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What's the most reliable hardware choices?

Old 05-25-21, 11:53 AM
  #26  
Happy Feet
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Originally Posted by MixedRider
Inspect and maintain what you have. If you find something keeps breaking, requires constant adjustment or just plain bothers you, then go to the local bike shop, discuss your issue intelligently, identify your budget and determine if worth investing the time/budget to "upgrade".

You get three options in most situations, but really can only have two.
1. Low-maintenance/longevity,
2. Cheap, and
3. Lightweight.

Choose wisely for your situation.
An exception might be SS or FG. Lighter, less maintenance and cheaper.

I know, I know... we're talking about touring but I couldn't resist.
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Old 05-25-21, 12:09 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
An exception might be SS or FG. Lighter, less maintenance and cheaper.

I know, I know... we're talking about touring but I couldn't resist.
Ha, i ride a SS touring I think the same logic still applies
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Old 05-25-21, 12:19 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by seibaatgung
What about titanium?
Iíve never owned a titanium bike, but I believe they make for a fantastic touring bike. Light, strong, smooth ride... but expensive, even more so if custom made.
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Old 05-25-21, 12:27 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by seibaatgung
is ti reliable compared to al or steel?
Yes.

Lennard Zinn thinks that titanium and steel are better than aluminum for longevity.
https://www.velonews.com/gear/techni...nkarm-fatigue/

That said, there are some touring bikes made from aluminum that have held up quite well and are still in use. A couple European companies such as Santos and Koga are well known for reliable touring bikes with aluminum frames. Cannondale in USA has also built some good touring bikes from aluminum.

Most touring bikes are built from steel, some from aluminum, and a small number from titanium.

I have a titanium touring bike along with two steel ones. Titanium is quite expensive compared to steel and aluminum for frame building, it can result in a lighter weight frame. But for touring very few people will incur the higher cost for titanium to only shed a small amount of weight.

But keep in mind that most rims on bikes are an aluminum alloy, they are also subject to failure.

If you are commuting, probably your greatest risk of failure is the failure of your lock to prevent your bike from being stolen. In that regard, a titanium bike is more likely to attract a thief, thus it could be the least reliable bike in the bike rack.

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Old 05-25-21, 03:25 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by imi
If reliable is seen as bombproof, easy to repair, and spare parts available in most parts of the world, I think it would be a pretty old school:

26Ē steel mountainbike, no suspension
V-brakes
Shimano components
7 or 8 speed triple drive
Platform pedals

Hereís mine, an old Miyata On Off Roadrunner, fully loaded for the pic, though I usually tour much lighter on a Bianchi Volpe

This, but with square taper cranks.
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Old 05-25-21, 03:43 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by headwind15
I agree with what Happy Feet wrote. There is (unfortunately) this buzz that hydraulic brakes are unreliable? There is this double standard. Hydraulic brakes used in cars date back about a hundred years, yet (some) cyclists think the technology is too
'new and unproven for their bike?
No, this is not why I wouldn't use hydraulic on a touring bike...
Firstly, I don't need one finger modulation on a 45kg loaded bike, there ain't no subtlety to stopping that, it just needs lots of raw power and the ability to shed lots of heat. Generally, however, a side effect of solving those problems gives you plenty of modulation anyway, compressionless housing and big discs with good levers and calipers = near hydraulic feel anyway. Empty, my touring bike stops with one finger.
Secondly think packing your bike into a box that's too small for it really, to save hundreds of bucks on excess baggage fees. Much easier when you don't have to worry about kinking or ripping off a hydraulic line as you jamb the handlebars down the side of the frame. Also don't have to worry about putting a pad puck in between the pads either. It all matters when you are sitting outside some airport at 3am when it's still 33C and the security guard is giving you the stink eye because he knows you are gonna dump that box somewhere.
Thirdly think trying to find spare parts in rural Japan or where ever if you do accidentally snag a hose or break a lever because your bike fell over outside the local store for local people. First find some internet, then try and find a part number, then use google translate to figure out where to get the hose or lever, then figure out where to get it sent to, then wait.
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Old 05-25-21, 03:55 PM
  #32  
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[I've read the thread with interest, but I don't see how the concept of "reliability" can be discussed in the absence of a clear understanding of what is meant and what the trade-offs are. To illustrate, imagine a chain that will last *precisely* 1000 miles vs another that will last unpredictably between 900 and 1500 miles. Which one would you rather use?]

