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Planning my next bike build for retirement

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Planning my next bike build for retirement

Old 03-13-12, 12:58 PM
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Planning my next bike build for retirement

Here I go again. I typically spend months going back and forth trying to decide exactly what I want my next bike to be. I won't call it agonizing, because I really enjoy it. I like the process and the results. I usually start thinking about this long before I have the money set aside to pay for it, so it can go on for a long time while I save up and/or make arrangements.

Sometimes I can find a stock bike that needs only minor changes to meet my vision. Other times I'll start with a frame and pick each component, some new, some I may already have sitting around waiting for a home. Sometimes I'll buy a stock bike and make major component changes, selling off or repurposing the stock components.

I start by thinking of what kind of bike I want to add to my stable. Will it replace one of the bikes I have now or will it fit into a different role than any of my current bikes? Maybe I'll need to make changes to another bike at the same time to avoid duplication while keeping both bikes. This decision can also change over the course of planning the new bike. Then I figure out what frame would work best to make the new bike and fit within the price I can bear to pay. Also, what components do I want to use? What wheelset? Will I buy a premade wheelset or build it up myself? What gearing do I want to run?

This next bike I am planning is to be my retirement present to myself. After 29 years at the airplane parts factory, I'm going to hang it up and move on at the end of June. I have several ideas of what to do after that, but my first move will be to work part time at the local bike shop as a wrench and salesman. This will give me access to tools and workspace for the bike build and will cut the cost of the parts due to employee pricing and maybe even pro deals from manufacturers on some parts.

The bike I want to build will be an "all road" bike. It will have drop bars and fit like a somewhat relaxed road bike and it will be able to quickly and comfortably take long rides on smoothly paved roads, poorly paved roads, smooth dirt or gravel roads, rougher dirt or gravel roads and even the occasional short run on non-technical singletrack. It will most likely be a welded steel frame. It will need to have clearance for 2" or wider tires. I am almost sure that I want disc brakes, but sometimes I waiver on that. I insist on being able to run my handlebars level with my saddle with one 10mm spacer and a no rise stem so I can have the option of going higher for dirt drop handlebars. The frame will need to have braze ons for three water bottles, fenders and front and rear racks as I will want to be able to do some light touring and bikepacking on the bike.

The Salsa Vaya would be perfect, but it can only take 42mm tires. The Fargo would work, but I prefer something more road bike like. Cyclocross bikes have the same tire width problem, plus I would prefer a lower bottom bracket for stability over a higher one for clearance. The Rawland Drakkar came very close to meeting all my requirements, but is currently out of production. It is being updated, so it remains to be seen whether it will still be in the running. It may turn out that I will want to have a frame builder make a custom frame to nail down all of my particulars, but of course, that will cost a bit more.

I'll post here from time to time as the concept evolves and when I finally build the bike later this summer. I'd love to hear suggestions and ideas, but understand I'm pretty hard headed.
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Old 03-13-12, 01:20 PM
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I've read the new Shimano road groups will have a disc brake option. Just a thought.
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Old 03-13-12, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeWNC
I've read the new Shimano road groups will have a disc brake option. Just a thought.
Yes, mechanical, not hydraulic. And also a CX option that should be better suited to mud and such. at least it is another option besides the venerable Avid BB7 road disc brakes.
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Old 03-13-12, 01:38 PM
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I was just talking about brakes with a friend that does adventure cycling and he recommends mechanical discs for touring for the ease of maintenance and repair in the field. YMMV but it makes sense to me.
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Old 03-13-12, 02:00 PM
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Congratulations on your impending retirement, BD.
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Old 03-13-12, 02:01 PM
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Just done the same As I retire in only 13 working days--Less if anyone else upsets me.

I looked at the type of bike I needed in the shed and all I was lacking was a CX. My Old MTB is good enough for the type of offroad riding I will be doing in the Future- The Offroad Tandem is good enough but could also be converted to road if required. The two road bikes I have are both good and one is for the "Fun rides up to 65 miles with a sensible amount of climbing and the other is good for Longer distances or Higher- longer hills.

But that CX- Would I use it? Thought about it for a long time and was tempted and kept it on the list. Went into the LBS to finalise and what a problem. Wanted to stay with Giants but NONE were available. I mean NONE. I had put the TCX2 top of my list-not available- so stretch to the TCX1- not available in my size- Went to the "Cheaper" TCR's None available- went right through the Defy C.F. Range-- None available in my size

I was getting desperate now but the LBS are also Pinarello dealers. Ordered the one I could afford in the FPUNO and took the only colour in my size available. It was not a last chance as The FP1 was on my list last year but felt it was being poserish to have a Pinnie. I no longer care as it rides like a dream.

So MTB and I am covered. Road and I have the OLD two for my normal rides but I now have the bike I should have thought of as top of my list. It would not be on everyones list as it is aluminium- but after Boreas I know how a good Aluminium frame can ride and the Pinnie is as good as Boreas. Only thing not covered yet is wheels. It came with R501 wheels and I am not convinced they are right for me. But I do have the Ultegras and the handbuilts to see if they will make a good bike------better.

Think you have a lot of research to do and once you have done that- Look at what you really want. That should cut the list by about half and then the problem will begin---But you are probably at that stage now.
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Old 03-13-12, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg
It may turn out that I will want to have a frame builder make a custom frame to nail down all of my particulars, but of course, that will cost a bit more.
This is likely your best option, considering the monster-cross tire requirements.

Consider Eric Rolf of Alliance Bicycles. He's done several very nice monster-cross bikes. And in steel, his frames start at $1,400 in single-color powdercoat.
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Old 03-14-12, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg
The Salsa Vaya would be perfect, but it can only take 42mm tires.
"only"?!?!?!
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Old 03-14-12, 05:35 AM
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Yes. I'll be doing long rides on bumpy dirt roads with creek crossings where I can't see the rocks I'm riding over. I want to be able to run 2.3" 29er tires on rides like that. I have a bike that can run 38's. It works great up to a point. This bike needs to be able to go past that point.
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Old 03-14-12, 05:43 AM
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It almost sounds like you should be investigating some variant of a 29'er with a rigid carbon fork, disc's and one of the often talked about road style bars for MTB's.

My multi terrain MTB's are similar to your desires, but are based on the less expensive availability of standard 26" equipment. I've often thought about biting the dollar problem and stepping up to such a 29er.
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Old 03-14-12, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by maddmaxx
It almost sounds like you should be investigating some variant of a 29'er with a rigid carbon fork, disc's and one of the often talked about road style bars for MTB's.

My multi terrain MTB's are similar to your desires, but are based on the less expensive availability of standard 26" equipment. I've often thought about biting the dollar problem and stepping up to such a 29er.
Yes. That is getting very close to what I'm after with the Salsa Fargo being the prime example. This may be what I end up doing. Unlike most MTBs which are designed for flat or riser bars, the Fargo has the shorter top tube and higher head tube needed to place drop bars in the right position. Unlike normal road bike drops, MTB drops are designed for the drop position to be the most used position, so they have to be higher than a flat or road drop bar would be.

But what I really want ideally is a road bike that can ride on rugged terrain rather than a mountain bike that can ride on roads.
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Old 03-14-12, 08:18 AM
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The closest frames I have found so far to what I'm thinking of are the Rawland Drakkar and the Salsa Fargo. Neither is a perfect match, but I could work with either. The Ti version of the Fargo would be especially sweet. But it's price puts me firmly into custom steel territory.

The Rawland is out of production currently and being redesigned. I am curious to see what changes will be made in the new version.
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Old 03-14-12, 08:32 AM
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The Origin 8 CX700 fits the discription, see: https://www.origin-8.com/?page_id=91&...26+ACCESSORIES

The CX700 is sold as a frameset. 700x50 tires will fit without fenders, 700x47 with. Depending on tire, the bike is a bad-pavement road bike, a smooth gravel touring bike or a single track Monstercross beast. The frameset will accept disc or cantilever brakes. It can also accept a singlespeed or IGH drivetrain.

Right now, I'm using Vittoria Randonneur Hyper (700x32) slick tires on pavement and dry gravel. The bike is fast enough for 25 to 75 mile solo fitness rides. The ride comfort and handling of the bike is first class, I've held 45 mph on curvy roads while descending and the bike is stable while turning at high speed without feeling sluggish. I like the fear-no-pothole toughness of the bike. Huge fun to ride on bad pavement.

During the January and February, I kept a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Cross (700x38) tires on the bike. Riding on dry pavement was better than expected, with good levels of low rolling resistance. The bike really does well on snow and ice that is flat and smooth, this will be a great winter bike. The Marathon Cross is also an ideal tire for 50/50 wet road & wet gravel. I'll use this tire for tow-path touring this year.

I’ve also added a set of Schwalbe Smart Sam (700x47) MTB tires for damp or soft trail conditions. These should be fast on flatter trails that are not very technical. These tires fit the frame and fork with ample room for fenders. A 700x50 tire, like the Big Apple or Dureme should fit, if fenders are not used. I’ve installed Planet Bike Cascadia 29er Fenders and they went on quickly and fit well. However, the attachment point for the fender stays is way too high for ideal stability, but it does work well enough.

While the bike will never win any CX races and is way too slow for “A” level group-rides, it can do just about anything I need a CX or Adventure-touring bike to do. I plan to use it for road cycling and trail exploring near home. I also hope to do some gravel trail touring with the bike this year.

For a full report, see: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...7#post13962327



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Old 03-14-12, 08:43 AM
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For something more upscale with disc brakes (only), consider the Gunnar Rock Tour: https://gunnarbikes.com/site/bikes/rock-tour/
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Old 03-14-12, 08:54 AM
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I cannot add any value to the bike building but I will definitely offer congrats on your planned retirement in June.
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Old 03-14-12, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by tsl
This is likely your best option, considering the monster-cross tire requirements.
Consider Eric Rolf of Alliance Bicycles. He's done several very nice monster-cross bikes. And in steel, his frames start at $1,400 in single-color powdercoat.
Thanks for the link. I like that he likes blurring the distinctions between types of bikes. I met a couple of builders from Georgia recently who build very nice frames. They had not done this type of bike before, but both seemed willing and interested in working with me to get to what I want. I know this is the only way I'll get exactly what I want.

Originally Posted by Barrettscv
The Origin 8 CX700 fits the discription, see: https://www.origin-8.com/?page_id=91&...26+ACCESSORIES
Yes. I remember you posting this. That is another frame I have looked at. Head tube height and weight were two areas of concern for me. I am surprised that you say in the other post that it is lighter than the Fargo or Vaya. Going by the claimed frame weights for each (not much to go on, I know), it should weigh a half pound more than the same sized Fargo and more than 3/4 pound more than the Vaya. Are you comparing the full build weights including your fork swap?

How do you like the Woodchippers? They seem to be a good choice for MTB drops, but I'm thinking I might want to go with cowbells instead for a more hoods oriented riding style.

Originally Posted by Barrettscv
For something more upscale with disc brakes (only), consider the Gunnar Rock Tour: https://gunnarbikes.com/site/bikes/rock-tour/
Yes. The Gunnar is definitely on my list. Might need to go for custom geometry.
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Old 03-14-12, 10:31 AM
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TRP is beginning to show a Di2 hydraulic disc brake road lever combination,
at least a prototype on the Taipei Trade show .

Fly by wire .. bound to happen, with electronics, being smaller, and,
the mechanical brifter takes up too much space in the lever
to share any with a Master cylinder..

So, for the mechanical brifters, there are cable, to hydraulic disc brake converters,
that go under the stem.

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Old 03-14-12, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg
Yes. I remember you posting this. That is another frame I have looked at. Head tube height and weight were two areas of concern for me. I am surprised that you say in the other post that it is lighter than the Fargo or Vaya. Going by the claimed frame weights for each (not much to go on, I know), it should weigh a half pound more than the same sized Fargo and more than 3/4 pound more than the Vaya. Are you comparing the full build weights including your fork swap?

How do you like the Woodchippers? They seem to be a good choice for MTB drops, but I'm thinking I might want to go with cowbells instead for a more hoods oriented riding style.



Yes. The Gunnar is definitely on my list. Might need to go for custom geometry.
My CX 700 was made lighter than the Fargo and Vaya by changing to a Cross Check fork and using Cantilever brakes. The Gunnar Rock Tour, like the Fargo, is compatible with 80mm travel 29'er suspension forks with a 466-468mm axle to crown length, while the CX 700 uses Cyclocross or Touring forks with a 390 to 400mm axle to crown length.

Selecting a frame depends on your needs. If you want a Vaya like frame that will take larger tires, the CX 700 fits these requirements. So does the Fargo and Rock Tour, but these are more like mountain bikes than the Vaya or the CX 700.

