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Advice on first build - touring setup

Old 03-28-13, 11:08 AM
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Advice on first build - touring setup

Hi all,

I'm new to these forums - please be gentle and apologies in advance if its not the right place to post/I'm asking stuff that's obvious or ridiculous.
I've been cycling all my life, and have gradually built up my maintenance skills to the extent that I have experience of replacing bottom brackets, trueing wheels (though not building them...an ambition!), replacing chains, and the usual adjustments.
I've toured reasonably extensively in the UK and abroad, including in South America and Japan.
All of this was done either on an ancient but dearly loved Marin Bear Valley (touring - not fast but could go anywhere) or an On-One Pompino (commuting).
Both bikes are either sold or dying, and so I'm planning to take the plunge and build up a new tourer, with all the spec that I would like, and can't find on one bike. I'm aware that many people say its more expensive to build up your own bike than to buy a complete one, but I'm fairly confident I can build what I want in the budget I want (under 750). I'm 6ft and 80kg.
I'm posting now because I would love some advice on my proposed setup. My main questions are: can you see any compatibility issues? Are there any parts where you look at them and think its a really weird combination? What would you do differently?

Thanks v much in advance - setup below.
Max

Frame and forks: Planet X Kaffenback (large) (I'm waiting for the 2013 range to come into stock)
Wheelset: Hope Pro 2 Evo hub with Stans Arch 29er rims (overspecced wheels compared to the rest of the setup I know, but I'm getting too good a deal to turn these down!)
Headset: FSA Orbit MX
Stem: On-One 3D forged, 100mm, 17 degree rise (any advice on stem angle for touring would be very welcome!)
Brakes and levers: Avid BB7s and SD7s
Crankset: Shimano Deore FC-M590
Front derailleur: Shimano Deore FD-M590
Rear derailleur: Shimano Deore RD-M592 SGS
Cassette: Shimano CS-50-9
Bottom bracket: Shimano BB-51
Shifters: Shimano SL-M590-9
Handlebars, pedals, seatpost and seat I can cannibalise from elsewhere.
Total: 750 depending on the price of the new frame
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Old 03-29-13, 02:16 AM
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I'd say most of what you have identified seems like a good build to me. The frame is interesting due to the flexibility, similar to the Surly Troll or Ogre. The fork does not seem to have a touring design, so instead of the fork sold with the Kaffenback, I would probably use a Surly Orge fork instead.

https://surlybikes.com/parts/ogre_fork

If gives you the same braking flexibility -- cant/v-brake or disc -- but it has eyelets above and below the dropout, has mid-fork eyelets, and it also has waterbottle mouts on each side so you can attach two water-bottles to the fork or special racks for carrying more gear if needed.
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Old 03-29-13, 03:43 AM
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Just taking a quick look, I am 6'2" and the frame looks a bit short in the top tube to me. The chainstays are also pretty short for touring. The equipment list looks reasonable. At my age (65) I like low gearing for that end of the day, hot, steep climb that I seem to always run into. Look into the details carefully.
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Old 03-29-13, 05:29 AM
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maxmaxmilan, Welcome to the forum.

The frame specs aren't at an expedition level frame's specs, but certainly doable as many tour on a CX frame. It should be a lively handling bike and with front and rear medium sized panniers balancing the load, capable of coping with medium-heavy amount of baggage.

I suspect that most economy priced frames don't recieve the personal attention as the higher priced frames so I suggest having the BB faced and chased and the head tube faced. I'd also go with bwgride's fork suggestion.

We love frame builds so post on your build progress (w/photos).

Brad
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Old 03-29-13, 07:13 AM
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The kaffenback has a nice cr-mo fork, I wouldn't waste money on the surly fork it weighs almost as much as the frame you want, you can get tubus fork mounting adapters for 22$ or a u-bolt from the hardware store works perfectly fine as well for mounting certain front racks. Those hope hubs look amazing and I've been eyeing one up for a while. I can't advise on stem angle for a flat bar set-up, if you can grab a used adjustable stem I'd install one of those and just figure it out that way before buying a nice stem.

I would also think about buying the complete kaffenback and selling the wheelset that comes with it, and any other parts you want to swap out... sometimes the parting-out can even finance an upgrade if you can do all the work yourself. I have a build spreadsheet and I've found that small things like grips, rim tape, tubes, cables, etc. really do start to add up on some builds.

Last edited by clasher; 03-29-13 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 03-29-13, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by bradtx
We love frame builds so post on your build progress (w/photos).
Of course! I'm massively excited for my first build.

Thanks everyone for such helpful replies. ClemY I know exactly what you mean...it seems a law of touring that the day ALWAYS ends with the steepest hill. My lowest gearing would be 18 inches which is considerably better than my current tourer. Probably still not enough to get up some of the hills on the Lon Las Cymru though!

