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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 11-30-17, 03:59 PM   #1
twodownzero
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Starting from scratch: building a new bicycle for randonneuring

I've been PMing with a few folks about their bikes, but I'd like to start a discussion in the open forum here.

Just by way of background, I have two bikes. One is a carbon frame from Ribble that I got on clearance and built into a 19 pound road bike. It has an Ultegra triple groupset that has a combination of 6600 shifters with the remainder of the 6700 group. The wheels are Shimano RS-80s that I got used. It only fits 23mm tires and has rim brakes. The fit on this bike is very aggressive and while I can and do ride it for a few hours at a time, I don't think I'd want to do more than a 200k on it. I seldom ride it but I did put a few thousand miles on it over the past 6 years since I built it.

My second bike is a 2015 Surly Disc Trucker that I built myself from a frameset. It has a Shimano 105 5700 group except for the crank, which is a 48/36/26 trekking triple. The wheels were hand built by a local shop with a Shimano Alfine front dynamo and XT rear hub, 32 straight gauge spokes, and unknown rims. I recently bought a scale and weighed it with my usual seat bag, bottle cages but no bottles, fenders, pedals, computer, dyno lights, and a fuel tank bag on the top tube, and it was 16.3 kg (35.8 pounds). The fit is quite relaxed on this bike with something like 50mm of headset spacers and the bars relatively flat with the saddle. My fitness is quite a bit better so I could probably stand to adjust this slightly and have a bit of drop. I completed a 200k on this bike in September with 3300 feet of climbing and I ride it 3-400 miles a month. It has 26x1.6" tires and is very comfortable other than the weight when climbing.

I'm considering building another bicycle to bridge the gap between these two. Honestly, I didn't pay quite enough attention to weight on my Surly build and it's probably carrying an extra ~5 pounds as a result, but the frameset is also 3 or so pounds heavier than a high end custom steel frameset. I intend to ride this bicycle on a SR series in 2018 and on PBP in 2019.

I want to build a bicycle that has:
26 (559) wheels
disc brakes
(probably) steel frame and fork
1.5"+ tires (probably going to use the Compass 26x1.8"), probably tubeless
dynamo lights and fenders
low trail fork and set up for a front rack + bag
(maybe) travel couplers

These are pretty much non-negotiable. I want to do 26" wheels because I ride a 50cm bike and I fit better on the smaller wheels. 650b or 700c will be too many geometry compromises for my taste and too much toe overlap.

What I am interested in suggestions for are lightweight 559 rims. How light is too light on the wheels? My current wheels are too heavy, but with 26" mountain bikes going by the wayside, options are limited. I want brute force durability, but I weigh 155 pounds, so I don't need extreme overkill, either! I am thinking 32 spoke, but light. What rims should I use?

Who would you consider for the frame? Options I've considered are Waterford/Gunnar, R+E Cycles, Lynskey, Elephant, or possibly something full custom where I meet with the builder in person. Are there any others I should consider that you'd like to suggest?

Is it worth it to build a bike from scratch just to save ~7 pounds of weight? Ideally it would have shorter chainstays, low trial geometry, a mini front rack, but otherwise, my vision is for it to be pretty similar to my Surly. I love the fit of my Surly now, so it'd be hard to part with it, but it's really going to be somewhat redundant in my stable if I build a specialized randonnuering bike.

If I don't build a new bike, I would consider replacing my spokes + rims with lighter ones, running lighter tires, and generally trimming off the excess fat, but of course I want another bike, so I can't help but ask.