@imi -- that was more or less my thinking, but 26" wheels and tires are a vanishing breed. Probably same thing for 7-8 speed drivetrains.

More generally, it looks as if Shimano is betting that the eBike revolution will have an impact on consumers' demand for longevity. Anyone here is interested in their upcoming (certainly "durable" and perhaps "reliable" ) Linkglide system? Looks like it is designed for 1x systems, but would certainly be interesting if their x10 were compatible with a 3x...
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Old 05-25-21, 04:21 PM
  #33  
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I have no desire to use hydraulic brakes. Lots of good reasons cited here for not using them.

But for me it is simpler, I have a bike with sidepull brakes, a bike that has V front and cable disc rear, couple bikes with cantilever brakes, and a couple with V brakes front and rear. All are perfectly adequate.

I carry a spare brake cable and spare shifter cable when touring. I have no clue what I would have to carry to fix a hydraulic brake, but I am content to remain ignorant.

My S&S bike would be a real hassle to pack if that had hydraulic brakes. To pack it, I take almost everything off the bike, split the frame in two, remove the fork, it is enough work to deal with cables but hydraulic lines would be more complicated than I would want to deal with.
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Old 05-25-21, 05:45 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by seibaatgung
I was wondering since tourists tend to have this figured out better than commuters since you don't really have the option of calling your wife to pick you up.
I am going to question some of the premise behind this. I have done my share of tours and had my set of failures... everything from cracked frames, failed hubs, broken rims, snapped cables, burst panniers, snapped pedals, broken cranks, broken spokes to more simple flat tires and tubes.

There is a class of failures I can fix in the field (tubes/tires/spokes), a class I can limp along to next point (bottom bracket, snapped pedals, my frame failures) and a class that stopped me (some of the hub failures).
-- For the class where couldn't proceed, I didn't have a wife pick me up, but I got other assistance to ride to nearest place, ideally with a bike shop. At that point, "serviceability" sometimes became at least as important the failure itself. If I used standard components then they were more likely able to help me than if I had something esoteric.
-- Not all classes of failures are equivalent in other ways. While my two frame cracks were severe (both in chainstays), they don't happen that frequently that smaller types of failures become more important. Getting doored by a parked car and having my pannier burst open was a freak accident I don't expect to occur again anytime soon



The broken crank happened once and hopefully after many years of use

Welded aluminum frame...




So I think you need to look not just at "what is most reliable" but instead additional factors such as:
- how often do failures occur?
- what is likely severity of those failures?
- what are likely service/response factors for those failures?
- are there things you can mitigate the failures e.g. carrying spares?
- is the failure immediate or are you more likely to have some warning to give time to address?
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Old 05-25-21, 06:56 PM
  #35  
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What's wrong in that picture?

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Old 05-25-21, 07:08 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by seibaatgung
What's wrong in that picture?

See the right chainstay as well as the flame marks?
It was cracked and then welded..

The frame itself was part of a bike I bought ~2013, flew to India and used in several summers when I visited for work and stayed for ~6 weeks. I then retrofit the bike in 2016 to ride from British Columbia to Argentina (as part of a longer ride). Not sure exactly when it cracked but it was detected when I brought the bike into Bariloche bicycle shop. Despite being AL, they were willing to weld it and it lasted the rest of the way from there to Ushuaia. I still have the bike, but use it for commuting instead of touring now.
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Old 05-25-21, 07:12 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by seibaatgung
What's wrong in that picture?

Broken frame repair.
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Old 05-25-21, 07:48 PM
  #38  
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Reliability could be defined as a product or system meeting its intended performance requirements in defined conditions over a defined period of time.

An extended, fully loaded 12,000++ mile tour from Northern Alaska to Chile would have different conditions and requirements than a little 500 mile tour through New England with services and uber available with the push of a phone button. In remote areas, phone service is going to be spotty at best and support will not be quickly available if at all.

I love how every internet pundit claims that a steel frame can be welded in any little village anywhere. I had a steel tube break and could not get it welded......in Los Angeles. OTOH, they all like to point to aluminum having a finite limit on fatigue. DC3 airplanes are made from aluminum as are B52. I replaced my broken 531 frame with a Klein aluminum touring frame about 35 years ago.