After a few discussions with friends and on another forum I am considering stretching my budget to get Surly's Disc Trucker frameset rather than the Kaffenback for a couple of reasons: I'm wondering whether I ought to go with 26 inch wheels for strength and choice of parts (Surly does a 26 inch frame); and the tyre clearances on the Disc Trucker are much more generous than the Kaff (the latter is limited to about 35mm/1.4 inch). However, it is an extra 100 and an extra half kilo or so...does anyone have any experience of comparisons between the two?
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Old 03-29-13, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by maxmaxmilan
Of course! I'm massively excited for my first build.

Thanks everyone for such helpful replies. ClemY I know exactly what you mean...it seems a law of touring that the day ALWAYS ends with the steepest hill. My lowest gearing would be 18 inches which is considerably better than my current tourer. Probably still not enough to get up some of the hills on the Lon Las Cymru though!

After a few discussions with friends and on another forum I am considering stretching my budget to get Surly's Disc Trucker frameset rather than the Kaffenback for a couple of reasons: I'm wondering whether I ought to go with 26 inch wheels for strength and choice of parts (Surly does a 26 inch frame); and the tyre clearances on the Disc Trucker are much more generous than the Kaff (the latter is limited to about 35mm/1.4 inch). However, it is an extra 100 and an extra half kilo or so...does anyone have any experience of comparisons between the two?
26" wheels are a bit stronger. The only problem I have found is tire selection. I have found more tires in 26" that are worse than slow (on pavement), at least for me. The Conti Sport Contact 26x1.6" seem to be fast and provide serious ride comfort. If you are planning to do much off road touring, 26" is probably the only way to fly.
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Old 03-29-13, 08:54 PM
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The PXK's 420mm chainstays do not bode well for a 6' tall guy. Your heels will strike the panniers as you pedal. Get the Disc Trucker (460mm CSs) if you intend to carry panniers.

If you need to stay on budget, drop the Hope hubs+Stans rims. Why put a $500 wheelset on a $250 frameset?

Consider Deore 525 hubs (XT 756 cost twice as much but don't last twice as long) combined with Alex rims, like Surly specs on the complete bike. There are a number of inexpensive, wider rims that will work fine for a Surly DT build.

Last edited by seeker333; 03-29-13 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 03-30-13, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by seeker333
The PXK's 420mm chainstays do not bode well for a 6' tall guy. Your heels will strike the panniers as you pedal. Get the Disc Trucker (460mm CSs) if you intend to carry panniers.
Thanks seeker - a usefully definitive response! I'm definitely moving towards the Disc Trucker.

Originally Posted by seeker333
If you need to stay on budget, drop the Hope hubs+Stans rims. Why put a $500 wheelset on a $250 frameset?

Consider Deore 525 hubs (XT 756 cost twice as much but don't last twice as long) combined with Alex rims, like Surly specs on the complete bike. There are a number of inexpensive, wider rims that will work fine for a Surly DT build.
I know they're overspecced - but the thing is I'd be getting them for 190/$290, so not a great deal more than the Deore/Alex rims setup you suggest. You're probably right though.
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Old 03-30-13, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by maxmaxmilan
I know they're overspecced - but the thing is I'd be getting them for 190/$290, so not a great deal more than the Deore/Alex rims setup you suggest. You're probably right though.
I built my Surly DT wheels cheaper than in the past - decided to test whether the extra $ I spent in the past really translated into longer wheel longevity, by building a cheap set this time. I used SG spokes instead DB, cheap Alex rim instead of Velocity/Mavic/other. I bought parts from e-stores (LBSs in reality operating an internet store front), total cost was 45(2 hubs)+39(100 WS SG spokes)+44(2 Alex TD17 rims)+3(velox rim strips)+4(brass nips) = $135. Shipping cost was free as I carefully shopped to achieve minimum purchase to qualify for free SH.

135USD = 89 GBP

Rims and hubs wear out like anything else (even frames break), so I don't get too attached to bike parts. I bought a fancy wheelset years ago, it proved to be no better than ones I built, so I'm glad I got that out of my system.

You should listen to Hope Evo hubs before you buy, their freewheel makes a helluva racket when coasting. It changed my mind about buying them. I was considering a silver 10mm QR 36h set from Wiggle months ago at ~$300. There's video of those hubs on Youtube.
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Old 03-31-13, 12:37 PM
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Seeker that's an impressive wheelset for the cost - and yes I do agree that expensive wheels wear out just like cheap ones! Unfortunately I don't think I'm at the stage where I'm willing to build my own wheels, so I'd need to add in the cost of my LBS building them - I spoke to them the other day and fairly basic setup would be 157 built...I'm sure I could get the cost down a little further, but might prefer to just stretch my budget

And yes I have listened to the hope hubs on youtube...noisy aren't they! I think I can deal with that though.
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