds. Oh and before anyone asks, the bike is 100% straight with no crashes and I've ridden a similar bike with the same suspension which handled exactly the same as mine; with the exception that the owner placed a stabilizer after my ride and has stated that it helped overcome the instability.


    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    Telly, I was multi tasking on my reply when your post 5 arrived. The bike shouldn't be unstable and a rigid fork that's too short will only amplify the stability problem. My guess is that the suspension fork isn't sprung for your weight. Can the fork's travel be locked into one position? Are there higher rated springs or are there preload shims available (if no preload adjustment available)? Preload shims can be made from inexpensive PVC pipe if need be.

    Brad

  12. #12
    What, me worry? Telly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    My Bikes
    Corratec / Jamis
    Posts
    1,114
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    I'd bet that your bike should ride about as well as a touring bike WRT the harsh ride you complain of. I suspect that what you really need is to harden up a bit. Also the very upright posture you apparently use puts all of your weight on the seat and lets the road shock and vibration go right up your spine. A more bent forward posture might help. I find that for me having the bars well below the saddle helps in that regard. You may try lowering the bars a bit. Go a little at a time and put in plenty of saddle time at each position so your body adapts. Your legs should carry most of your weight rather than have it all bearing down on your butt. This requires some physical conditioning to maximize core strength.

    Also, in addition to tire width the suppleness of the sidewalls of your tires is a factor. Maximum cushion would be big fat tires with supple sidewalls and thin tubes. The material of the frame of the bike will be a very small factor when compared to tire choice.

    Edit:
    I just read your last post... Have you considered that you Jamis might be a better bike to tour on? The flat bars and upright posture wouldn't cut it for me, but you have that on the other bike as well.
    I've swapped out the butterfly bars for straight bars and have tried them at various heights (now set exactly the same as the saddle) with what you mentioned in mind, since I too prefer riding at a lower stance than upright. Unfortunately there was little to no difference in ride quality.

    Just so that you don't misunderstand my problem; I don't mind riding long distances and uphills, etc... but unlike other bikes I've ridden, including the Jamis which would be a great touring bike *if* it didn't have a Nexus 3-speed without provisions for derailleurs, etc), my current tourer's harsh ride tires me out, and it becomes worse when loaded, especially if the load is on the front fork.


    Edit: BTW, I goofed on ordering the Marathons since I wanted 700x38's and the German site only had ERTO sizing which was 622x37.
    Last edited by Telly; 04-13-14 at 08:08 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Gouverneur NY
    My Bikes
    2003 BIANCHI VIGORELLI, 2002 TREK 520, Schwinn Mesa WINTER BIKE
    Posts
    1,257
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Telly View Post
    I've swapped out the butterfly bars for straight bars and have tried them at various heights (now set exactly the same as the saddle) with what you mentioned in mind, since I too prefer riding at a lower stance than upright. Unfortunately there was little to no difference in ride quality.

    Just so that you don't misunderstand my problem; I don't mind riding long distances and uphills, etc... but unlike other bikes I've ridden, including the Jamis which would be a great touring bike *if* it didn't have a Nexus 3-speed without provisions for derailleurs, etc), my current tourer's harsh ride tires me out, and it becomes worse when loaded, especially if the load is on the front fork.


    Edit: BTW, I goofed on ordering the Marathons since I wanted 700x38's and the German site only had ERTO sizing which was 622x37.
    When you say that your bikes harsh ride tires you out, what do mean specifically? Are your hands and wrists sore afterwards? Your butt sore? Just general fatigue?

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Incheon, South Korea
    My Bikes
    Nothing amazing... cheap old 21 speed mtb
    Posts
    2,835
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Tried a better suspension fork? I run a rockshox tora. Down to 85kg now but when I first built my tourer I was closer to 100kg. Stable even loaded down and good for 300km plus non stop.
    IMG1343.jpg


    Thats my girl. Wouldn't swap her for anything.

