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Choosing a touring frame=Bob Jackson?

Old 03-20-09, 05:44 PM
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chewybrian 
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Choosing a touring frame=Bob Jackson?

I am ready to buy a new frame, which I would like to use for loaded touring, as well as brevet rides. My top candidate is the Bob Jackson World Tour. Does anyone own one? Otherwise, what is your opinion of the suitability of this frame for touring and brevets?

Braze-ons--lots are included. I would only add a concealed cable in the top tube, and a lamp mount, and a full chrome frame(any issues with maintaning all that chrome? Wax frequently, no?).

Wheel spacing--if I use 135mm, I can use my wheelset from my other bike as a back-up. Is there any reason not to set it up this way? Will I be limiting my wheel/hub options?

Brakes--it comes with mounts for cantilevers. I've never used them. Is that the way to go? I use mechanical disc brakes now, which have been solid and reliable, great in the rain, no complaints.

Cost--about $1000 shipped, but about $400 of that is for the chrome treatment. I haven't seen other hand-made steel in this price range, but I would look at other recommendations. thanks.
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Old 03-20-09, 07:46 PM
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Check out this thread;
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...hlight=jackson

His was around $600. Beautiful bike.
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Old 03-20-09, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post

Cost--about $1000 shipped, but about $400 of that is for the chrome treatment. I haven't seen other hand-made steel in this price range, but I would look at other recommendations. thanks.
Another British frame you might want to consider is the Mercian, King of Mercia touring bike. Slightly fancier, slightly more expensive, slightly longer wait.
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Old 03-21-09, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Chop61 View Post
Check out this thread;
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...hlight=jackson

His was around $600. Beautiful bike.
Thanks for the link. I tried searching the forum, but couldn't get direct hits. That's a good build. Make it a triple and I'll take it.

Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
Another British frame you might want to consider is the Mercian, King of Mercia touring bike. Slightly fancier, slightly more expensive, slightly longer wait.
I looked a long time at that bike. But it starts out more, and they nick you for every braze-on, and I want them all. It would end up about $350 more than the Jackson for the same set-up. The plus for the Mercian is it can be taller, 66 vs. 64, which I would like.
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Old 03-21-09, 12:46 PM
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My friend has a King of Mercia and it is a beautiful bike.
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Old 03-26-09, 09:58 AM
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Chewy - I just noticed this thread, but Chop provided a link to a previous thread about my Bob Jackson World Tour. The BJ WT would make a great touring or brevet bike. Aside from the Surly LHT, it is one of the few stock frames that is specifically designed for touring. It has mounts and braze-ons for almost anything you could want -- front and rear racks, front and rear fenders, 3 water bottles, canti brakes.

You might also consider the BJ Audax End-End model, which is similar to the WT but takes long-reach cantilever brakes. You would need to custom order your BJ unless you are willing to compromise on some of the specs (such as concealed top tube cable). I ordered my ST "off the peg" and it took about 2 months to receive. For a custom order, you can probably count on waiting at least 6 months and probably longer.

You can order a WT with either 130 or 135 mm spacing. Since you already have 135 wheels, it would make sense to go that route, and the bike would be more suitable for loaded touring. I got mine with 130 spacing because I already had wheels in that size and plan to use my bike for commuting mostly.

Just out of curiosity ... why do you want full chrome treatment? Do you just like the look? That would increase the final price by a lot.

I really like the cantilever brakes. They have more stopping power than caliper brakes, particularly in the rain. Disc brakes could pose problems for a touring bike. First, it would be harder to find a rear rack that will fit a frame with discs. Second, it would be harder to fix if you have mechanical problems on the road.
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Old 03-26-09, 01:10 PM
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The BJ World Tour is good for typical club use of brevets, weekend tours and 2 week Euro camping style trips as well as commuting and grocery getting. You can ride around the world on one (and people have) but I dont rate it as highly as some of the specialist expedition tourers for this kind of heavy, long duration use.

