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Building a bike for the long haul (years)

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Building a bike for the long haul (years)

Old 03-10-20, 03:11 PM
  #1  
PoorBob
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Building a bike for the long haul (years)

Hello group.

About to enter the next phase of life (mid life) and looking to get onto a little firmer footing of a bike.

My current bike is a "Endurance" style carbon road bike. I have had this bike for 5yrs now and have been fighting BB creek for 3. This plus a 30c tire max I have been thinking for about a year now of switching to something a bit different.

For a long time I was dead set on carbon, shaving grams would = speed right?! Now I am after a bike that is sensible in weight, has a threaded BB and can get a nice wide tire when needed. Spring around here offers a ton of great and debris on roads and trails and I am getting to a point where I like to avoid crashes and rashes.

I guess I am asking for a some feed back to help focus on my next step.

I have found a few framesets that I think would work for me, and from internet searches that are only 1.1 to 1.4lbs heavier then my carbon frame set believe it or not.

So what are a few things to consider, what would you suggest? And I plan to build this bike out since that kind of misery is just something I enjoy.

I am thinking with a few higher end components I can easily make up that difference in weight..
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Old 03-10-20, 04:12 PM
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So basically you just need to admit you're hankerin for a new one.

Titanium would obviously be the likely choice in terms of frame durability. Then buy a bunch of replacement parts for whatever wheels and components might fail over 10 years or so, plus cables, etc.....

Trouble is standards change. The industry is moving to disc brakes, so potential for a harder time finding side pull pads ?, that may be really far out though. Wheels moving to thru-axles, so a spare rear wheel ?, certainly cables, cassettes, chain. Systems up to 12 speeds ?, can we envision more ?, but who would have thought 30 years ago when 7 was all the rage that we'd be at 12 rear gears now, plus the sometimes silliness of 12 rear and a single front. I think though that we will see a return to BSA as a b-bracket standard.

I used to think "this is maybe my last road/mountain bike", then realized that's not going to happen if only as the newer technologies can improve riding and I'm a sucker for new stuff. Maybe when I'm 80 and REALLY seeing my riding taking a decline will I consider planning for my "last bike".
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Old 03-10-20, 05:06 PM
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I've been looking for the "Last Bike", one that can fill the gap between my road/ mtb bikes, but with a change of wheel sets/tires can be a solid paved road ride. I keep coming back to the Salsa Cutthroat. It may not be as quick as a sporty endurance whatever bike, but it seems to be a stable, comfortable all day ride. At least, that is my impression from what I read and see on YouTube. If you need specialization in one area or another, there are many choices, but I see a wide spectrum of capability in the Cutthroat. It might be a temporary infatuation. I can't tell until it's over.
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Old 03-10-20, 06:41 PM
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What is your target price range for teh frame?
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Old 03-10-20, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by PoorBob View Post
So what are a few things to consider, what would you suggest? And I plan to build this bike out since that kind of misery is just something I enjoy...
yeah...go to dwmckee's shop and look around. When you dont know what you like/want, nothing beats looking at options in person.
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Old 03-10-20, 08:41 PM
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hey now, I did not say a last bike lol.

This is more geared towards riding style and a desire to get to a few more places I no longer feel comfortable riding at speed on a true road bike/tire.

Price range for a frame set would be in the $1000 range. I know that keeps me out of the top end or even middle end but something good for a novice. As far as wheel components. I am 100% on disc, currently have a nice set of Zipps wheels on the bike that I would likely sell off. I kept the OVAL wheels that came with it so I can put those back on.

So I guess more of a questions is.. A higher end aluminum frame, with quality components is actually more durable and better in the saddle then a low end carbon frame with lower end components?

Last edited by PoorBob; 03-11-20 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 03-11-20, 05:45 PM
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There’s a train of thought that alloy frames are an advantage on gravel/dirt than carbon, as they are better at resisting chips from stones, etc...

And do you need a frame or a would a pre-built work ?. I’ve built up all my road bikes the past 20 years from frames as I had better control over what parts went on the bike. The wheels on pre-built are always the weak point IMO, unless it’s really high end and those were out of my range in any case. Plus I’m a Clyde and never felt like the light and expensive wheels would take my abuse.

Having looked at a lot of options, frames/parts, Chinese frames plus parts, and pre-built, I finally went to the Cannondale Topstone aluminum 105. Very happy with the design and components. I also added a 2nd set of wheels with road tires and a roadie cassette, so can swap back and forth easily. It’s why I love gravel disc bikes currently, very versatile
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Old 03-12-20, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by PoorBob View Post
Hello group.

About to enter the next phase of life (mid life) and looking to get onto a little firmer footing of a bike.

