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LHT build finished!

Old 07-16-12, 03:04 AM
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LHT build finished!

Dear All,

Just wanted to show off the new bike and share a few thoughts on self-building as opposed to buying a complete bike. This is my payback for 2 years of sucking tips from Bike Forums and not contributing much!

I started collecting components for this build in about 2009 (!) and only really got going this year for a variety of reasons. Here are a few things I learned along the way which I hope may be useful to others.

1) The quality of freely contributed discussion on every bike component you can imagine is incredible on bike forums! I was able (after a few months reading) to really choose a good blend of price and trusted performance for my bike. The intended usage is rather heavy duty touring off the beaten track by the way. Thanks to all for contributing!

2) Building a bike can be very, very, slow..... I would have loved to do this if I had a real workshop space to do it in. Building in an apartment (on a white rug in the living room no less...) was unnecessarily stressful.

3) There will be problems.. especially if you get others to do things for you. I had a rather unsucessful wheel build from a local place here in France which depressed me for a while:

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ild?highlight=

I think that if you are going to build then go the whole way! In the end I bought Schraners book on wheelbuilding and was able to borrow enough tools to fix things up the way they should have been. In the end the only thing which was done by a bike shop was the headset pressing. Even then when I turned up they had tried to stick me with a carbon fibre spacer with a markup of about €30!

4) You will learn alot... I had a bit of a panic about frame alignement during the bottom bracket installation. This was solved by experts on the Mechanics forum and by growing a pair and getting a bigger spanner!

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ame?highlight=

5) There will still be things you haven't thought of. For example I completely forgot a brake hanger in the initial build and still have one minor problem to solve (the lack of a barrel adjuster on the XT rear derailleur. I also discovered that SRAM chains ship too short to use on a LHT with low gears! It turns out though that others have of course solved all these problems previously and a little searching on here goes a long way.

6) It is not true that self building is necessarily more expensive. It does however require patience to find products at good prices on sale. Incidently, I bought a lot of parts from an online store in Germany who ship all over Europe who I would strongly recommend. PM me for details as I am not sure if blatant commercial plugs are OK on here? This does not bode well for your LBS of course, which is a different issue. My final price was ~€ 1543 with all shipping and the odd bits of bike shop work. As compared to ~€1100 for a stock LHT without racks and mudguards and a significantly degraded component list.

Here is the final component list- comments, or things you would have done differently are welcome! I completely understand that it may not be to everyones taste!

Part List:

58 cm dark green LHT frame
Brooks honey B17 saddle
Brooks honey leather bar tape
Nitto noodle bars
Velo Orange Grand Cru Stem
Velo Orange Grand Cru seat post
Cane Creek 110 headset
Shimano UN55 bottom bracket
Stronglight impact triple chainset
SRAM chain
Shimano Tiagra front triple derailleur
Shimano XT rear derailleur
Shimano Dura-Ace downtube shifters
Shimano 11-36 deore cassette
Problem Solvers brake hanger
Cane Creek SCR-5 brake levers
Cane Crek SCX-5 cantilevers
Shimano PD-A520 pedals
Tubus Cargo rear rack
Tubus Ergo low rider front rack
Schwalbe Marathon performance tyres
SKS P45 Chromoplastic mudguards
Mavic A319 rims
DT Swiss Alpine III spokes
Shimano XT 36 hole hubs

And now to the pictures... and a long tour in the summer!

cheers,

Jim

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Old 07-17-12, 04:21 PM
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Thought I would give my take on building up an LHT from scratch. I should be picking mine up from the local shop by this Friday, so pictures then : D I'm bouncing off the walls already.

I wanted to build up a touring bike but I will be using it as a commuter at first. I had the bike shop build it up because as mentioned above it can be frustrating building a bike in a studio with carpet, no stand and no tools. I got the frame for my birthday and decided to sink money that would go to a parking pass into the bike. All in all I came out around $1600 but I also had a few parts, and keep in mind that includes labor which will be around 200 for the wheel build and bike build.