The max tyre clearance is about 35mm, I managed to clog up my fenders with sticky mud so I usually stick to 32mm.
If you want disk brakes, then Gunnar are probably your best option, they have a mount position that is totally compatable with std racks. Disk forks need a different balance of stiffness and strength due to the braking forces.
Personally I prefer calipers top cantis , they stop as well , are much more controllable and are easier to maintain.
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Old 03-26-09, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
Chewy - I just noticed this thread, but Chop provided a link to a previous thread about my Bob Jackson World Tour. The BJ WT would make a great touring or brevet bike. Aside from the Surly LHT, it is one of the few stock frames that is specifically designed for touring. It has mounts and braze-ons for almost anything you could want -- front and rear racks, front and rear fenders, 3 water bottles, canti brakes.

You might also consider the BJ Audax End-End model, which is similar to the WT but takes long-reach cantilever brakes. You would need to custom order your BJ unless you are willing to compromise on some of the specs (such as concealed top tube cable). I ordered my ST "off the peg" and it took about 2 months to receive. For a custom order, you can probably count on waiting at least 6 months and probably longer.

You can order a WT with either 130 or 135 mm spacing. Since you already have 135 wheels, it would make sense to go that route, and the bike would be more suitable for loaded touring. I got mine with 130 spacing because I already had wheels in that size and plan to use my bike for commuting mostly.

Just out of curiosity ... why do you want full chrome treatment? Do you just like the look? That would increase the final price by a lot.

I really like the cantilever brakes. They have more stopping power than caliper brakes, particularly in the rain. Disc brakes could pose problems for a touring bike. First, it would be harder to find a rear rack that will fit a frame with discs. Second, it would be harder to fix if you have mechanical problems on the road.
I'm not hung up on disc brakes; cantilever would be fine, and I like the look. The full chrome is just for looks, but I really dig it. I could give on the cable if it saved 6 months, and it would drop the price a bit. Thanks for the info; a lot to think about.
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Old 03-26-09, 04:52 PM
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There's a fair amount overlap between the needs of a tourist and a brevet rider, especially if you're doing 200+ mile events and time/speed is not super-critical. I have the impression that a full-on tourist bike is usually a bit too much of a tank for ultras though, so I went with a Cross Check (modified with low gearing) to cover those two bases.

Cost, is what it is. There are some cheaper mass-produced steel frames out there, and more expensive custom frames. My only advice is: don't buy a bike that you can't afford to replace.

Not seeing any geometry specs for that frame. That info could be helpful in determining whether this bike will work well for both purposes.

135mm dropout will limit you to MTB hubs. I don't think that's really a problem per se. If you're really fussy about it, I know the Cross Check do 132mm, which lets you use either 130 or 135. Jackson might be willing to do that for you.

Cantis are fine, very good for shedding mud etc, but a) you need to get a good set, b) you need good brake shoes, and c) you have to adjust them properly. I'm using Avid Shorty 4's; not great at first, but with different brake shoes and a good adjustment, they're almost as solid as caliper brakes.

Check with the Mechanics sub-forum (or possibly framebuilders) for issues with chrome. Stainless steel might be more robust and offer a similar look.
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Old 03-27-09, 03:54 AM
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Some info here about why chroming is bad. It's written on a BMX website but the theory is still valid. https://www.bikeguide.org/guides/chrome/
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Old 03-27-09, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by TheBrick View Post
Some info here about why chroming is bad. It's written on a BMX website but the theory is still valid. https://www.bikeguide.org/guides/chrome/
Thanks for the link. I do believe there is some truth to the theory, but, it must be overstated. There were so many chrome parts back in the day, and rust seems a bigger threat than snapping. I know I will put a lot of miles on with some heavy loads. Even so, it would take more evidence to steer me away.
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Old 03-27-09, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
...
Braze-ons--lots are included. I would only add a concealed cable in the top tube...
I would advise against the concealed cable routing. Even with the typical gussets that make an escutcheon around the holes, both the hole itself and brazing the eyelet would weaken the tube, and silver soldering wouldn't negate this weakening, either. The stresses laden touring puts on a frame are more substantial than you might think, and top tubes take more than you might guess. Holes in tubes always create points of weakness leading to "stress risers", no matter how carefully they are done. Just my two cents.
Anyhow, happy touring, once you finally get what you want! If I needed another touring frame, Bob Jackson would be on my short list.
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Old 03-28-09, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by CrankyFranky View Post
I would advise against the concealed cable routing. Even with the typical gussets that make an escutcheon around the holes, both the hole itself and brazing the eyelet would weaken the tube, and silver soldering wouldn't negate this weakening, either. The stresses laden touring puts on a frame are more substantial than you might think, and top tubes take more than you might guess. Holes in tubes always create points of weakness leading to "stress risers", no matter how carefully they are done. Just my two cents.
Anyhow, happy touring, once you finally get what you want! If I needed another touring frame, Bob Jackson would be on my short list.
Thanks. I had thought of the danger of water entering the frame there, but I did not even consider that it could weaken the frame. Starting at 215 of rider, I could easily hit 300 or more with bike and gear. So, I could stress a frame without even mashing.

