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my dream commuter bike

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my dream commuter bike

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Old 02-20-09, 08:14 AM
  #1  
tarwheel 
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my dream commuter bike

In December, ordered my dream commuter frame, a Bob Jackson World Tour from England. I've been bike commuting for two years and figured that I had earned it. Plus, it was a combination Christmas - birthday present. The frame took two months to arrive and finally got here last week. My mechanic just finished the build, and I rode my first commute on it this morning.

I built the bike to handle commuting and light touring. The components include Shimano DA/Ult shifters, derailleurs and brakes; Campy Centaur compact crankset; Mavic Open wheels w/ Ultegra hubs; Thomson post; King headset; Nitto stem and front rack; Fizik saddle. I also plan to install some Planet Bike Cascadia fenders. I've tried to keep all of the components silver/polished aluminum to go with the Carolina blue color scheme. For commuting, I carry most of my gear in a Carradice Barley seatbag.

The bike is surprisingly light for a tourer. The frame and fork weigh about 6 lbs with an uncut fork and lots of bolts for braze-ons (57 cm frame). Built up, it weighs 21 lbs including pedals and cages, but not including the computer, racks, seatbag and fenders. It's my first bike with bar-end shifters and canti brakes, which will take a little getting used to.

The quality of build and finish is excellent for such an inexpensive frame. It cost me about $600 with shipping and insurance. My build costs were relatively inexpensive because I had a lot of parts already from my previous commuter. Plus, I sold a bunch of old parts and cycling clothes on eBay, which largely offset the cost of new parts. Here is a photo of the completed bike, without fenders. You can see more shots on my Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33353398@N05/
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Old 02-20-09, 08:29 AM
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sauerwald
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Tarwheel, I am in the process of building my dream commuter. I have opted for a custom steel frame made by Peter Mooney (he has done another bike for me - a century/charity ride bike). My frame should be similar to your BJ WT.
I have laced and built the rear wheel with a Phil hub and a Mavic A719 touring rim. The front wheel will be built around a Schmidt SON generator hub. I am planning on using a 1x9 drivetrain, with a bar-end shifter for the rder, Nitto Noodle bars, fenders, brooks B-17 saddle. My current commuter is built on a touring frame with Canti brakes, and I am not a big fan of Cantis, so the new one is going to use Tektro Long reach side-pull calipers. The grass is always greener.

I should be taking delivery of the frame in the early summer.....
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Old 02-20-09, 08:33 AM
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Very nice!
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Old 02-20-09, 08:37 AM
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Beautiful build tarwheel!! What gearing are you using front and rear?
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Old 02-20-09, 08:51 AM
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What size tire are you running? I am considering ordering the same World Tour frame/fork from Bob Jackson and want to determine if 700x35 tires would fit with fenders. I have a question in to them, but haven't heard back.

How does the build quality look and were there any issues in dealing with a company outside the US?
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Old 02-20-09, 08:57 AM
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Nice looking bike. Who did you go to locally to build it?
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Old 02-20-09, 09:34 AM
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Thats a beautiful bike. Congratulations.
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Old 02-20-09, 09:40 AM
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build

Originally Posted by sonatageek View Post
What size tire are you running? I am considering ordering the same World Tour frame/fork from Bob Jackson and want to determine if 700x35 tires would fit with fenders. I have a question in to them, but haven't heard back.

How does the build quality look and were there any issues in dealing with a company outside the US?
Tires are 700 x 25 Continental GP 4000s. I plan to put 28s on later, but will keep the Contis for now because they have reflective sidewalls.

Jackson's web site says the standard World Tour will handle tires up to 32 mm. Not sure if 35s would fit, particularly with fenders. They could build you a custom frame that will fit 35 or larger tires, but that would take much longer and cost more.

The build quality and finish are excellent considering the price. However, the quality is not what you would find on a $1,500+ custom frame. There are a few spots where the brazing is not perfect, but for the price I cannot complain. Paint and decals are flawless, and I could pick from a wide range of colors.

