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Self Build Tour Bike

Old 11-13-22, 06:02 AM
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Sutton
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Self Build Tour Bike

Looking for advice on building a touring bike from scratch. Looking to build belt drive is this advisable? Will not be going off road.
Any suggestions welcome
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Old 11-13-22, 08:29 AM
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So are you building a frame? Buying a frame? What are your plans? Where are you touring, if you are even touring?... give us some info Sutton

I am always baffled when people come in and give minimal info and want help on such a broad topic or in some cases a specific topic but it is tough to help because you don't know where to go.

Belt drives can be quite awesome they are super low maintenance and last a really long time. They do require a special frame and are not readily available at most shops and will need to be the specific tooth count but could be a good way to go with the right hub or pinion system. You cannot use traditional gears with a belt.

Building a bike from the frame up or even further building a frame from the tubes up is an awesome way to go but you gotta know what you want and if you have ideas on that let us know.
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Old 11-13-22, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Sutton View Post
Looking for advice on building a touring bike from scratch. Looking to build belt drive is this advisable? Will not be going off road.
Any suggestions welcome
Belt drive means either an internally geared hub (IGH) or single speed. And for touring, you really do not want single speed.

Oops, forgot to mention Pinion drive, but I have never seen a bike that has a Pinion gearing system, they are quite rare. And the frame for a Pinion bike is different than other bikes.

I think that Rohoff hubs are the only IGH that is commonly used for touring. That said, someone else might be marketing a hub that is similar to Rohloff, but I do not recall the name of it.

Belt drive means the frame has to be built for belts so you can change belts. Thus, that is not a standard frame either. There is a belt that can be added to any frame, but there is some labor to pin it together, I do not recall the name of it.

When you say you want to build the frame from scratch, are you saying you would build it or you would hire the building by others? Belt drive frames need very stiff chainstays to make sure that the chainline (or is it beltline?) remains correct as forces from pedaling and riding cause frame flex, a normal frame may flex too much.

I have a Rohloff touring bike but I chose to go with chains, and I do not regret that decision. When I take that bike touring, I use a smaller chainring to lower my gearing range. But when I ride that bike around near home unladen, I use a bigger chainring, which means adding four chain links. That would be difficult on a belt drive bike. But, I bought the frame off the shelf and then built up that bike myself so minor maintenance issues do not bother me. The people that like belts the most often cite low maintenance as a factor.

Take a look at the bikes made by Co-Motion, they make derailleur bikes, Pinion drive bikes and Rohloff bikes, both chain and belt. I have no connection to that company. I am just saying that looking at their bikes, you may get some ideas on what you want in a touring bike.
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Old 11-13-22, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I think that Rohoff hubs are the only IGH that is commonly used for touring. That said, someone else might be marketing a hub that is similar to Rohloff, but I do not recall the name of it.

Take a look at the bikes made by Co-Motion, they make derailleur bikes, Pinion drive bikes and Rohloff bikes, both chain and belt. I have no connection to that company. I am just saying that looking at their bikes, you may get some ideas on what you want in a touring bike.
The answer is Kindernay but they have been out of the 14 speed hub for a while, they do a 9 speed jobber which might be cool but I am holding out for the 14 speed one. The actual hub is separate from the shell so you can swap the complete IGH unit to a different wheel without having to re-lace a wheel. And it is Thru-axle compatible from the get go it is not an odd bit of adapting to make it work (sorry Rohloff but thru-axle means thru which means for you a complete redesign of the internals and maybe don't do that or do it but keep making the good stuff)

+1 on Co-Motion, I do have a connection to that company in that I own one and love it and would buy another and the company is super nice, I have a customer who has a tandem we ordered from them and as far as I know he is loving it. I wish I could own a tandem from them and have someone to ride with me but I don't at the moment.