The other factor is the time it adds to receiving the frame. If I mount the lamps on my rack, and give up on the concealed cable, then there is no custom aspect to add months of extra waiting time. That's what drew me to the WT in the first place; it's pretty much everything I want right off the peg. I'll probably wait a couple months for the chrome, but I don't feel like giving on that.
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Old 06-06-09, 10:46 AM
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I'm thinking of getting a Bob Jackson World Tourer as well. I e-mailed them but they haven't responded. I was wondering if they allow minor changes to the "off-the-peg" models pricing?

For instance I would really like to either go without the MTB-style canti bosses and go with traditional brake mounts or have them use the old bosses for traditional center-pulls as I plan to use Dia-Compe 750s or similar.

Also, I like the regular triple "ON TOP" top-tube cable guides.

Also, I would ditch the 3rd bottle braze-on...

Do you think they would do this for the regular price or close?
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Old 06-07-09, 10:31 AM
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I'd advise against the idea of a chromed frame (and I have one), as it adds weight and is regarded by most frame builders as a "no no", in that the process is thought to weaken the frame. I wouldn't have a concealed top tube brake cable either, when it comes to it.

The "World Tourer" is well-regarded over here as is the "King of Mercia". If you are going to do heavy touring though I'd go for the Mercian "Vincitori" frame which is reinforced by longer lugs at the Bottom Bracket shell. I had this frame made as a custom job and it served me well.

I would also stick with the three bottle braze-ons too, as the third is good for carrying stove fuel away from your panniers.

Last edited by onbike 1939; 06-07-09 at 10:33 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 06-07-09, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by onbike 1939 View Post
I'd advise against the idea of a chromed frame (and I have one), as it adds weight and is regarded by most frame builders as a "no no", in that the process is thought to weaken the frame. I wouldn't have a concealed top tube brake cable either, when it comes to it.

The "World Tourer" is well-regarded over here as is the "King of Mercia". If you are going to do heavy touring though I'd go for the Mercian "Vincitori" frame which is reinforced by longer lugs at the Bottom Bracket shell. I had this frame made as a custom job and it served me well.

I would also stick with the three bottle braze-ons too, as the third is good for carrying stove fuel away from your panniers.
Any chance you have a picture? I'm just curious to see what she looks like.
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Old 06-07-09, 10:44 AM
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I've heard the same about chrome... that it does nasty stuff to the steel.

The 3rd bottle cage makes be nervous... the holes on the bottom where so much moisture hits it while riding. Even with the bolts tightly secured moisture has a way of getting up in there.

I'm no a fan of the brake cable under the top-tube... These braze-ons really dig into you when shouldering the bike... and the bare cable has a way of marring the finish. I would even be ok with NO cable guides, using Campy stainless clips instead... really old-school style

Do you think they would charge to move the bosses up for use with Dia-compes? They would also have to be the shorter type ones. Otherwise I wonder if they offer to do the World Tourer without the bosses at all. THAT should be cheaper even.
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Old 06-07-09, 01:52 PM
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I'm impressed. This is an extremely good price for such a quality frame. It's almost mind-boggling that it can be put together for roughly the same price as a LHT. I'll be considering this for a tourer should my LHT ever die on me.
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Old 06-07-09, 08:15 PM
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I think of 135 as the current norm for a touring bikes.

I wouldn't run a cable inside the frame. Sort of thing that makes sense in a bling way when talking about bikes, but out on the road, I don't see the upside.

I wouldn't go for chrome, because I prefer a bike that is least likely to be stolen, since there tend to be all one's stuff in a touring bike, and it isn't practical to get all the good stuff out when one makes a stop, so stealth is better. But that said, BJ must have a good chromer, because they get chosen early to use the exotic tubes and often chrome ones that Reynolds doesn't recomend chroming, so they have been down this road a long time, and i wouldn't be worried.