  15. #15
    What, me worry? Telly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    My Bikes
    Corratec / Jamis
    Posts
    1,114
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Thulsadoom View Post
    When you say that your bikes harsh ride tires you out, what do mean specifically? Are your hands and wrists sore afterwards? Your butt sore? Just general fatigue?
    All the minor road imperfections (or as bradtx stated: high frequency vibrations) are felt through the saddle and especially through the handlebars (straight or butterfly bars). Otherwise the bike's frame and wheels soak up the larger imperfections such as small potholes and uneven road surface adequately. Wider tires help, but they don't do that much and the increased drag is very bad.

    Just for comparison sake, my daily commuter (Jamis Commuter 1 with Nexus 3-speed) has 700x32 tires at max pressure (90-100 psi), and is all aluminum with a rigid aluminum fork, and the ride quality cannot compare to the tourer since there is little or no road vibration felt; even with 20 lbs of stuff loaded onto rear panniers.

  16. #16
    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Hainan, China
    Posts
    598
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    so maybe try a suspension corrected rigid steel fork.

    nashbar has a 700c fork with some rake:
    Nashbar Disc/V-Brake Compatible Cyclocross/Touring/Hybrid Bike Fork - Road Bike Forks

    and aren't 29er's just a fancy name for 700c?
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/eXotic-Rigid...item2ecddf7191
    Last edited by saddlesores; 04-13-14 at 08:41 AM.

  17. #17
    What, me worry? Telly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    My Bikes
    Corratec / Jamis
    Posts
    1,114
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
    Tried a better suspension fork? I run a rockshox tora. Down to 85kg now but when I first built my tourer I was closer to 100kg. Stable even loaded down and good for 300km plus non stop.
    IMG1343.jpg
    Thats my girl. Wouldn't swap her for anything.
    Nice bike!

    I opened this thread *before* I started purchasing more parts since my small apartment now looks like a bike shop, and I would prefer to spend a bit more on purchasing something which is specifically built for what I need (frame -or- bike) than trying out combinations of parts which might or might-not work.

  18. #18
    What, me worry? Telly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    My Bikes
    Corratec / Jamis
    Posts
    1,114
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
    so maybe try a suspension corrected rigid steel fork.

    something like this (but this one's 26")
    On-One CroMo 26er MTB Fork V-Brake & Disc | On - One

    or a 700c fork with some rake:
    Nashbar Disc/V-Brake Compatible Cyclocross/Touring/Hybrid Bike Fork - Road Bike Forks

    Found one locally, and have it on hold, but as stated above in a previous post, being shorter it would probably make the bike more unstable that it already is.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Incheon, South Korea
    My Bikes
    Nothing amazing... cheap old 21 speed mtb
    Posts
    2,835
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks. Built her from scratch myself with just the parts I wanted. Deore 27 speed, 80-120mm locjable, height adustable on the fly fork, gps, 1200 lumens of light, slx hubs, deore hydrolic discs. Based on a fuji offroad frame I got for 60 bucks.
    Cost a bundle to build even using second hand parts but I've done 30000km on her and she is still going strong.

  20. #20
    Has opinion, will express
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    13,032
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd just short circuit all the doubt and discussion and order something like a Thorn Club Tour frame. We are very happy with ours to the point where they have become our preferred bike for longer distances at the moment. Stable when loaded, with all the braze-ons you would need and a good quality steel frame at a good price.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  21. #21
    What, me worry? Telly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    My Bikes
    Corratec / Jamis
    Posts
    1,114
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    I'd just short circuit all the doubt and discussion and order something like a Thorn Club Tour frame. We are very happy with ours to the point where they have become our preferred bike for longer distances at the moment. Stable when loaded, with all the braze-ons you would need and a good quality steel frame at a good price.
    I was actually looking into Thorn and have heard nothing but praise for their products.
    SJS has a sale on the Club Tour frame, but the specs don't state if it's for 700c wheels *and* if the bottom bracket design can accept my Hollowtech II crankset since it's concentric.

    I'm at work, but will look into some of their frames; I'm pretty sure they must have something for 700c wheels with standard BB and derailleurs.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •