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component suggestions for touring bike build?

Old 09-29-10, 01:04 PM
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component suggestions for touring bike build?

hello,

i'm probably going to pick up a surly long haul trucker frame. I want to build up a bike suitable for long, unsupported touring. But I'm not sure how to build it up. Looks like people get mountain bike rear derailleur (Shimano XT?)...a road front derailleur (Shimano Ultegra?). What sort of crankset? Mountain? What sort of gearing for the crankset? How about cassette?

What about wheelset (26")? Tires and tubes? Thomson stem and seatpost or something else? Any old aluminum bars or something else?

I know tons of about roadbike parts...not I have no idea about a good touring bike build. Thanks!
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Old 09-29-10, 01:28 PM
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why not just get the complete LHT? everyone just raves about that build.
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Old 09-29-10, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclist2000
why not just get the complete LHT? everyone just raves about that build.
That's a good question. Unless he's got a box of components of that grade to choose from, probably best just to buy the complete.

I've got the equivalent of a box of components I'm happy with for an LHT build... it's called my current (crappy and too small for me) hybrid bike. I plan on buying the frame and just building it up with the components I've managed/needed to accumulate/upgrade to over two years of commuting... a mix of components I'm pretty happy with and would work well for touring. Doesn't mean I'll never make any more upgrades, but for now it'll be more than good enough for me.
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Old 09-29-10, 02:13 PM
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gad.. well how much are you planning on hauling, and what kind of terrain you riding over?

if you want supreme flexibility for lots of different terrains-- a triple is great-- and the gearing should come out of how much you're pulling around and what your definition of 'fast' is. if you're REALLY loaded on crazy hills- a 24/34/44 would be great-- and you'd probably do best with a long cage rear for sure. for cassettes.. well.. i guess that also depends on what you're hauling too. but chances are-- you don't need race style big rings for loaded touring

all of it comes down to needs and preferences. were it myself-- i'd stick with lower gearing, probably and 8 speed cassette, probably 11-32 and the 24/34/44 front rings. 26/650b is super nice for big fatty tires and good fender coverage and comfortable ride... also convenient tube changes.

bars... that's also preference. i'd certainly choose a brooks saddle, and likely barcon shifters.. maybe some nitto noodles. i'd go with a quill stem if possible for easy height adjustments, and i've never struggled too much with a seatpost.

look at sites like cyclofiend for inspiration! loads of amazing builds over there-- and keep in mind what the application is, and that'll shape what you put on it!
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Old 09-29-10, 02:26 PM
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The only reason for buying the compete is the price, which may or not even be the outcome depending on replacement parts, good deals, pre-owned stuff, etc... There is no other reason, every other option favours the build from scratch. Which obviously goes for the Surly frame itself, cheapness is the only reason.

Speaking of the complete, before it became available, and to some extent since, there was a thread a week on this subject, and none of the parts have really changeed much since. So do a search in addition to what you get back here.

I would also look at the Bruce Gordon frame, and his build kit deal, if for no other reason than that it represents one take.
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Old 09-29-10, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by EKW in DC
That's a good question. Unless he's got a box of components of that grade to choose from, probably best just to buy the complete.

I've got the equivalent of a box of components I'm happy with for an LHT build... it's called my current (crappy and too small for me) hybrid bike. I plan on buying the frame and just building it up with the components I've managed/needed to accumulate/upgrade to over two years of commuting... a mix of components I'm pretty happy with and would work well for touring. Doesn't mean I'll never make any more upgrades, but for now it'll be more than good enough for me.
I was in the same situation last winter. I got a cheap frame off old frame for $120 and built up a bike for the fun of it. I still have some spare parts and got an old bianchi xl boron frame and plan to do that build for a winter project.

But back to the OP question. They apparently don't know what they want for equipment, and have decided to get a LHT, so why not the complete bike. Most everyone's opinion seems to be that the LHT is ideally setup.
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Old 09-29-10, 09:45 PM
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A lot of good thoughts-- It may be more cost effective to get a stock LHT, and change out a few parts than build one up. Having said that, I built my LHT because the stock bike was not what I wanted. I also got one heck of a deal on a new frame in the color I'd been looking for. Actually, if it was not for the color, I'd still be riding my Volpe. I don't think most stock touring bikes, including the LHT, are geared low enough. I wanted STI shifters, mountain bike gearing and several other options. I had worked out a really nice drive train on another bike and knew it would work well on a LHT. I also used the exact set up to build my wife's bike on a Co-Motion frame. Both bikes performed extremely well. If you are interested in specifics, let me know.

During the build before racks, fenders, old set of tires (28mm), and........................


On tour two weeks ago.

