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Inexpensive touring bike build and tour contest!....?

Old 11-19-16, 11:48 PM
  #1  
zze86
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Inexpensive touring bike build and tour contest!....?

So the old road bike vs old MTB vs old touring bike got me thinking how experienced tourers, not only on this board but pretty much everywhere else as well, says that bike touring can be done fairly inexpensively but there does not seem to be many complete inexpensive build AND tour threads. There are many ultimate touring bike build on the net, many "I did it cheap" stories but nothing showing a build from beginning to end and going on a tour. Obviously from the all the questions about getting into touring and touring bikes there is a lot of interest there.

I myself have just recently gotten back into biking since childhood and am still learning and planning to do a tour next summer and just picked up a $20 Trek Antelope 830 that I am planning on building up as a commuter/tourer.

Considering that it's the "off" season for many of us in the northern hemisphere and people seem to be trying to offload a bunch of their bikes would anybody (besides myself) be interested in an inexpensive touring bike build and tour contest?

My initial thoughts:
  • new builds only
  • Total cost limit: $350 (approx half the cost of a new Fuji Touring)
    • Includes:
  • Must go on at least a weekend tour
    • Must post photos from beginning, middle and end of tour
  • Judging criteria:
    • Cost - range 1 through 10 (less expensive gets more points)
    • Technical Design - range 1 through 10 (Not sure how to judge "performance")
    • Aesthetics - Range 1 through 10 (prettier bikes gets more points)
    • Most Miles - Range 1 through 10 (more miles gets more points)
    • Some wildcard category - Range 1 through 10 (something that encourages going on a tour even though you're not 100% prepared)
  • Prize: Bragging rights

The idea is to provide examples of inexpensive touring bikes that a novice could get into and go biketouring. What do you guys think?

Last edited by zze86; 11-20-16 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 11-19-16, 11:53 PM
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We do lots of bike porn threads. The problem with a contest is that a huge variable is how lucky you get on buying the initial bike. I paid $50 for a 1982 Trek 720. At that point, it gets really easy to fit into this budget. The point is that this thread then becomes all about what a great deal someone scored on a used bike.
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Old 11-20-16, 12:13 AM
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That is true that there is some luck in it BUT I hear that response on here all the time. "Keep an eye out on CL/local classifieds/ebay for a deal on ____"

Plus I think it could show not only setting up a touring bike on the cheap but with what relative ease.

Maybe we could set a deadline for contestant entrants? And I forgot, *edited in*, new builds (i.e. not reusing an existing bike of yours) only.
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Old 11-20-16, 12:53 AM
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I don't really want to spend $350 to enter an online contest and don't really want people who didn't do the work "judging" my bikes. To me that could get pretty negative pretty quick. But the idea of a complete build thread is a good idea. Perhaps just make it a "Show your complete rebuild" thread. These things happen occasionally and even come with test ride videos!: https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1084353-40-light-duty-touring-build.html

Last edited by Happy Feet; 11-20-16 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 11-20-16, 01:22 AM
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okay.....last week "liberated" a clunky mountain bike that had
been sitting unlocked for nearly a year. missing seat and post,
BB was frozen solid (monsoon rains into seattube), and axles
destroyed from previous owner riding with no grease a'tall.

used loads of bits and pieces from my parts bin to refurbish
bike for a rather short ladyfriend. will just be a local commuter,
so added a single front ring for a 1*7 drive. could also donate a
set of old saddlebags to make a decent light tourer.

spent $30 on parts online (*) including disc wheel set, 33T crank,
front rack +basket, 7spd FW, chain and coil lock. $5 at local LBS
to remove the old-fangled BB (me no have tool) and install a suitable
longer loose-bearing BB. total cost = $35

(*) chinese mainland online prices not applicable to real world.

a couple photos below. still waiting on delivery of front rack to
mount basket. rack will attach to cantilever studs.
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Last edited by saddlesores; 11-20-16 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 11-20-16, 01:27 AM
  #6  
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I'm with Happy Feet, not entering a new entry. I can't remember the exact cost, but mine from this spring was somewhere in the $350-400 range. Bit higher than you are asking, but I never like arbitrary limits. Plus, I like it, I have zero interest in building something to replace it, I'd rather spend the money taking it somewhere else.

All you wanted to known about finding and building mine, getting it from America to Brussels, riding it to Amsterdam, and then shipping it back, though:
Jeff's Journal of Europeaness: Selecting and Preparing the Bikes
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Old 11-20-16, 01:30 AM
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Then again, I am still tossing around Iceland in my mind, I may well have an existing MTB turned tourer thread before long.
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Old 11-20-16, 08:49 AM
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One of the bikes i am going to refurbish this winter is a '92 Trek 700. I was going to just get it better than new in original condition, sell it fast come spring, and be happy i have more garage space. Now though, i decided to drop bar it for an inexpensive touring/commuter/gravel bike. It has the tire clearance for someone to slap 40s on and get out onto Iowa country roads. It also has good geometry and mounting points for touring and commuting.

