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-   -   Recommendations for building a tour bike (https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1078989-recommendations-building-tour-bike.html)

Toadslop 09-03-16 01:55 PM

Recommendations for building a tour bike
 
Hey all, I'm working to build a touring bike from the ground up and I could use some advice to choosing parts. In particular, what frame and what wheel size would be ideal? Thanks in advance.

bikemig 09-03-16 02:06 PM

Why not buy a complete bike? It will be cheaper than building a touring bike from a frame.

fietsbob 09-03-16 02:06 PM

Start with a recumbent, It will be more comfortable.

One Savings tip: get a Bike almost like you want, and change a few bits on it

that are not quite spot on to what you want.





./.

Tourist in MSN 09-03-16 04:19 PM

You need to make some decisions first. Do you plan to travel very ultra light or carry more gear - think of it as how many pounds of gear you will need to carry? And do you prefer drop bars or more upright bars? And will you be going up really steep hills? How many miles/km do you think you would travel in a day? Where would your touring be (region)? And on what surface do you think you would be traveling on mostly, pavement or gravel or a mix? And what is your skill level in working on bikes, would you be lacing up your own wheels or be buying complete wheels? And are there budget constraints?

bradtx 09-03-16 07:23 PM

Toadslop, There are many variations to touring and just as many variations about how experienced touring riders have built, bought, and customized their bikes to perform as demanded. Tough to have a helpful suggestion(s) with so little data from you.

Brad

HTupolev 09-03-16 07:45 PM

Retro-direct bamboo recumbent beach cruiser fattrike.

Timequake 09-03-16 11:29 PM

What's your budget? Are you doing this to save money or just for a fun project? Where do you plan on riding? Terrain type, length of trip, amount of gear to carry? Too many variables to give you good answers as of now. But that being said, I'm a huge fan of converting old 90s mountain bikes into touring bikes. You can often find them at garage sales, used sporting good stores, or on Craigslist for <$100. They have strong steel frames with comfortable geometry, can fit wide 26" tires, may have tons of salvageable parts, and often have all the braze-ons for attaching racks. Think Specialized StumpJumper, Rock Hopper, and Hardrock, Trek 850 & 930, Schwinn High Sierra, etc.

Miele Man 09-04-16 12:57 AM


Originally Posted by Timequake (Post 19031321)
What's your budget? Are you doing this to save money or just for a fun project? Where do you plan on riding? Terrain type, length of trip, amount of gear to carry? Too many variables to give you good answers as of now. But that being said, I'm a huge fan of converting old 90s mountain bikes into touring bikes. You can often find them at garage sales, used sporting good stores, or on Craigslist for <$100. They have strong steel frames with comfortable geometry, can fit wide 26" tires, may have tons of salvageable parts, and often have all the braze-ons for attaching racks. Think Specialized StumpJumper, Rock Hopper, and Hardrock, Trek 850 & 930, Schwinn High Sierra, etc.

I've built up a number of old rigid fork hardtail MTBs as dropbar touring bikes. I love them and so do many others. Most of those will take up to 2.125" knobby tires and fenders. FOr paved roads you can go as small as 1" tires although 1.25" and 1.5" smooth tires are more common. Tese bikes are very comfortable and handle a load really well. I use either barend shifters or Cmapy 9 speed Ergo shifters.

Cheers

Toadslop 09-04-16 06:08 PM

Thanks for the advice everyone. To answer some of your questions,

1. I am on a fairly tight budget -- cheap is what I'm looking for.
2. Versatility is also key. I want to eventually use this bike to cross the country, so I need to be able to do mountains as well as flats. I generally go pretty light -- I just carry food, water, a sleeping bag, and basic bike tools when I ride, so I suppose that qualifies as ultralight.

bradtx 09-04-16 07:53 PM

Toadslop, Look up the Fuji Touring. It's a little more heavy duty than you may need, but there is few equals when it comes to value...the rear rack is included which is a further saving. Now-a-days I advise all OEM and off the shelf wheel sets be stress relieved, re-tensioned, and re-trued as so many are machine built. This is an extra expense (I have no idea how much extra.) and well worth it.

26" wheels are slightly stronger than 700C wheels if all other things are equal, but 700C has proven to be quite reliable for even heavy loads if built correctly.

Brad

PS Unless you have a good stash of spare parts, buying a complete bike is cheaper than building one.

alan s 09-04-16 08:44 PM

Long Haul Trucker

LeeG 09-04-16 09:06 PM


Originally Posted by Toadslop (Post 19032634)
Thanks for the advice everyone. To answer some of your questions,

1. I am on a fairly tight budget -- cheap is what I'm looking for.
2. Versatility is also key. I want to eventually use this bike to cross the country, so I need to be able to do mountains as well as flats. I generally go pretty light -- I just carry food, water, a sleeping bag, and basic bike tools when I ride, so I suppose that qualifies as ultralight.

1. Look for a free bike

2. You don't need basic bike tools you need basic bike mechanic skills.

3. Building up a bike will always cost more than buying a complete bike if you don't have a tool box of appropriate tools, box of free parts and skills to put one together.