I started looking for parts around 2 or 3 weeks ago, so not quite the process that Jim has had. I have a deadline of August 1st so that I don't have to buy a parking pass, but I also have been thinking about a build for quite some time and it just came to pass that my brother got me the frame and I went crazy to get everything together in a few weeks.

As Jim mentioned everybody has different opinions on each part, but that's what makes building a bike so much fun. You get EXACTLY what you want out of it. You pay a premium for this, especially if you don't build it yourself, but I know when I see this bike I'm going to fall over backwards with love.

Pics soon (hopefully) to come : )

Looks gorgeous Jim

Part Brand
Frame Surly LHT 52 cm (black)
levers tektro RL520
cantilevers tektro CR720
Shifters rivendell "silver" downtube
front derailleur xt
rear derailleur xt
cranks xt
bottom braket xt
chainrings xt
cogs xt
chain 9 speed
pedals & clips MKS GR9 with toe clips
rims Alex Adventurer
spokes dt swiss double butted
nipples dt swiss brass
hubs Velocity CB atb non-disk 36 rear, 32 front
Tires Continental Sport Contact Tire - 26 x 1.6
headset chris king
stem Easton Stem ($2)
handlebars Dimension Flattop Shallow Reach Road Bar
tape Specialized Roubaix (pink)
Mirror Cateye BM-300G Road
bottle cages alloy
frame saver
chainstay protector Bike tube and gorilla tape
Seatpost Kris Holm unicycle ($12)
saddle Brooks Team Pro
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Old 07-17-12, 08:48 PM
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Congratulations on the finished build. It looks great! Have fun on your tour.
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Old 07-17-12, 09:14 PM
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velo orange components imported to France; ironic
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Old 07-17-12, 10:30 PM
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I like it. Looks great. I built my LHT from the frame up because I wanted to be able to fix anything that might go wrong with it and that was a good start as any. I would have save a couple of hundred $'s if I had bought a complete bike but I really enjoyed the build and the knowledge gained from it is well worth the extra couple hundred.
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Old 07-18-12, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by TheReal Houdini
velo orange components imported to France; ironic
Actually I paid a fortune for those parts, with €30 for shipping and €30 for the import tax and the FedEx 'facilitation' fee for said tax. There are apparently Velo Orange stockists in France, but I can say for sure that there are no Velo Orange stockists in France with decent (or any!) web sites!
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Old 07-18-12, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim246
Actually I paid a fortune for those parts, with €30 for shipping and €30 for the import tax and the FedEx 'facilitation' fee for said tax. There are apparently Velo Orange stockists in France, but I can say for sure that there are no Velo Orange stockists in France with decent (or any!) web sites!
Why VO and not Gilles Berthoud? GB is a French company and they stock or produce parts similar to VO..
The bike looks gorgeous! Honey brown, green and silver is a very eye pleasing color combination

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Old 07-19-12, 02:58 AM
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Congratulations on your build. You have found out that you can get exactly what you want, without having to take what someone else feels may be appropriate for you and ending up spending a lot more money because you have to make parts substitutions later.
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Old 12-16-18, 08:16 AM
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Very nice. Inspiring my build
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Old 12-16-18, 08:37 AM
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Very nice job. The bike looks really sharp and very capable. I toy around in my head about building up a bike myself. I am mechanically challenged but this year bought a stand and some tools and have been doing a lot myself. I still find the complete building up of a bike quite intimidating. bike forums members have been a huge help with things I have been stuck on or did not operate properly once installed/mounted. I have acquired a new friend and sometime riding partner that is mechanically adept, so I am looking to learning more.
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Old 12-16-18, 12:58 PM
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Another six year old thread resurrected.
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Old 12-16-18, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Another six year old thread resurrected.
yeah, but the nerd in me appreciates it because that is a helluva sharp build!
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Old 12-16-18, 08:33 PM
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Ever go anywhere ?