Communication is the main issue dealing directly with Jackson. They don't post any information about geometry on their web site, and I had to exchange a series of emails to get the specs I needed before ordering. Then the finished frame arrived with a head tube 1.5 cm shorter than they told me it would be. I accommodated that with a Serotta headtube extender although some spacers would have worked as well.
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Old 02-20-09, 09:42 AM
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gearing

Originally Posted by mangosalsa View Post
Beautiful build tarwheel!! What gearing are you using front and rear?
The bike has a Campy Centaur 34x50 compact crank, and an Ultegra 12-27 cassette with 9 speeds. All of my other road bikes have 39-53 cranks and 12-25 cassettes, but I wanted lower gearing so I could handle the hills better carrying loads.
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Old 02-20-09, 09:43 AM
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builder

Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
Nice looking bike. Who did you go to locally to build it?
Jeff -- I'll send you a PM.
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Old 02-20-09, 12:33 PM
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I have one of those, 1995 vintage. It was one of the first frames from when BJ took back control of the name and improved the quality control.
The brazing is clean and the lugs are nicely profiled to disipate stress. The metallic burgandy paintwork with white lug lining is really eyecatching and still turns heads.
I find that the rear triangle is very strong and stiff for luggage but the main triangle is probably lighter and less stiff than typical modern tourers (eg Surly LHT).
The tyre clearance is enough for a 32mm+fenders (eg Schwalbe Marathon) but nothing fatter. Last Sept in Spain I ran into some really sticky mud on a mountain trail and was forced to remove the front fender to make any progress. Normally I can ride trails without problems.
Mine is built with Campy Mirage and midrange components;nothing as fancy as Chris King. Weight is less than a midrange Al hybrid.
The horizontal dropouts are useful. You can alter the wheelbase, setting the wheel back an extra cm for heavier loads and forward for a sportier unladen ride. If your derailleur ever gets trashed you can ride singlespeed and you can convert it to hub gear if that rocks your boat.
Im not sure about the front pannier threads, they are though the outer side of the fork only . If I ever fitted a front rack I would go for a one-piece style with a wheel hoop. BJ assured my dealer that it was sound.
One of the waterbottle threads is very slightly off centre.
The cable route for the front mech under the bottom bracket is not well done, there is a sudden change of angle and a lot of stress on the cable, it always fails at that point. I would prefer a plate with more gentle curves to run the cable through. This can be changed so its not a fatal flaw.
The top tube cabling makes shouldering the bike uncomfortable, again this can be changed.
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Old 02-20-09, 02:36 PM
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Beautiful.

My $.02 -- go with aluminum fenders rather than the plastic PBs. Nothing wrong with the PB fenders, but some beautiful metal fenders from Velo Orange would look gorgeous on your new ride.
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Old 02-20-09, 03:22 PM
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I think the basic design of the touring bikes has remained the same for years. However, they are using different tubing than in 1995. The Reynolds 631 is the next generation from 531, and the type they use is designed for touring frames with thicker walls.

I considered the Velo-orange fenders but they are only available in 45 mm and larger widths. I wanted narrower fenders since the largest tires I plan to use for now are 28s.
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Old 02-20-09, 06:19 PM
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That is a very very very nice ride. Congrats and best of luck with it!
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Old 02-20-09, 11:46 PM
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Very nice bike. I'd suggest aluminum fenders, too. Will Honjos work? I am surprised you don't have a Brooks on it. You are 99% BoBish---steel, Nitto, fenders, Carradice. I suppose that makes you even more of an individual. Good show!
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Old 02-21-09, 07:13 AM
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I have a Brooks B17 on one of my other bikes, and used to have them on all of my road bikes. However, I have found the Fizik Vitesse to be just as comfortable and it weighs less than half as much. I don't mind new-style components if they work and don't compromise reliability for lightness.

I may eventually try metal fenders, but I've got the composite ones already and they look pretty nice. I am new to fenders and don't want to invest a lot of time and effort in something that I might not like. In the past, I've used SKS RaceBlade detachable fenders on my commuter and wasn't too thrilled with them.
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Old 02-21-09, 07:23 AM
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If you do plastic fenders, get the sks full coverage fenders. They work great, stay put and are very durable.
http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...product=27-004

If you go metal, get the Berthoud stainless steel fenders. They are VERY light even being stainless. And IMHO they are better than the Honjo's. I've had both, currently running the berthouds. They are a tad more durable, perfect amount of coverage, easy to install, and they are quiet from the start with no futzing around.
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Old 02-22-09, 01:17 AM
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There is just nothing better than the deep satisfaction that goes with acquiring the bike of your dreams.

...Unfortunately for my fickle self, there is more than one.
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Old 02-22-09, 07:24 PM
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Final shots

Here a few more pictures of my BJ ready for commuting, with fenders, racks, seatbag and lights. It weighed 29 lbs with all this gear attached (including tools and lock), compared to 21 lbs beforehand.
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Old 02-22-09, 11:11 PM
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Very nice, tarwheel. Real nice. Too bad about that Carolina Blue, though...
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