Handlebars, like saddles, come down to personal preference. I like the Woodchipper for touring or gravel, but like them less for faster fitness rides that other bars I've used. Having my arms wide while on the drops at higher speeds is less than ideal, IMO. However, having my hands wide at lower speeds has some benefits. Overall, I like the woodchippers, but would not want them on a normal Cyclocross or road bike.

Monstercross bikes are not about faster speeds. They all weight 25 pounds or more and are designed for 700x40 or larger tires. The CX 700 is about go-anywhere versatility and gravel trail touring.
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Old 03-14-12, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
My CX 700 was made lighter than the Fargo and Vaya by changing to a Cross Check fork and using Cantilever brakes. The Gunnar Rock Tour, like the Fargo, is compatible with 80mm travel 29'er suspension forks with a 466-468mm axle to crown length, while the CX 700 uses Cyclocross or Touring forks with a 390 to 400mm axle to crown length.

Selecting a frame depends on your needs. If you want a Vaya like frame that will take larger tires, the CX 700 fits these requirements. So does the Fargo and Rock Tour, but these are more like mountain bikes that the CX 700.

Handlebars, like saddles, come down to personal preference. I like the Woodchipper for touring or gravel, but like them less for faster fitness rides that other bars I've used. Having my arms wide while on the drops at higher speeds is less than ideal, IMO. However, having my hands wide at lower speeds has some benifits. Overall, I like the woodchippers, but would not want them on a normal Cyclocross or road bike.

Monstercross bikes are not about faster speeds. They all weight 25 pounds or more and are designed for 700x40 or larger tires. The CX 700 is about go-anywhere versatility and gravel trail touring.
So far everything I have considered comes close in some respects and misses the boat in others. The loosely defined and highly debated monstercross concept plays a big part in the thinking that led me to the kind of bike I want to build, but there are some differences. One thing about the CX 700, though, it comes cheap and I could build it up with cantis almost entirely with parts I already have either in boxes or currently in use on another bike. It might be worth getting one just to check out the concept and to see what changes I would make for my dream build. Something to think about.
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Old 03-14-12, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Louis
Congratulations on your impending retirement, BD.
Thanks. I can't wait.
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Old 03-14-12, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg
So far everything I have considered comes close in some respects and misses the boat in others. The loosely defined and highly debated monstercross concept plays a big part in the thinking that led me to the kind of bike I want to build, but there are some differences. One thing about the CX 700, though, it comes cheap and I could build it up with cantis almost entirely with parts I already have either in boxes or currently in use on another bike. It might be worth getting one just to check out the concept and to see what changes I would make for my dream build. Something to think about.
I did mine for less than $850 using all new parts.
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When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

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Old 03-14-12, 12:29 PM
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BD,

Since you're not sure on what you want yet, no point in jumping in on the N+1 part of the post. So for part two, congrats on the June retirement! Even if you don't go to work part time for an LBS, you will love it. I retired for the second and final time in October and I'm loving every minute of it. It's nice to think that every day can be a Saturday from here on out.
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Old 03-14-12, 12:43 PM
  #23  
just keep riding
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
I did mine for less than $850 using all new parts.
One thing odd to me is the sizing. It looks like I would need the XL size with it's 58.3cm effective top tube. For visual reference, what size is your frame and what is your BB center to saddle top measurement? If I remember correctly, you are a little taller than me (6' even, 34" PBH, 760mm BB to saddle top).
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Old 03-14-12, 01:02 PM
  #24  
I need speed
 
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Congrat's, BD!

And are you sure you want all that in one bike?
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Old 03-14-12, 01:15 PM
  #25  
Have bike, will travel
 
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg
One thing odd to me is the sizing. It looks like I would need the XL size with it's 58.3cm effective top tube. For visual reference, what size is your frame and what is your BB center to saddle top measurement? If I remember correctly, you are a little taller than me (6' even, 34" PBH, 760mm BB to saddle top).
I'm also 6' even, 34" PBH, 760mm BB to saddle top! The frame is the XL, it has a 590mm effective top tube, the actual TT length is 58.3. The saddle is 760mm above the BB as pictured.

Heck, now that you are retiring, you'll have time to visit "The North" and try mine while enjoying the Cuyahoga Valley National Park!
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Last edited by Barrettscv; 03-14-12 at 01:23 PM.
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