Anyways, if this thread is still alive in a few months ill toss some before and after pics up. I wont ride itthpugh since i think its 12cm too small for me...though if i did thake that on an out and back overnight, i should win the contest solely for such a sacrifice!

Itll most likely end up costing about $170 total. Ill try to sell it for $250ish.
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Old 11-20-16, 10:38 AM
  #9  
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zze86, Only my beater, a '96 Cannondale T700, comes close to your limit...very close. I don't think I could've rebuilt it any less expensively and that was a goal since I have a '95 T700 that's well suited for almost any tour. The beater is great for some tours as another dent or scratch will go unnoticed!

I look forward to see what develops in this thread.

Brad
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Old 11-20-16, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I don't really want to spend $350 to enter an online contest and don't really want people who didn't do the work "judging" my bikes. To me that could get pretty negative pretty quick. But the idea of a complete build thread is a good idea. Perhaps just make it a "Show your complete rebuild" thread. These things happen occasionally and even come with test ride videos!: https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1084353-40-light-duty-touring-build.html
You don't have to spend the max amount, that's simply the limit. Notice you actually get more points the less you spend!

As for judging, I was thinking maybe some (like three or four) of the more veteran members who don't participate would score.

Last edited by zze86; 11-20-16 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 11-20-16, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
I'm with Happy Feet, not entering a new entry. I can't remember the exact cost, but mine from this spring was somewhere in the $350-400 range. Bit higher than you are asking, but I never like arbitrary limits. Plus, I like it, I have zero interest in building something to replace it, I'd rather spend the money taking it somewhere else.

All you wanted to known about finding and building mine, getting it from America to Brussels, riding it to Amsterdam, and then shipping it back, though:
Jeff's Journal of Europeaness: Selecting and Preparing the Bikes
I feel like a cost limit should be in play, it encourages creativity. I actually thought $350 was a bit high and feel like the majority of the veteran members could build a decent bike for this amount...maybe I'm wrong?

And you could always try and flip the bike as mstateglfr suggests.

I definitely think a person should spend more if it would make them more happy with the bike, but just be prepared to lose the contest! Nothing wrong with that, but it would interesting to see the build anyways. It's just bragging rights

Last edited by zze86; 11-20-16 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 11-20-16, 11:19 AM
  #12  
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One of my friends builds his Touring bikes by essentially dumpster diving Portland Bike Shops.

and getting used but serviceable stuff ..





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Old 11-20-16, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
okay.....last week "liberated" a clunky mountain bike that had
been sitting unlocked for nearly a year. missing seat and post,
BB was frozen solid (monsoon rains into seattube), and axles
destroyed from previous owner riding with no grease a'tall.

used loads of bits and pieces from my parts bin to refurbish
bike for a rather short ladyfriend. will just be a local commuter,
so added a single front ring for a 1*7 drive. could also donate a
set of old saddlebags to make a decent light tourer.

spent $30 on parts online (*) including disc wheel set, 33T crank,
front rack +basket, 7spd FW, chain and coil lock. $5 at local LBS
to remove the old-fangled BB (me no have tool) and install a suitable
longer loose-bearing BB. total cost = $35

(*) chinese mainland online prices not applicable to real world.

a couple photos below. still waiting on delivery of front rack to
mount basket. rack will attach to cantilever studs.
Seems like our members in other parts of the world may have a BIG cost advantage. Disc wheels + baskets for <$30!
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Old 11-20-16, 11:38 AM
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You guys ever hear of the 24 hours of Lemons (not a typo)? Or Grassroots Motorsports 20xx challenges? They are both, basically car competitions where the entrants compete with cheap cars. Very competitive, lots of fun, lots of creativity and cheap (as far as car racing goes).
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Old 11-20-16, 11:42 AM
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Well, I still don't want to be part of the whole judging thing as I don't think building bikes is a "contest" (for me it's just a relaxing hobby and form of self expression that really isn't meant to be judged by others) but I will participate in a "show your build from start to finish" thread as a fun exercise, seeing as I'm doing a project anyway.

I will enter this late 50's early 60's Woodward's Department Store gas pipe cruiser I picked up at the flea market last week for $40. It probably represents the least desirable bike one could think of for touring so it will be a challenge

So zze86, will you make an official Contest thread or will this be it?


Last edited by Happy Feet; 11-20-16 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 11-20-16, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by zze86 View Post
I feel like a cost limit should be in play, it encourages creativity. I actually thought $350 was a bit high and feel like the majority of the veteran members could build a decent bike for this amount...maybe I'm wrong?
Oh, you could certainly make a bike to win that criteria well under that. You could take any of the $100 C&V challenge bikes, find a cheap rack and some cheap bags to put on, and go. I've got a few bikes I bought from the Salvation Army under $30 with racks and fenders already included, that would have suited such a challenge with nothing but new tires/consumables and bags.
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Old 11-20-16, 02:53 PM
  #17  
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This past summer I toured for 11 days (555 miles) on my fixed-speed which I'd rebuilt from my old 1970 ten-speed. Since I consider that the original parts are fully depreciated...I set their value at zero