My current bike is a "Endurance" style carbon road bike. I have had this bike for 5yrs now and have been fighting BB creek for 3. This plus a 30c tire max I have been thinking for about a year now of switching to something a bit different.

For a long time I was dead set on carbon, shaving grams would = speed right?! Now I am after a bike that is sensible in weight, has a threaded BB and can get a nice wide tire when needed. Spring around here offers a ton of great and debris on roads and trails and I am getting to a point where I like to avoid crashes and rashes.

I guess I am asking for a some feed back to help focus on my next step.

I have found a few framesets that I think would work for me, and from internet searches that are only 1.1 to 1.4lbs heavier then my carbon frame set believe it or not.

So what are a few things to consider, what would you suggest? And I plan to build this bike out since that kind of misery is just something I enjoy.

I am thinking with a few higher end components I can easily make up that difference in weight..
Not to derail the purchasing program but have you tried pulling the crank arms, lightly greasing the spindle, and retightening? Most creak is from a slightly loose arm on the spindle that allows dry metal to rub or "creak" under load.

Ok, back to buying a new bike!
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Old 03-12-20, 09:47 AM
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it's not the crank anyway. It's your seat creaking in the seatpost.
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Old 03-12-20, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
it's not the crank anyway. It's your seat creaking in the seatpost.
Even when out of the saddle eh ?

I am going to try going over the cranks as suggested. I will likely be riding this bike for a few months while i sift through the new build.
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Old 03-13-20, 09:05 AM
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unterhausen
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pedal then. I was going to add that it's too much trouble to get rid of a squeak, you have to buy a new bike
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Old 03-15-20, 08:05 AM
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With free time becoming more abundent I am back on the planning phase of this build.

Information is key to making good decisions, too much information is a great way to get bogged down!

As I mentioned in an earlier post I am considering a higher end alloy frame, I currently ride a carbon road bike but want to build something better for miles of rail trails, city park dirt paths, and a wider tire for all the obstacle I encounter riding in a city.

The more I search around google the more contradicting info I seem to find. Now it appears Carbon or Steel is the way to go for a gravel pounder and that alloy (aluminum) is not the best choice?

back to square one
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Old 03-15-20, 10:04 AM
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Going to disagree. Aluminum is fine, likely to last as long as carbon. In my mind, I view frame durability in the following order, longest lasting first, Titanium, Steel, Aluminum, Carbon. I’ve always seen this as the conventional wisdom.

It’s so dependent on who designed and built the frame though and there are thousands of Trek carbon frames from 20 years ago still out there. I’m a bit old school though and shy away from carbon for off road use, thinking they don’t take hits from sticks and stones as well as alloys. That’s just me, YMMV.

My “Forever” gravel, money no object, is going to be a titanium version of a Cannondale aluminum Topstone. Don’t know if any body makes a Ti version with 12x100 front axle on a carbon fork, 112x142 TA rear, disc, BSA b-bracket, lots of bottle and TT mounts, eyelets for genders and a rear rack.
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Old 03-15-20, 11:01 AM
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A friend at work told me Lynskey Ti bikes is having a 25% off everything sale. Their frame/forkset start a bit higher than your target price. lynskeyperformance.com
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Old 03-15-20, 11:18 AM
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It's impossible (cost prohibitive) to fix cracked welds in aluminum. That's usually a bad weld, but it can take years to appear. Carbon bikes can be patched / repaired effectively.

Adventure bike
I built up a titanium bike 5 years ago. It's an all-day ride, credit card tourer, gravel road bike.

It fits fenders with up to 35mm tires. I normally use 28mm with fenders. That's really great in the spring, when roads are often wet, or there's a chance of rain during the ride. It's great to go ride right after a rain storm, with the roads still soaking wet. I stay dry.
It fits 40mm tires without fenders. I've been using Compass (now Rene Herse) 38mm Barlow Pass smooth tread tires. They are 400 grams + a heavier tube, compared to my GP5000 tires at 215 grams. But they are amazing on rough roads, floating over bad chipseal and tar joints. And they can go offroad, and are perfect for crushed stone rail trails -- fast rolling on the packed stone. One tire did have a fabric failure causing a bulge, though.
These 38mm tires, at 40-45 psi front, 50-55 psi rear, roll nearly as easily as 25 or 28mm road tires.

I don't ride this bike on the local fast-for-me group rides. That's for my carbon road bike.
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Old 03-18-20, 07:20 AM
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Well this one is on temporary hold.

Still going to plan/dream but like many of us work and hours are effected by the pandemic.

No complaints, happy to have a bike and the health to keep riding. The new build is just going to be a over winter project, and that will give me something to do.
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