Cantis are great.

I would be most worried about the 32 only rule. I would look into that, maybe a fender bridge up front would solve that problem.
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Old 06-08-09, 10:19 AM
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Bj

Originally Posted by TheMilford View Post
I'm thinking of getting a Bob Jackson World Tourer as well. I e-mailed them but they haven't responded. I was wondering if they allow minor changes to the "off-the-peg" models pricing?

For instance I would really like to either go without the MTB-style canti bosses and go with traditional brake mounts or have them use the old bosses for traditional center-pulls as I plan to use Dia-Compe 750s or similar.

Also, I like the regular triple "ON TOP" top-tube cable guides.

Also, I would ditch the 3rd bottle braze-on...

Do you think they would do this for the regular price or close?
Bob Jackson won't change anything other than the colors on their off-the-peg frames, by my understanding. That is one reason why they can keep the price so cheap. No harm in asking, though.

They can build you a custom for about $300 more than off-the-peg, depending on how many extras you want. Eg., I don't think there is any charge for changing tubing dimensions, but they charge extra for things like concealed cables, extended head tube. Considering all of the changes you are proposing, I am certain they would consider that a custom. The delivery time is considerably longer with customs than off-the-peg. My off-peg World Tour took about 2 months to arrive from the time I ordered it. My understanding is that the delivery time for their customs is 6-12 months.
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Old 06-08-09, 10:25 AM
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They wrote back...

Yep... custom.

I asked again if they would at least "forget" to put the canti bosses on and if they would charge for that... I just can't get down with cantis. And it would seem silly to me that something like this wouldn't be a standard option (like the front DR braze-on option). I want them to do leass work for the same money. How often does that come around?

If I'm gonna pay $300 more I will just save up for the Mercian which I had my heart set on anyway.
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Old 06-08-09, 10:37 AM
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Sounds to me like you have two good options: 1) Order the World Tour and use canti brakes. I hadn't used cantis before I got my WT, and I am really liking them. They have a lot more clearance for largers tires and fenders and much more stopping power when it's wet outside.
2) Order the BJ Audax End-End frame, which uses long-reach caliper brakes. Their regular Adaux frame uses standard caliper brakes. The Audax frames are also less expensive than the World Tour. They have a different geometry (steeper angles, longer top tubes) but still have mounts for fenders and a rear rack.

BTW, you will probably spend much more than $300 extra for the Mercian. It's my understanding that they charge extra for every option that isn't listed as standard -- including fender and water bottle mounts, head tube extension, etc. Get a firm price before ordering.
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Old 06-08-09, 10:42 AM
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My Bob Jackson had the rear brake cable routed in the top tube. Super nice looking frame. Mine was built in 1997. Still going strong although a friend now rides it.
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Old 06-08-09, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
Sounds to me like you have two good options: 1) Order the World Tour and use canti brakes. I hadn't used cantis before I got my WT, and I am really liking them. They have a lot more clearance for largers tires and fenders and much more stopping power when it's wet outside.
2) Order the BJ Audax End-End frame, which uses long-reach caliper brakes. Their regular Adaux frame uses standard caliper brakes. The Audax frames are also less expensive than the World Tour. They have a different geometry (steeper angles, longer top tubes) but still have mounts for fenders and a rear rack.

BTW, you will probably spend much more than $300 extra for the Mercian. It's my understanding that they charge extra for every option that isn't listed as standard -- including fender and water bottle mounts, head tube extension, etc. Get a firm price before ordering.
The problem with the B.J. Audax frames is they don't have downtube shifter bosses. I NEED these. A BJ WT minus Brake cable guides, Canti bosses and 3rd bottle mount would be what I'm after... this should be no-charge since it's not changing anythin and hardly custom.

Both the Mercian Audax and the King of Mercia would suit my needs "off-the-peg"... The only "extra" I might get is a rear cable hanger on the seatstays for the Dia-Compes.

I'm looking at cantis and trying to imagine my life with them.
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Old 06-08-09, 11:36 AM
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Oh yeah and "cable eyes on lower headtube"... don't need these either.

With the amount of thing I DON'T want on the fram you'd think they could buy lunch with the difference.

Sorry to Hijack this thread from the OP... But I assume it's all good info.
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