Thanks
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Old 12-02-17, 08:44 AM   #2
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I would look at Albion bikes Privateer, Not 26r but looks good.
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Old 12-02-17, 09:09 AM   #3
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I would look at Albion bikes Privateer, Not 26r but looks good.
This is a rim brake, 700c bicycle, aka, something that I am NOT interested in at all for this bike. Disc brakes and 559 wheels are non-negotiable.
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Old 12-02-17, 10:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post

I want to build a bicycle that has:
26 (559) wheels
disc brakes
(probably) steel frame and fork
1.5"+ tires (probably going to use the Compass 26x1.8"), probably tubeless
dynamo lights and fenders
low trail fork and set up for a front rack + bag
(maybe) travel couplers
Rawland Ravn satisfies all that except for couplers, but it's designed for fatter (54mm) 26" tires.
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Old 12-02-17, 01:58 PM   #5
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what rims are available? It seems like back stock is probably plentiful, but I doubt there are many 26" rims in current production.
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Old 12-02-17, 02:58 PM   #6
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Since 26 inch rims were initially used for mountain biking and later also for some loaded touring, it may be quite difficult to find some light weight 26 inch rims. I have RhynoLine rims on my folding bike, I was curious on the weight so I looked it up, they are probably heavier than you want at 575 grams.
https://sun-ringle.com/mtb/rims/rhyno-lite/

But while I was on that manufacturers website, I took a look and found some lighter rims, but I know nothing about them other than what the website says. I did not do any research on these rims, if you are interested you would have to spend some quality time with google to research reviews of them yourself.
https://sun-ringle.com/mtb/rims/cr18/
https://sun-ringle.com/mtb/rims/eq21/

If you decided to consider rim brakes, there were a lot of mountain bikes built in the late 80s to early 90s with solid (non-suspension) forks that might have a geometry that you find acceptable. My 1993 Bridgestone MB-6 (which I am not offering to you) measures at 53cm which would probably be a nice smaller sized rando bike with a drop bar conversion and a new rear wheel that can take more than a 7 speed cassette, but it is cantilever and not disc brake.

Add Co-Motion to your list of frame builders. They have built a lot of frames for 26 inch wheels, they should know geometry rather well.
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Old 12-02-17, 09:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
26 (559) wheels
(...)
What I am interested in suggestions for are lightweight 559 rims. How light is too light on the wheels? My current wheels are too heavy, but with 26" mountain bikes going by the wayside, options are limited. I want brute force durability, but I weigh 155 pounds, so I don't need extreme overkill, either! I am thinking 32 spoke, but light. What rims should I use?
With your luggage on a front rack (or fork-mounted panniers), you're only stressing the normally lightly loaded front wheels, so you won't need the most heavy-duty rims. 32 spokes should be fine for the same reason.

Are the Velocity A23 26" rims at 415g light enough for you? They fit tubeless tires and with an internal width of 18 mm should still be wide enough for the Compass 26″ x 1.8″ Naches Pass TC tires. Weight-wise I think they'll be OK for you.

I'm around the same weight with you and am using the Velocity Blunt SL 27.5 at 425g which are also tubeless ready, but Velocity only seems to sell the 29" version of that now.
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Old 12-02-17, 09:51 PM   #8
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Stan's 350g rims:

Stan's NoTubes ZTR Alpine 26in Rim 32H Disc Only Black | 26-inch | Rims | Wheels | Components | Bikewagon.com

DT Swiss 400g:

DT Swiss XR400 26" Disc Rim 28-hole Presta Black | 26-inch | Rims | Wheels | Components | Bikewagon.com
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Old 12-02-17, 10:06 PM   #9
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Apparently I'm before my time

http://surlybikes.com/blog/post/introducing_the_pack_rat
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Old 12-03-17, 07:37 AM   #10
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not really before your time, Jan Heine started pushing 26" wheels this year.
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Old 12-03-17, 08:30 AM   #11
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Whyte Glencoe:



https://www.whyte.bike/glencoe

then add a dynamo hub/light, good tubeless tyres, and some Apidura bags and you have a perfect fast bike for Audax/long distance:


Last edited by dim; 12-03-17 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 12-03-17, 01:06 PM   #12
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not really before your time, Jan Heine started pushing 26" wheels this year.
I follow his blog and I'm a bq subscriber and I still didn't know that. Interesting.

Although I've had a 26" bike for over two years now, too.
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Old 12-03-17, 01:54 PM   #13
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Crust

Hey there!

With a carefully chosen set of parts, a Crust Romanceur would be right up your alley.

They have smaller frames in stock. I ride one and have 26” Velocity blunt rims. 2.3” Compass Rat Trap Pass tires.

