Old 08-29-08, 10:49 PM
  #3  
NoReg
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That isn't all that cheap up here from what I have seen.

Peter White Wheels would obviously be good. But they aren't necesarry. Wheels are a case of there being nothing all that mysterious about making good ones, any person who is reasonably handy can do it, but a lot of the commercial stuff isn't great. That is where the Peter Whites of the world come in. Presumably he knows a lot of about wheel building and has been doing it long enough that a lot of the people who come to him are also buyers of upper end components. So the combination of good wheel builder and good components, is very good wheels with a solid reputation. But you can rebuild your current wheels just as well or buy some wheels from Urbane in TO and you will get the same result.

I weigh about 250 (Shocked to find out), and I have a bike that I load at about 350 all out. Apparently the likes of Bruce Gordon wouldn't even touch me as a customer due to my weight because it is well beyond the sweat spot for bike gear, and yet my Urbane wheels have been completly trouble free. If your wheels are say Shimano LX, cross three spokes of decent quality, those parts can and should be laced to a new 40-60 buck rim (size permiting) and deliver the same performance. IF your wheels are already those kind of components, down to the rims, then all they may need is a going over by a good tech. Strong wheels are essentially the result of components assembled from good compatible parts and then final torqued by skilled hands. This final touch can be done by human hands to machine built wheels. If you deal with a shop that does real touring bikes and there are several in southern Ontario, just tell them what you need and let them do it. I think problems can occur when a client tries to lead a shop. A good shop will have worked out a formula that keeps endless cross country kids happy. If you try to force them to build a super wheel with parts they don't normally touch the end result is more in question. You might need someone like Peter White who handles those combos all the time and knows what works. Not to say there aren't guys up here who do that work too.

As far as frames are concerned, the LHT is a good very basic frame. There is a lot of hype there, but the product can stand it because it does what it should. Your main concern should be whether you can get a decent fit. Study your other options, like the Urbane frame, possibly the Kogswell, and find one that fits you well. If you are a not off the rack proposition you should think long and hard about going off the rack. People roll up endless stock bikes, an enthusiast can buy one every few years, or far more often. It never really goes anywhere since they don't ever break out of the 1K bike mold. I think you are right to look at upgrading your stuff, rather than selling it all and buying a whole new cheapo. To figure out fit, try an oline fit program; figure out what your body type is. Long or short in leg torso proportion is a good start. Then study the frame charts and figure out whether they are long/short in the torso for you size point. Few makers actually keep the proportions through the sizes, or keep the same proportions. Work from there.
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