Last edited by Doug64; 09-29-10 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 09-30-10, 12:56 AM
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MTB drive train + bar end shifters is a good middle ground for touring.. 22/34 to 44/12 is a good range.

Ive gone over to a Rohloff hub, Myself..
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Old 09-30-10, 04:34 AM
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I think it largely depends on what type of tourer you want.
For a drop bar bike, probably the complete LHT is a good deal.

However, I built my own 'Trucker' because I ride a more upright style with comfy riser bars.
I used typical MTB Shimano parts and low MTB gearing 44,32,22 front, 11-34 rear.
XT F+R gears, nice old Deore crankset, 'thumbie' shifters, LX brakes, LX hubs on 26'' rims to take 2'' tyres.
Brooks B17 saddle for day long comfort.

Mike
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Old 09-30-10, 05:45 AM
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i'd stick with lower gearing, probably and 8 speed cassette, probably 11-32 and the 24/34/44 front rings.
Exactly the set up I use on mine. Works well. I also wanted to use a brooks saddle and some tires and shifters I already had.

The standard build is fine too. Just whatever you want.
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Old 09-30-10, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mikerr
I think it largely depends on what type of tourer you want.
However, I built my own 'Trucker' because I ride a more upright style with comfy riser bars.
Did you had to go to a larger frame size for LHT (larger than the size normally recommended for your height) because you opted for riser bars instead of drop bars? I am thinking mainly at how the required length of the top tube depends on chosen style of the handlebars (flat/riser vs drop bars).

The LHT frame seems to be designed with the use of drop bars in mind so this is why I asked the above question.

Last edited by Seb71; 09-30-10 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 09-30-10, 07:31 AM
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A pretty std touring/drop bar build is Tiagra 9spd STI levers and front mech (MTB mech doesnt work). Deore or similar rear mech. 9-speed cassette 11-34 on LX hubs. MTB chainset and Tektro 520 brakes.
This is far from ideal:
The STI gear cable interferes with most decent bar bags and limits the positioning of the levers.
9 speed generally sucks for touring, it requires to much care and feeding, it is always going out of whack. The front mech trim feature is very hard to use.
The affordable large ratio cassettes (11-34) have a lot of flex in the 34 ring so setting the end stop of the rear mech is tricky. The expensive XTR cassettes are stiff enough to work well.

Bar-end shifters simplify the matter and provide better redundancy.
Butterfly style trekking bars enable you to use the whole MTB system with V-brakes.
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Old 09-30-10, 07:36 AM
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Hi Seb,
My LHT is a 50cm frame which gives me about an 1''- 1.5'' standover.
I chose the LHT frame precisely because I thought it's specified top tube length would suit straight or riser bars.
This was after making comparisons with other stock touring frames available here in the UK.

I don't use drop bars, but I seem to recall reading that some people find LHT frames a bit on the long side.

To give you the rest of the details.
I'm using Thorn, 'Comfort' bars on a 110mm 17deg rise stem, with an uncut steerer tube.

Hope this helps,

Mike

Last edited by mikerr; 09-30-10 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 09-30-10, 01:17 PM
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The thing about trekking bars is they combine all the bad ergo qualities of MTB bars for both hand positions. Drops are better, but even those MTB bar end thingies are a step in a better direction. Of course I'm talking ergo, that doesn't stop a lot of people from loving them if they don't have problems with the ergo.
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Old 09-30-10, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Peterpan1
The thing about trekking bars is they combine all the bad ergo qualities of MTB bars for both hand positions. Drops are better, but even those MTB bar end thingies are a step in a better direction. Of course I'm talking ergo, that doesn't stop a lot of people from loving them if they don't have problems with the ergo.
Guess I don't have any problems w/ ergo then, because I have not been stopped from loving my trekking bars. Awesome addition to my commuter hybrid, and I expect them to be equally awesome when I swap them over to my LHT build.
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Old 09-30-10, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64
A lot of good thoughts-- It may be more cost effective to get a stock LHT, and change out a few parts than build one up. Having said that, I built my LHT because the stock bike was not what I wanted. I also got one heck of a deal on a new frame in the color I'd been looking for. Actually, if it was not for the color, I'd still be riding my Volpe. I don't think most stock touring bikes, including the LHT, are geared low enough. I wanted STI shifters, mountain bike gearing and several other options. I had worked out a really nice drive train on another bike and knew it would work well on a LHT. I also used the exact set up to build my wife's bike on a Co-Motion frame. Both bikes performed extremely well. If you are interested in specifics, let me know.

During the build before racks, fenders, old set of tires (28mm), and........................