I love the bike in so many ways. They also have the Crust Lightning Bolt. I know some people have popped 26x1.8 tires on that frame.

They’re a top notch, small company. I recommend them.
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Old 12-03-17, 02:42 PM   #14
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Perhaps Jan has ramped up his support for 26" wheels lately, but he has made arguments in favor of them for years and years now. (Good for smaller framed bikes, good for keeping the overall wheel diameter reasonable with large tires.)

I'm pretty excited to try out the Naches Pass 1.8" tires. Kudos to the Compass gang for helping to keep that size afloat.
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Old 12-04-17, 03:41 PM   #15
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Light Bicycle do a carbon 360gm 26" rim which would be good for your tyre width. Up to 36 spoke holes

https://www.lightbicycle.com/wider-m...inch-rims.html
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Old 12-04-17, 05:11 PM   #16
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I second the opinion of Velocity A23 Wheels. I have a Velocity A23 wheel on my low racer recumbent. Lightweight and stiff enough to last. You can custom order them via their site.
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Old 12-05-17, 10:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Perhaps Jan has ramped up his support for 26" wheels lately, but he has made arguments in favor of them for years and years now. (Good for smaller framed bikes, good for keeping the overall wheel diameter reasonable with large tires.)

I'm pretty excited to try out the Naches Pass 1.8" tires. Kudos to the Compass gang for helping to keep that size afloat.
It's taking quite a bit out of me not to order a set. I will be ordering a set before my 300k, I can tell you that. My bike is a big fat pig, but taking that much weight off my tires will be a huge benefit, not to mention gaining width and comfort in the process.

The Schwalbe Marathon Supreme is actually a great tire, but every little bit helps on these super long rides.
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Old 12-06-17, 12:31 PM   #18
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It's taking quite a bit out of me not to order a set. I will be ordering a set before my 300k, I can tell you that. My bike is a big fat pig, but taking that much weight off my tires will be a huge benefit, not to mention gaining width and comfort in the process.
There was a brief period of time where the standard-casing NPs were only $43 on the Compass site, and so I couldn't resist at that price. I don't know whether it was a website glitch, or what else it might have been, but I pulled the trigger while I could. I see now that they're back up to $63.

Quote:
The Schwalbe Marathon Supreme is actually a great tire, but every little bit helps on these super long rides.
I've heard good things about Schwalbe Marathons, but I agree, slow tires can be a real drag toward the end of a long ride. Depending on the model you use, even Panaracer Pasela 26"x1.75" might be an improvement in rolling resistance.
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Old 12-06-17, 07:19 PM   #19
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I've heard good things about Schwalbe Marathons, but I agree, slow tires can be a real drag toward the end of a long ride. Depending on the model you use, even Panaracer Pasela 26"x1.75" might be an improvement in rolling resistance.
You must be confused about the tire I'm talking about. The Marathon Supreme is not a flat-resistant tire like a Marathon. It actually lighter than the Pasela PT in 26x1.75"; I doubt there would be any demonstrable difference.

For reference, the lightweight Compass tire in a similar size is over 30% lighter in weight. The standard Pasela is over 10% heavier than a Schwalbe Marathon Supreme.

I know weight is not a perfect proxy for how supple a tire is, but you should get the idea. They are similar thread count as well.
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Old 12-06-17, 08:05 PM   #20
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Ah, you're right, I had a different model in mind. Why does Schwalbe insist on grouping so many different models under the same banner?
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Old 12-07-17, 01:11 AM   #21
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Ah, you're right, I had a different model in mind. Why does Schwalbe insist on grouping so many different models under the same banner?
Bit like Vittoria. I recently learned (possibly on this sub-forum) that their Randonneur range have about six models, all of which are different types of tyres.
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Old 12-07-17, 02:35 PM   #22
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Nextie has a 26" rim @ 275 grams with 32 hole availability
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Old 12-08-17, 04:30 PM   #23
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Nextie has a 26" rim @ 275 grams with 32 hole availability
Link? Durability? Experiences?
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