So, maybe the 6 years of riding, on that new saddle have broken it in..

had riders in LBS buying a different softer padded, saddle mid trip, starting out on mile one with a brand new Brooks one..






...

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-16-18 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 12-21-18, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Another six year old thread resurrected.
Holy thread revival indeed!

Been a long time since I passed by here. That bike has been to Germany, Czech republic, spent a lot of time in France, and finally was a commuter in East Tennessee! Saved my butt when I arrived having never driven a car in my life. Yes, the saddle is now extremely comfortable, and actually was soon after the first loaded ride.

Would I change anything? Not really, gearing is fine even loaded , nothing broken... we just got back to France and now live near the Eurovelo 6. The open road is calling, and I should pull it out of its box once more!
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Old 12-21-18, 11:12 AM
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Only possible change I would suggest is t squeeze the widest fenders you can onto it. I have close-fitting fenders about like that on my Voyageur, real prone to trapping mud. On my RockHopper I squeezed in the widest fenders I could fit, with actual visible daylight between fender and tire. No mud-trapping problems at all adn they seem to actually keep me dryer that the ones on the Voyageur.
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Old 12-22-18, 06:39 AM
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^ Nonsense! That won’t make for a sexy build/fender line! Fenders must run as perfectly in line with the curve of the tire as possible, with as little clearance as is safe.
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Old 12-22-18, 09:35 AM
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Just remembered another random ride on this bike- fully loaded up the Col du Coq near Grenoble!

https://www.cycling-challenge.com/col-du-coq/

don't suppose I would be getting up there nowadays...
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Old 04-07-22, 12:56 AM
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So... in a few months it will be ten years since I started this thread and finished the build. Not much to report, I suppose like everyone, i've not got much done in the last few years. Gained plenty of weight (>200 lb...), and frankly quite a lot of depression too.

I hence decided to pull the bike out of the garage, and need to fix a few bits. I used to use online parts companies 10-years ago (mainly to get everything exactly how I wanted it), but now ordering stuff through my local bike store here, which is more fun:

https://goo.gl/maps/7S9BE6sfBHCBn98J7

1- My front mudguard and rack got dumped in America due to a pigeon related incident (storage was invaded, lots of stuff ended up completely caked in doo-doo etc), so need replaced. I've just got a new Tubus tara to replace the ergo, hopefully that is OK. I've also got some new SKS mudguards ordered (Bluemels, since they don't make Chromoplastics anymore). I shall decide later if I bother to change both.

2- The first challenge though is replacement brake blocks for the Cane Creek SCX-5 cantilevers. Any thoughts on that? Can I use some sort of generic model?

3- I also need new tyres. I suppose I shall order some more Marathons, since I never had a single puncture with the last lot.

4- New chain also needed. I wish I had written down how many links I used, since I have a vague memory that the standard chain was too short. Oh well, will have to count them I suppose! There might be some left in the bits box if I am lucky.

5- Time also needs to be found for a deep maintenence/clean. I used to service hubs once upon a time. I'll need to find out what to do with the Shimano ones on this bike from somewhere...

After all that, the plan is to do some riding! We have the Eurovelo 6 not too far from here, and also various bike routes along the vineyards of the Côte d'Or. Maybe a train ride down to Beaune is in order to begin with... Photos to follow!
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Old 04-07-22, 05:31 AM
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This is the first time I have seen a ten year old thread resurrected by the original poster.

Four years ago, above I made this comment:

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Another six year old thread resurrected.
My thoughts on your comments:

1 - Front rack, the Ergo was slightly more adjustable for angle than the Tara. My 2004 LHT is long gone (frame was defective, put it in the recycle bin), but I kept the fork (which I sprayed black) which is now on my Lynskey. I have run a Tara on that fork on the Lynskey without any problem. If my 2004 fork has the same dimensions as your newer one, the Tara should work fine. Mine is a 700c, not 26, I assume yours also is 700c. See note below on maybe needing spacers.

