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online touring bike fitment calculator or recommended geometry

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online touring bike fitment calculator or recommended geometry

Old 11-10-16, 11:16 AM
  #1  
zze86
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online touring bike fitment calculator or recommended geometry

Is there an online bike fit calculator that the touring enthusiasts on here recommend? A quick google search nets me a bunch of fitment calculator results but again, I was wondering which ones people on here recommend?

I have the opportunity to have a custom bike built by an accomplished welder for relatively little cost (neighbor who has offered to custom weld me a bike for all the various things I've done for him over the years) and I am almost certain I want a do-all touring/commuter bike made in titanium (which he has the ability and equipment to build). I figure I will source the tubing online but what neither one of us really know about is the geometry needed for a good touring bike. Especially considering I have weird dimensions (short overall length, short legs, average or relatively long torso). I figure I will get fitment information and see what commercially available bikes are close and just have him mimic those dimensions.

Sorry about the rather vague physical descriptions but I have been mulling more on IF I want to do this at all; after all, I help him cause he's my neighbor not that I expect something in return other than neighborly neighbor. I figure I will at least explore the idea since he offered and decide whether I really think this is a good idea. I will get some measurements based on Lennard Zinn's "Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance" later tonight.

As an aside question, would you take him up on the offer? When he broached the subject I was like "No way! I'd have to pay you something!" but he sounded pretty adamant about refusing. His reasoning was that at that point I was just a client.
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Old 11-10-16, 11:30 AM
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Take what you find searching the internet for racing bikes and change things that dont work for You..

You have any Bike that fits comfortably Now?
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Old 11-10-16, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by zze86 View Post
As an aside question, would you take him up on the offer? When he broached the subject I was like "No way! I'd have to pay you something!" but he sounded pretty adamant about refusing. His reasoning was that at that point I was just a client.
Sure, why not? Just be prepared for something less than perfect, if it is just a welder who has no bike building experience.
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Old 11-10-16, 01:52 PM
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As mentioned- if you have a bike that fits, use those measurements.
If you dont have a bike that fits, use the geometry listed on Surly LHT's website or the Trek 520 page.


I wouldnt take the guy up on his offer. He doesnt know how to build a bike. Its a kind thought, but I wouldnt be interested.
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Old 11-10-16, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
As mentioned- if you have a bike that fits, use those measurements.
If you dont have a bike that fits, use the geometry listed on Surly LHT's website or the Trek 520 page.


I wouldnt take the guy up on his offer. He doesnt know how to build a bike. Its a kind thought, but I wouldnt be interested.
I agree. There is a lot more to building a bike than welding, e.g., mitering the tubing, fabricating an effective and precise jig to align tubes and dropouts, facing head tubes and bottom bracket shells..............

However, it might be a fun project and experiment, albeit a little on the expensive side. A rough estimate of the frame material and fork is in the neighborhood of $650. Granted, this is only 25% of the cost of a Ti frame/fork built by a reputable dealer; but in this case you probably get what you pay for.

Last edited by Doug64; 11-10-16 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 11-10-16, 03:38 PM
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I strongly agree with Doug64 and mstateglfr--frame building is both an art and a science that takes years to perfect...for example, a custom ti frame builder's framesets here in Michigan start at around $2600.

It may be a fun experiment, but never would I go more than a block from my home on anything built in a garage by an amateur.
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Old 11-10-16, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by TDJ1776 View Post
It may be a fun experiment, but never would I go more than a block from my home on anything built in a garage by an amateur.
On a related note, I plan to take a frame building course in the next couple years. Probably next winter or something like that. A regionally local framebuilder has periodic classes that meet on Sundays. Under a professional with years of experience, I would trust an amateur's built frame. I better since Ill have to trust the frame I build!

But yeah...I cant imagine someone welding some tubes together at angles will go very well.
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Old 11-10-16, 04:13 PM
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When you build the frame build in the racks



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Old 11-10-16, 04:38 PM
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Welding titanium is very unforgiving and is best done by professionals with years of experience. You can easily end up with low quality welds, which are dangerous. Steel is another matter altogether, and I would consider a lugged frame by a less experienced bike builder.
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Old 11-10-16, 06:51 PM
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Maybe I should have mentioned he has his own fabrication shop and has made things to be used in aerospace applications so he's not just a welder operating out of his garage. But he has never built a bike before.

Which is partly why I'm not sure if I want to go through with this. It would be a large amount of work and some expense to him even if I did pay for the tubing. You guys are right. I probably should just thank him for the offer and continue on.

Still it will be fun to go through the excercise, learn a bit more and store it away for possible future use. Here are my dimensions according to Zinn:

Inseam - 24.5" (no shoes)
Inseam+torso - 50"
Arm length - 18.4"

Yeah, I'm a shorty.

I do have one road bike that fits fairly well, a 45cm Titanium Eddy Merckx that was custom made for somebody else that I picked up used. Reach is a bit long but I'm putting on some compact bars which should solve that. This has a really short wheelbase though. Should I just take measurements for the front diamond and change other dimensions (like chainstay length and headtube angle for slightly increased wheelbase) to make a more suitable geometry for a touring bike? Or should I just scale LHT dimensions down to fit?

Last edited by zze86; 11-10-16 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 11-10-16, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
When you build the frame build in the racks



Oh! That looks like a very smart thing to do!
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Old 11-11-16, 05:00 AM
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When you do that you generally want to end up using the rack as the rear stay. Overall I think it is a bad idea. Bikes are hard enough to work on,


Drawing up a frame is not all that difficult, but you either know what you are doing, or should expect to spend a fair amount of time doing it. I learned over several years.

Even some very competent welders, are not up to bike welding which is both structural and thin section and tubes. Those are 3 specialties in one. Ti is a forth. Doing all this knowing the sequences, and how to handle the three triangles and heat distortion is 5 and 6.

The cost of parts is not all that high, nothing like 650 if you aren't using some kind of suspension fork. Haven't checked in a while, but go to Nova, and see if they have any Ti tubing sets. I checked 510 for the basic tubes, and that still leaves a ton of parts... Doug was right or short.

One of the biggest costs are the reaming and facing tools, he probably doesn't have them, and there are workarounds, but it isn't easy. Basically use a lathe to line bore the headset, or just glue in the headset cups. Use a tandem bracket for the BB, this makes sense with some gear configurations, and use a sleeved seat tube.

I wouldn't worry about this guy welding the bike, but buy a tube for him to play with first. Or he can turn down a fatter walled tube and work on that. A guy of his experience will for sure know when his welds are good, so if he does a practice tube and can pull it off, it should be safe. Top end fabricators can make anything, and their next custom fighter jet part might have every challenge a bike has, they just do it.

Given the cost of materials I would not do it unless he wants to do steel.
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Old 11-11-16, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by TDJ1776 View Post
I strongly agree with Doug64 and mstateglfr--frame building is both an art and a science that takes years to perfect...for example, a custom ti frame builder's framesets here in Michigan start at around $2600.
This guy built me a ti road bike:

Engin Cycles | Handmade Titanium Bicycles Philadelphia, PA

He gave me a tour of the shop. Amazing, with incredibly specialized machinery, including a Navy lathe from the 50s. He estimates he spent 65 hrs. building my frame, although not all of that was active time. (E.g., 4 hr. hydroponic bath to remove impurities from the frame.) I cannot imagine a home welder with no bike building experience being able to turn out a quality product.
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