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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 10-18-17, 11:04 AM   #1
cormacf
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Monstercross / Trekking distance bike

I want a disc-equipped bike I can throw a front bag on and take on brevets. I also have to admit that I like being different (though not enough to abandon comfort). I also like big, squishy tires (at least as an option).

I've looked at Wolverines and NFEs (which are close, but a little tall for my short legs) and various other gravel bikes, but I like the idea of ti, partially because it's corrosion-proof (and the weather sucks in WA), partially because I like the flex of steel frames, and largely because it's cool and spaceship-like.

I also like perceived bargains (I say "perceived" because I'm the kind of guy who buys a $45 frame and hangs $1500 of crap on it). Enter all those Lynskey eBay deals. One of them is a Pro 29 MTB frame, complete with the awesome/grogeous/ridiculous twisted Helix tubes. With the addition of rack/fender mounts added at the factory (to maintain warranty), I can probably get the frame for under $1k. It seems like it could be badass as an all-day, fat-ish tire rider that would do really well off-road if I wanted to bomb down gravel trails or fire roads.

With a top tube that long (24" or so ETT at a Medium), I imagine I couldn't put drops on it, but that's not a deal-breaker. I generally like trekking bars, and I'm now old enough that I don't care if I get looks. And I rarely use the drops unless my hands are hurting or I'm in a terrible headwind.

It sounds like an awesome project and a funky bike, but I also don't want to be $2500 into something that has so many "not quite right" things that I don't love riding it all the time.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-18-17, 01:41 PM   #2
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Well, you do like different. Would be way down most lists for an "all- day bike." Why not one of the Lynskeys designed for what you say you want?
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Old 10-18-17, 02:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Well, you do like different. Would be way down most lists for an "all- day bike." Why not one of the Lynskeys designed for what you say you want?
Yeah. I really SHOULD do a GR250/260 (fender mounts, rack mounts, low top tube, clearance for 2.1" 650bs....). In the end, the extra $700 or so I'd pay for the frame is probably trivial compared to what I'll sink in. I guess it all gets back to that desire to be different. And the joy of tooling on things. But I suppose if I get bored I can build my own wheels on a dynamo hub.
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Old 10-18-17, 08:02 PM   #4
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You could probably get away with drop bars and a very short stem.

I usually ride a Medium road bike with 545mm top tube with 100mm stem but converted a 26" hardtail to drop bars that had a 605mm top tube - used a 60mm stem and it fit fine and rode really well on the road. Was kind of aggressive on singletrack as the short stem made the steering very fast when navigating rocks/roots. The biggest difference is MTB frames are generally so tall that the ETT is actually much shorter in practice.

But really I think for $2500 there are probably better options.
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Old 10-19-17, 06:19 PM   #5
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Speaking of Lynskey and Ebay, I put a bit over 50 miles on my Backroad today, most of that was on gravel. But I think my upper limit on tires is 37mm with the fenders I have. Thus, that is not really a Monster Cross bike. If you want wider tires, this model might not be what you want.

I am not familiar with the model you cited, thus my comments are specific to my Backroad.

I did not buy the Lynskey fork, that is why I am mixing rim brakes (front) and disc (rear).

I had some problems with Lynskey customer service, they shipped me a frame that was different than pictured on the Ebay posting. After I won the auction but before I recieved it, I bought the disk brake for it (post mount) and Lynskey shipped me a frame with a flat mount, but the mount on the frame was removable and they then sent me a post mount. Then they had to send me a second post mount because the first one did not clear the disk brake bolts on the rear hub. I found customer service to be rather frustrating, but once the bike was built up and ridable I was and still am extremely happy with it.

Note that Lynskey puts the rear rack mounts on the frame pretty high up above the axle. You can see that in my photos, the rear rack is the RackTime AddIt rack. I was a bit surprised when I first installed the rack how high it was.

I did a five day tour on it a couple months after I built it up, worked great. See last photo.

I did have one other issue, the bolts that hold the rear drive side dropout to the frame started to loosen up on me. I would suggest you use blue loctite on those bolts.

One more thing, the seat tube is pretty big, make sure you get the right sized clamp on the front derailleur.
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Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 10-19-17 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 10-21-17, 01:55 AM   #6
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I wouldn't even drop $50 on an old frame, if it wasn't going to fit without compromises, once built up.
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Old 10-21-17, 05:32 AM   #7
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Salsa Fargo? I found a NOS one for about 1/2 of retail. Looking forward to receiving it in a couple of days.
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Old 11-27-17, 06:26 PM   #8
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I did come across one of those helix tubed Lynskey's a while back on Pedalroom:-

https://www.pedalroom.com/bike/lynsk...ro-cross-30578
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Old 12-06-17, 08:29 AM   #9
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I don't know your budget, but I would discourage you from using a touring bike. There are a ton of endurance road bikes out there that will clear wider tires now and with disc brakes, you can use 650b rims to clear even wider tires. My touring frame is heavy and although I love the fit and fenders, I'm pushing around a bunch of extra weight that I really would rather be without on a hilly brevet.

I am also looking to build a bike specifically for randonneuring (see my other thread) and when I do, I will take a look at the weight of the components and build a lighter bike next time. For riders who can ride a 52cm or bigger and can handle 775mm of standover, a 650b allroad bike is really hard to beat as long as it can take a front load. There are dozens of steel bikes out there capable of this, both otr and custom. I am considering a ti bike with a steel fork and may work with Lynskey to develop one that will take a mini rack and handlebar bag.

For me, dynamo lights are a must and you should consider that as well.
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