4. What bicycle do you have now?

Tourist in MSN 09-05-16 10:32 AM

Watch for an older steel frame mountain bike with rigid fork. The chainstays may be a bit short, but that is a good starting point to build up a bike. If the bike was in good shape with useable components, it would already have the gearing you want. It probably would not have the midfork brazeons on the front fork, but if you travel light you will not need the front rack so that is not an issue. You would be best off with 1990s or newer with a freehub in back instead of a freewheel hub, look for something with 7 or 8 speeds in back, or more.

Or, if you are shopping for new, I have never seen a Windsor Tourist, but some on this forum over the years have commented that they had good value.
Save Up to 60% Off Touring Bikes | Commuting | Commuter Bikes | Windsor Bikes - Tourist

Yan 09-05-16 11:47 AM


Originally Posted by Toadslop (Post 19032634)
Thanks for the advice everyone. To answer some of your questions,

1. I am on a fairly tight budget -- cheap is what I'm looking for.
2. Versatility is also key. I want to eventually use this bike to cross the country, so I need to be able to do mountains as well as flats. I generally go pretty light -- I just carry food, water, a sleeping bag, and basic bike tools when I ride, so I suppose that qualifies as ultralight.

You should buy a late 1990's rigid fork mountain bike off Craigslist. You should be able to pick one up for about $60-80 max. It'll probably come with a rack. Slap some bar ends and fenders on it and off you go.

Last year a friend of mine rode from Shanghai to Singapore on a $50 department store mountain bike. That's longer than crossing the USA and hillier too.

antokelly 09-05-16 12:22 PM

ah damn i was ready to give you a list as long as your arm until i seen cheep and cheerful ,ah well can't win em all good hunting.

btw, chatting to a guy on facebook today he rides a Raleigh royal and reckons its a great bike well built and good gear on it so worth looking at that. it's not reynolds tubes it's Raleigh own cromoly tubes made in taiwan to keep cost down but don't let that put you off still a good bike..

but then again if you want to go the extra mile and own something special buy the Thorn Club Tour frameset good set wheels and your away in a hack.

BigAura 09-05-16 03:30 PM

I'd look for a used touring bike that someone used for their bucket-list-tour, because generally they'll include racks & panniers and other goodies that add up when purchased individually. These folks have gotten what they want from the rig and will be ready to sell to an interested buyer.

Custom building from the ground up by purchasing new parts is generally more expensive than buying a new off-the-shelf bike.

antokelly 09-05-16 03:59 PM

but how would one find out about that .

bikemig 09-05-16 04:04 PM

Agree with the others that if on a tight budget, you can't beat a vintage mtb with a rigid fork off craigslist. Prices will vary but you can find a higher end, quality mtb in the neighborhood of $100. You will need to overhaul the bike and you will need new, road/touring tires (you don't want to tour on knobbies). Also I am no fan of flat bars for long days on the road. A trekking style bar is cheap and provides multiple hand positions.

If you have money for a new bike, you can't beat the fuji touring (as another poster pointed out) for value. Get it and ride it if that fits your budget.

On a last note, how do you tour with a sleeping bag and no shelter?

Yan 09-06-16 04:24 AM


Originally Posted by bikemig (Post 19034471)
On a last note, how do you tour with a sleeping bag and no shelter?

I assume homeless style: bus shelters, bridges, etc. Sounds like no fun to me but each to his own.

BigAura 09-06-16 05:15 AM


Originally Posted by antokelly (Post 19034466)
but how would one find out about that .

What I mean is look on your usual sites -> craigslist, ebay, cgoab, etc. and look for someone selling a complete package.

Example:
At other times I've even seen new complete rigs that an aspirational tourist never used.

LeeG 09-06-16 07:19 AM


Originally Posted by Yan (Post 19035394)
I assume homeless style: bus shelters, bridges, etc. Sounds like no fun to me but each to his own.

Or riding in California in the summer.

Yan 09-06-16 07:21 AM


Originally Posted by LeeG (Post 19035614)
Or riding in California in the summer.

Never been there in the summer, only winter. Any mosquitos?

fietsbob 09-06-16 08:25 AM

Not as big as China , but California has many regional climates, all at the same time.

LeeG 09-06-16 03:26 PM


Originally Posted by Yan (Post 19035623)
Never been there in the summer, only winter. Any mosquitos?

In some places , not in others. Along the mid to north coast you can have a damp morning fog that burns off by 10 or 11 am. No mosquitos. Some areas in mid elevation of the Sierras can have mosquitos and others none.

irwin7638 09-07-16 03:48 AM

If you are on a real tight budget you might troll craigslist, letgo and ebay for a vintage touring bike. Bikes from the 70's and early 80's had some excellent touring frames which will get you way down the road. Panasonic, Schwinn Letour and Raliegh Gran Prix from the period can be found pretty cheap and then the components can be upgraded on a budget to produce a pretty versatile bike.

Marc


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