You're going to get all sorts of answers. Old curmudgeons like me favor simplicity for extended, remote touring. Simple like friction barcon shifters. Old Deore XT derailleurs. Solid forged cranks. Aluminum fenders. Lots of spokes. Phil bolt on hubs. Steel seat rails. Simple, reliable brakes....Canti or normal calipers with good pads. Tires? Probably Marathons with tubes. 3+ or 4 season tent. Warm sleeping bag. CCF and air mattress. multifuel stove. Etc.

With that said, I have crossed the continental USA on a magnesium framed bike with 20 spokes radial on the front, 28H 2x on the rear, carbon rims, and 22 speed index shifters...SRAM red. 28mm Continental GP4000 tires. Clipin pedals. But no carbon stem or bars. Carbon seatpost though. B17 saddle. 35 pounds total bike with sleeping bag, pad, bivvy and all gear. That gear met its mission.

I don't think I ever met someone who was fond of a solar panel on their touring bike. A better solution is to charge your batteries from the dynomo hub after going thru some rectification and voltage clamping to avoid blowing something up.

I cannot imagine putting a belt drive system on an extended distance touring bike. Chains are efficient, easily maintained, and easily repaired.....it isn't broke, why fix it.

I commuted for a few years. 40-45 miles round trip. In lousy weather, I used my touring bike with fenders, more durable tires, and lights. In good weather, I rode my racing bike. The only issue I had was flats. You get good at fixing them quick. I commuted on lousy suburban roads in rush hour where you cannot pick good lines thru intersections where all the glass and pieces of metal sit everywhere, so, you get flats especially when it rains. Tire selection is your most important decision as a commuter
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Old 05-25-21, 08:26 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
Broken frame repair.
how did that break?
Originally Posted by GhostRider62
Tire selection is your most important decision as a commuter
so tubeless?
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Old 05-25-21, 08:39 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by seibaatgung
how did that break?

so tubeless?
I jammed a steep hill and it snapped.

Tubeless? How late for work are you allowed to be?

When you get a large hole that sealant or external cannot fix, here are your options.

Have fun taking off most tubeless tires with normal levers, I have broken levers and ripped skin trying.

Now, you get the tire off. You basically have to revert back to tubes at that point. Clean out the latex sealant. Remove the tubeless valve. Boot the tire. Put the tube in. Reinstall the tire. Inflate.

You can spend a lot of time failing to fix it.

This gets to the severity question of a failure and steps to mitigate. I spent almost a year tubeless and it was a PITA. YMMV
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Old 05-25-21, 08:47 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
I jammed a steep hill and it snapped.

Tubeless? How late for work are you allowed to be?

When you get a large hole that sealant or external cannot fix, here are your options.

Have fun taking off most tubeless tires with normal levers, I have broken levers and ripped skin trying.

Now, you get the tire off. You basically have to revert back to tubes at that point. Clean out the latex sealant. Remove the tubeless valve. Boot the tire. Put the tube in. Reinstall the tire. Inflate.

You can spend a lot of time failing to fix it.

This gets to the severity question of a failure and steps to mitigate. I spent almost a year tubeless and it was a PITA. YMMV
I'm not against tubes on principle. I prefer tubeless for rolling weight concerns. My emergency flat protocol is to put in a boot and a 2 ended tube, which would save me the time of taking the wheel off.
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Old 05-25-21, 09:07 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by seibaatgung
I'm not against tubes on principle. I prefer tubeless for rolling weight concerns. My emergency flat protocol is to put in a boot and a 2 ended tube, which would save me the time of taking the wheel off.
That is what nobody can answer for you. But tire weight and a pound or two of weight in general has almost not effect on time to distance and certainly nothing like a high Crr or CdA. Rolling resistance and aero is where time is made. I generally ride Continental GP5000 tires. Tubeless in 25 mm is 300 grams to which you have to add at least 25 grams of sealant. A tubed version weighs 215 grams and with a latex tube, total is just under 290 grams and has lower rolling resistance, especially at lower pressures. I am not saying these are good choices for a commuter.

If you are going to a job where you must be on time, this condition will affect your tire choice. Something like Schwalbe Marathons is what I had on my touring bike that I commuted in lousy conditions. On bluebird days, I had fast tires on my racing bike and besides changing a flat on a good day isn't bad but changing one in the dark, in the rain, with cars splashing you with road kill soup can put a damper in it all. I am unaware if there is a better tire for that duty than the Marathon. I do not like Gatorskins, they ride too rough for me and they are very slow.