On tour two weeks ago.
Jed Smith state park?
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Old 09-30-10, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by teamtrinity
hello,

i'm probably going to pick up a surly long haul trucker frame. I want to build up a bike suitable for long, unsupported touring. But I'm not sure how to build it up. !
so get a complete bike
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Old 09-30-10, 10:39 PM
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Jed Smith state park?
Close. Somewhere on the "Avenue of the Giants".
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Old 09-30-10, 11:05 PM
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The STI gear cable interferes with most decent bar bags and limits the positioning of the levers.
9 speed generally sucks for touring, it requires to much care and feeding, it is always going out of whack. The front mech trim feature is very hard to use.
The affordable large ratio cassettes (11-34) have a lot of flex in the 34 ring so setting the end stop of the rear mech is tricky. The expensive XTR cassettes are stiff enough to work well.
I've ridden several multi-week trips the longest being 3650 miles all with 9speed STI shifters and have never had a problem. My wife's bike is set up the same way. So between us there is about about 12,000 miles of loaded touring since we switched to 9 spd's without a problem. We both use Ortlieb bar bags, and they fit just fine. The levers are exactly where I want them, and there is a lot of room for adjustment. It is what you are familiar with and personal preference. I built both of our bikes, and know how they go together. It took a lot of research and trial and error over the years to come up with a group of components that work well together. We've used the same drive train on 4 bikes with very good results.
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Old 10-01-10, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64
It took a lot of research and trial and error over the years to come up with a group of components that work well together. We've used the same drive train on 4 bikes with very good results.
I`m slowly upgrading my old 6spd to 9spd, with MTB crankset, so if you could give us some details about what worked for you, that`d be helpful.

Thanks,
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Old 10-01-10, 02:43 AM
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"Guess I don't have any problems w/ ergo then"

all the better right? The flat bar is mostly made for control on rough surfaces and bracing for impacts, so it is ergo for that. That doesn't describe my touring though.
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Old 10-01-10, 10:21 PM
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I`m slowly upgrading my old 6spd to 9spd, with MTB crankset, so if you could give us some details about what worked for you, that`d be helpful.
-68mm bottom bracket shell and a 45-47mm chainline, 700 c wheels.
-103mm axle square taper botom bracket (IRD@ Harris cycles).
-Sugino DX500 44/32/22 mountain crankset.
-Shimano Tiagra STI 9 spd shifters 4503.
-Tiagra 9 spd. front derailleur, triple.
-Shimano LX rear derailleur.
-Shimano XT 9 spd. 11-34 rear cassette.
-Sram 9 spd chain.
-Road bars
This set up worked well with both 130 and 135 mm rear dropout spacing. The critical combination is the bottom bracket, crankset and front derailleur. The 103mm bottom bracket lets you keep a 45-47mm chainline with mountain bike cranks. Mountain bike cranks usually are set up with non-STI shifters to run about a 50mm chainline. STI shifters and road FD's are designed to use the 45-47mm chainline. I've only used Sugino, but it might work for other MB cranks as well. The Tiagra front derailleur is very versitile and forgiving. The reason I use the "old fashioned" square taper bottom bracket spindles is the wide range of sizes available. The 103mm is the shortest made. The rest of the components are mostly personal preference. The Shimano Deore rear derailleur seems to work as well as the LX.

If you use the "trekking" cranks, such as the Sugino DX600 48/36/26(28), a 110 mm bottom bracket will work OK.

I don't have any experience with bar-end shifters, but I believe they are also a little more forgiving than STI's.

How folks set up their bike is a really personal thing. This is one way that worked well for me, but there are many more setups that will work just as well or better. Good luck on your rebuild.
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Old 10-02-10, 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64
-The critical combination is the bottom bracket, crankset and front derailleur. The 103mm bottom bracket lets you keep a 45-47mm chainline with mountain bike cranks. Mountain bike cranks usually are set up with non-STI shifters to run about a 50mm chainline. STI shifters and road FD's are designed to use the 45-47mm chainline. I've only used Sugino, but it might work for other MB cranks as well. The Tiagra front derailleur is very versitile and forgiving. .
Right on. That`s the route I`m going along with my upgrade. Last week I installed a Shimano M442 mtn crankset on a Sugino 103mm square taper BB for a 45mm chainline. I wanted it narrow for the 130mm rear hub with 9sp 11-34 cassette. Wasn`t sure it would work because I read some cranksets have dished spiders which can hit the BB shell if you run it too narrow, but this one turned out to be nice and flat.

I was wondering about the FD, as I can`t get the old XC Pro to work properly, so looks like the Tiagra 4503 might be the go. Definitely versatile if it can shift on mtb chaiwheels.

I`ve already got an XT rear der and will get around to installing new DA 9s barend shifters soon. I`m hoping they will be compatible with the RD as I read recently that there can be a mtb/road issue there.

It`s good to know that STI is possible with this set up too.

Thanks for the info!
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