frame: old 1970 paris sport 10 speed --> $0
paint: rattle-can --> $5
levers: generic straight --> $6
brakes: original 0
wheelset: eightinch include tires/tubes (sold tires -$10) --> $79
tires: panaracers --> $45
saddle: brooks --> $88
handlebars: VO --> $22
stem: original --> $0
bottom bracket: original --> $0
crank: original --> $0
cog: included in wheelset --> $0
chain: KMC --> $8
pedals: bought used --> $10
bar tape: profile designs bar tape --> $10
cables/housing: generic parts bin --> $1
mounts/cages: water bottle mounts/cages --> $20
fenders: grunge board --> $12

bike total ---------> $306

front rack: original on bike --> $0
rear rack: fastwin --> $18
front panniers: ortlieb --> $80
frame pack: jandd --> $38

rack-pannier total ---------> $136

TOTAL ---------> $442

July 11, 2016:


July 19, 2016:


July 22, 2016:

Last edited by BigAura; 11-20-16 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 11-20-16, 08:18 PM
  #18  
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I'ld rather have a bicycle that I can depend to not fall apart on me.
Maybe I've just had too many cheap cars that were not dependable to consider a $350 bicycle.
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Old 11-20-16, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
I'ld rather have a bicycle that I can depend to not fall apart on me.
Maybe I've just had too many cheap cars that were not dependable to consider a $350 bicycle.
ah, you're still stuck in the $$$$=quality fallacy.

this here thread is about using your skills and knowledge
(and a little bit of luck) to build or refurbish a solid
bicycle without spending bucks out the yazoo.

one person says they "spent" $350 on a bike, and
you're thinking full-retail. but this is about using
fully-functional (or fully-fixable!) second-hand,
NOS stock, fleamarket or yardsale bargains,
pawn-shop finds, abandoned stuff.....adding
a little sweat equity and making something
as good (or better) than your high-$$$ latest
edition.

i guess i got scammed with that set of hubs i bought
for $10 at a pawnshop in alburquerque. should
have known they were low-quality. never used
but some fool etched their name between the
flanges. i think his name was "phil"

my current ride is a BMC AC01 alpenchallenge.
picked up the frame for about $100, was too
big for most folks around here, had been hanging
on the wall of a bike shop for a few years,
dusty and with a few scratches. MSRP for
complete bike is around $2K. i built it up
with some new parts, some used parts, built
the wheels, fabricated a few things. i believe
the total cost was well under $500. now
have around 50,000 km of touring thoughout
asialand. am i doing it wrong, riding this
cheap low-quality POS?

https://www.amazon.com/BMC-Alpenchal.../dp/B015XMR1H4

anyway....would you pass up a partially-restored
barn-find mercedes 300SL because the owner
only wanted $500?

https://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/...ate-barn-find/
https://barnfinds.com/garage-find-gul...es-benz-300sl/

Last edited by saddlesores; 11-20-16 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 11-20-16, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
I'ld rather have a bicycle that I can depend to not fall apart on me.
Maybe I've just had too many cheap cars that were not dependable to consider a $350 bicycle.

The lack of understanding and skill puts one at the mercy of venders in more than just bicycles it seems...
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Old 11-20-16, 10:15 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
I'ld rather have a bicycle that I can depend to not fall apart on me.
Maybe I've just had too many cheap cars that were not dependable to consider a $350 bicycle.
1- you have, on many occasions, stated quite proudly that youndrive junkers or dont pay much for cars since you dont care much about them. Using cheap cars as a complaint now is flat out funny.

2- the bike i mentioned earlier in this thread which will have cost about $150 when finished will be so reliable and safe that i wouldnt hesitate to have any relative ride it for a season. There will be no reason to think it would have any problems commuting, touring, or on gravel.
Also, the components will have been significantly improved too, making it lighter and higher quality than when new.

There are bikes with good value that cost $2000 and there are bikes with terrible value that cost $2000. Likewise, there are bikes with good value that cost $250 and bikes with terrible value that cost $250.
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Old 11-20-16, 10:51 PM
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I'm just keep assuming the stuff he says is some sort of high jinks humour as I can't imagine anyone actually wanting others to believe that:

They feel bicycles will just fall apart on them (even though they claim to have years of road experience and know how to maintain bikes)
Felt "unsafe" taking a LHT for a test ride.
Ride clipless because they feel their feet will "fly" off of platforms

I'm sure it's all in good fun or there's some sort of other reasonable explanation.
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Old 11-21-16, 03:23 AM
  #23  
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My first touring bicycle was given to me.


And I still have it.
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Old 11-21-16, 06:27 AM
  #24  
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At $289 I'd consider this new Walmart-Schwinn a good off-the-self choice.



In fact the frame kinda reminds me of the Trek 920

Last edited by BigAura; 11-21-16 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 11-21-16, 08:51 AM
  #25  
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I own a low end car and spend my money on other stuff.
You ride low end bicycles, but have very little of quality to show for it.
$2K can buy a lot of quality in a bicycle, very little in a car or house.

Last edited by Squeezebox; 11-21-16 at 09:35 AM.
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