I was on salary with no shortage of hours to work, so, 15 minute here or there did not matter. So, I rode pretty fast tires and at that young age, I could pop the tire off and put a new tube in and inflate in 3 minutes max. Not no more. Slower than molasses.
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Old 05-25-21, 09:15 PM
  #43  
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The tire that I would consider is the Schwalbe Marathon Almotion, I understand it now comes in a tubeless version. It is supposedly fast and very flat resistant.

https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...-almotion-2016
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Old 05-25-21, 09:53 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie
This, but with square taper cranks.
Good thinking.
I actually built up the Miyata with the drivetrain from a bike I trashed on tour, so itís 3x9 LX with hollowtech crank.
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Old 05-25-21, 09:53 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
That is what nobody can answer for you. But tire weight and a pound or two of weight in general has almost not effect on time to distance and certainly nothing like a high Crr or CdA. Rolling resistance and aero is where time is made. I generally ride Continental GP5000 tires. Tubeless in 25 mm is 300 grams to which you have to add at least 25 grams of sealant. A tubed version weighs 215 grams and with a latex tube, total is just under 290 grams and has lower rolling resistance, especially at lower pressures. I am not saying these are good choices for a commuter.

If you are going to a job where you must be on time, this condition will affect your tire choice. Something like Schwalbe Marathons is what I had on my touring bike that I commuted in lousy conditions. On bluebird days, I had fast tires on my racing bike and besides changing a flat on a good day isn't bad but changing one in the dark, in the rain, with cars splashing you with road kill soup can put a damper in it all. I am unaware if there is a better tire for that duty than the Marathon. I do not like Gatorskins, they ride too rough for me and they are very slow.

I was on salary with no shortage of hours to work, so, 15 minute here or there did not matter. So, I rode pretty fast tires and at that young age, I could pop the tire off and put a new tube in and inflate in 3 minutes max. Not no more. Slower than molasses.
a 2 ended tube?
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Old 05-25-21, 09:55 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
The tire that I would consider is the Schwalbe Marathon Almotion, I understand it now comes in a tubeless version. It is supposedly fast and very flat resistant.

https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...-almotion-2016
Would you describe those as city tires? Gravel?
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Old 05-25-21, 11:39 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by seibaatgung
Would you describe those as city tires? Gravel?
Marathons have always been very reliable, not too slow, touring tires that are often used on commuting bikes. I am sure they would work in both city and on gravel. Marathons in general have been around forever. You might try doing a little reading up. Take a look at the link I provided, it gives lots of ways to compare tires. Then, come up with a short list of potential candidate tires. Ask commuters about those tires. Buy a set or two. Try them out.
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Old 05-25-21, 11:41 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by seibaatgung
a 2 ended tube?
I don't understand your question.
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Old 05-26-21, 02:16 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
I don't understand your question.
some tubes are 2 ended. saves you the trouble of taking the wheel off.
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Old 05-26-21, 05:33 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie
This, but with square taper cranks.
Yup.

Four years ago I built up another touring bike, Lynskey Backroad (titanium), 3X8 derailleur system, a 90s vintage XT rear derailleur, a rear hub with steel axle, cup and cone quarter inch ball bearings (XT M756A), Shimano bar end shifters, square taper triple, cartridge bottom bracket, 36 spoke rear wheel with Dyad rim, Wheelsmith DB-14 spokes, front wheel has a Dyad 32 spoke rim and Wheelsmith spokes.

I like robust, easy to repair, easy to replace and reliable components. I deviated slightly from my philosophy for a few items, front hub is an SP PV-8 dynohub that is not user serviceable, bottom bracket is for a Campy crank so it has an ISO instead of JIS taper. But these exceptions to my rule for easy to source parts have demonstrated a good reputation for long life. And I really like the older Campy square taper triple cranks, have them on several bikes.

But there was one more lesson learned, make sure you get stainless cables. I broke a shifter cable a few months ago. Break was at the bar end shifter. It looks like it was a galvanized cable and I suspect hand sweat got into the cable and corroded it. I try to only buy stainless cables, so I am not sure how this cable got on the Lynskey when I built it up four years ago. But, I carry a spare for brake and shifter when I am touring so if I was on a tour it would have only slowed me down that day. That was the first cable I have broken in over a decade and a half.




My Rohloff bike also was built up with a similar philosophy to be trouble free over long distances and just keep going like the Energizer Bunny. Square taper, CSS rims (no longer manufactured) for long life on the rim brake surface, etc. All components chosen to last a long time and be easy to replace when they fail.

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