Single speed touring is probably not so fun, though I did a S24O trip on one and it was a blast but yeah longer distances farther away from home with more than one day, probably not at least not without more prep work and even then I prefer gears even my 1x9 would be a fine choice but hey plenty of people have done long technical rides with gear on a single speed and thrived. I just don't think it is for me and certainly not for you Tourist and I don't blame ya!
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Old 11-14-22, 03:15 AM
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I met the couple in the photo when I was bike touring in Iceland, they were a mixed marriage as her Rohloff was belt drive and his Rohloff bike was chain drive.

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Old 11-14-22, 11:28 AM
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Yeah, Rohloff is really the gold standard.



I really wanted to love mine and I'm not entirely sure why I didn't.

Belt drive possibilities. Hmm. Off the top of my head, in addition to Rohloff and Kindernay there's the 3x3 NINE hub. And the Effigear gearbox in addition to the Pinion. The Shimano Alfine 11 is a possiblility, but it's difficult to get 'in spec' low touring gears without small wheels (NTTAWWT). By making use of a Schlumpf (or ATS) or Efneo or Kappstein Doppio geared bottom bracket, it opens up belt drive/touring possibilities for other hubs, like the Enviolo Sportive or Revolute Hub1.

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Old 11-14-22, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Sutton View Post
Looking for advice on building a touring bike from scratch. Looking to build belt drive is this advisable? Will not be going off road.
Any suggestions welcome
hey all!
thinking of going on a tour.
what should i take?
how much will it cost?
thanks.


[get it?]
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Old 11-14-22, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Belt drives can be quite awesome they are super low maintenance and last a really long time. They do require a special frame...
I've yet to read a user review, but the Veer Split Belt is worth mentioning.
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Old 11-14-22, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
I've yet to read a user review, but the Veer Split Belt is worth mentioning.
Thanks. I could not remember what it was called when I mentioned that there was a belt that could be added to any frame.

On another forum someone commented that they had 7000 miles on one of those belts so far and quite happy with it. But did not go into detail.
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Old 11-14-22, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
I've yet to read a user review, but the Veer Split Belt is worth mentioning.
I would be curious on them. I have heard little bits but nothing to really convince me. The concept is neat though and would be curious to try it but they seem to have a limited cog and sprocket set up which may not be ideal for some set ups.

Gates knows belts and has really beyond excellent support. I had a crash and I went to them and was clear it was not a warranty and they said no problem and they sent me a new belt and the belt guard without hesitation. It was really an excellent experience.
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Old 11-14-22, 05:01 PM
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Co-Motion makes frames and bikes with Pinion. The YT guy - Darren Alf, AKA as the Bicycle Touring Pro, uses one or two not sure which models (well, ones a Siskyou), but his YT channel has videos where he describes what he is riding and that he very much likes Pinion.

Siskiyou - Co-Motion Cycles

That said and at the OP, you limit the frame choices a but (unless going to Rohloff), when you desire to not go to a traditional type of gearing system. You have a lot of options for parts as well with standard systems. I was going to simply suggest a basic 9 speed system using bar-cons, a Shimano triple, they make a ton of cassettes, so lots of choices, maybe some fancy canti brakes and you've a bunch of choices in frames, so easy to put it all together.
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Old 11-15-22, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Sutton View Post
Looking for advice on building a touring bike from scratch. Looking to build belt drive is this advisable? Will not be going off road.
Any suggestions welcome
I built up my three touring bikes, a folding bike, and one rando bike with off the shelf frames. One of those is a Rohloff bike. I still have and ride those bikes. And there was another bike that I built up, but that one had a defective frame that I eventually chucked into the recycle bin. When I say I built them up, I laced and trued the wheels myself too. If I had not worked in a bike shop as a mechanic years ago, I would not have attempted that.

While it is easy to build up a derailleur bike, an IGH bike or pinion bike adds another complexity, how to adjust chain or belt tension. And an IGH needs a means for torque arrestor. These are all factors for frame design.

A lot of IGH bikes have been built up on frames that were not intended for that purpose, thus used a long torque arrestor arm on the hub and a chain tensioner with one or two extra jockey wheels. Over the years, as disc brake mounts started to be used for torque arresting, that helped with IGH builds.