2 - For rim brakes, I prefer Koolstop Salmon pads. They are a bit softer, work better in rain and are easier on rims.

4 - I think that the chain companies have added a few more links in their chains. When I built up my LHT in 2004, it was too short too. But since then I have not had any problems with chains being too short. As cassettes started to get bigger, I think the manufacturers realized that a few more links were needed.

5 - Those likely are cup and cone bubs. Exploded diagrams should be available on Shimano website, you would need the specific model number but you really do not need the exploded diagrams if you have done this before. My XT hubs are the older steel axle ones, yours might be the newer aluminum axle version and I do not know if the cone wrench sizes are different. When I look inside my hubs, if the ball bearings are shiny, I just add grease and close it up again, hopefully you are equally lucky. I have always pulled the cassette off before I did that, not sure if that is a requirement or not, but if you have the tools for that, that probably is a good idea.

I think I used some spacers on my Tara where it is attached to the dropouts, two photos attached:



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Old 04-07-22, 05:38 AM
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Lol, this thread is like the world's slowest conversation. Approximately matches my time-averaged touring speed :-)

Thanks for the tips- I am going to go and have a fiddle with the fork and see if I can get it on. Absolutely pouring with rain here, so not much motivation to go out for a ride though...

Edit: Can I just use any old blocks with the cantilevers? Can anyone suggest a model that will definitely work?

Last edited by Jim246; 04-07-22 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 04-07-22, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim246
...
Edit: Can I just use any old blocks with the cantilevers? Can anyone suggest a model that will definitely work?
I do not see any reason why others would not work. Road brakes that have smaller blocks might not have as much stopping power.

Some have different means of attachment, but that is obvious.
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Old 04-07-22, 08:29 AM
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Like Tourist in MSN, I am a fan of Kool Stop Salmon brake pads or the hybrid pad, black and salmon from the same maker. They will be excellent with your, assuming, linear or V brakes.
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Old 04-07-22, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim246
...
1- My front mudguard and rack got dumped in America due to a pigeon related incident (storage was invaded, lots of stuff ended up completely caked in doo-doo etc), so need replaced. I've just got a new Tubus tara to replace the ergo, hopefully that is OK. I've also got some new SKS mudguards ordered (Bluemels, since they don't make Chromoplastics anymore). I shall decide later if I bother to change both.
...
I still am not clear why you can't use the Ergo rack. It can't be cleaned up? Did the "do-do" attack the metal and corrode it? I hope you have not discarded it yet if it is salvageable.
​​​​​
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Old 04-07-22, 11:23 AM
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You still haven't said what the front gears are. LOL. I would have said that's a perfect fit, pretty rare for LHTs. I love that green color. I would be wary of those eyelet rim holes being corroded and prone to cracking at that age.
Black Dyad rims are the only choice for me. For the front hub, IMO you seriously missed out not having a SA XL-FDD dyno with drum brakes. My first one is almost as old, 2012, with 29,000 miles now. ZERO worries the whole time in any weather. I had days where I had to ride all day on a mud slime shoulder. Lights have been on every mile. My Rohloff14 tour bike is 120 lbs loaded. LOL.

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Old 04-07-22, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I still am not clear why you can't use the Ergo rack. It can't be cleaned up? Did the "do-do" attack the metal and corrode it? I hope you have not discarded it yet if it is salvageable.
​​​​​
I had little choice, the storage area became infested with feral pigeons, nests, dead birds, broken eggs, droppings etc. It was a major health hazard and needed cleaned by professionals. Instructions from my higher authority were to dump everything. To be honest, I’d forgotten what it cost, and did not like having to find 80 euro for a new one!

Last edited by Jim246; 04-07-22 at 12:54 PM.
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