Looking at the situation now, I suspect virtually nobody buys (or builds) a frame to build up a Pinion bike with belt where the builder is the final user, as that frame is very specific for that purpose and the final cost will be quite high. There is no real advantage to buying the parts to bolt onto the bike frame yourself.

But, a lot of people over the years have built up Rohloff bikes on frames that were not designed for an IGH drive train. A Rohloff is expensive, but not as expensive as a Pinion system.

The frame I used for my Rohloff bike is very specific for the Rohloff and chain drive as it does not have a stay splitter for belt changes and does not have a a derailleur hanger. The cable guides are specific for the Rohloff EX Box, has an eccentric bottom bracket for chain adjustment.

Before I bought the frame for my Rohloff bike, I considered the Co-Motion Pangea which had a belt drive Rohloff frame. But decided against belt drive.

If you really want to build up a belt drive touring bike, I suggest you buy a frame off the shelf that was designed for the drive train you want to install. And go for it. If you build it with a Rohloff, you can save a lot of money if you buy the hub from a German internet seller, that is what I did.

And if you build up a Rohloff bike, if you have not laced up a wheel before, hire someone that has read the instructions to wheel builders that Rohloff wrote before they build the wheel. A lot of people that have built wheels before will think they know it all and will not read those instructions, which can lead to a lot of spoke breakage later. One time I had my Rohloff bike in a bike shop, I had ridden it there, it was not there for mechanical work. One of the mechanics was looking at it and asked why I built up my wheel the way I did. He did not say I did it wrong but that clearly was what he was thinking. I told him that is from the Rohloff instructions. He then said that he was going to build a wheel for a customer but he was going to do it differently. I suggested that he re-think that, and that was the end of our conversation. I have no idea what he did.

If you choose to build up a bike yourself, if you do not know a lot about bike mechanical stuff, you may need a lot of luck in the end.
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Old 11-15-22, 12:38 PM
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Still no answer to Veganbike's question, how basic are you starting? Frame, tubes, cloth and resin, iron ore?
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Old 11-15-22, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
Still no answer to veganbikes 's question, how basic are you starting? Frame, tubes, cloth and resin, iron ore?
I am wondering where Sutton is I hope they are going to stick around at least for this question.

I never understood joining a forum which does take a little time and effort (not much in the grand scheme) and then just leaving after one post. I was on a forum for a little bit and posted minimally but it was more than one post in one thread and I only left because it just wasn't my scene and I wasn't having as much fun like I do here. Hopefully that part isn't needing to be directed to the OP I really want to talk touring bikes, it is always fun especially from either a frame or building your own frame.

Also useful note if you are mentioning forum member put the @ symbol in front of their name and it should pull up a list so you can make sure they see the post because sometimes they can be missed.
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Old 11-15-22, 05:04 PM
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TY @veganbikes
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Old 11-15-22, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I built up my three touring bikes, a folding bike, and one rando bike with off the shelf frames. One of those is a Rohloff bike. I still have and ride those bikes. And there was another bike that I built up, but that one had a defective frame that I eventually chucked into the recycle bin. When I say I built them up, I laced and trued the wheels myself too. If I had not worked in a bike shop as a mechanic years ago, I would not have attempted that.
Yeah, I've ridden touring bikes (and sporty bikes and utility bikes and folding bikes) I built up myself around custom & commercial frames since, gee, around 1981 or so. I got into wheel building when the 'best LBS in town' took 5 weeks to poorly build a wheel for me.

It's not rocket surgery. There's a lot of information available on the 'net. You'll need a few tools.
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Old 11-16-22, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
...
It's not rocket surgery. There's a lot of information available on the 'net. You'll need a few tools.
You really need good mechanical aptitude too. In that regard, I am lucky to have plenty of that.

On the other hand, I know a guy that thought it would be a good idea to know how to fix a bike before he did his first coast to coast tour. So, he went to one of the professional bike mechanic schools for a week long course. And he still is an idiot when it comes to bike mechanical issues. I have had to fix his bike for him when I could not get it figured out on one of our trips.
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